I live in Los Angeles. I was born and raised here and for as long as I can remember the Los Angeles Police Department has had a reputation for corruption and wrongdoing. From my vivid memories of the Rodney King riots to my friend’s gut-reaching stories of being a rookie cop, I can recall numerous stories of reported police brutally that have fallen by the waste side.
Now, there’s the story of Chris Dorner, the ex-police officer turned fugitive who is seeking revenge against the LAPD for, what he calls, a wrongful termination. He posted an online manifesto declaring a war on the police and identifying his targets. He is already wanted in connection to a double homicide and shooting of three police officers in the Los Angeles area. Authorities have coined his search as “largest manhunt in Southern California history.”
Dorner, who is also a former Navy reservist, claims that the police department “has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days.” He wrote about racial discrimination, hostility, excessive force and corruption in his 11,400-word manifesto, and said the department continues to get worse. “Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name,” he wrote.
If there was ever a case screaming for a review by the justice department, perhaps this is this one.
While the national media is painting Dorner has a monster, his complaints and extreme measures do not come as a surprise. For me, his vengeance actually raises many questions. Is there a such thing as a necessary evil? Are the stories in his manifesto true? And now that the police are offering a $1 million reward for his arrest, is there something the department is trying to hide?
My social media feeds have been flooded with these questions. While Dorner’s tactics for murder and force are undeniably wrong (and somewhat hypocritical), it seems many local residents understand his motive.
One of the first people to publicly support Dorner is Los Angeles rapper Ab-Soul, currently signed to Interscope Records. He posted a photo supporting Dorner on his Instagram account and he’s since received over 3,300 likes and over 500 comments.
“This was a necessary evil,” he wrote quoting Dorner’s manifesto. He added, “God Bless You Sir.”
A commenter replied, “Everyone else [is] misinformed idiots. He killed officers as a statement because the system he worked in was corrupt and they discharged him [from] attempting to reveal how corrupt it was.”
According to ABC, the LAPD plans to re-open the investigation on Dorner’s firing. Reports claim that this is not a way to appease the fugitive, but to restore the public’s trust.
However, if Dorner’s actions successfully shed light on corruption in the LAPD, then does this mean that his actions are a necessary evil?