by AP Photo: apimages
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.