LAPD was never spooked by Christopher Dorner: Something don’t smell right

by Davey D

Feb. 13, 2013 – Over the past week, Southern Cali police had more than 1,000 officers combing mountains, stopping traffic on major freeways where cars were held up for hours, offering a million dollars, the highest reward ever offered for a wanted person in state history – and that’s just for starters.

LAPD on Dorner manhunt 0213During the past week, LAPD shot three innocent people without identifying themselves as police officers. They set up 50 separate security details to protect the families of cops who were “threatened” in the manifesto said to be written by former L.A. cop Christopher Dorner.

During yesterday’s shoot out in the San Bernardino mountains’ near Big Bear, they allowed a cabin where Dorner was said to be holed up to burn completely to the ground. LAPD spokesman Andy Smith was livid when it was suggested that police had identified the remains that are supposedly in the burnt down cabin. He said that the building was too hot to enter and that it would take some time to ID the body. Police as of this morning are still on tactical alert “looking” for Dorner.

I want folks to look at some of what I mentioned and really think about this. I know many who dislike the police would like to believe that one man had one of the most militarized and largest police forces in the world spooked over the threats and subsequent actions of one man. Some have gone so far as to call Dorner a modern-day Django. Others have noted that Dorner with his military training gave him a tactical edge and made him the most dangerous suspect ever faced by LAPD.

While it’s true Dorner is a military guy, he’s not the only military guy. L.A. under past chiefs like Daryl Gates and William H. Parker before him made it a point to hire military men to be on the force. L.A. is one of the most militarized police forces in the country. LAPD has long prided itself on having the latest tools and weaponry at its disposal.

Many of the police practices we see around the country come from L.A., including SWAT teams, which originated in L.A. There are lots of former Navy Seals, Green Berets, Marines, Special Forces guys etc. all up in the ranks of LAPD and So-Cal police forces in general. So yes, Dorner was a trained cat not to be messed with, but he was not the only one at the party who could get down. There are just too many cats with similar and superior skills on that force that would not be spooked by one cat.

Over the past week, Southern Cali police had more than 1,000 officers combing mountains, stopping traffic on major freeways where cars were held up for hours, offering a million dollars, the highest reward ever offered for a wanted person in state history – and that’s just for starters.

Again, let’s think about this. On the criminal tip, Southern Cali is home to some of the most ruthless, well armed and vicious organized gangs. The Mexican Mafia, Armenian Mob, Aryan Brotherhood, Skinheads, biker gangs like the Mongols and Hells Angels, Russian Mob, drug cartels of every stripe, Crips, Bloods etc. This is gangland for real, and many of those gangs are openly hostile to LAPD, yet we have never seen the resources and all stops pulled to confront them the way they did Dorner. We never saw this much power even after some of those gangs were deemed domestic terrorists and even after some of these outfits did everything from murdering entire families to terrorizing families or ethnic groups.

There have been several rebellions in L.A. over the years, the most glaring the ‘92 Rodney King Rebellion. After the acquittal of the four officers accused of beating Rodney King, L.A. erupted as members of some of the city’s largest gangs, who had recently formed a truce, sat on national TV and pretty much promised to go after LAPD. We saw the Parker Center police headquarters destroyed by angry mobs. We saw armed groups, many of them gang members, take to the streets.

During that rebellion we didn’t see LAPD spooked. A thousand cops were not on the streets “looking” for any one man or even a bunch of men. Police officers’ families weren’t protected. We didn’t see officers, including Daryl Gates, have 50 protection squad units. At the end of the day, LAPD wound up shooting and killing more than 20 people during the rebellion. During the height of hostilities we didn’t see LAPD spooked.

During the hey days of the Black Panthers, U.S. and other Black and Brown militant groups routinely mashed with LAPD and had shootouts, but we did not see the type of resources to track down and confront any of these groups the way we saw with Dorner. And we know LAPD went pretty deep with those groups, as explained by former Panther Ericka Huggins.

