Sunday, February 10, 2013

What If He Is Right?

Trey Smith

One of the major news stories gripping the nation is the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, a former police officer in Los Angeles who is believed to have killed three people this week. As of the time I am writing this post (around 1:00 am), he has still not been found.

In a manifesto posted on Facebook before his alleged rampage began, he stated that his actions represented a "last resort" after he was fired from the LAPD for reporting that another officer used excessive force in an arrest. The officer refuted the allegation and the department decided it was unfounded. The result was that Dorner was fired.

There is a racial tinge to all of this. Dorner is black and the officer he accused is white. The LAPD has a bit of a history of racist policies, though some people believe they have improved somewhat over the years.

Not surprisingly, the mainstream media has gone out of its way to discredit Dorner by making his allegation of excessive force seem off-base. This is a standard protocol for alleged murderers. You don't want the public to view them sympathetically.

I certainly do not know whether the allegation Dorner made is true or not, but I DO know that whistleblowers tend to be treated rather shabbily in this country. More often than not, the whistleblower gets punished and the person or people who had the whistle blown on them get a free pass.

Look at what has happened to poor Bradley Manning. He allegedly exposed a wide swath of criminal activity and yet our government has only gone after him. Not only have they subjected him to inhumane treatment, but they have steadfastly refused to prosecute or even investigate all the wrongdoing he allegedly exposed.

And this brings me back to Dorner. What if his allegation of excessive force was truthful? I am certainly NOT suggesting this provides a justification for cold-blooded murder, but one can see WHY he may have felt at his wit's end. He lost not only his job but his career as a police officer. This loss probably consumed him and had a negative impact on his relationships with friends and family. He tried to fight it in court, but courts don't tend to reward what many would consider a "rogue" cop. In many jurisdictions, they simply exonerate officers of any wrongdoing in almost any situation.

Again, I am not justifying his alleged actions; I am saying that many of us can understand his utter frustration. If his allegation of excessive force was accurate, all he received for telling the truth was a pink slip and a ruined reputation.

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