Former LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner is, apparently, dead in a tragic series of events that began with his alleged murders of several persons and ended with his apparent death in a fire. Along the way, the LAPD attacked several persons simply because, again apparently, they were driving pick-ups.
Did the LAPD get what they wanted? Is this a potential scenario across the nation because of our own actions (or at least, the actions of our police forces)?
See me below the that-which-may-not-be-named for a discussion.
I think we all know the story of Christopher Dorner, as well as most of the back story. Christopher Dorner was a Naval officer and an LAPD officer. Reportedly bright and capable, he had great potential. When he reportedly blew the whistle on LAPD abuse of prisoners, he was fired. (I know this simplifies the case, but stick with me.)
Now, think. If you were fired, wrongly, from a job, what would your actions be? Would you sue? If it involved the LAPD, with the LAPD's history, would you go to the feds - maybe the Department of Justice - for help? I know what I would do - it would be all of the above. What would you do?
But what did Christopher Dorner do?
Christopher Dorner declared dirka dirka jihad. (For those who do not know, this is a tongue in cheek reference to a satirical movie.) Christopher Dorner went to war. Christopher Dorner started killing people. His reaction was to employ violence and deadly force against those who he perceived had wronged him, and anyone associated with those who had wronged him.
What did the LAPD do when they, as an institution, perceived that Christopher Dorner had declared dirka dirka jihad and started killing people? Did they talk about due process? Did they seriously attempt to get Dorner to turn himself in? What were the actions of the cop-in-the-street?
The LAPD declared a counter-dirka dirka jihad on Christopher Dorner, didn't they? Do you honestly believe the cop in the street wanted to arrest Dorner? In two instances, the police officers searching for Dorner shot up vehicles that scarcely resembled Dorner's. They, apparently, gave the occupants no warning, but simply shot to kill. Only through the bad marksmanship and fire control of the police officers involved were innocent people not killed. Again, no due process, and no attempt to arrest and give a fair trial.
Reports indicate the police on the scene of Dorner's death had no intentions of arresting him - there are indications they purposely set the house on fire.
My point is this: the actions of Christopher Dorner and the actions of the LAPD officers are indicators of a systemic trait among LAPD officers. The selection process to become an LAPD officer is rigorous and strict. The LAPD selected Dorner as one of their own. He exhibited those behavioral traits they desired in a police officer. The LAPD selected those officers who shot first (and badly) and found out the facts later. They were, and are, what the LAPD wanted.
What about your own police department?
Did you know that police officers are allegedly among the biggest users of steroids? Why do you think that is? Could the internal desire to be aggressive and overly-muscled be an indicator of a personality trait that the police forces select for?
Did you know that no-knock search warrants have exploded in the past decade? Did you know that if you are sitting in your home and a civilian-clothed police force executes a no-knock warrant on your home, bursting in with guns drawn, if you instinctively fight back and injure or kill a police officer you will likely be charged with resisting arrest, attempted murder, or murder? Even if they had the wrong house?
We have militarized our police forces across the country. Militaries are designed, selected, and trained to destroy the enemy. When you see a typical police SWAT team outfitted in their military uniforms with sniper rifles and assault weapons, do you think of an arrest, or of an execution?
I suggest we need to get back to the old style of police work. We need to recruit Andy Taylor for our police officers instead of Rambo. We need police officers who will walk a beat, get to know the citizens, and instinctively work to defuse situations instead of instinctively reacting to escalate to deadly violence.
I have heard the arguments that a cop-killer must be taken out, and quickly. A cop-killer has demonstrated that he/she is willing to kill an armed officer of the law, so there is no chance for a civilian who gets in the way. The argument is that taking out the cop killers is for the good of the citizenry.
Can anyone tell me where in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that concept is mentioned?
The only way we can change this, if we want to change it, is to make ourselves heard. The federal police work for us. The state police work for us. The local police work for us. We should set the standards for police philosophy, and resultant officer selection criteria, and not the police, themselves.
The events in Los Angeles, from start to finish, should send a chill up your spine.