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LAPD report: Firing of Officer Christopher Dorner was sound and just

City News Service | 6/25/2013, 12:17 p.m.
Ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner.

After being traced to Big Bear, Dorner engaged in a firefight with law enforcement authorities while holed up in a cabin. San Bernardino County sheriff’s Detective Jeremiah MacKay was fatally shot during the gun battle.

Dorner was hired by the LAPD in February 2005, and he was officially terminated in January 2009.

In his report, Chaleff noted that it took Dorner 13 months to graduate from the LAPD police academy, rather than the usual six months, “due to a variety of interruptions involving injuries, including a hand injury resulting from a negligent discharge of his weapon.”

In 2007, Dorner alleged that his training officer had kicked a suspect during an arrest on July 28, 2007, according to Chaleff’s report. The allegations were made nearly two weeks after the arrest, and were made “after Dorner was notified by his training officer that he was in jeopardy of receiving an unsatisfactory rating report.”

Chaleff noted that Dorner never mentioned the alleged kicks to a supervisor who responded to the scene of the arrest, or to his watch commander or to medical staff at the jail who treated the arrested suspect. Dorner also did not include the kicks in his arrest report.

Although Dorner offered a variety of reasons why he did not mention the kicks earlier — ranging from fear of retaliation to uncertainty about whether he was expected to include it in his report — “there was no physical evidence that the kicks actually occurred,” Chaleff wrote.

“None of the three independent eyewitnesses to the use of force reported observing a kick, or anything inappropriate,” he wrote. “The training officer denied kicking the arrestee. The only testimony provided in support of Dorner’s testimony and allegations of these kicks was given by the arrestee and his father. The Board of Rights that heard Dorner’s case, however, determined that neither man’s testimony could be relied upon, as the arrestee was unable to provide coherent responses to basic questions due to his limited mental capacity, and the arrestee’s father was not a witness to the use of force and his conflicting testimony lacked credibility.”

Dorner’s firing was upheld by the Office of the Inspector General, Los Angeles Superior Court and state Court of Appeals.