Some suggested LAPD went all out because Dorner was deemed a serial killer. Cali has had more than its share of serial killers and we never ever saw massive manhunts like this. Not here, not anywhere. Freeways weren’t shut down for hours, safe houses and protection squads weren’t assigned to everyone in danger.

I recall back in 2000-2001 when the niece of former L.A. Police Chief Bernard Parks was killed by gang members. We didn’t see this type of all out manhunt or even all out efforts to completely eradicate the gang. Nothing like what we saw with the quest for Dorner. So why now? Was it because he was a rogue cop?

For those unfamiliar with Southern Cali, there’s a few other things folks should know about how the police get down. There have always been rogue cops. For example, for a long time, LAPD and L.A. sheriffs had beef with each other and it was not unusual for squads to actually square up and go at each other like a gang.

We also know that long before the Jump Out Boys, a rogue gang of cops recently exposed for shooting Blacks and Latinos, leading to the firing of seven members the same day Dorner posted his manifesto, Southern Cali police departments within their ranks had long had social clubs, or gangs, many of them white supremacist. But as we saw leading up to the Rampart Scandal and the saga behind Death Row records and the death of Notorious BIG, there were peace officers of color who were associated with street gangs including the Bloods. The point I’m making: There have long been rogue officers, some friendly, some not so friendly to the force, but never was this much manpower used to quell them.

Christopher Dorner, burning cabin 021213 by CBS NewsSay what you want, but this situation with Dorner has the looks of police not scared of one man because he made threats or had weapons. This had the look of someone trying to find something. What that something is one can only guess, but as I said last night when they let that cabin burn and then announced they couldn’t tell if the man reported inside was Dorner, “Something don’t smell right in the city of angels.”

What did that man know? And was all this manpower simply to stop him or retrieve something he had? Was the mission to make sure he went to his grave with sordid secrets? We may not get immediate answers to any of these questions, but we’d best keep asking.

LAPD, no matter what they say, was not spooked or feeling they were in some sort of imminent danger as they would like us to believe – not with all those resources, manpower and history. In the words of Public Enemy, “Can’t Truss It.”

Dorner, drones and the Policeman’s Bill of Rights

Feb. 11, 2013 – There are three things all of us should be concerned about with this Christopher Dorner saga. First they are now using drones to hunt this man down. On the surface, that seems like no big deal, but because they are hunting for a “cop killer” who has stated via his manifesto that he has more in his sights, the police will equip drones with technology and use procedures that up ‘til now were not allowed.

No, I don’t think they will shoot him from the sky. But drones can be equipped with very intrusive snooping tools that totally violate our constitutional and civil rights. Drones can be equipped to do everything from see behind walls to intercepting emails, text messages etc. Up ‘til now the fight has been to limit law enforcement to use drones for search and rescue type operations. They want search warrants and other legal documents to be in place before police use them.

'Not Chris Dorner, Please do not shoot' T-shirt worn by Black man shopping 021113But now the country’s second largest police department, LAPD, can go all out testing and setting a precedent on using drones on American soil, bypassing the fight against them and current limits placed on them. In the search for Dorner, how much of our privacy will be violated? What sort of record keeping will be done on any of us?

The justification process has already started with media and law enforcement now dubbing Dorner as a “domestic terrorist.” If he’s a terrorist, does that allow the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA) to kick in? Can people who are suspected of being in association or sympathizing with Dorner now be subjected to provisions of NDAA or other anti-terrorist laws?

Adding to this climate are recent remarks from L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have him framing Dorner as someone who is conducting a reign of terror over the people of L.A. Are the people of L.A. in trouble or LAPD? Does the average person walking down the street need to fear Dorner? Is he going after them or LAPD?

As far as we know, LAPD has 50 security units guarding the families of officers mentioned in Dorner’s online uncensored manifesto and they have safe houses in place. I won’t begrudge police the right to protect themselves from danger, but let’s be crystal clear: If everyone is under a reign of terror as suggested by L.A.’s mayor, what protections do we have in place?

