Christopher Dorner

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Christopher Dorner
Christopher Dorner.jpg
Born Christopher Jordan Dorner
(1979-06-04)June 4, 1979
New York, U.S.
Died February 12, 2013(2013-02-12) (aged 33)
Angelus Oaks, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Gunshot wound to head[1] (self inflicted)
Nationality American
Education Southern Utah University
Criminal charge
Murder, attempted murder[2]

Christopher Jordan Dorner (June 4, 1979 – February 12, 2013)[3][4] was a former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) police officer and United States Navy Reserve officer who was charged in connection with a series of shooting attacks on police officers and their families from February 3–12, 2013. The attacks left four people dead, including three police officers, and left three police officers wounded. Dorner was the subject of the largest manhunt in LAPD history,[5] spanning two U.S. states and Mexico.[6]

On February 11, 2013, the Riverside District Attorney filed charges against Dorner for the murder of a police officer and the attempted murder of three other officers.[7] The following day, Dorner died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, during a stand-off with police at a cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Up until the shootings, Dorner was living in La Palma with his mother. Dorner left no children and court records show that his wife filed for divorce in 2007.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Dorner was born in 1979 in New York State, but grew up in Los Angeles County, California.[9] He attended elementary school at Norwalk Christian School from first to seventh grade. He stated in a published manifesto that he was the only African American student at Norwalk Christian School, where he encountered many racial issues with his peers, and was raised in neighborhoods with scant black populations. He said he was frequently disciplined for being involved with fights with other students in response to the racist name-calling. Dorner attended John F. Kennedy High School in La Palma, and Cypress High School in Cypress, where he graduated in 1997. He graduated from Southern Utah University in 2001 with a major in political science and a minor in psychology. The university confirmed that Dorner had played football for at least two of those years.[10][11] As a running back in the 1999 season, Dorner played 6 games and rushed for 36 yards in 10 carries.[12]

Career[edit]

United States Navy Reserve[edit]

Dorner was a former United States Navy Reserve officer who was honorably discharged as a lieutenant. He was commissioned in 2002, commanded a security unit at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, and served with a Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit from June 23, 2004, to February 28, 2006. He was deployed to Bahrain with Coastal Riverine Group Two from November 3, 2006, to April 23, 2007.[13] Dorner was honorably discharged from the Navy Reserve on February 1, 2013.

In 2002, Dorner and a classmate found a bag containing nearly $8,000 that belonged to Enid Korean Church of Grace in Enid, Oklahoma. They turned it in to the police. When asked their motive, Dorner said "it's an integrity thing." "The military stresses integrity," Dorner said. "There was a couple of thousand dollars, and if people are willing to give that to a church, it must be pretty important to them." Dorner said his mother taught him honesty and integrity.[14]

Los Angeles Police Department[edit]

Dorner joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 2005,[citation needed] completing police academy training in 2006.[15]

Abuse allegations[edit]

On July 28, 2007 Dorner and his training officer, fellow police officer Teresa Evans (now a sergeant), went to the Doubletree Hotel in San Pedro regarding a mentally ill man, Christopher Gettler, who was causing a disturbance.[16]

Two weeks later, Evans gave Dorner a performance review that stated he needed to improve in three areas.[17] The next day Dorner filed a report alleging that Evans had used excessive force in her treatment of Christopher Gettler.[17] Dorner accused Evans of twice kicking Gettler in the face while he was handcuffed and lying on the ground.

An internal review board investigated these claims and listened to the testimony of several witnesses. Christopher Gettler's father, Richard Gettler, testified that after his son had returned home his face was puffy and his son claimed that he was kicked by a police officer.[17] His father didn't report this to the police because the injury was minor and his son was unable to explain why he had been kicked.[17] Christopher Gettler claimed that he had been kicked by a female officer who was "almost black" with dark hair. Evans was described in official documents as white with blond hair.[17] Gettler then partially corrected himself, saying she had light hair.[17] He also thought that his injuries had been caused by a club.[17] Gettler's father said that his son's mental illness prevented him from being a good witness.[17] Gettler has schizophrenia and severe dementia.[18]

Dorner was represented by former Los Angeles police captain Randal Quan and maintained that Evans had kicked Christopher Gettler after handcuffing him.[19]

Three witnesses, including two hotel employees and a port police officer, testified that they did not see Evans kick Christopher Gettler.[17] Evans also denied kicking Christopher Gettler.[17] The port police officer recalled telling Dorner to fix his tie; however, a photograph from the scene showed that Dorner was not wearing a tie.[17]

The board's three members – two LAPD captains and a criminal defense attorney – unanimously ruled against Dorner. They found that his claims lacked credibility and that he was motivated in part by his fear that his training officer would give him a poor evaluation that could end his career.[17] As a result, Dorner's employment was terminated on September 4, 2008.

