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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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By Dave Lindorff

The fuscillade of LAPD bullets hitting this truck show goal was: kill the driver by ThisCantBeHappening

Let's not be too quick to dismiss the "ranting" of renegade LAPD officer Chris Dorner.

Dorner, a three-year police veteran and former Lieutenant in the US Navy who went rogue after being fired by the LAPD, has accused Los Angeles Police of systematically using excessive force, of corruption, of being racist, and of  firing him for raising those issues through official channels.

By all media accounts, Dorner "snapped" after his firing, and has vowed to kill police in retaliation. He allegedly has already done so, with several people, including police officers and family members of police already shot dead.

Now there's a "manhunt" involving police departments across California, focussing on the mountains around Big Bear, featuring cops dressed in full military gear and armed with semi-automatic weapons.

Nobody would argue that randomly killing police officers and their family members or friends is justified, but I think that there is good reason to suspect that the things that Dorner claims set him, such as being fired for reporting police brutality, deserve serious consideration.

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The LAPD has a long history of abuse of minorities (actually the majority in Los Angeles, where whites are now a minority). It has long been a kind of paramilitary force -- one which pioneered the military-style Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) approach to "policing."

If you wanted a good example to prove that nothing has changed over the years, just look at the outrageous shooting by LAPD cops tasked with capturing Dorner, who instead shot up two innocent women who were delivering newspapers in a residential area of Los Angeles. The women, Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71 (now in serious condition in the hospital), were not issued any warning. Police just opened fire from behind them, destroying their truck with heavy semi-automatic fire to the point that it will have to be scrapped and replaced. The two women are lucky to be alive (check out the pattern of bullet holes in the rear window behind the driver's position in the accompanying photo). What they experienced was the tactics used by US troops on patrol in Iraq or Afghanistan, not the tactics that one expects of police. Their truck wasn't even the right make or color, but LAPD's "finest" decided it was better to be safe than sorry, so instead of acting like cops, they followed Pentagon "rules of engagement."  

Local residents say that after that shooting, which involved seven LAPD officers and over 70 bullets, with nobody returning fire, the street and surrounding houses were pockmarked with bullet holes. The   Los Angeles Times reports   that in the area, there are "bullet holes in cars, trees, garage doors and roofs."  


What we had here was an example of  a controversial tactic that the military employed in the Iraq War, and still employs in Afghanistan, called "spray and pray" -- a tactic that led directly to the massive civilian casualties during that US war.

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We shouldn't be surprised that two brown-skinned women were almost mowed down by the LAPD--only that they somehow survived all that deadly firing directed at them with clear intent to kill.

The approach taken by those cop-hunting-cops of shooting first and asking questions later suggests that the LAPD in this "manhunt" for one of their own has no intention of capturing Dorner alive and letting him talk about what he knows about the evils rampant in the 10,000-member department. They want him dead.

When I lived in Los Angeles back in the 1970s, it was common for LAPD cops to bust into homes, gestapo-like, at 5 in the morning, guns out, to arrest people for minor things like outstanding court warrants for unpaid parking tickets, bald tires, or jaywalking. 

Police helicopters also used to tail me -- then an editor of an alternative news weekly -- and my wife, a music graduate student, as we drove home at night. Sometimes, they would follow us from our car to front door with a brilliant spotlight, when we'd come home at night to our house in Echo Park. It was an act of deliberate intimidation. (They also infiltrated our newspaper with an undercover cop posing as a wannabe journalist. Her job, we later learned, was to learn who our sources were inside the LAPD -- sources who had disclosed such things as that the LAPD had, and probably still has, a "shoot-to-kill" policy for police who fire their weapons.)

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper 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