The Enemy of My Enemy

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79 Responses

  1. a_random_guy says:

    Well said. This guy is clearly a lunatic, and deserves no mercy.

    The police reaction to this lunatic is an entirely different problem. Shooting innocent people in similar-looking trucks shows execrable training, not to mention frank cowardice. This has nothing to do with the lunatic, and in no way excuses him.

  2. Dan Irving says:

    The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less.

    – Maxim 29

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  3. Dan Irving says:

    "Shooting innocent people in similar-looking trucks shows execrable training, not to mention frank cowardice."

    From what I've read the APB was for a blue or grey Nissan Titan driven by a large black man. I can see how the police could easily mistake a blue Toyota Tacoma driven by two Asian women as the vehicle they were looking for.

  4. Kevin says:

    @a_random_guy Yeah, I too was pretty shocked by the general lack of outrage about the shooting of two innocent people for driving a truck that looked similar to the suspect's… I mean the two guys were presumably unarmed, right? So the cops had to have shot first, and before seeing any weapons or other signs of a threat. That would be a violation of the rules of engagement our forces in Afghanistan operate under. When the LAPD, operating on domestic soil, are using less restrictive ROEs than our military does in a war zone, you know you have a problem.

  5. lelnet says:

    The dude isn't a hero of the fight against police abuse. He's the POSTER CHILD for police abuse. The only distinction here is that somehow, the system managed to work, in his case, and get him off the force before he killed or tortured anyone we know about.

    As for the actions of those chasing him, I'm reminded of Kissinger's infamous quip about the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s…"it's a shame they can't both lose". An organized group of villains versus an unorganized singleton villain…why should I root for either side?

    It's a real shame about those ladies in the pickup truck, though. One way or another, I hope it ends before any more innocents get killed.

  6. Lizard says:

    Just wanted to say, thanks for eloquently writing what I was thinking. Too many people are too Manichean in their worldview, refusing to accept anything that might contradict their beliefs and embracing without question anything that seems to reinforce them.

  7. Lizard says:

    @lelnet: Well, you can argue that one side is, let us say, 90% bullies and psychopaths, and the other side is 100% bullies and psychopaths.

  8. shg says:

    A number of people sent me links to the manifesto yesterday, anticipating my rejoicing at an ex-cop revealing the abuse. My only response was "where does the crazy line end?"

    The manifesto was evidence of nothing, and it would be utterly irresponsible to cherry pick that which supported a position from the assertions of a terrible and sick individual.

  9. Dan Weber says:

    I skimmed the manifesto, and thought "if you guys think this was someone cracking because he was the good guy and all the other cops were rotten, you really really really need to work harder to prove your case."

    One party's guilt does not absolve another.

  10. Tarrou says:

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/03/05

    Sometimes the enemy of your enemy is a total psychopath.

  11. Tim says:

    Very eloquent and well written. I do wonder however, since this guy has "the force" so obviously rattled, how many actions of police abuse and poor judgement will result until he is found and the threat is ended?

  12. Shkspr says:

    My hunch is that much of the Internet chatter defending Dorner comes not from what the facts are, but from what we wish they might be. If one takes Dorner at his word, then his story becomes one straight out of Hollywood's play book: good cop blows the whistle on bad cops and gets screwed by the corrupt system. He goes over the edge into vigilante action to avenge himself against the villains who destroyed his life. He flees into the mountains to escape an unprecedented manhunt by rogue cops that will stop at nothing, even shooting innocents, to silence him.

    You could see the Rock or Bruce Willis in that role. You probably have already. And that's a hell of a lot more interesting than "unstable liar turns gunman". Rationally, I think most people realize that there won't be some third act solution where Dorner gets vindicated or frankly, even lives to trial. But I can understand the fantasy, and suspect that lots of people aren't willing to give that up yet.

  13. Waldo says:

    I completely agree with your sentiments. I do wish, however, that you had linked to those "various locations, [where] people [are] suggesting that Dorner was pushed into his rampage by police corruption, that he's vindicating wrongs done to him, that he speaks truth about police corruption, that he's exposing something." Anyone making those suggestions would lose credibility on all things in my mind.

  14. repsac3 says:

    Damn straight… And if you'll permit me, I hold the asses who read his manifesto and conclude "…he's a liberal" (as though his politics play any part in this, or "prove" anything about liberals in general, cops in general, black men in general, people who feel one way or the other about gun control/gun rights in general, …) in much the same low regard.

    Now, people with manifestos on the other hand…generally, pretty crazy. I'm just sayin'…

  15. Kevin says:

    So I've now read some, but not all, of the manifesto, and I have to say that I'm not at all sold on the idea that he's a "lunatic" whose allegations should be dismissed out of hand as the rantings of a madman. Now let's be totally clear: I am absolutely not defending his actions, or saying he should be treated as a folk hero. He's a killer, and he should be hunted down and apprehended with all necessary force. But I don't buy in to the idea that being a murderer automatically makes a person insane. He obviously has some gross moral failings in order to be able to commit such acts. But moral failings are not the same thing as mental illness, and I think it's very dangerous to treat them as if they were.

