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Manhunt for LAPD ex-cop Christopher Dorner ends in bullets, flames (+video)

The manhunt for ex-cop Christopher Dorner played out in real time on television. On Twitter and other social media, many expressed support for the suspect's alleged killing spree and his claims against LAPD.

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Dorner’s 10-day rampage began with two murders, one victim the daughter of the man who had defended him in a 2008 disciplinary hearing, after which Dorner was fired. As the killing began, the 33-year-old former Navy reservist posted an online manifesto detailing his belief that he had been wrongly fired. The 5,900-word blast also included a promise to kill not only officers he felt had wronged him, but also members of their families. LAPD officers have been on high-alert guard duty for some 50 family members of its personnel for nearly a week, straining the department's capacity for routine law enforcement.

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Mr. Fuentes, who has had years of experience in dealing with the Mafia and South American drug cartels, noted that targeting families as a means of terrorism happens routinely in other nations. But in American communities, this “is new," he said on CNN, "something we have not seen before in this country.”

It is particularly chilling set against the backdrop of mounting police deaths, he added. Even as law enforcement officers outside the Loma Linda Medical Center mourned the loss of the San Bernardino sheriff’s deputy on Tuesday – with a full cortege of police cars proceeding behind the coroner’s wagon carrying the slain officer – social media such as Facebook and Twitter were bristling with support for Dorner's claims of police brutality and mistreatment, including encouragement for him to shoot more police officers. Chatter in local bars overheard by reporters also included support for Dorner’s murderous quest.

This sort of folk-hero status for an alleged murderer sets the teeth of many officials on edge, said Todd Spitzer, Orange County supervisor, in an interview with CNN. He says he overheard such conversations in local shops. “This man is nothing more than a murderer," he added, not someone worthy to stand beside the law enforcement personnel who risk their lives on a daily basis.

Still, neighborhood activists say the anti-police sentiment fired up by Dorner's claims and the week-long manhunt to find him are not going to just fade away.

“That’s why you are seeing it all over Facebook and Twitter,” says Mr. Ali. “We are going to see more violence and more disrespect for law enforcement until something is done to turn this around in a way that people will believe."


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