By Arturo R. García
The search for former Los Angeles Police officer Christopher Dorner may be over…but hopefully, the questions he has raised are not. Which makes Davey D’s interview with Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman all the more relevant.
Tuesday may have marked the end of both the LAPD’s chaotic manhunt for Dorner and of Dorner’s life. Over the course of the afternoon and evening, television audiences saw a fire engulf a cabin that, depending who you ask, had Dorner inside. Authorities said late that evening that they had not recovered a body.
The former cop had been accused of killing three people before Tuesday as part of a campaign of “asymmetrical warfare” spurred on by what he described as rampant racism and corruption within the department in his online declaration. One other black officer has stepped forward to back up his portrayal of the department, if not the specific incidents that led to Dorner’s firing.
On Tuesday, though, things escalated in full public view as a KCAL-TV reporter was on the scene when the suspect, believed to be Dorner, and authorities got into a firefight. (TRIGGER WARNING: GUNFIRE) A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy was killed during the shoot-out.
At one point, the station both relayed and complied with a police request to not tweet about the incident, a troubling reminder of when media outlets would vacate airspace or otherwise not cover certain Occupy Wall Street confrontations with police. It also opens up more questions when footage like this makes the air:
In the clip above, you can make out several references to “burning” the cabin where Dorner was believed to be hiding–which contradicts other accounts of the fire starting via other means. It also underscores the case Davey D made to Goodman just a day before the potentially fatal standoff:
I mean, first of all, anybody who would kill innocent folks, I don’t think is a hero, so let’s kind of get that off the table, because I think when the question is raised about, “Let’s look at what is going on here, what he’s raising, let’s investigate that,” the immediate response is like: Are you supporting a killer of innocent people? Are you supporting a cop killer? No, he named dates, times and places. Let’s look these — let’s check these out, because those allegations are pretty serious.
The other thing that you have is that, initially, they were said—this manifesto was described by Chief Beck as something that was ramblings on the Internet. Well, it wasn’t ramblings when he decided to put 40 to 50 security squads to protect his officers. He took that seriously. Obviously we are going to reexamine the allegations that he raised around the—his firing, so they’re taking that very seriously. The fact that he kind of implicated himself as being the killer of Monica Quan and her fiancé, Keith Lawrence, they’re taking that seriously. But then the allegations, they want to say those are ramblings. And I say, as journalists, we should take all that seriously, not just the incident with his sergeant, Teresa Evans, but also the allegations of recruits or officers singing Nazi songs to somebody — he talks about that—police officers who are on the beat to this day, he gives their names. They use the “N” word. Should there be a zero tolerance for that? Are they still officers on the beat? If so, why? We should check out to find out if people involved with the Rodney King scenario or the Rampart scandal have been expanded. If so, why?
About This BlogRacialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable
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Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at email@example.com.
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