Appeal[edit]

In 2010 the case was examined by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe who upheld the LAPD's decision to fire Dorner.[16]

Judge David P. Yaffe said he was "uncertain whether the training officer kicked the suspect or not" but nevertheless upheld the department's decision to fire Dorner, according to LA Times.[20] In that case, Dorner could be legally fired for filing a false police report even if the report was true. Dorner appealed his termination by the LAPD Board of Rights by filing a writ of mandamus with the Los Angeles County Superior Court, which upheld the LAPD's action. He then appealed to the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District, which affirmed the lower court's ruling on October 3, 2011. Under California law, administrative findings (in this case by the LAPD) are entitled to a presumption of correctness and the petitioner (in this case Dorner) bears the burden of proving that they were incorrect. The appeals court concluded that the LAPD Board of Rights had substantial evidence for its finding that Dorner was not credible in his allegations against Sergeant Evans.[21]

On February 9, 2013, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck ordered a review of the disciplinary case that led to Dorner's dismissal.[22][23] Chief Beck said officials would re-examine the allegations by Dorner that his law enforcement career was undone by racist colleagues.[23][24][25]

Manifesto[edit]

Before embarking on a series of alleged shootings and eluding police, Dorner was purported to have posted a detailed communication on his Facebook page in early February 2013, discussing his history, motivations, and plans. This 11,000-word post became known as his "manifesto".[26] KTLA, a Los Angeles television station, published a redacted version of his manifesto. This redacted version elided the names of all parties mentioned in Dorner's post (including notable media figures), making the document difficult to comprehend. Unredacted versions are viewable as well as is an annotated version with acronyms, abbreviations, and terms-of-art.[27]

In the manifesto, Dorner cited his termination despite sworn testimony that such excessive force did occur. He noted that no action was taken against Officer Evans, whom Dorner had accused of exercising excessive force against a prisoner and who accused Dorner of misconduct during a patrol. He demanded a public admission by the LAPD that his firing was in retaliation for reporting excessive force.[citation needed]

Dorner's "Facebook manifesto" began:

"From: Christopher Jordan Dorner

"To: America

"Subj: Last resort

"I know most of you who personally know me are in disbelief to hear from media reports that I am suspected of committing such horrendous murders and have taken drastic and shocking actions in the last couple of days," the posting began.

"Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name. The department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days. It has gotten worse...."[28][29]

Killings and criminal charges[edit]

On February 3, 2013, Monica Quan, 28, and her fiance Keith Lawrence, 27, were found shot to death in an Irvine parking garage. Monica Quan was the daughter of former LAPD Capt. Randal Quan who had represented Dorner in the disciplinary case that resulted in Dorner's termination from the LAPD in 2009. "In a Facebook post attributed to him, Dorner warned Quan of 'deadly consequences for you and your family.' Monica Quan was the assistant woman's basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton and Lawrence was a campus police officer at USC. The two had met at Concordia University in Irvine, where both played on the school's basketball teams."[30][31]

On February 11, 2013, the Riverside District Attorney filed formal charges against Dorner for the murder of a police officer and the attempted murder of three other officers.[7]

Manhunt[edit]

Early in the morning of February 7, Los Angeles police officers fired approximately 100 shots at a blue Toyota Tacoma pickup truck in which Margie Carranza and her 71-year-old mother, Emma Hernandez, were delivering newspapers. The officers mistook their truck for the gray Nissan Titan Dorner was believed to be driving. Hernandez was hit and Carranza suffered injuries from flying glass. The officers were guarding the home of a high-ranking police official. The city of Los Angeles agreed to a $4.2 million settlement besides the initial $40,000 compensation for their truck.[32][33][34] On the same morning, Torrance police deliberately crashed into and opened fire on a 2006 Honda Ridgeline of a surfer headed for the beach.[32]

During the manhunt, Dorner's supporters expressed solidarity through social media outlets. Facebook groups were created in Dorner's honor, and pro-Dorner hashtags such as "#WeStandWithDorner" and "#WeAreChrisDorner" trended on Twitter.[35]

Mountain siege and death[edit]

