The final piece of the Chris Dorner puzzle ended with the identification of his body through dental records, as the person who died in the fire set by the Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) police. The other pieces of the puzzle may never be found or known. We may never know if his allegations against the LAPD prove true or false. Although the Los Angeles Police Department reopened his case file concerning his allegations, it is not an independent review of the investigation. So no doubt, the end result will be the same. It’s like the wolf guarding the hen house to see if it is safe. Nothing good will come of it.
And who can trust the Los Angeles Police when it comes to the case of Chris Dorner? Regardless of the crimes that Dorner is alleged to have committed, killing 4 persons, including two officers and injuring three others, the LAPD had a duty to act as upstanding law enforcement officers and not revengeful gang members. But the LAPD went on a little shooting spree of its own in looking for Chris Dorner. In two separate incidents, the LAPD fired by accounts of anywhere from 30 to over 50 shots without warning at two Hispanic women delivering newspapers and multiple shots at a white man whom they thought was Dorner. 72 year old Emma Hernandez sustained two shots to her back. These are not the actions of a police force attempting to arrest someone and bring him to justice—alive. It is clear from those two incidents, that the LAPD never intended to arrest and capture Dorner, even if he wanted to surrender or be captured. Early on, they made the decision to shoot and kill Dorner on sight. Dorner became a dead man walking to the LAPD. And they almost managed to kill three innocent individuals in the process of trying to kill Chris Dorner.
The police audio transmission on the final night that Dorner was killed by the police shows premeditated malice on the part of the LAPD. That’s the term used in the language of first degree murder. The audio transmission reveals a predetermined plan to burn Chris Dorner. The LAPD denies this claim. The words on the audio transmission are clear and speak for themselves. No interpreter is needed. The police decided to “go forward with the burn like we talked about.” A short while later a male voice says: “Seven burners deployed and we have a fire.” A female voice then responds: “Copy. Seven burners deployed and we have a fire.”
Another video obtained by KCAL , TV , CBS affiliate has voices including one officer apparently saying “Burn it down” or “Burn him out,” while another officer appears to shout, “F***ing burn this motherf****r!”
We may never know for sure what happened before and during the fire as this piece of the puzzle was lost by the media. The media let the public down. Freedom of the press lost out to the requests of the LAPD. Although the main stream media covers violence, wars, riots, fires, and any other dangerous news worthy situations, somehow the LAPD convinced the media to halt its up close coverage and cease online Twitter and other communications—saying it was a dangerous situation. The press acquiesced to the police requests to refrain from covering the incident up close and personal. So police requests won out over freedom of the press-leaving the public without all the pieces of the puzzle.
Another missing piece of the puzzle concerned Chris Dorner’s wallet and ID. After the fire, the police continued to mislead with distractions and inconsistencies. At first, an official familiar with the investigation told the AP that police recovered the wallet and identification from the fire. That was preposterous for a couple of reasons. One is the range of the fire would have made it unlikely that any ID or wallet would have survived. And second on an earlier date in a court document, LAPD Detective Anschick stated in an warrant for Dorner, that he recovered Dorner’s wallet and ID near the U.S. Mexico border.
As a trial lawyer and a former prosecutor, I see the flaws and injustices in the criminal justice system. Watching the police with premeditation burn a suspect to death with the world watching is an injustice. While Chris Dorner may have killed 4 persons, it is also abundantly clear that the police killed him and almost killed 3 other innocent persons. That piece of the puzzle is clear. Murder is murder, regardless of who commits it.
Washington, DC based Debbie Hines, founder of LegalSpeaks is a former prosecutor who addresses issues on race and gender in law and politics. As a legal and political commentator she has appeared in national, international and local media including the Michael Eric Dyson Show, local NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates, RT TV, CBC- Canadian TV and XM Sirius radio. Her works have appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, Washington Times, and NPR, among others. She also contributes articles to the Huffington Post and the Women’s Media Center.