The justification process has already started with media and law enforcement now dubbing Dorner as a “domestic terrorist.” If he’s a terrorist, does that allow the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA) to kick in? Can people who are suspected of being in association or sympathizing with Dorner now be subjected to provisions of NDAA or other anti-terrorist laws?

Heck, let’s move beyond Dorner to everyday scenarios. If any of us was threatened because we stood up to the neighborhood criminal thug as we are told to do by police, would there be any such protections or bright spotlights in place? Would they launch a thousand-person manhunt to bring about justice as they are doing now? Hell, in many of the departments here in Cali, we are being told some crimes will not be investigated, including burglaries.

Second thing we should be concerned about is this move to do people in without a trial or due process. We see this playing out in the world court with Obama’s drone policies. Many of us have cheered and gone along with justifying it even to this date.

We now see it translating down on domestic local levels. The shooting of the two women by LAPD and the man by Torrance PD was police shooting to kill, not following the law. It was shoot to kill and not bring Dorner before the courts, a right all of us have, no matter how despicable our actions. We should not get used to such draconian policies, because with a few slight twists and turns one of us may suddenly find ourselves at the receiving end of this type of action, which is now moving in the direction of policy.

Mayor of LA and LAPD chiefWe should be concerned that none of the officers involved with those shootings have been arrested. Forget firing them or giving the victims money. Where’s the zero tolerance policy? Where’s the same zero tolerance toward police neglect and abuse that they routinely apply to us?

Let one of us accidentally shoot a cop, there would be no leniency. But here we are acting like this is no big deal. Some have gone so far to say, “This happens all the time in the hood.” Maybe it does. But now with the world watching, we best be pushing the cause and making this be the example in which such actions end because a steep price is paid. In short don’t let it slide. Again I remind folks, the police are not letting the actions of Dorner slide.

Also related to this: Do not be fooled by the slick PR move of LAPD re-opening the case of Dorner’s firing. Don’t get me wrong; that case should be re-opened for all the public to see. Transparency is needed. But let’s understand what that really looks like.

Transparency with LAPD starts with us asking the right questions. For example, we should get an answer to the conflict of interests that was raised in the manifesto: Did the sergeant who was accused of kicking a suspect have a working relationship and strong ties to those judging her? We also need to see her record to see if she had a history of violence as claimed by Dorner.

Lastly we should not stop with that case. We need to vigorously check out all the others while simultaneously making sure the recent shooting of innocents by LAPD is punished.

Transparency with LAPD starts with us asking the right questions.

Third concern is that the police don’t use this incident to further strengthen the Policeman’s Bill of Rights that is already über restrictive. The law is so restrictive it took Colorlines and other news agencies two years to accumulate information for their groundbreaking story “How California Law Shields Violent Officers.”

The point I was trying to get across when I was on the news show Democracy Now this morning is that Dorner blew the whistle on fellow officers and gave us information that the public has little and now no access to even if an officer is on trial. We should not take that for granted or overlook it.

Christopher Dorner manhunt near Angelus Oaks 021213 by Gene Blevins, ReutersHe said his supervising sergeant has a long history of violence. If this is true, can we see her records? Can we see the complaints filed or are they tucked away and shielded because of the PMBOR?

We should be pushing back and demanding such strict privacy be lessened. I’m fearful after all is said and done that even the names of police will be hidden from us under the guise of “protecting” them.

We should be concerned that what Dorner described in his manifesto seems to be a culture that severely punishes officers who blow the whistle. It would be great if good officers who are subjected to witnessing abuses – but keep their mouths shut out of fear – would find ways to help the public further open up the cracks we see around this Dorner case.

From looking at the legal document files and the manifesto, we see retaliation for reporting bad behavior as a recurring theme. Contrast that with the current climate on the federal level, where whistleblowers are routinely punished, and you can better understand why all of us should be re-thinking all of this. You can download the legal documents and court papers here.

Listen to Davey D on Hard Knock Radio Monday-Friday at 4 p.m. and his Morning Mix show every Tuesday at 8 a.m. on KPFA 94.1 FM or He can be reached at Visit his website,, and his blog, Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner.