Personal Honor and Christopher Dorner, Part I

The Manifesto

By Kersley Fitzgerald

Jim Allen's article on Christopher Dorner got me intrigued. Dorner was an LAPD officer who claimed he was relieved of duty after he reported another officer for excessive force in 2007. He appealed to the Board of Rights in 2008, and a judge ruled against him in 2011. He was also a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve. In February 2013, frustrated with losing his job and watching those he considered to be less honorable receiving accolades and promotions, Dorner went on the offense. Here is a summary of his actions:
  • February 3: A woman and her fiancé are shot and killed. The woman was the daughter of the LAPD officer whom Dorner alleged had ruined his appeal.
  • February 6: LAPD names Dorner as a suspect in the killings. Dorner releases his manifesto (see summary below).
  • February 7: Dorner allegedly shoots and wounds an officer assigned to protect one of his named victims. Dorner allegedly then ambushes a patrol car, killing one officer and wounding another. LAPD officers shoot two people, mistaking them for Dorner. Dorner's truck is found on fire near Big Bear Lake.
  • February 8-11: Civilian and military authorities search for Dorner.
  • February 12: Dorner and police have a shoot-out while Dorner drives a stolen car. Dorner carjacks a truck and flees to a cabin. The ensuing shoot-out results in one deputy killed and one wounded. Authorities toss "smoke devices" inside the cabin, setting it on fire.

    A body is discovered inside the burned cabin; cause of death is ruled a gunshot to the head. Body is identified as Christopher Dorner.
I knew the basic story, but what was up with this manifesto that had everyone so riled up? I decided to read it and see. Here's a summary for those of you who don't want to read all eleven pages. If you would like to read more, you can find it here.
  1. The showdown with LAPD was all about his name —his reputation and honor. He explained what his name means to him:

    "A name is more than just a noun, verb, or adjective. It's your life, your legacy, your journey, sacrifices, and everything you've worked hard for every day of your life as an adolescent, young adult and adult. Don't let anybody tarnish it when you know you've lived up to your own set of ethics and personal ethos."
  2. Explains that the entire rampage was because he was wrongfully terminated by the LAPD. After he reported a fellow cop for kicking a mentally ill suspect, Dorner was terminated, and the woman he accused was promoted.
  3. Explains in detail the injustice of the Board of Rights that led to his dismissal, including the lies of the witnesses.
  4. Very adamant that he was not a bully; he just defended what he believed was right. He had been investigated on two other occasions: once when academy cadets made derogatory comments about the holocaust in front of a Jewish recruit, and another time when two cops used the n-word despite his request they stop. He half-strangled the n-word user before others pulled him off. Claims the witnesses lied about what had happened.
  5. In elementary school he punched and hit a kid who had called him the n-word. He couldn't understand why the principal punished both of them. He was not a bully, but he would not tolerate racially derogatory terms or abuse of the weak.
  6. More detail about the arrest in question and the character of the officer who was abusive to other suspects —including a woman in her mid-70s.
  7. Defensive about writing: "Judge my writin/grammar [sic] skills for yourself." [Note: His writing was fairly good (for a long emotional rant) but desperately needed editing.]
  8. Reiterates his desire to redeem his honor:

    " I have exhausted all available means at obtaining my name back. I have attempted all legal court efforts within appeals at the Superior Courts and California Appellate courts. This is my last resort. The LAPD has suppressed the truth and it has now lead [sic] to deadly consequences."
  9. Described what he'd lost due to his dismissal, including relationships with family.

    "I lived a good life and though not a religious man I always stuck to my own personal code of ethics, ethos and always stuck to my shoreline and true North."
  10. Lists, in detail, the types of cops who he will search for and kill.
  11. Tells civilians not to take care of injured cops because when a civilian is wounded, the cops let them die so they can earn overtime.
  12. Tells the kids of cops he plans to kill that their parent "was a tyrant who loss [sic] their ethos and instead followed the path of moral corruptness."
  13. Threatens the families of cops.
  14. Outlines detailed tactical procedures to find targets.

    "Outside agencies and individual officers on patrol. If you recognize my vehicle, and confirm it is my vehicle thru a dmv/want warrant check. It behoves [sic] you to respond to dispatch that your query was for information purposes only. If you proceed with a traffic stop or attempt to notify other officers of my location or for backup you will not live to see the medal of valor you were hoping to receive for your actions. Think before you attempt to intervene. You will not survive...I am off the grid. You better use your feet, tongue and every available DOD/ NON-DOD HUMINT agency, contractor to find me. I know your route to and from home, and your division. I know your significant others routine, your children's best friends and recess. I know Your Sancha's [sic] gym hours and routine. I assure you that the casualty rate will be high."
  15. Calls for better gun control with assault weapons' ban.
  16. Rants about threats to President Obama's honor (and complements Michelle's bangs), then encourages President Obama to do better.
  17. Rants about an assistant principal at his high school who didn't back him up when he confronted a thief.
  18. Suggests they preserve and scan his brain to see the effects of depression.
  19. Sends personal notes to old friends. Regrets he won't be around to see Hangover III and Shark Week.
  20. Gives notes to politicians he admires (including Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and George H. W. Bush), journalists, military members (including Petraeus and Powell), entertainers, and athletes —in between criticizing people like Cardinal Mahoney, George Zimmerman, and the Westboro church.
  21. Supports women in combat and benefits for gay spouses, but reminds homosexual community that Chik-fil-A has an equal right to voice their beliefs.
  22. Ends by praising Bill Cosby for telling the black community what they don't want to hear, and encouraging the black community to stop digressing and start progressing.

What do you think of this? Was Christopher Dorner a hero? See Part II for my thoughts.

comments powered by Disqus
Published 3-4-13