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Christopher Jordan Dorner, R.I.P.

African American news from Pasadena - Commentary - Christopher Dorner and lessons to be learned?The case of Christopher Jordan Dorner is troubling for me. He was a victim, and he later became a murderer. These may be separate issues, but they are linked. He cannot be a hero, because he killed innocent people. He was not a criminal. He was a college graduate, and he was honorably discharged from the United States Navy. He is a victim, because it appears that the LAPD unjustly took away his career and his livelihood.

When I was in the United States Army, I was a member of an elite, all African American Military Police Organization. We were stationed in Germany. An incident that was somewhat similar to Mr. Dorner's, nearly cost me my life. I would not allow a Caucasian Military Policeman to beat an African-American soldier. My intervention almost resulted in a shootout between the two of us. It was High Noon, and neither of us was going to back down. If the shootout had occurred, and I had won, then I would likely have been hanged. Either way, you would not be reading this article. Fortunately, two sergeants jumped between us, before either of us could draw our weapons.

The LAPD has a long and storied history of corruption and racial injustice. Many citizens around the world view any statements from the LAPD with skepticism. Most of them simply do not believe that Mr. Dorner would fabricate a story that his Training Officer kicked a suspect in the face, now that they know something about him. This kind of behavior was unacceptable to him, and he reported it . The fact that he would attempt to defend the rights of a civilian made him dangerous to all of the LAPD. Recognizing this, they declared war on him.

If you examine the records of the LAPD over the last 50 years, you will learn that they have shot and killed many civilians. When any civilian is shot by a member of the LAPD, the incident is always investigated. This is done whether or not the person who was shot, lives or dies. The justification for any shooting is that the Officer, who did it, did so, because there was a threat to his life, or others around him. Therefore, it was absolutely necessary for him to discharge his weapon. His version of the shooting incident is always confirmed by his Partner.

In the long history of the LAPD, I was unable to find any Inquiry into a shooting, where a Partner testified that he felt that a shooting was not justified. We have all read the news reports: "The Suspect appeared to be pulling a gun from his pants or his jacket, and the Officer fearing for his life, fired his weapon and killed him." All of the Officers involved would agree with this report, even if it was later discovered that the deceased suspect did not have a weapon.

As a general rule, Police Officers want to work with partners, who "have their backs." This means that their partners are expected to lie for them, or to conceal evidence of any wrongdoing. A person who was not willing to follow the Code of Conduct would be considered an undesirable partner, or even a "Snitch."

So, what could they expect of Mr. Dorner, if he witnessed the unjustified shooting of a suspect? The fear of the LAPD is that he would actually report what he saw, and not say what they wanted him to. Clearly, this would be unacceptable to them, and therefore he must not be allowed to remain in the LAPD.

Whenever there is a formal inquiry into an Officer's behavior, the person being investigated is assigned an Officer, who acts as his Defense Counsel. In Mr. Dorner's case, that was Captain Quan. It is clear from reading Mr. Dorner's Manifesto that he felt that Captain Quan willingly allowed him to be railroaded out of the LAPD. As a result, it appears that he made the Quan family, "a high-value target."

Again, the murders that Mr. Dorner committed cannot be justified. But, by reading his Manifesto, we can gain some understanding of his state of mind, and why he felt compelled to do what he did. I continue to offer my Condolences to all of his victims.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charles Beck announced on television that he would reopen Mr. Dorner's hearing, and share the findings with the public. The statement was made before Mr. Dorner was killed, but unless we hear otherwise, we can expect this investigation to go forward. If he does decide to pursue the facts in this matter, there is a simple and easy way for him to do so.

He can just have Captain Quan, and the Training Officer, and other key witnesses take Lie Detector Tests on Public Television. It would not take more than 30 minutes for each of them to answer two or three questions. I feel confident that the television stations would be willing to donate the time in this search for truth and justice. It would be compelling television, and it would be eagerly watched, by people all over the world.

[Contact John Randolph Rogers by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .]


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