    From what I've read of his manifesto so far, his allegations all ring true to me. Of course they shouldn't just be taken at face value without further investigation, but they seem to have the distinct scent of verisimilitude. Now if the guy were actually CRAZY, then that would be a pretty good reason to dismiss his claims out of hand. But that doesn't seem to be the case here, IMO.

  16. Ken says:

    Except I didn't say anything about dismissing them "out of hand." I said the opposite.

    We'll have to disagree on the reading of the manifesto, and on the significance of murdering the daughter of your former union rep and her fiance.

  17. Kevin says:

    We'll have to disagree on the reading of the manifesto, and on the significance of murdering the daughter of your former union rep and her fiance.

    As I said, I haven't finished reading the manifesto yet, and I reserve the right to change my opinion after doing so. As to murdering the daughter of someone you have a grudge against? Of course it is undeniably evil. All I'm saying is that I don't think that "evil" is a psychiatric condition.

  18. Nicholas Weaver says:

    Crazy is advocating for gun control while blasting people away with semi-automatic weapons…

    So yeah, I think Batshit Crazy describes Dorner pretty well.

  19. Kevin says:

    Crazy is advocating for gun control while blasting people away with semi-automatic weapons…

    No, that's stupid, and it's evil, but not crazy. Crazy would be shooting people because the voices in your head told you to, or because you thought your victims were Illuminati shapeshifting lizard people.

    Don't get the wrong idea here – I am absolutely not defending him in any way shape or form. I'm just objecting to the trend of medicalizing all of society's ills, and classifying as mental illness any behavior we don't like. Thinking that the problem of evil can be solved with medication is thinking that leads down the dark path.

  20. Chris Berez says:

    It's a horrifying situation on every conceivable level and I really hope this monster is either brought in or takes himself out before any more people can be harmed.

  21. Kevin says:

    Holy shit, according to this article, there was also a SECOND incident in which cops opened fire on a truck that "matched the description" of Dorners! No one was hurt in this second incident, but it would seem to suggest that LAPD is simply opening fire on dark pickup trucks anywhere in the vicinity of a protectee. It seems apparent that an off the books "shoot on sight" order has been issued against Dorner. Hell, even if it HAD been Dorner in either of the two trucks fired on, "shoot on sight" would still be an unconscionable (and illegal) order.

  22. MattS says:

    I have to agree with Kevin that equating evil to mental illness can not lead to good ends.

    I also agree with lelnet that this guy is the poster child for police abuse not for the fight against it.

  23. Dave in IL says:

    Ken,

    Thanks so much for writing this! I too have been disturbed by some of the almost gleeful reactions to these crimes. Sadly, some of the people that make light of this violence probably view themselves as great promoters of justice. Or daring revolutionaries. Well, I guess this shows why revolutions turn out so badly most of the time. Maybe they should wear Che t-shirts so their ignorance would be even more apparent.

    More and more people are outraged at the increasingly belligerent police state mentality that has taken over government at all levels since 9-11. In my opinion, the U.S. has been "on the fence" throughout its history, but 9-11 was certainly a turning point.

    This outrage is justified and I share it. But making glib, cheerful statements about a disturbed individual with a "kill list" (are private kill lists more acceptable than Obama's?) is just sick. This man is not some sort of avenger for justice. The people who believe this have a comic book mindset about social change. They conflate this man with the guy from V for Vendetta or some other revolutionary fantasy. In reality, they are blood lusting children who lack the maturity to realize the contradictions in this man's statements. Shockingly, they also gloss over the fact that he is killing FAMILY MEMBERS of alleged enemies. He is shooting at RANDOM POLICE OFFICERS. This is not some targeted assault on corrupt officials. This killer has a rather wide net and he is just lashing out at whomever he wishes. How could any moral person make light of this?

    Ken, on a personal note, I really like this blog. One of the few other blogs I frequent with regularity is The Agitator, and I know Radley Balko likes Popehat as well. I suspect it is analysis like this that drew his attention. I am also considering law school at this point (main interests are criminal law and public interest law). I think I will keep coming back to Popehat, because coverage of legal issues like this could be very good for me as I prepare myself for the law school experience. Thanks again!

  24. Bren says:

    @ Kevin

    The cops are scared and messing up. A military trained double murderer out to kill police and their families is NOT a normal situation for them and they aren't really trained for it. Its not a plot from a bad movie, where they're all myrmidons.

  25. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    The saying should be "The enemy of my enemy is my tactical opportunity."

  26. nlp says:

    Even without reading the entire manifesto, I recognized the similarity to terrorists, complete with the "I hate having to kill people to bring attention to my cause, but because I was ignored, I have to kill people who have nothing to do with my problem." Unfortunately, given the way news reporters and editors think and act, this tactic usually does bring attention to the cause. That doesn't mean the problem will be solved, just that attention will be paid to it.

    In terms of a person having extra training in killing and hiding, didn't we already see that movie? With Sylvester Stallone? I do hope the police can find him before more people are killed, whether it's by Dorner or the people hunting for him.