On February 12, 2013, Christopher Dorner tied up a married couple, Jim and Karen Reynolds, who had discovered him in an unrented cabin at the Mountain Vista Resort they ran in the 1200 block of Club View Drive, south of Big Bear Lake, California, which is close to Snow Summit and Bear Mountain Resort. He then left the place in the purple-maroon Nissan Rogue he had commandeered from them. The wife managed to get free and alerted the police at 12:20 p.m. PST.[36][37]

At 12:45 p.m. (PST), wardens from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife identified Dorner traveling down California State Route 38 near the crossroad of Glass Road, which is east of Angelus Oaks. Dorner responded by firing shots at a marked vehicle. A game warden in that vehicle reportedly returned fire.[38][39] After crashing and abandoning the Nissan, Dorner then carjacked a local Boy Scout troop leader and stole his silver Dodge Ram.[37]

Dorner was cornered by San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department (SBSO) deputies in an unrented cabin at the Mountain Vista Resort, on Club View Drive, in the rural mountainous area northeast of Angelus Oaks. During this time gunfire was exchanged and two deputies were wounded, one fatally.[37]

A message posted on February 12 to the Twitter account of the San Bernardino County district attorney's office said:[40][41][42][43][44]

The sheriff has asked all members of the press to stop tweeting immediately. It is hindering officer safety. #Dorner—

The post was removed[45][46][47] within "a few hours."[48]

At 4:20 p.m. (PST), the cabin (34°11′12″N 116°54′54″W / 34.18667°N 116.91500°W / 34.18667; -116.91500 (Cabin location)) at 40612 Seven Oaks Road, Angelus Oaks,[49] where Dorner had taken refuge following a subsequent exchange with officers, was observed to be burning.[50] This caused ammunition stored inside to begin exploding.[51] At the time, the cause of the fire was unknown to the public. Investigative journalist Max Blumenthal stated that audio from the San Bernardino County Channel 7/8 police radio shows that officers deliberately set the cabin on fire as a tactical strategy to kill or smoke out Dorner.[52][53] According to Blumenthal, police radio communications recorded before and during the fire included: "We're gonna go ahead with the plan with the burner",[37] "The burner's deployed and we have a fire", "Burn that fucking house down", "Fucking burn this motherfucker", and "Because the fire is contained, I'm gonna let that heat burn through the basement".[54]

After days of denying speculation that the fire was intentionally started by police, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon claimed his officers shot pyrotechnic tear gas into the cabin, which then inadvertently caught on fire. He stated that it was their intention to drive Dorner out, not set the cabin on fire.[55] In the early morning of February 13, the SBSO stated that investigators had located charred human remains in the debris of the burned-out cabin.[56] On February 14, the SBSO announced that the body discovered in the cabin had been positively identified by medical examiners as that of Dorner.[3] The identification was made through dental records during autopsy. San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon says that Dorner died from a single gunshot wound, apparently self-inflicted.[57]

A wallet containing identification cards belonging to Dorner was reported to have been found at the San Ysidro Port of Entry near the US-Mexico border on February 7, 2013.[58] Another wallet containing Dorner's driver's license was reported to have been found in the remains of the burnt-out cabin on February 12, 2013.[59] Along with the latter wallet were also found "a fake police badge" and an LAPD business card that had survived the cabin fire, on which Dorner had written the names of two of the police captains who oversaw his Board of Rights, their addresses, and the names of their wives.[37]

On February 11, 2014, the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office released a report, clearing the officers involved of any wrongdoing, stating they used appropriate measures for the circumstances.[60]

Reward[edit]

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a $1 million reward for information leading to the capture of Christopher Dorner, and because the terms of the offer were not carefully stipulated, judges had to later decide how the reward would be divided. Ultimately, the reward was divided four ways, with the largest portion going to James and Karen Reynolds, who were tied up by Dorner in their Big Bear cabin before he stole their vehicle.[61]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Medals and ribbons[edit]

Dorner was the recipient of the following military awards:[62]

1st Row National Defense Service Medal Iraq Campaign Medal
2nd Row Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
3rd Row Armed Forces Reserve Medal with "M" device Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon Navy Pistol Shot Ribbon with expert device


References[edit]

