How High a Price for a Good Name?

photodornerThe great national gun debate has a new twist to it now that a former police officer has gone rogue and has sworn to take down as many fellow officers as he can. It’s one thing for political aficionados and our legislative branches to argue about whether or not to implement new gun laws to keep our communities safer. It’s quite another dilemma altogether to try to figure out or ensure public safety when a trained, professional gun expert like a police officer decides to go to war with the world and the law enforcement fraternity.

Our communities, our cities, and our nation cannot survive this type of anarchy. When someone the public is supposed to trust decides to go AWOL and shoots and kills police officers and innocent bystanders because of an employment grudge, it doesn’t bode well for the society we all live in. Besides the obvious criminal element that we are all concerned about, do we have to start worrying about police officers or military personnel losing their cool and doing drive-by shootings because of a bad day at the office or if they lose their jobs?

I hope not. I would like to think not. However, there always going to be a bad apple in the middle of a bunch of good ones. The sad news is that those bad apples are trained killers. Washington, D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad was a military man in both the U.S. Army and the National Guard. Now we have this scary scenario being carried out by former Navy Officer and ex-cop Christopher Dorner, who have taken the words vendetta and revenge to a new level.

The Los Angeles Police Department thought it had moved on from the all the corruption, cover-ups and long-standing allegations of racism it has been associated with. That has all been brought back to the surface with Dorner, a former LAPD officer, going Rambo and putting out a hit list out on anything moving with a badge.

Dorner’s reasoning for opening fire on fellow police officers and innocent bystanders is that he felt wronged by LAPD when the department let him go in 2008.

According to an online manifesto that he posted on Facebook, Dorner goes deep into detail of his interpretation about why he was dismissed from the force. He speaks at length about racism, how white police officers are allowed to use and say the N-word without repercussion to the alleged perpetrators.  Dorner cited one particular incident in which two police officers allegedly said to him that they would the N-word anytime they wanted to, which led to a physical altercation.

“What I should have done was put a Westchester Ranger SXT 9mm 147 grain bullet in his skull and Officer xx’s skull. The Situation would have been resolved effective, immediately,” Dorner posted.

Dorner even goes down the path of outing the department’s history of abuse, outlining his thoughts on how prisoners are handled by LAPD officers.

“From 2/05 to 1/09, I saw some of the most vile things human can inflict on others as a police officer in Los Angeles,” Dorner wrote. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the streets of Los Angeles. It was in the confounds of LAPD police stations and shops (cruisers). The enemy combatants in LA are not the citizens and suspects, it’s the police officers.”

This all started because of alleged misconduct by his white partner whom Dorner accuses of kicking and mistreating a man reportedly suffering from schizophrenia.  Dorner was found to have fabricated that story, which led to his dismal. The shooting rampage he’s been on is about his name being stained and tarnished, Dorner wrote.

“Unfortunately, I will not be alive to see my name cleared. That’s what this is about, my name. A man is nothing without his name,” Dorner wrote.

The LAPD made a recent announcement that it was reviewing Dorner’s case. For Dorner, who now has a $ 1 million bounty on his head, this is a lose-lose situation. What good is a name if it is synonymous with cop-killer? How much is that name worth to the slain victims’ families? Even if everything is found to be accurate and truthful about what Dorner accuses the police department of, how does that justify committing murder? It does not.

There’s a right way of doing things. There is a wrong way. Dorner made the decision to go down the wrong path. He chose to take lives instead of saving them. Killing people in the name of exposing the truth on alleged cover-ups, misconduct and bigotry serve only to weaken Dorner’s argument. The discussion of guns and the right to use them, however, may have picked up more fuel.



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