  27. bacchys says:

    I don't think he's a hero. He is a lunatic and a murderer. I think he's probably telling the truth about the incident that got him thrown off the force, however. That doesn't make him a hero. He didn't report it when it happened. He reported it after the officer he accused angered him by giving him a poor evaluation. IOW, it was only important as a means of striking back at someone he thought wronged him.

  28. En Passant says:

    Ken wrote in OP:

    Dorner claims that he reported police abuse and was fired for it. I don't know if that's true or not. It could be. It would not surprise me.

    I think that allegation is partly corroborated by the KPBS report linked by Kevin at Feb 8, 2013 @1:23 pm:

    According to documents from a court of appeals hearing, Dorner was fired from the LAPD after he made a complaint against his field training officer, Sgt. Teresa Evans. Dorner said that in the course of an arrest, Evans kicked suspect Christopher Gettler, a schizophrenic with severe dementia.

    Post hoc ain't necessarily propter hoc, but but it's closer than no hoc at all.

  29. AK says:

    This article by Southern California Public Radio critically examines his claims that he was fired for challenging police abuse.

    On Aug. 9, Evans gave Dorner an evaluation that said he needed to improve in the areas of officer safety, common sense and good judgment. The next day, Dorner reported Evans' alleged kicking of Gettler to an LAPD captain.

    Another article that I can't find right now said he was actually talking about suing the department to his field training officer.

  30. Chris R. says:

    I am pretty sure the fact that anyone is willing to believe his allegations might be true is a clear indictment if the LAPD. They've been portraying themselves badly for so long that people are willing to take a murderer's word over theirs without too much trouble.

  31. Lago says:

    I wouldn't be surprised if his direct allegation of police abuse and corruption are true. And to be honest, the whole story of him going on a crusade against the LAPD for their moral bankruptcy after losing everything to clean them out and reset them sounds plausible. I would perhaps even be rooting for him in that scenario, at least a little bit. But that's not what this is about, he's just on a straight up revenge trip. I wouldn't doubt for a second he was let go for a lot more than "false misconduct report" if his story about trying to strangle another officer is anything to go by.

    He's a loose cannon because he justifies everything he does in his mind. I think his delusion is that there's no moral consequence for what he does.. Because he follows his own moral compass, it's like he can do no wrong. If you really want a glimpse into the psychology of a madman, that manifesto is all sorts of crazy. There's that story of when he was a kid and beat up another kid, the way he describes it is like the kid was punished and then "for some reason" Dorner was punished…

    What's really scary when you think about it is that this kind of deluded logic is probably not unique among the police. I think a lot of them build up the idea that they are the moral high ground and above the law. It's one quality I've noticed in my experience anyway, and it doesn't only exist within the LAPD.

  32. Clark says:

    > But it's madness to take the word of a madman uncritically.

    I bet the Nobel Prize Committee wishes they had that advice four years ago.

  33. Clark says:

    @Lago:
    > He's a loose cannon because he justifies everything he does in his mind.

    Wait. Are we talking about Dorner, or all the other cops, including those that attempted to murder two women in a truck because they thought that THEY were Dorner?

    In short: yes, Dorner's a loose cannon…but I haven't seen anything at all to distinguish his mindset from that of other LAPD cops (except, perhaps effectiveness).

  34. Clark says:

    @Chris R.

    > I am pretty sure the fact that anyone is willing to believe his allegations might be true is a clear indictment if the LAPD.

    It's an indictment of cop culture across the country. Without thinking too hard, I can come up with a dozen cases where cops beat, shot, or robbed citizens, lied about it, and were only caught after the video evidence came to light.

    As far as I'm concerned, anything a cop says should be assumed to be a lie until corroborated by two or three non-cop citizens.

  35. Clark says:

    @Bren:

    > A military trained double murderer out to kill police and their families is NOT a normal situation for them and they aren't really trained for it.

    Agreed – anything outside of five-cops-with-ARs-versus-a-poodle is a tactical conundrum.

  36. Christopher Swing says:

    I'm actually surprised anyone who knows anything about the LAPD or US police in general wouldn't easily believe Dorner was fired for turning in a bad cop.

    I can recognize that killing the daughter and her fiancee was evil – effective at inflicting suffering, but evil – while at the same time not feeling particularly sorry for the LAPD. This is a monster of their own creation.

    I'd just appreciate it if the LAPD could maybe shoot fewer non-cops with their panic fire.

  37. Christopher Swing says:

    And I knew something pinged my memory about LAPD punishing whistleblowers;

    http://www.photographyisnotacrime.com/2009/06/01/when-good-cops-become-victims-of-police-abuse/

    Dorner's story seems not only plausible, but likely.

  38. Reuven says:

    Many African Americans will also rise to the defense of an African American, no matter what.

  39. Some Person says:

    The thing is, if you look at the sequence of events that lead up to him being fired, it rings hollow. It's entirely possible that Dorner was fired for blowing the whistle, but it sounds like whistleblowing is what broke the camels back. By all accounts he was doing an awful job as a cop before he was fired, and only went a blew that whistle after he'd received bad evaluations from the people he blew the whistle on.

    It's important to remember that, while blowing the whistle is good, it doesn't absolve a person of guilt. And blowing the whistle out to get revenge hardly makes you a crusader for righteousness.

  40. Christopher Swing says:

    "By all accounts he was doing an awful job as a cop before he was fired, and only went a blew that whistle after he'd received bad evaluations from the people he blew the whistle on."

    Or the dirty cop he blew the whistle on was punishing him for not toeing the line in the first place.

    Where's the other evidence of being a bad cop, other than the one bad evaluation from the one bad cop he eventually worked up the nerve to report?

  41. Lago says:

    "@Lago:
    > He's a loose cannon because he justifies everything he does in his mind.

    Wait. Are we talking about Dorner, or all the other cops, including those that attempted to murder two women in a truck because they thought that THEY were Dorner?

    In short: yes, Dorner's a loose cannon…but I haven't seen anything at all to distinguish his mindset from that of other LAPD cops (except, perhaps effectiveness)."

    Exactly the second point I was making, thank you for noticing. xD

  42. John_Barleycorn says:

    Mr. Dorner was not exactly young during his time with the LAPD.

    Nor is he all that old today.

    Perhaps the new 25 is the old 17, or the current 33 is the old 25 without options.

    If Mr. Dorner is in fact sane I wonder how his "age" vs. how he views his options in life due to his age contributed to his thinking and conclusions about his options to improve his circumstances as well move institutions regardless of individuals.

    That all being said there are more than a few of his direct peers that have been and wiill be adjusting back into civilian life that have experienced a far more robust and deployed military experience that he had.

    I don't think I will loose any sleep over it but it certainly does raise an eyebrow in this economic climate that slowly seems to becoming a new "normal".

    Literal hat tip to you Ken for not yielding on this devolving story. Most of your peers in the thinking blogging world are still hiding under the kitchen table.

  43. AlphaCentauri says:

    I just read the manifesto. He had time to write all that between committing the killings and escaping?

    That type of hyper-productivity, along with the fact that he thinks all those celebrities and world leaders actually need his advice, sounds very much like mania. He has delusions of grandeur, but they're delusions just the same.

    Someone with bipolar disorder could be completely normal and responsible when he's not paralyzed due to depression or batshit-crazy due to mania. In other circumstances, he could be back to being a productive citizen once he'd received treatment, but there's no hope of that now.

  44. Ghost says:

    If this is how the LAPD responds to one single "crazy" person, then everyone in the LA area needs to wake up.

    I'm reminded of the amended rules of engagement that the Feds used against Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge. Shoot at anything that moves.

    Evil, crazy, whatever. Dorner is one man. The entire LAPD are trigger happy morons looking for a thrill-kill. There may be one or two (as of yet) uncorrupted cops on the force, but this notion that "they're mostly good" is bullcrap. If cops were mostly good, they would have resigned immediately and turned themselves in after unloading upwards of 40 bullets towards 2 unarmed paper ladies.

    Cops show no sympathy when they gun down dogs, kids, or the elderly. In fact, their favorite phrase is "we followed procedure," and they LOVE pinning medals on the chests of murderers. Them, and their kids, get no sympathy from me. What was it Robert Gibbs said about Al-Awalaki's son? "Maybe he should have had a more responsible father."

    I've got $10 on the cops racking up a higher body count than Dorner. Dorner's not my hero, and I hope he fails in what he's trying. I just happen to feel the same way about the cops: I hope they fail.

  45. Lago says:

    @Ghost: He's also an expert marksman and he's knowledgeable enough that he can keep a step or two ahead of them. I know what you're saying, and I agree, but it's an unusual situation. So they're freaking out. It's not excuse for shooting at random cars, I'm just saying he's not some random crazy.

  46. Marcus says:

    Peoples' reactions to this situation is what you get when you have entire populations of Americans feeling persecuted and powerless against uncontrolled, un-convictable and increasingly militarized police forces around the country. Even recorded violent abuse gets the officers desk time instead of the 25 to life that a civilian would face. Once it's off the news, they're back prowling the streets. Powerless people see Dormer as someone striking out at the untouchable corruption that they see on their streets. Ghost's comments, above, echo a lot of American's feelings. Especially Americans who aren't white and wealthy.

  47. Christopher Swing says:

    "I just read the manifesto. He had time to write all that between committing the killings and escaping?"

    Well, he had time to post it, anyway. The Facebook account was created Jan. 21, reports aren't entirely clear when the manifesto itself was posted. But no, it likely wasn't written in that short timeframe if he was already thinking ahead back in January.

    So no, the long-distance diagnosis part of your comment is likely off there, Alpha.

  48. Clark says:

    @ghost:

    The entire LAPD are trigger happy morons looking for a thrill-kill. There may be one or two (as of yet) uncorrupted cops on the force, but this notion that "they're mostly good" is bullcrap. If cops were mostly good, they would have resigned immediately and turned themselves in after unloading upwards of 40 bullets towards 2 unarmed paper ladies.

    Cops show no sympathy when they gun down dogs, kids, or the elderly. In fact, their favorite phrase is "we followed procedure," and they LOVE pinning medals on the chests of murderers. Them, and their kids, get no sympathy from me.

    I'm Clark and I approve this message.

    In a battle between Nazis and Communists, who do I root for?

    Winter.

    And cholera.

    Let the Devil take them all.

  49. Clark says:

    @marcus:

    Peoples' reactions to this situation is what you get when you have entire populations of Americans feeling persecuted and powerless against uncontrolled, un-convictable and increasingly militarized police forces around the country. Even recorded violent abuse gets the officers desk time instead of the 25 to life that a civilian would face. Once it's off the news, they're back prowling the streets. Powerless people see Dormer as someone striking out at the untouchable corruption that they see on their streets. Ghost's comments, above, echo a lot of American's feelings. Especially Americans who aren't white and wealthy.

    Wonderfully said.

    The police have been militarizing for several decades now, and while I'm not going to go full black-helicopter and argue that we're living in a police state…I am going to go half black-helicopter and say that we're a lot closer than we were when I was a kid.

    People are starting to wake up.

    Woken people can do a range of things, from constructive to destructive. Praising Dorner isn't constructive…but it's indicative of the mood out there.

    Again, not full black helicopter: we're not on the brink of a revolution. The pot isn't boiling over. It's not even boiling at all. It's not even simmering.

    …but there are one or two bubbles breaking the surface, and the frog hopped out a long time ago.

    As someone who drastically prefers peace to war, I really hope that the powers that be back away from the militarization of the police, from secret courts, from kill lists, from police departments putting out hits on political enemies (no matter how many elderly newspaper delivery people get shot in the process), and more.

    Radley Balko, citizen journalists, video cameras, and youtube are one way this thing might get fought, and it's the far better way.

    …but the chance that it might get fought Dorner style is not zero.

    I'm strongly hoping for the former.

  50. William says:

    I've read through the manifesto a couple of times and I don't think Dorner is a lunatic. In fact, I think its a serious miscalculation to consider him crazy. I've worked with a lot of lunatics, I've read more than my share of rambling manifestos, and Dorner doesn't look psychotic or manic or irrational, he just looks like an entitled narcissist who honestly believes that his insights are important enough to the rest of the world that he just had to put them down on paper.

    This isn't about madness, its about a violent man wanting attention.

  51. Christopher Swing says:

    @William

    So you're really just going to choose a *different* reason to be dismissive of Dorner so you don't have to confront the idea that he may actually have a point?

    That's exactly the sort of reaction – blaming Dorner entirely and ignoring the LAPD's complicity – that's going to insure this happens again.

  52. Ken says:

    Another wrong truck shot up by the LAPD. Fortunately they seem to have minor-Bond-villain marksmanship this week.

  53. Christopher Swing says:

    This week? Just this week?

    Let's see what I find on Google just quickly;

    "In all shootings — including those against people, animals and in suicides and other situations — New York City officers achieved a 34 percent accuracy rate (182 out of 540), and a 43 percent accuracy rate when the target ranged from zero to six feet away. Nearly half the shots they fired last year were within that distance."

    "In Los Angeles, where there are far fewer shots discharged, the police fired 67 times in 2006 and had 27 hits, a 40 percent hit rate, which, while better than New York’s, still shows that they miss targets more often they hit them."

    https://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/weekinreview/09baker.html?pagewanted=all

    "It turns out that the officers' "hit ratio" on Friday was almost twice as good as the department's average. According to a 2008 analysis of NYPD firearms discharge data done by the New York Times, between 1996-2006 officers hit their intended target about 34 percent of the time."

    "Another analysis, published in 2006 by the RAND Center on Quality Policing at the request of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, found that in the years 1998-2006, the average hit ratio for officers involved in a shooting where the subject does not fire back was 30 percent. During a gunfight, where the target is shooting at officers, the study reported that the hit rate falls to just 18 percent."

    "The Times reported that in 2006-2007, Los Angeles police officers hit their targets between 27 and 29 percent of the time, respectively. There is no reliable national data on hit ratio."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57502545-504083/empire-state-building-shooting-sparks-questions-about-nypd-shot-accuracy/

    I get the feeling they stopped doing studies after 2007 or so because it was just too damn depressing.

    In any case, yeah, the media appear to be catching up to what we saw in the Anonymous news feed the day of the incident, unless this is a third truck.

  54. En Passant says:

    Ken wrote Feb 10, 2013 @11:30 am:

    Another wrong truck shot up by the LAPD. Fortunately they seem to have minor-Bond-villain marksmanship this week.

    From the article you cite, that's because they're in a "special state of consciousness":

    Connie Rice, a civil rights attorney, said it's not surprising when police make mistakes during manhunts.

    "They don't know where he is, and they're going to be edgy and jumpy," she said. "Don't get in their way. They're in a special state of consciousness right now, and they're not used to being hunted."

    It's so special to be special.

  55. Joe R says:

    There's an adage that goes "The difference between insanity and genius is measured by success." (I wasn't able to figure out from a quick bit of Google searching who to attribute it to since sources were contradictory.)

    If success for Dorner is defined as "bringing to light the reprehensible practices of the LAPD and law enforcement in general", then the media coverage this story is generating with the additional coverage given to the police proving his point by shooting innocent people without warning seems to vindicate his cause as being more "genius" than "insane".

    (I haven't read the manifesto, and have only read a small bit of coverage, so my understanding of this story could be off by quite a bit.)

  56. Kratoklastes says:

    Is it simply taken as read that the word 'alleged' applies to pretty much everything in the OP and the comments?

    I have no sympathy for Dorner, irrespective of what he did or didn't do in this instance: what I know is that he joined the US Death Machine and the State's domestic Iron Fist… so karma, bitch: same same for that twat sniper who got offed. Thoreau's "[s]uch command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt" is the operative principle.

    All that said, there is the small matter that failing to make clear that everything is as yet unproven, causes retards like @a_random_guy to go "Full Spectrum Retard" and declare 'no mercy' for someone who is, to date, presumed innocent.

  57. Rich Rostrom says:

    Ghost • Feb 9, 2013 @11:55 pm:

    The entire LAPD are trigger happy morons looking for a thrill-kill.

    There are just over 10,000 sworn officers in the LAPD. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, combined, 235 actually fired guns. This number includes all accidental discharges, shots that hit nothing, and a detective who shot a rattlesnake in his back yard.

  58. Kratoklastes says:

    @Christopher Swing – I'm amazed that anybody expects higher accuracy: I'm not an apologist for the pigs (quite the opposite), but TV-style 'right in the middle of the forehead from the other side of the room' is cartoonish. Trying to unholster and fire a handgun at close range is a mind-blowingly difficult thing to do, especially if you genuinely feel that your life is at risk. It's several orders of magnitude more difficult than doing so at a range against a paper target that's 25m away.

    If you were to restrict the analysis just to handgun discharges, I bet the accuracy rate would fall even further (despite the 'spray and pray' approach by most SWAT-tards if anybody points a weapon at them).

  59. Ghost says:

    "In a battle between Nazis and Communists, who do I root for?

    Winter.

    And cholera.

    Let the Devil take them all."

    A-freakin-men.

  60. Vladimir says:

    Hey Ken,

    You're right. Absolutely right. As far as typical discourse about what's right and wrong goes, this guy is unwell and has done bad things and nobody should be lionizing him. Regardless of the truth of what happened, merely attempting to publicize police brutality while in the LAPD should qualify him for mental illness.

    The difficult part in dealing with these events, and where I think you could be making a uniquely valuable contribution, is articulating everything that is not captured in typical serious public discourse. Compared to the people you are reacting to, you have deep knowledge of police (mis)conduct and an ability to articulate your own ideas as legal concepts (à la "snort my taint").

    My tentative request is that you help articulate all of the rage that is being so poorly expressed by others, without blindly defending Dorner. That being fired for reporting misconduct is suspicious. That the LAPD has shoot at multiple innocent people indicates that they will never give Dorner a chance at justice through formal legal channels. That this is not simply a story of the good guys chasing an unusually dangerous bad guy.

  61. Christopher Swing says:

    @Kratoklastes

    I just found Ken's "Fortunately they seem to have minor-Bond-villain marksmanship this week" comment to be especially hilarious. And kind of an insult to minor Bond villains. :D

  62. Ghost says:

    "There are just over 10,000 sworn officers in the LAPD. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, combined, 235 actually fired guns."

    You and I both know that most of those 235 guns were fired more than once. Hell, in half an hour, they damn near doubled that number (yes, exaggeration, but you get the point) and more to the point, they never face any consequences for their misdeeds. The worst thing they face is "disciplinary hearings" for outright murder, and they usually get a fucking metal afterward.

    Just like the priests who didn't want to rock the boat, the rest of those 10,000 cops are guilty by association. It's actually worse than the priests, because cops have the power of the state.

    Are we a nation of laws or not?

  63. AlphaCentauri says:

    I think we need to avoid dehumanizing the cops, even the ones that are trigger happy. Everyone gets up in the morning considering themselves to be rational human beings. Most of the ones that do things that are evil find some justification for it in their own minds. If you don't confront that, if your solution is to "get rid of the bad cops," you'll just replace them with more people who will burn out and go bad the same way.

  64. Ghost says:

    Alpha,
    My solution isn't to get rid of the bad cops. My solution is to get rid of the entire "force" as we know it. It's not the people, it's the power. My solution is not to take the power back. My solution is to abolish the power.

    But no one listens to me.

  65. Dave B says:

    And let the free market decide?

    I am still astonished by the "training" police officers in the US seem to receive. And the stories of their power trips. And elected sheriffs.

    Here in Germany police officers face an education/training of 3 to 3 and a half years. No 6 weeks romp at the Police Academy. I guess this weeds out some of the miscreants.

    Higher education and vocational training here leads to people sticking with their line of career.
    Mostly no working as a mechanic for some time, then a stint as a cop, teaching art, frying burgers, and settling as a gardener while have 2 jobs on the side.

  66. Clark says:

    @AlphaCentauri:

    > I think we need to avoid dehumanizing the cops

    Indeed. What's the point? They've done such a good job at that themselves, what could we possibly add?

  67. Clark says:

    @Dave B:

    > no working as a mechanic for some time, then a stint as a cop, teaching art, frying burgers, and settling as a gardener while have 2 jobs on the side.

    Personally, I think the problem is the exact opposite: I think that the – cough – "professionalization" of the police has created two castes in American: cops and "civilians" (the latter in quotes because cops are also civilians).

    I personally would like to see term limits: no one can be a cop for more than four years.

    A citizen soldiery is good? Let's have a citizen constabulary too.

  68. Dave B says:

    A term limit may work for being the president were you have been a politician of some level before.
    If you grab Joe Shmoe of the street and tell him he is now a cop for 4 yours and heres your 6 weeks of training, wouldn't you think that this just fosters the idea of abuse?
    "I am a cop for 4 years. Lets make the most of it for me."

    True idealism is rare. If you are job hopping like a rent-a-cop (the mall guys not the strippers), it's just a job and you have to make the most of it in your limited time, i.e. power trips, money, whatever.

    If you have to go through serveral years of education and training, you can sort out some of the bad guys and are left with those who can follow plans for some long time.

    If its just a limited time offer it won't be the best you can get.
    For example when the conscriptionfor the Bundeswehr was still enforced, young men knew they were in for just 9-12 months. They blazed through their 6-12 weeks of training and began slacking of the rest of the time, drinking and being up for stupid shit. The career soldiers were a different sort of animal. Just some slacking and drinking, but all the time knowing they are in for the long haul and have to sort of behave.
    I would have guessed the combat value of the conscripts was between cannon fodder and rear echelon techs.

    Anyway, term limits doesn't always work for the best. Real training is important.

    American cops aren't "civilians" they are off-duty cops.

  69. Ghost says:

    "American cops aren't "civilians" they are off-duty cops."

    Isn't that the problem? Once you're grant human beings extra rights over their fellow human beings, the opportunities for abuse vastly outnumber the opportunities for doing the right thing.

  70. William says:

    @Christopher Swing

    I would have a lot more sympathy for Dorner if he hadn't immediately target an uninvolved adult daughter and her fiancee. This isn't Rambo, this isn't even Falling Down. Look, I have no doubt that the LAPD screwed Dorner. I have no doubt that there still exists a shocking amount of systemic racism in the LAPD, that misconduct and brutality are rampant, that a culture of cover up exists, and that Dorner was likely targeted for termination because he didn't play ball. I would even go so far as to say that there exists a moral equivalency between Dorner and the LAPD. The rub there, though, is "equivalency." Dorner is no better than the people he claims to rally against. As it is, his actions have shown him to be a man who is throwing an especially violent and unfocused temper tantrum. If he were more focused or less violent we'd be having a different conversation right now but, unfortunately, he isn't. What we have is a bad guy who got screwed by other bad guys and both sides responding with the characteristic violence and lack of consideration so often displayed by low-grade sociopaths with a sense of entitlement.

    Sure, Dorner has a point. He's ruined it, though, by behaving just as badly as his enemies. Sometimes monsters go for one another's throats.

  71. Christopher Swing says:

    @William

    I think there's no question he's *absolutely* focused – you just don't agree with/like what he's focused on.

    Just because some people disagree with some of his behavior hasn't ruined the point, obviously… as the fact that there are people out there here still support him, and that this post had to be written attest to.

  72. William says:

    @Christopher Swing

    If you call me an ugly so-and-so and I punched you in the nose, that would be focused. If you called me an ugly so-and-so and I kicked your dog while you weren't looking, that wouldn't be focused.

    Look, your original criticism of my post was that I was looking for a "reason to be dismissive of Dorner so you don't have to confront the idea that he may actually have a point." Thats not what I said then and its not what I'm saying now. What I'm saying is that Dorner has obscured his point by focusing on people who have nothing to do with his point. The tortured "I never got to have a family so I'm going to take yours!" logic that he's using, to me, reeks of entitled narcissism. Thats what I said in response to Ken calling him a lunatic and I stand by it.

    Now, though, you're attempting to change your argument because my response didn't conform to what you fantasized my beliefs about Dorner might be. Now that I'm not dismissing his point, but criticizing his behavior, you're arguing that his behavior cannot undermine his point. I disagree. I'm exactly the kind of person likely to be sympathetic to Dorner. I'm a fourth generation victim of police abuse, my father was gassed and beaten at the '68 Democratic convention, I grew up in a household where I was taught that police are violent thugs, I've seen the evidence of that for myself, I don't shy from the word pig. I would love to be able to cheer for Dorner. But I can't because he is killing the children of people who have done wrong rather than people who have done wrong. Thats going to distract from his message, don't you think? Its tough to focus on the LAPD being a broken association of thugs when you've got a guy taking shots at innocent third parties.

  73. Christopher Swing says:

    @William

    The LAPD hurt him. He's hurting them back. That's focused.

  74. William says:

    @Christopher Swing

    The LAPD hurt him, now he's hurt (and I think theres a very good chance he's already eaten a bullet and all of this is designed to keep people thinking of him) the daughter of someone who used to work for the LAPD, her fiancee, kill one officer from a different department while wounding a second, and then take pot shots at two LAPD officers. That isn't focused, it's opportunistic and, in the case of the daughter and her fiance, petty.

    The LAPD is undoubtedly a conspiracy of thugs. Dorner's employment there, it seems, was appropriate.

  75. Christopher Swing says:

    @William

    You're making a comment-section-psychologist diagnosis you don't have the data/skill to truly support: it may not have been he was a thug to begin with that it was appropriate for LAPD to employ. He may well have been a basically good person that the LAPD turned into a monster.

    Not that it matters which in the end. You can go to whatever lengths you'd like to try and minimize Dorner with your disparagement and trying to use your own definition of "focused" like it matters. The fact remains that the LAPD and its supporters are reaping what they have sown, and a great many of us feel no sorrow for them.

  76. Rich Rostrom says:

    Ghost • Feb 10, 2013 @7:16 pm
    "There are just over 10,000 sworn officers in the LAPD. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, combined, 235 actually fired guns."

    You and I both know that most of those 235 guns were fired more than once…

    I'm not sure what you even think you're claiming here. There were 163 incidents in which LAPD officers fired guns. In some of these incidents, more than one officer fired. In some incidents, an officer fired more than one round. The total number of officers who fired one or more rounds was 235. (Except on the remote chance that an officer was involved in more than one incident.)

    19 of these incidents were accidental discharges.
    50 were occasions when officers fired at dogs (and a rattlesnake and an opossum).
    94 were occasions when officers fired at people.

    In 29 of those 94, no one was hit. In 26, someone was wounded. In 40, someone was killed. (In one incident, one was killled and three were wounded.)

    (The records of all these incidents are here. The fatal incident numbers are 001-09, 002-09, 004-09, 007-09, 008-09, 012-09, 014-09, 016-09, 017-09, 018-09, 019-09, 029-09, 031-09, 036-09, 039-09, 041-09, 042-09, 043-09, 048-09, 050-09, 054-09, 055-09, 056-09, 057-09, 058-09, 059-09, 062-09, 063-09, 064-09, 070-09, 072-09, 077-09, 078-09, 079-09, 083-09, 001-10, 016-10, 017-10, 019-10, 022-10, 024-10, 025-10, 031-10, 032-10, 034-10, 038-10, 039-10, 040-10, 041-10, 043-10, 044-10, 045-10, 046-10, 051-10, 055-10, 056-10, 059-10, 061-10, 066-10, 069-10, 072-10, 074-10, 076-10, 078-10, 079-10, 082-10, 083-10, 084-10, 086-10, 088-10, 089-10, 001-11, 004-11, 005-11, 007-11, 017-11, 019-11, 022-11, 024-11, 026-11, 029-11, 037-11, 041-11, 042-11, 043-11, 064-11, 065-11, 079-11, 085-11, 086-11, 094-11, 110-11, 113-11, and 114-11.)

    That's 40 fatal police shootings, by a department of 10,000 officers, over three years, in a city of 2.8 million people. During those three years, there were 908 homicides, 28,635 robberies, and 33,098 aggravated assaults in Los Angeles, giving LAPD over 60,000 violent criminals to arrest.

    It doesn't seem disproportionate to me. It certainly doesn't seem consistent with the claim that "all LAPD officers are gun-happy morons looking for a thrill-kill."

    Just like the priests who didn't want to rock the boat, the rest of those 10,000 cops are guilty by association.

    So your original statement was false.

    Christopher Dorner was a black man. If someone wrote "All black men are gun-happy morons looking for a thrill-kill," almost everyone would rightly consider that outrageous bigotry (though living as I do in Chicago, I might find it slightly plausible). It wouldn't be much of a correction to say that they are all guilty by association with Dorner – or the "gun-happy morons" who infest certain parts of my city.

  77. Ghost says:

    Rich,
    Nice try. Being black isn't a choice. You don't get the right to break the law because you're black. On the other hand, being a cop is a choice. Being a priest is a choice. And those who choose to "not rock the boat" are just as guilty as the blatantly corrupt.

    And aside from outright shootings, there's beatings, tasings, and all sorts of police brutality that get routinely covered up. Not to mention the theft and bribery. And believe it or not, most cops who fire their weapon in the line of duty are more likely to fire their weapon again in the line of duty.

    The problem isn't the people. There are bad people. No one is perfect. The problem is the power. We've given them too much power, and that kind of power attracts the worst types of brutes. We need to eliminate a lot of that power, or we will never be free.

    If we were a free society, police would act more like firemen. I don't know about your town, but my firemen don't patrol the streets looking for fires. They respond.

  78. Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    minor-Bond-villain marksmanship

    I was gonna go with Imperial Stormtrooper Precision Marksmanship.

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