  1. ^ Ford, Dana (15 February 2013). "Renegade ex-cop Dorner died from single gunshot to head". CNN. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Dorner charged with murder, attempted murder of cops | Indianapolis Star". indystar.com. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  3. ^ a b "Officials: Remains Found In Burned-Out Cabin Are That Of Christopher Dorner". Losangeles.cbslocal.com. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  4. ^ "LAPD Dorner". CNN. February 15, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  5. ^ Tomlinson, Simon; Tim Perone; Michael Zennie (2013-02-08). "Killer ex-cop who left three dead in LA shooting spree sends CNN's Anderson Cooper a bullet-riddled coin and manifesto declaring vendetta against police department that fired him". London: Daily Mail UK. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Dorner manhunt stretches from L.A. to Mexico and beyond". latimes.com (Los Angeles Times). February 12, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Winter, Michael (February 11, 2013). "Dorner charged with murder, attempted murder of cops". USA Today. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Dorner Manhunt: Career woes, perceived racism fuel ex-cop's anger". The Press-Enterprise. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  9. ^ Kelly, Jon (February 16, 2013). "Christopher Dorner: What made a police officer kill?". bbc.co.uk (BBC). Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Christopher Dorner's Manifesto, In Full (Content Graphic and Disturbing) – UPDATED". LAist. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Anaheim Union HS officials issue statement on Chris Dorner; 'No Danger To Students' cited". loscerritosnews.net. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Southern Utah Univ Overall Individual Statistics". Southern Utah University. November 20, 1999. Archived from the original on January 18, 2000. 
  13. ^ McGregor, Ellen (February 7, 2013) "U.S. Navy Releases Records of Triple Shooting Suspect Christopher Dorner" ABC 10 News
  14. ^ "Vance students turn in lost church money". Enid News & Eagle. November 5, 2002. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Police say ex-cop was bent on exacting revenge". Los Angeles Times. February 11, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Rubin, Joel; Leonard, Jack; Linthicum, Kate (February 7, 2013). "Dorner manhunt: conflicting testimony in ex-cop's firing case". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Leonard, Jack; Rubin, Joel; Blankstein, Andrew (February 10, 2013). "Dorner's LAPD firing case hinged on credibility". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  18. ^ February 7, 2013. Manhunt for ex-L.A. cop Christopher Dorner in slaying of basketball coach, fiance. CBS/AP. Retrieved: 16 February 2013.
  19. ^ "Massive manhunt for fired LAPD officer Christopher Dorner leads to San Bernardino Mountains". Carlsbad Current-Argus. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  20. ^ Leonard, Jack; Rubin, Joel; Blankstein, Andrew (2013-02-10). "Dorner's LAPD firing case hinged on credibility". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  21. ^ Dorner v. Los Angeles Police Department, No. B225674 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2011).
  22. ^ Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck's Statement on Christopher Jordan Dorner (February 9, 2013)
  23. ^ a b Branson-Potts, Hailey; Matt Stevens; Joseph Serna (February 9, 2013). "Dorner". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  24. ^ LAPD to reopen investigation into fugitive ex-cop's firing. Fox News Channel. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  25. ^ Medina, Jennifer (February 10, 2013). "With Inquiry, an Attempt to Reassure Los Angeles". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-02-14. 
  26. ^ Christopher Goffard, Joel Rubin, and Kurt Streeter; Illustrations by Doug Stevens (December 8, 2013). "The Manhunt for Christopher Dorner, Chapter 2: Fear and the City". Los Angeles Times. 
  27. ^ "Christopher Dorner Manifesto". Sites.google.com. 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  28. ^ Christopher Goffard, Joel Rubin, and Kurt Streeter; Illustrations by Doug Stevens (December 8, 2013). "The Manhunt for Christopher Dorner, Chapter 1: A Double Killing, a Vengeful Plan, a Wave of Fear". Los Angeles Times. 
  29. ^ Christopher J. Dorner. "Full text of Christopher Dorner's 'Facebook Manifesto'". Google Sites. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  30. ^ "L.A. Now". Los Angeles Times. February 25, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Graphic: Who they were: Victims in the Dorner case - Data Desk - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. February 12, 2013. 
  32. ^ a b "2 women get $40,000 compensation for pickup truck shot up by LAPD officers during Dorner hunt". Fox News. March 14, 2013. 
  33. ^ Richard Winton (March 11, 2013). "Women who survived flurry of LAPD bullets have yet to get truck". Los Angeles Times. 
