LAPD report: Firing of Officer Christopher Dorner was sound and just
City News Service | 6/25/2013, 12:17 p.m.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The city Police Commission today accepted the results of a Los Angeles Police Department report that concluded the firing of Officer Christopher Dorner, who went on a crime spree that left four people dead, was “sound and just.”
Dorner, 33, contended in an online manifesto that he had been railroaded out of the department. He also leveled allegations of racism against the LAPD, which he claimed “has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days.”
After hearing a presentation on the department’s report on Dorner’s firing, Commissioner John Mack said he was satisfied with its findings, but said he was not “naive” enough to think some people might be critical about how the review was conducted and its findings.
“We’ve come a long way,” Mack said. “You can do all kinds of wonderful things. All you need is one setback, one incident — there were some very, very serious and wild allegations included in that manifesto.”
Mack said the department underwent a “health self-examination” by reviewing the Dorner case.
Commissioner Rafael Bernardino said he “shudders” to think of the possibility that Dorner might have stayed with the department.
Dorner died Feb. 12 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the midst of a gunfight with law enforcement in the Big Bear area, where he was holed up in a cabin that caught fire during the battle.
During the February manhunt for Dorner, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck ordered a review of Dorner’s case to determine if his dismissal was justified and the case properly handled, saying he wanted to “reassure the public that their police department is transparent and fair in all the things we do.”
Gerald Chaleff, special assistant for constitutional policing, concluded in his report that Dorner “fabricated allegations against his training officer, and later, against his peers and superiors.”
“The decision to terminate Dorner was sound and just,” Chaleff wrote.
“Dorner’s documented proclivity to concoct allegations and evidence to advance his personal agenda support the conclusion that Dorner was rightfully terminated from the LAPD.”
In response to the report’s release, Beck said, “All of us recognize that as a department we are not perfect; nonetheless, this report shows that the discharge of Christopher Dorner was factually and legally the right decision.”
On Feb. 3, Dorner — a former U.S. Navy lieutenant — gunned down the daughter and future son-in-law of the ex-police captain who represented him at his Board of Rights hearing, according to police. The bodies of 28-year-old Monica Quan and her fiance, 27-year-old USC public safety officer Keith Lawrence, were found in Lawrence’s car in the parking structure of their Irvine condominium building.
The next day, Dorner posted the 6,000-word manifesto on Facebook, vowing to kill named LAPD officers and their families.
Dorner was later involved in a shootout with Los Angeles police guarding an officer’s home in Corona, leaving one officer with a graze wound to the head. About 20 minutes later, he fired on a pair of Riverside police officers stopped at a red light, killing Officer Michael Crain, 34, and wounding the other, police said.