Immediate Thoughts and Lingering Questions About the Dorner Manhunt
by Kevin M. Patten
were happening on the planet while Obama got ready for his State
of the Union address. It was even reported that the
showdown taking place in the snowcapped mountains of Big Bear had
almost interrupted the president's little ensemble. When it
was over, the charred body of former Los Angeles police officer
and accused murderer Christopher Dorner was deceased, and the San
Bernardino PD were packing up and going home. Living in between
the cities of Los Angeles and Riverside, and being part of the Occupy
LA crowd for some time, I had an opportunity to witness the
event, along with its reactions, as another hand was almost needed
to finish counting the dead. Although questions remain, reflections
can still be made.
timeline (now part of officialdom thanks to Wikipedia)
starts on the evening of February 3rd, when Monica Quan and her
fiancé Keith Lawrence were gunned down in the city of Irvine.
Details of the suspect were reported within days: a not so recently
terminated thirty three year old black man, built like a tank, who
had just been discharged from the Navy. Three more officers lost
their lives during the ensuing 9-day long manhunt. Within that first
nail-biting week, in which one million dollars was offered as a
reward and fifty or more people were put on a protection detail,
versions of Dorner's "manifesto" had been widely circulated
In this, he
at first defines the purpose of a name, and seems hopeful that he’ll
be able to "clear" his own. The grievance starts with
an Officer Teresa Evans, who he alleges kicked the head of a mentally
handicapped man, one Christopher Gettler, in August of 2007. A videotaped
statement from Gettler, along with Evan’s own lawyer, supposedly
confirms these charges. Despite this, the Board of Officers determined
that his tattling had no merit, and terminated his employment. "This
department has not changed from the Daryl Gates and Mark Fuhrman
days…I will correct this error," he writes chillingly. "I
have nothing to lose. My personal casualty means nothing."
both the Law and the requests of people like Mike Ruppert, who
demanded a trial in which Dorner might look into the eyes of his
victims, and where the public might hear his allegations, the San
Bernardino PD obliged the seemingly mutual 'not-coming-out-alive'
audio recorded by local news outlets captured several unnamed
officers repeatedly shouting to "get
the gas" and "burn the motherfucker down" – referring
to the cabin off of highway 38 that Dorner, the "walking exigent
circumstance," had trapped himself in. "It was not intentional,"
Bernardino Sheriff McMahon said with relief. Whew!
doctored account of these action-packed events were projected
by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who was ordered to cut his live transmission
during the standoff. This mainstream perspective is intensified
with the recent
narrative delivered by Sean Hannity, FOX's "extreme" talking
head, who, along with his assistant bimbos (the colloquial term),
insisted that "the left" was supportive of this man, chasing conspiracies
about his demise instead of grasping the fact that he was a killer
who had no rights.
the Network whitewash, details about the manhunt – said to be one
of the largest ever on this side of the world – have yet to be answered.
Included in these are the editorship of the manifesto; the number
of wallets discovered; the
indiscriminate shooting on of civilians; and the use of what
called "pyrotechnic devices" – the gas canisters which
ignited the deadly fire.
February 18th, myself and about fifty other activists
and citizen reporters gathered to protest and interrogate the
police in downtown LA, just outside their glass headquarters. While
at least one man here held a sign saying exactly, "We Support
Dorner," others had general derogatory statements about
the department itself. The best of these reading simply: "RIP
Due Process," the sentiment held by most. From the glossary
of network reploids (I mean reporters!), Jim
Nash of Channel 5 was the most determined for biased coverage.
stayed around long that day had praised Christopher Dorner or his
actions, and I remember this clearly because I hadn’t argued the
point with anyone. What Nash didn’t report were the naming of all
those lives lost during the manhunt. As citizen journalist Patti
Beer’s footage clearly shows, we were here to challenge the authority
of the police, not to encourage anyone to murder their enemies.
"It is not," Sargent Baker told the afternoon crowd, when I asked
him if burning suspects alive was proper protocol. The innocent
bystanders? "Every time an officer opens fire there’s an investigation."
No comment was made about the audio recording.
During my curiosity
of the news, a trend had developed. Declaredly, in taking revenge
for police brutality and injustice, a terminated officer went on
a shooting spree. During the manhunt, police open fire on several
incorrectly suspected vehicles (miraculously not killing two paper-delivery
women). The standoff ends when unnamed police officers call repeatedly for
some sort of incineration, setting a fire that forces the suspect
to commit suicide and perish inside of somebody else’s property.
The head honcho of these police officers then tells a ridiculous
lie to the questioning public. This offers, in my opinion, a panoramic
view of the behavior of law enforcement personnel. From one side
of the spectrum to the other. Legality to illegality. Justice to
then at first appear to be a legitimate whistleblower, only seeking
to clear his name (as he said very specifically) and expose the
evils of an obviously unjust system. And, just by opening up an
opportunity for the police to display their atrocities, time might
actually see him become an accidental martyr. Strangely however,
he decided to do the one thing that would immediately loose him
went after the families. "I never had the opportunity to
have a family of my own, I’m terminating yours…Look your wives/husbands
and surviving children directly in the face and tell them the truth
as to why your children are dead."
With this is
gained footage of Dorner buying scuba equipment just days before
the first murders. He couldn’t get out of the border, couldn’t steal
a boat (didn’t have one), and eventually stranded himself in the
frosty mountains. This hasty, lack of preparedness shows a lower
degree of motivation; completely discrediting his desire to be a
genuine Rambo and instead making himself look like he's suffering
a violent temper tantrum.
it’s still very possible this was only a human being compelled early
on to do right, and that experiencing an environment he hoped would
be radically different had indeed driven him over the edge. Yet
his allegations seem to be
relatively mild in comparison to other reports in the area.
I'll leave it to reader to decide whether a heroically-charged young
black man joining a flagrantly racist and corrupt police department
is only an attempt to light one’s own fuse, or whether one should
just go along to get along, as something people like friendly Sargent
Baker (a sixty year old black man with some-forty years on the force)
have no doubt had to do. Or, if being an officer of the State is
kosher at all.
the statistics of racial discrepancy when it comes to police brutality
matters very little to someone like me, who's skull, like Gettler’s,
has also felt random physical blows from an officer of the law.
This man in question was Hispanic. The greater Los Angeles
area is comprised of various racial backgrounds, allowing conjecture
to make the mind travel with many different scenarios. Which, it
is now asked daily, colored officer assaulted which colored civilian?
It matters little to those of us who have actually felt their boots.
Michael Patten [send him
mail] is a roaming activist and philosophizing reporter. For
the past year and half he has been part of the Occupy Movement,
protesting outside the White House, the Bohemian Grove, and the
RNC. He has written for Cannabis Times, Treating Yourself,
The San Gabriel Examiner, and most recently in Paranoia.
© 2013 Kevin M. Patten