  34. ^ Blankstein, Andrew; Mather, Kate; Streeter, Kurt (April 23, 2013). "Women shot by LAPD during Dorner manhunt get hefty payout". Los Angeles Times. 
  35. ^ Domestic Terrorist or Jason Bourne: The Growing Online Movement Supporting an Accused Cop-Killer | Vocativ
  36. ^ "Couple says Calif. fugitive Christopher Dorner tied them up in mountain cabin and stole car". Fox News. February 14, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  37. ^ a b c d e Christopher Goffard, Joel Rubin, and Kurt Streeter; Illustrations by Doug Stevens (December 8, 2013). "The Manhunt for Christopher Dorner, Chapter 5: The Mountain". Los Angeles Times. 
  38. ^ Cart, Julie; Stevens, Matt (February 12, 2013). "Dorner manhunt: Fish and Wildlife officers make the big break". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Dorner manhunt: Wildlife warden who fired on suspect was ex-Marine". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  40. ^ "Big Bear Couple Reportedly Held Hostage During Home-Invasion". Losangeles.cbslocal.com. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2013-02-14. "The San Bernardino District Attorney's Office also asked that reporters in the area to refrain from tweeting during the standoff, but later removed the request from Twitter." 
  41. ^ (no byline) (2013-02-12). "Officials: Christopher Dorner may be dead following deadly standoff". wtsp.com. Retrieved 2013-02-14. "The San Bernardino District Attorney's Office also asked that reporters in the area to refrain from tweeting during the standoff, but later removed the request from Twitter." 
  42. ^ Garling, Caleb (2006-02-23). "Police ask media not to tweet about manhunt for Chris Dorner". Blog.sfgate.com. Retrieved 2013-02-14. 
  43. ^ "Christopher Dorner manhunt: Officials ask media to stop tweeting". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2013-02-14. ""The sheriff has asked all members of the press to stop tweeting immediately. It is hindering officer safety. #Dorner", tweeted the Sheriff's Department handle, @sbcountyda." 
  44. ^ Lauren Johnston. "Manhunt for ex-LAPD fugitive Christopher Dorner". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 2013-02-14. 
  45. ^ Lauren Gold (2013-02-13). "Request to 'stop tweeting' during Dorner standoff sparks social media uproar". San Bernardino Sun. Retrieved 2013-02-14. "The tweet later appeared to have been deleted." 
  46. ^ "SB District Attorney (@sbcountyda) on Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2013-02-14. 
  47. ^ "Twitter / ?". Retrieved 2013-02-14. "Sorry, that page doesn't exist!" 
  48. ^ Michael Hewitt (2013-02-13). "Media coverage of gunbattle dominated the day". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2013-02-14. "A few hours later, the tweet was removed." 
  49. ^ Though this source shows the address on River Road, most sources have reported the address as being on Seven Oaks Road, and this is consistent with several online maps, and what is believed to be the owner's website, which shows an address for the camp as 40700 Seven Oaks Road, Angelus Oaks.
  50. ^ Emery, Sean (2013-02-13). "MANHUNT: Deputy dies in gunfire; cabin burns". Nbcnews.com. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  51. ^ "Fugitive ex-cop believed dead, as cabin stronghold goes up in flames". Foxnews.com. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  52. ^ "Media Covers for Cops in Chris Dorner Standoff". Storify.com. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  53. ^ Alsop, Harry (February 13, 2013). "Police 'tried to burn out Christopher Dorner'". Telegraph.co.uk (London). Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  54. ^ Max Blumenthal (February 13, 2013). "How Law Enforcement and Media Covered Up the Plan to Burn Christopher Dorner Alive". AlterNet. 
  55. ^ Cabin not purposely burned in firefight; KSBY; February 13, 2013[dead link]
  56. ^ "Police: Body found in cabin in hunt for Dorner". News.blogs.cnn.com. February 12, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  57. ^ Sheriff: Ex-cop Dorner died from gunshot to head Associated Press, 15 February 2013
  58. ^ "Dorner manhunt: Ex-cop may have had help, court records show". LA Times. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  59. ^ Welch, William M. (2013-02-12). "Report: Dorner's wallet found in burned-out cabin". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  60. ^ "DA Finds Fatal Officer-Involved Incident in Angelus Oaks Legally Justified". San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office. February 11, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  61. ^ http://www.jdjournal.com/2013/05/08/lapd-decides-how-1m-award-for-dorners-capture-will-be-distributed/ June, Daniel, "LAPD Decides How 1M Reward for Dorner's Capture Will Be Distributed"
  62. ^ EndPlay (2013-02-01). "Dorner's Military Service Record; ABC 10 News San Diego; February 7, 2013". 10news.com. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 

External links[edit]

Various versions of Dorner's purported manifesto:

Legal documents in Dorner's lawsuit against LAPD: