Raging Bull? - To some, Dorner was simply a narcissistic "injustice collector"
One of life's great pleasures is taking on the challenge of finding ironclad answers to intriguing philosophical questions. For example: "If God created man; who created God?" has long bewildered the hell out of me. But there have been others. In light of a highly-publicized recent event I'd say the answer to "Which one's worse; a cop killer or a killer cop?" seems horribly pertinent. As for finding the answer pertaining to God's origin; regrettably, that's something that I've lost all faith in. But as for the "which one's worse" question; there's an ironclad lack of doubt -- it's killer cops, of course.
But what if the killer cop is also a cop killer?
It seems that throughout the overly sordid span of its existence, the Los Angeles Police Department has hired far too many individuals who for my money "fit the description" -- that of killer cops. The grimy, jaw-dropping details of the Ramparts scandal and the riveting, animalistic savagery of the Rodney King beating, are but two from a seemingly unending cascade of over-the-top atrocities that might eventually cause anyone who's followed them closely to question whether pulling in those with the most sordidly ruthless of personality traits is an intrinsic part of the LAPD recruitment and screening processes. If indeed such traits comprise the prized profile of an LA cop, it's now obvious that in Christopher Dorner, they wound up hiring the wrong person. So it's probably not too surprising that it wasn't too long before Dorner was fired. The result? For nearly a fortnight some five years after his banishment -- right up until the moment that Dorner's gruesome segment of "To Live and Die in LA," reached its blazing conclusion in a cabin near the City of Angels -- much of the law enforcement community in the LA area had been either sweating bullets while pulling "Dorner Watch" duty or hunkering down in heavily-guarded safe houses sh*tting five pound bricks by the minute.
Although I have many close friends and passing acquaintances who are cops, I have developed a general attitude of cold indifference when it comes to the police. For me, any romanticized aura surrounding the role of the police in many poor communities quickly goes POOF! as I recall studies that have found similarities in the psychological profiles of cops and criminals including one that suggests that cops may be predisposed to domestic violence. When I think of people prone to acts of domestic violence, my extrapolation mechanism always seems to point me in one direction -- toward people who tend to be lying bullies.
Harvard's Alan Dershowitz is credited with popularizing the term "testi-lying" to describe a tendency among some cops to commit perjury in order to secure the convictions of people they falsely arrest. Nonetheless, police are needed to uphold law and order. I get that, but mostly in the context of cops as a necessary evil that keeps us safe in its own peculiar way. Their role in society is similar to that of boxers. Boxing is a savage exercise, but it keeps us safe by giving people who get a rush out of beating the snot out of others a place to whale away on each other -- and be paid to do so.
I view cops similarly. We need their thug-like toughness and criminalist aggressiveness to protect us from people running the streets who are tough, aggressive, and criminal-minded --those we call "thugs." And cops also need those tough, aggressive character attributes and killer instincts to protect themselves -- from cop killers. The issue here with cops stems from far too many accounts by non-"thugs" -- some still so shook it's like they're speaking in tongues -- of cowboy officers who initiate often savagely aggressive behavior or become over-the-top provocative when provocation is completely unwarranted.
It was an allegation along those lines that would eventually light the fuse on Dorner leading to his rampage . The accusation pits cop against cop. Without a doubt, somebody's lying. Dormer was fired by the LAPD for allegedly filing a false charge of brutality against a fellow officer, something Dorner had repeatedly denied. But the swamp of alleged race-based events that saturates Dorner's grievances seems to have spawned a predictable guilt-driven spasm of boilerplate analyses, all ending in dismissals of Dorner as just another narcissistic, race-card carrying, revenge-minded kook -- little more than a disgruntled ex-employee turned drone-worthy domestic terrorist .
According to the man who fired him, former LAPD Chief William Bratton, Dorner is "an injustice collector."
It's hardly an extraordinary stretch to presume that the common view of Dorner's grievances would have been one of more open-mindedness had Dorner himself been viewed with the Rambo-like romanticism that Americans tend to wrap around "those who served." Like "Movie Rambo," Dorner devotedly served his country -- in his case, as a naval lieutenant in Iraq. He came home after an honorable discharge to serve his community as an LAPD "peace" officer. If the issue that triggered Dorner's rampage was -- also like Movie Rambo -- mistreatment by civilian law enforcement authorities based entirely on his background as a former soldier, it's likely to have resulted in a large contingent of the "support our troops" and "thank you for your service" crowd lining the streets in support similar to that witnessed during the LAPD/OJ Simpson slow-speed chase.
It's feasible to speculate that absent Dorner's interjection of race in the dispute, the broadside of justifiable condemnation he has received would be tempered with a degree of empathy similar to that the public has shown for the ex-Seal Team 6 member credited with ventilating Osama bin Laden. The "Shooter" -- as he's known -- has received a conclusively qualified outpouring of support following a report that the military is haggling with the chronically unemployed vet over medical benefits. Although unlike Dorner, Shooter hasn't reacted by kicking off an anti-U.S. military jihad, it's easy to envision the majority of Americans finding a way to relate if Shooter decided to go rogue al la Dorner.
But charges of racism have become so vile that in circumstances such as this, denying them seems to have become the politically correct thing to do even among those who should perhaps know better. What else explains how people like Chris Matthews and ex-Chief Bratton can so cavalierly voice the absurdity that racism -- within the LAPD of all places -- is a thing of the past?
"(Dorner's) assertions of racism; basically, I take, quite frankly, personal offense with that," Bratton stated on Matthews' show . "The LAPD of 2013 is not the LAPD of the '80s and '90s, or the '70s. The LAPD of today is a very different organization."
Again, someone's lying. I have immense respect for Bratton stemming from a familiarity with him dating back to the period in the "80s when he served as the outside-of-the-box head of the transit police here in Massachusetts. But because Dorner is dead it's likely that we will never know where the lies end and the truth begins. Yet, after having read Dorner's 11,000 word "manifesto" in its entirety, I came away with the impression that Dorner was indeed a man possessed -- with an unusually high degree of personal integrity and with a clear sense of what's morally right and wrong. That assessment was enhanced after I read elsewhere, that in 2002, Dorner found an envelope belonging to a church which contained $8,000.00 -- and promptly returned the money to its rightful owners.
"The military stresses integrity," Dorner said at the time. "There was a couple of thousand dollars, and if people are willing to give that to a church, it must be pretty important to them."