by Donald Joy
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
While the smoke clears from the scene of the final standoff where Christopher Dorner met his desired and fiery end, innumerable voices are screaming and squealing about Dorner having been unnecessarily killed, even “murdered,” by the police – that he was denied due process under the law when flames engulfed the cabin and he died within. Preposterous.
I am here to say that it is right and healthy to be properly hypervigilant about the treacherous overreach of government today, but that the police acted completely in accordance with whatever rights Dorner chose to abandon when he made his final, murderous and suicidal stand yesterday evening in California.
There simply is no valid argument whatsoever that the police did anything wrong whatsover in the final resolution at Big Bear Lake. Every single available piece of information at that time pointed to it having been necessary that the situation be brought to a close immediately, with extreme urgency: Dorner was refusing to surrender, and had vowed in his manifesto not to be taken alive; he had just killed and wounded deputies from his position, had previously kidnapped and murdered innocent civilians, was deploying smoke canisters/grenades (evidencing some level of tactical materials/weaponry still in his possession), and darkness was about to fall on the area.
What is it that these idiots think the police should have done, continue to play footsie with a determined, ruthless marksman/murderer on into the night indefinitely? Expose even more of their personnel, unnecessarily, to further loss of life by prolonging the standoff – gambling that Dorner wouldn’t be able or wouldn’t choose to deliver even more deadly fire upon them? Were police supposed to be able to successfully conduct an overnight siege, with an intact, secure perimeter, strictly from the safety of armored vehicles?
As the scene began to grow dark, police had to act. Increasing darkness meant severely diminished ability to assess and control the scene, enhancing Dorner’s explicitly desired asymmetrical war dynamic. The police, of course, had read the guy’s manifesto. They knew Dorner would relish the cover of night to lash out at least one more time, perhaps slipping another kill or two under his belt before the end, or even slipping away somehow to another desperate phase of fugitive status.
I read his manifesto, too, thoroughly. I also have 30 years’ experience in law enforcement and security work. Deliberately burning the house down by deploying tear gas grenades was a perfectly reasonable and even generous method of trying to force Dorner to wave a white rag – they gave him that option. They could have just bombed the cabin from a helicopter, as the Philadelphia police did to the M.O.V.E. headquarters in 1985. The fact that Dorner chose to die inside instead was his own decision, and I don’t buy any of the spurious rumors about Dorner trying to come out of the back door and being “pushed back inside” somehow, by someone (because it just isn’t plausible).
Dorner was an unstable and immature, marginally literate personality who used lots of hyper-sophisticated tactical jargon in his manifesto in order to appear intelligent and resourceful to some. He repeatedly describes instances from his childhood and adult life where he saw it appropriate to use physical violence, even deadly force, against various people for using a racial epithet – no one with such a vindictive and acutely warped mentality belongs on any police force, regardless of the transgressions of others around them (and I’m sure Dorner did encounter some very troubling transgressions while doing urban police work). Physical force may be used to protect a person’s right to use offensive speech, but not to prevent or retaliate for it. Offensive school and workplace speech must be addressed administratively, not with immediate physical violence.
My reading of Dorner’s character and stated aims was that he narcissistically saw himself as morally above any legal process, and focused only on the wrongs of others, never admitting his own. Especially ironic is the section of his manifesto devoted to complaining about his supposedly “impeccable” and “pristine” police report writing being maligned by his superiors as a problem area. The irony is, that section of the manifesto, like the rest of it, contains misspellings, typos, and other errors.
Like Dorner, I too have had personal grievances in the workplace about the real or imagined chicanery and treachery of co-workers and superiors, about perceived injustices, about the entire system and process, and have had apparently career-ending encounters with “the system.” But a realistic, honest adult recognizes when it is time to trust God or karma or whatever sense of enduring principle is left to them when they have exhausted all other remedies and been unsatisfied. We do not even know for sure that Dorner actually acted in good faith when he filed his complaint about his training officer, as he had received unfavorable field evaluations from her leading up to his now-infamous allegation of her excessive use of force.
Dorner made it clear in his manifesto that he had no faith in the system, the process, and that unless there was a public exoneration of his name and record by the LAPD prior to any cessation of murderous violence on his part, he’d not participate in anything resembling the legal resolution of his own case. Dorner’s death wish precluded due process. Dorner’s death was the result of due process.
Image: 14th Amendment sign at the entrance of the Brown v Board of Education Historical Site in Topeka, KS; author: Shutterbugsage; Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license