Today, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced today a $1,000,000 award for information leading to the arrest of Christopher Dorner, the ex-LAPD officer alleged to have killed three and injured two to date.
The manhunt for 33 year old former LAPD Chris Dorner began February 4, 2013 with the killing of Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence, Quan’s fiance, in an Irvine, CA parking garage. Captain Randy Quan, Monica Quan’s father, was the officer assigned as Dorner’s advocate in a disciplinary review process that ended Dorner’s career as a LAPD police officer.
On February 7, 2013, Dorner allegedly shot and wounded a LAPD officer and shot two Riverside police officers, killing one and wounding the other.
Since, Dorner has been leading law enforcement in CA in circles. After several days wading through the snow in the Big Bear area, the search has now extended as far west as Las Vegas. The burned out hulk of Dorner’s pickup, a Nissan Titan, was found near Big Bear.
Dorner has left a manifesto that has been published and is available on the internet alleging a culture of corruption, brutality and favoritism on the part of LAPD’s senior officers. He has sworn vengence against that leadership and the rank and file, and their families. He seemed to be particularly angry with Sgt Teresa Evans, whom he described as a lesbian who kicked a suspect under restraint twice without provocation.
Christopher Dorner was also a LT in the Naval Reserve.
One could understand the concern and angst of the average police officer going up against Dorner. Dorner is well trained, an excellent marksman, and well versed in police procedure and tactics. Unfortunately, the community that these police officers serve is now on notice that the police will not observe procedure, but shoot first and ask questions later.
On February 7, 2013, at 5:20am, LAPD officers in Torrance shot at two women in a blue pickup delivering papers. Emma Hernadez, 71, was hit twice in the back. The driver, 47 year old Margie Carranza, daughter of Hernandez, was not hit in the fusillade by police. At least 6 officers were involved in the shooting, which sprayed the victims’ truck with bullets. Surrounding houses and vehicles were also hit. It was a miracle that no one other than Emma Hernandez was struck by a bullet. There was no warning, no sirens, no use of loudspeakers, emergency lights or other means to notifiy Margie Carranza that her slowly moving truck was to stop and that they were the object of police attention. Ambush is the best description for what happened.
Margie Caranza’s pickup was a blue Toyota Tacoma. The pickup belonging to Christopher Dorner was a dark grey Nissan Titan. The police officers failed to ensure that they had the right truck before opening fire.
One would think that out of six highly trained police officers that at least one of them would have noticed the papers being thrown from the passenger’s side of the pickup onto adjacent lawns.
The police officers involved were guarding the home of one of the officers Dorner had allegedly targeted in his manifesto. They responded with deadly force against a potential threat in a residential neighborhood without consideration for potential collateral damage, nor did they make any attempt whatsoever to determine the identity of the occupants of the vehicle before opening fire. LAPD is in full spin mode to cover up the unwarranted danger that the ill-advised response created.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck stated that the shooting was a “tragic misinterpretation” and that the extreme pressure the officers were under was a contributing factor.
One could ask what happened to the training received by the police officers involved? What were their orders in such a situation? Evidently, it was a shoot first, ask questions later type of scenario in the minds of the officers involved.
Our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been charged and had their careers trashed for much less of a violation of rules of engagement.
It was announced by LAPD that “weapons” were found inside the truck, as if that justified the shooting.
Update: On Sunday, February 9, 2013, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said that Margie Caranza would be getting a new truck, but . . . not paid for by LAPD. The truck would be paid for by "donors".
The officers concerned, and the ranking officers who gave the orders that allowed those police officers to exceed policy, should be disciplined and subject to criminal charges. There is no excuse for this lack of professionalism.
Just a few minutes later, in Torrance, CA, David Purdue received a shoulder injury and concussion caused by an LAPD car slamming into his pickup after having had his ID checked during a police stop not two blocks away. The assaulting police officers opened fire without challenging or without warning. Fortunately, they were as bad a shots as the six officers involved in the Caranza and Herandez shooting. Purdue was miraculously not further injured. Allegedly, his pickup was similar to the Nissan Titan owned by Christopher Dorner, the object of the manhunt.
Perhaps in response to the incredible failure of the LAPD to exercise restraint, to let their training and policy be their guides, LAPD Charlie Beck today stated that a $1,000,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Christopher Dorner was being offered.
That decision is wise, as paying the reward would be a lot less than the liabilities incurred for even the two shootings and collateral damage done on Thursday.
The shootings and conduct of the police officers concerned cannot go without action on the part of LAPD. Otherwise, the FBI needs to step in and charge the officers with violating the Constitutional rights of Margie Caranza, Emma Herandez, and David Purdue, and the residents of the neighborhoods whose property was damaged by the fusillade of gunfire in both cases, and in recognition of the random and dangerous acts these shootings were. Reckless endangerment and assault with a deadly weapon are two other charges that arise from this conduct on the part of the police officers concerned.
There is no excuse for what happened on Thursday in the shootings.
Unfortunately, it is clear by Chief Beck’s reaction, that these incidents will be ignored or brushed under the proverbial rug.
These shootings are just two incidents out of hundreds involving police officers and unarmed innocents across the country. Fortunately, these people survived. In all too many cases, death is the end result, and the shooting always found to be . . . “justified”.
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