Cop killer, better you than me.
Cop killer, Fuck police brutality!
Cop killer, I know your family's grievin'
Cop killer, but tonight we get even.
I got my black shirt on.
I got my black gloves on.
I got my ski mask on.
This shit's been too long.
I got my twelve gauge sawed off.
I got my headlights turned off.
I'm 'bout to bust some shots off.
I'm 'bout to dust some cops off.
Verses from 1988 Fuck The Police recorded by rap group NWA
HUH, a young nigga on the warpath
And when I'm finished, it's gonna be a bloodbath
of cops, dyin in L.A.
I'm a sniper with a hell of a scope
Takin out a cop or two, they can't cope with me
The motherfuckin villian that's mad
With potential, to get bad as fuck
So I'ma turn it around
Put in my clip, yo, and this is the sound
[BOOM, BOOM] Yeah, somethin like that
but it all depends on the size of the gat
Takin out a police, would make my day
Hip Hop songs that were recorded more than 20 years ago. Lyrics that talk about avenging police brutality that was perpetuated by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on the black and brown youth of South Los Angeles.
It is no secret that the LAPD has had problems with corruption and discrimination within and outside the Department. Problems that date back more than 50 years.
1951 Bloody Christmas – Seven youth, 5 of whom were Mexican, were savagely beaten by 50 drunk white police officers, while in custody at the police station.
1965 – Watts Riots spawned by illegal stop and arrest of an African American man by California Highway Patrol.
1992 – South Los Angeles Riots. After a high speed chase, Rodney , an African man was brutally beaten by several LAPD offices.
Late 1990s - The LAPD Rampart Division’s Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) anti-gang unit, were convicted of falsifying evidence, bank robbery, drug dealing, beatings and illegal shootings.
Fast forward to 2013. Christopher Dorner a 33 year old ex LAPD Officer. A Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserves. A college graduate who played college football. A former football team mate described Dorner as someone whom he respected. Friendly, fun and easy to hang out with. A neighbor described Dorner as nice, friendly and easy to approach.
With a resume like that, how could Dorner an expert marksman kill the daughter of a former police captain and her fiancé? And then ambush and killed one police officer and wound another while the two were stopped at a traffic signal?
What exactly was Dorner’s beef with the LAPD? What caused him to go Rogue? Was he up one night listening to some old Ice T and NWA eating popcorn and watching Skyfall, when he decided to act out a scene from a Rambo move? According to a Manifesto that Dorner posted to the Internet, it’s not that simple.
According to the Manifesto, Dorner lived to be a police officer. It was something he aspired to do his entire life. Dorner’s ex-girlfriend stated that “for somebody like Chris, he was the type of person that without him having a badge, without him having that job, title of police officer, I really don't think he would exist without it." So how did this educated, easy going respectable guy who served his country and community, turn into a cold blooded murderer? Well it seems Dorner started to spiral out of control after he was fired.
Dorner writes in his Manifesto that he felt betrayed by the department. He was terminated 10 months after he reported that his then partner kicked a cuffed suspect in the chest and face. Though the suspect had visible injuries to his face, Dorner was found to have fabricated the story. The Department labeled Dorner a bully for assaulting a recruit while in the police academy, and also because he choked a fellow police officer. Dorner said that the assault charge was a lie, and stated the reason that he choked his fellow officer was because he repeatedly used the word nigger.
Dorner felt that his termination from the LAPD cost him his career as a Commanding Officer in the Naval Reserve. He blamed the department for the deterioration of his relationship with his family and friends, stating that when he lost his name he lost everything. Dorner was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy Reserve on February 1, 2013 and on February 3, 2013 his killing spree began.
In his Manifesto, Dorner named several police officers and their families specifically, but stated that every LAPD police officer was a part of the department wide corruption and therefore every police officer was a target. Asian officers for not standing for anyone or anything. White officers for victimizing minorities. Latino officers for victimizing Latino immigrants. Black officers for victimizing incoming white recruits for payback. And Lesbian officers for victimizing male officers. Words of a mad man. A man who had snapped.
In all fairness the LAPD has come a long way in cleaning up the department. It may not be perfect, but it is most definitely not the force it was before. In reading Dorner’s Manifesto, it does not seem to me that there was anything mentioned that could send anyone over the edge let alone turn them into a calculated cold blooded killer. Maybe Dorner had some undiagnosed psychological problem. Maybe Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Dorner’s ex-girlfriend said that he was Paranoid. Stating that he kept guns in plain sight around her house, and that he slept with a gun in and next to the bed. She stated that she understands it is not unusual for police officers to always be on duty, but felt that he went overboard.
After killing three people, Dorner fled to a cabin at Big Bear Lake, some 100 miles east of Los Angeles, CA. On February 12th, in true movie fashion, Dorner’s life ended in a shootout with the Police. Police threw in tear gas which set the Cabin Dorner was in on fire. There are questions as to whether or not the cabin was deliberately set on fire by police to get Dorner to come out. The cabin burned down, and Dorner’s body was pulled from the ashes. But in the end it was not the fire that killed Dorner, but rather a self-inflicted gunshot. He shot himself while the cabin was on fire, but not before he killed another police officer. This bringing the death toll to 4.
Dorner's violent rampage left questions that may never be answered. Where were his family and friends? Were there signs that he was losing all sense of rationality, and if so, did anyone try to help him? More importantly, did the police department or the armed services have any clue that he was a walking time bomb? Dorner’s break is divesting for the police department on so many levels. One of their own turned on them. Will this tragedy affect how the officers interact with each other? Will it cause division? Will it bring out other sleeping giants? One thing is certain, with so many police officers and serviceman overworked and trained to kill, I think it impotent that more measures to recognize mental instability be put into place. Even for those that have been terminated or discharged from duty.