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Wanted: Dead, Not Alive: The LAPD is Afraid of What Renegade Cop Chris Dorner has to Say

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Friends in Los Angeles tell me nothing has changed, though of course the police weaponry has gotten heavier and their surveillance capabilities have gotten more sophisticated and invasive.

It is clear from the LAPD's paramilitary response to the Occupy movement in Los Angeles, which included planting undercover cops among the occupiers, some of whom reportedly were agents provocateur who tried to encourage protesters to commit acts of violence, and which ended with police violence and gratuitous arrests, as in New York, that nothing has changed.

In other words, Dorner may be irrational, but he ain't crazy.

A black military veteran, Dorner joined the police because he reportedly believed in service. Unable to go along with the militarist policing he saw on the job, he protested through channels and was apparently rewarded by being fired. Now, in his own violent way, he is trying to warn us all that something is rotten in the LAPD, and by extension, in the whole police system in the US. Police departments almost everywhere in the US, have morphed, particularly since 9/11/2001, from a role of providing public safety and law enforcement into agencies of brutal fascist control.

As Dorner says in his lengthy   manifesto   (actually quite explicit and literate, but described as "ranting" in corporate media accounts), in which he explains his actions and indicts the LAPD, "The enemy combatants in LA are not the citizens and suspects, it's the police officers."

That could be said of many US police departments, I'm afraid.

Example: Last fall, I had the experience of trying to hitchhike in my little suburban town. A young cop drove up and informed me (incorrectly, it turns out) that it was illegal to hitchhike in Pennsylvania. When I expressed surprise at this and told him I was a journalist working on an article on hitchhiking, he then threatened me directly, saying that if I continued to try and thumb a ride, he would "take you in and lock you up." 

When I called a lawyer friend and said I was inclined to take the officer up on that threat, since I was within my rights under the law hitchhiking as long as I was standing off the road, he warned me against it, saying, "You don't know what could happen to you if you got arrested."

And of course he's right. An arrest, even a wrongful arrest, in the US these days can lead to an added charge -- much more serious -- of resisting arrest, with a court basing its judgement on the word of the officer in the absence of any other witnesses. It can also lead to physical injury or worse, if the officer wants to lie and claim that the arrested person threatened him or her.  

If I had been in Los Angeles, I would most likely have been locked up for an incident like that. Forget about any warning. You aren't supposed to talk back to cops in L.A. And if you are black or Latino, the results of such an arrest could be much worse.

I remember once witnessing LAPD cops stopping a few Latino youths who had been joyriding in what might have been a stolen car. There was a helicopter overhead, and perhaps a dozen patrol cars that had converged on the scene, outside a shopping mall in Silverlake. I ran over to see what was happening and watched as the cops grabbed the kids, none of whom was armed, out of the vehicle and slammed them against the car brutally. It was looking pretty ugly, but by then neighbors from the surrounding homes, most of them Latino, who had poured out onto their lawns because of the commotion, began yelling at the cops. One man shouted, "We see what you're doing. These boys are all healthy. If anything happens to any of them after you arrest them we will report you!"

        The cops grudgingly backed off in their attack on the boys, and took them away in a squad car. I don't know what happened to them after that, but they were most certainly saved, by quick community response, from an on-the-spot Rodney King-style beating that could have seriously injured them, or worse.

As things stand right now, with the LAPD gunning for Dorner, and wanting him dead and silenced, not captured, the public has to worry that it has more to fear from the LAPD than it has to fear from Dorner himself. At least Dorner, in his own twisted way, has specific targets in mind. The LAPD is in "spray and pray" mode.

Hopefully, Dorner will realize he can do more by figuring out a safe way to "come in from the cold" so he can try to testify about LAPD crimes, than by killing more cops. If he does manage to surrender, he'd better have a lot of support lined up to keep him safe while in custody.

It's already clear that a lot of people in the LAPD want him dead.

DAVE LINDORFF is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper. His work, and that of colleagues JOHN GRANT, LORI SPENCER, LINN WASHINGTON, JR. and CHARLES M. YOUNG can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 

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"He snapped" is not a fair statement.  He was... by G C on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 11:32:28 AM
I am suspicious by nature but somethings about thi... by Textynn N on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 1:40:37 PM
I'm wondering why all of this is breaking now. Do ... by Timothy Gatto on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 1:54:52 PM
It is gratifying to see more writers (Lindorff in ... by Ned Lud on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 1:55:16 PM
NWA had it right 25 years ago: "F**k Tha' Police."... by Richard Faust on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:29:42 PM
even the smallest local police offices are corrupt... by Lester Shepherd on Monday, Feb 11, 2013 at 8:32:02 AM
It would seem that the Rats are really afraid of M... by Paul Repstock on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:53:01 PM
from their armchairs; who have no direct experienc... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:54:15 PM
Please give it a break. We have no idea why you wo... by Paul Repstock on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 8:14:42 PM
Initially, I do not condemn anything until I know ... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 9:43:17 PM
"Thirdly, the "suspect" - Dorner - has declared w... by Gary Williams on Monday, Feb 11, 2013 at 3:32:16 PM
Gary - you have made a very good defense for why w... by manifesto 2000 on Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 4:26:53 PM
should offer him a guarantee of his day  in c... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 8:17:34 PM
Until proven guilty in a court of law. Period. (If... by Kim Cassidy on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 9:18:02 PM
Offered for his head (by some corporation, not sur... by Kim Cassidy on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 9:25:23 PM
is being offered by the government (Police / Sheri... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 9:56:04 PM
and Dorner knows it well.  Every person that ... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 9:49:58 PM
Mark,  with a $1M reward (1 million,  is... by Andy Tonti on Monday, Feb 11, 2013 at 10:07:51 AM
most cops are psychos these days, insulated by cor... by Lester Shepherd on Monday, Feb 11, 2013 at 8:39:14 AM
Good work.... by Don Caldarazzo on Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 11:17:06 PM
None of the tactics presently being used by the LA... by Andy Tonti on Monday, Feb 11, 2013 at 9:51:24 AM
Recommended reading: Our Enemies in Blue by Kristi... by Ellen Slack on Monday, Feb 11, 2013 at 5:09:35 PM
A neighbor said: "Her car was full of holes ...""I... by Paul Rye on Monday, Feb 11, 2013 at 8:07:10 PM
Thanks for your incisive article, Dave. I have bee... by manifesto 2000 on Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 3:07:57 PM
Thanks for your incisive article, Dave. I have bee... by manifesto 2000 on Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 3:20:11 PM