Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cops As Judge And Jury

Even though a charred body bearing the drivers license of Christopher Dorner was found in the burned out cabin, don't bet the case is over.

A little research into his pre-manifesto days indicates Mr. Dorner was a less than stable individual. Police records show he had troubles from the very beginning. Everyone was against him.  In other words he saw himself as a victim.  His problems extended into his private life with a failed marriage and a restraining order against an ex-girlfriend.

After having completed military service he had more trouble fitting in. His police department probation was extended to the point he had to patrol with a training officer. One wonders why he was even on the force with his penchant for filing apparently unfounded grievances.

Somewhere in his twisted mind he decided to kill those who caused him so much pain. He had to know he wasn't likely to survive.  The police community is extremely tight knit and doesn't take kindly to their own being targeted, what's more killed. Going after family members make it worse.

I understand that community being angry and scared.  The chief says he was highly trained but the evidence suggests otherwise.  He struggled with the basics.  Never-the-less he was armed and dangerous and the police were on edge making a volatile situation.

So finally they think they have him surrounded in a cabin.  They try to smoke him out with tear gas and make no headway.  They resort to incendiary tear gas which they knew would ignite the cabin into an inferno.  They had to know he'd not escape it.

The question I have is if this was the proper course.  Had he not been an ex-cop having killed a number of their own would they have used the same tactic or would they have called in a team to try and negotiate with him to surrender?  Did he not have the right to a trial by jury?  Did they want to exact revenge rather than seek justice?

He was obviously unbalanced.  No one questions that.  He killed.  No one questions that.  But did the authorities have the right to use a tactic that practically guaranteed his death without exhausting every other approach?

In some of your minds I'm sure you feel they had every right. To those who already have a fear and/or loathing of the police, however, I fear it will be seen as one more instance of overkill, pardon the pun, and do nothing to change those minds about the brutal excesses of authority.

I don't view it as a winning situation for either Mr. Dorner nor the police. Certainly not Mr. Dorner who  is presumed dead.  The only plus side is they didn't resort to using an armed drone.  But only, I suspect, because, as of yet, they don't have them.

1 comment:

Word Tosser said...

and will someone want an investigation into the way it was handled? will this linger on and on.
will it be on 60 minute or Dateline?
Some how I don't think the media will let it go for a while..
And then there are all the stories of the media... who say they heard the shot when he killed himself.. yet he was using a gun with a silencer..