Christopher Dorner: Killer Made In USA

Dorner had reported to LAPD brass that Sergeant Teresa Evans kicked arrested suspect Christopher Gettler.

[Speaking Truth To Power]

Last week, the murderous rampage of former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Police Officer and decorated Army veteran Christopher Dorner came to a fiery end in California’s San Bernardino Mountains.

Dorner is dead and has been denounced by many commentators as a monster. Few have asked: who created this monster?

Friday, San Bernardino County Captain Kevin Lacy in a press conference confirmed charred remains found in a burnt-out cabin, in the Big Bear Lake area of San Bernardino were indeed those of Officer Christopher Dorner. Captain Lacy said the cause of death was a single self-inflicted gunshot wound. “The information we have seems to indicate that the wound that took Christopher Dorner’s life was self-inflicted,” Lacy said.

The former officer had been accused of killing four people in California. In a now infamous online manifesto, Dorner pledged to wage “unconventional and asymmetrical warfare” against police officers and their loved ones. Dorner’s victims are: 28-year-old Monica Quan; 27-year-old Keith Lawrence; Officer Michael Crain; and, Detective Jeremiah MacKay.

Ms. Quan was the daughter of a former police captain and lawyer Randal Quan. Keith Lawrence was Ms. Quan’s fiancé.

The death of Officer Dorner ended a manhunt that included over 1,000 officers from numerous local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Dorner holed up in a cabin in Bear Lake, exchanged gunfire with officers, then, apparently, took his life after the cabin was set ablaze by a pyrotechnic teargas device. Some people accuse the San Bernardino Police of willfully setting the cabin on fire—a claim police, including San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon have denied. A tape emerged where someone is heard saying “Burn it down!”

In response to that tape, Sheriff McMahon said “There is some recordings that I have heard on the news that would suggest that somebody, we have no idea at this point who, made those comments,” he said. “We are looking into those and we will deal with those appropriately. I would suggest to you that those comments were made by somebody away from the tactical team.”

Reportedly, Officer Dorner launched his attacks in response to his dismissal from the LAPD years ago, for reporting to the LAPD brass that Sergeant Teresa Evans had allegedly kicked arrested suspect Christopher Gettler. Mr. Gettler, who was given medical treatment for facial injuries, testified Sergeant Evans kicked him in the face. However, the LAPD fired Officer Dorner, in 2008, for allegedly making false statements.

On February 9, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said they would reexamine the LAPD’s decision to fire Officer Dorner. Dorner in his manifesto asserted the LAPD has not changed since the days when officers brutally assaulted Rodney King; the department also became infamous after former Police Officer Mark Furhman’s racist remarks were exposed during the O.J. Simpson case. “As hard as it has been to change the culture of the Los Angeles Police Department, it has been even more difficult to win and maintain the support of the public,” Beck said. “Therefore, I feel we need to also publicly address Dorner’s allegations.”

According to Chief Beck, the LAPD is not taking this action “to appease a murderer” but “to reassure the public that their police department is transparent and fair in all the things we do.”

Chief Beck and others denounce Officer Dorner as a “murderer” and “monster” but many questions remain unanswered. Some of the same people denouncing him today gave him awards for the training he received to kill and maim people in Washington’s foreign “theaters of war.” It must be pointed out Officer Dorner received several medals for his military service.

Chief Beck also called Mr. Dorner a “domestic terrorist.” Ironically, among the medals Dorner received was a Global War on Terrorism Medal. It’s surely true Officer Dorner engaged in terroristic acts of murder. Yet what kind of training did he receive and by whom? Dorner killed four people in America. Dorner’s military skills were the primary reason he was hired by the LAPD in the first place. We should also remember this soldier received two medals for marksmanship and pistol shooting.

There are countless “domestic terrorists” operating in various police departments across America who’re engaged in practices—like the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk—that violate the rights of minorities. These police practices, eventually, lead to incidents like the vicious beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, the sodomizing of Abner Louima in New York, the unjustified murder of Oscar Grant in Oakland, or, the 40- and 50- shot executions of Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell, respectively.

Dorner breached the LAPD’s Blue Wall and killed some of their own as well as those related to them. He’s the obvious bad one now, the public is informed; by an institution that continues to protect criminals within its ranks who maim and kill innocent citizens they are sworn to “protecting and serving.”

Presently, the issue of gun violence is being debated—sort of, anyway—since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. But American political leadership is yet to honestly discuss the unhealthy violence they inculcate everyday with Washington’s brutal foreign policy which creates “monsters” like Officer Dorner. There have been many news accounts of atrocities against civilians by soldiers in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The case of Officer Dorner reminds me of two other cases where decorated soldiers morphed into menaces: that of Timothy McVeigh and Ishmael LaBeet.

New York-native Timothy McVeigh is remembered for bombing the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 15, 1995 and killing 168 people, including 19 children. Mr. McVeigh’s vicious act ranks him as the deadliest domestic terrorist ever in American history. But all through his trial, conviction, and execution there was barely a mention of the fact that McVeigh turned from a “patriotic” soldier—who received a Bronze Star—into a murderer of those he felt bitterness toward in government.

But instead of examining this deeply, officials conveniently called him a “crazed” killer to silence those who want to know who created him and how.

There is also the case of decorated Vietnam Veteran Ishmael LaBeet. Mr. LaBeet born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. served tours of distinction in Vietnam. But on September 6, 1972 he was the primary participant in the infamous “Fountain Valley” Golf Course massacre in St. Croix, U.S.V.I. that took the lives of eight people. Many people have described the killings as a robbery gone badly—when, supposedly, Mr. LaBeet started shooting inexplicably.

After the largest manhunt in U.S.V.I. history, LaBeet, and four accomplices, were all captured, tried, and sentenced to eight life-terms. But after a later civil trial on St. Croix, LaBeet was able to outmaneuver three armed guards escorting him back to federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania—where he was incarcerated—and successfully skyjacked an American Airlines DC-10 plane, on New Year’s Eve 1984. Forcing the pilot to land in Cuba, LaBeet hasn’t been heard from again. Although, rumors say he was seen on the streets of Havana and years ago fighting with the Cuban Army when Castro helped Angola repulse a South African invasion.

Unlike Dorner and McVeigh, LaBeet didn’t attack a federal building or kill police officers. However, LaBeet’s attack—at the Rockefeller-owned—Fountain Valley Golf Course was seen as a strike on the elite and on the American economic political establishment—something he reportedly complained about after his return from Vietnam. Pulitzer Prize-winning Virgin Islands’ journalist Melvin Claxton called Mr. LaBeet “a decorated but psychotic Vietnam War Veteran.”

How are “psychotic” monsters like LaBeet, McVeigh and Dorner created?

Not asking these questions won’t make future nightmares go away. We owe it to the public’s safety.

“Speaking Truth To Empower.”

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