Christopher Dorner: Experts look for clues to alleged cop killer’s mental state (+video)
As hundreds of law enforcement officers continue to search the San Bernardino mountains for Christopher Dorner, experts and amateurs are delving into the psyche of the alleged cop killer.
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Most observers strongly disagree with Dorner here, pointing to important improvements made in the department since the days of the Watts riots and the Rodney King beating that led to more violent riots.Skip to next paragraph
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"The open racism of the days before is gone," civil rights attorney Connie Rice, who closely tracks racial issues inside the department and has faced off against the LAPD in court, told the Associated Press. "The overall culture has improved enormously."
Hector Villagra, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, agrees.
"There has definitely been improvement from those dark days," Mr. Villagra told the AP. "We are in a vastly different place, but there still are opportunities for improvement in this and any other police department."
Still, says Ms. Rice, the LAPD should review Dorner’s case and the charges he makes.
The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that Dorner “had a history of making complaints against fellow officers within the Los Angeles Police Department, and one officer said he had a reputation as a ‘hot head,’ according to internal affairs records.”
But in an age of instant Internet communication and social media, it may not be surprising that Dorner does have supporters who agree with at least some of his rationale for striking out at his perceived enemies.
“Numerous supporters on Twitter are calling the alleged murderer a ‘Dark Knight’,” Kathleen Miles writes on Huffington Post. "One Facebook page calls him ‘the hero LA deserves, but not the one it needs right now … He's a silent guardian, watchful protector against corruption, he's our Dark Knight’.”
“The individual behind the Facebook page ‘I support Christopher Jordan Dorner’ explained to HuffPost that he started the page to steer the conversation away from Dorner's mental health,” Ms. Miles writes.
"I knew that the media was going to turn this into just another 'He's a psycho ex-cop ex-military that went insane' story, and wanted to show that there was more to what was going on than that," the individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote in a Facebook message. "There is a huge underlying story of police corruption and the plight of a man that tried his best to do good but was relentlessly punished for it."
But Dorner’s mental health is seen by many as a legitimate subject for investigation – especially by law enforcement officials trying to prevent any more killing, which Dorner warns will continue until “the department states the truth about my innocence.”
Retired FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole says Dorner is “somebody I call an injustice collector.”
"When they respond to an injustice that they think is out there, their reaction is completely over the top,” she told the AP.
"Is he deadly? Yes. Of course he has killed people,” says Ms. O’Toole. "But is he capable of taking on some 1,000 officers looking for him? That's someone with a personality disorder.”