Critical Thinking: Christopher Dorner vs. LAPD and The Media Coverage
Sometimes I get accused of over analyzing but if you’re reading this then you don’t just take what is spoon fed to you, do you? You like to dig just like me. You probably get accused of over analysis just like me. In which case, I’ll just jump into it.
Chris Dorner has successully managed to grab America’s attention, now what? It all seems kind’a surreal. Thus far the former LAPD officer has declared war on the LAPD and has been credited with the slaying of atleast three people including one on duty LAPD officer this week. Though I am certain that this is no movie, the whole thing is playing out like a cross between Speed and Enemy of The State and The Bourne Identity complete with ambushes,civilian casualties and burning cars. I, like many folks out here in the blogosphere, have developed an opinion or two about the ordeal. I’m very eager to share my opinions but since there are a lot of them and the facts are still unfolding I’ll share my questions first.
Fair Coverage In The Media
The idea that Dorner has actually reached out to the media intrigues many. Dorner is credited with writing an extensive letter (which is more commonly referred to as his “manifesto”) that explicitly asks journalist to “investigate” his case with the LAPD. Most articles that I’ve read thus far haven’t addressed the validity (or lack thereof) of any of the allegations that Dorner has made against the LAPD. As a matter of fact, I haven’t even found a link to the facebook page that the “manifesto” is supposed to have come from. However, there is an abundance of excerpts, block quotes and articles with titles like “The Scariest Parts of The Christopher Dorner Manifesto” and such.
I’m waiting to catch an article that says “The Most Intriguing Parts of The Christopher Dorner Manifesto.” That might involve some critical thinking. Yeah, that’s my type of reading.
Most news anchors,pundits and reporters have been shy about openly discussing the possibility that Dorner is telling the truth. What is probably a genuine attempt to be supportive of the law enforcement agencies is translating into “cover up” to some Americans.
I could understand why responsible media personnel might be slow to speak on behalf of Dorner or openly give him the benefit of the doubt but there doesn’t seem to be as much hesitation to slander Dorner either. The latest headline that I read went something like this : “Christopher Dorner’s Dark Past” before it proceeded to loosely describe an ordeal in which he filed for a restraining order against an ex girlfriend. So the first question that comes to my mind is “Where’s the balance?”
Thus far, according to my online search efforts, there is a lack of detail and investigative work on the part of major news networks. Presently there is more hearsay in the mainstream blogosphere than supported facts. This imbalance has been seen by some Americans as a sign of bias by major news outlets.
Are there any prime time journalist willing to ask the tough questions? If so, let’s get the LAPD to explain how two civilians were mistakenly shot while sitting in a truck delivering newspapers. The most detailed explanation I’ve read thus far reads like this:
In an interview with The Times on Friday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck outlined the most detailed account yet of how the shooting unfolded. Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, were the victims of “a tragic misinterpretation” by officers working under “incredible tension,” he said.
As the vehicle approached the house, officers opened fire, unloading a barrage of bullets into the back of the truck. When the shooting stopped, they quickly realized their mistake. The truck was not a Nissan Titan, but a Toyota Tacoma. The color wasn’t gray, but aqua blue. And it wasn’t Dorner inside the truck, but a woman and her mother delivering copies of the Los Angeles Times. (read more)
One reader posted this in response:
Did you notice how the truck the newspaper ladies were driving is all shot up from the rear? They made no attempt to even see who was driving the truck, they just opened up on it from far enough behind that they were shooting through the tailgate and back of the truck, back window, on both the driver AND passenger side? They were trying to murder someone, plain and simple. No apprehension, no court, no trial…..do not pass go, do not collect $200, go straight to dead whether you are the right person or not. Why aren’t more people questioning this?
Dorner vs. The LAPD
I can see by the comment section on every blog that the general public has mixed emotions about who they should vocally express support for. Dorner is clearly the underdog in this case and his letter has set off a bevy of mixed emotions among Americans who believe that police officers all too often abuse the trust and authority given to them. This may make some Americans feel that Dorner represents them. Some folks have openly praised Dorner and called him a “hero” others have expressed scorn and label him as a coward. How will public opinion affect LAPD’s ability to effectively maintain order?
In the letter entitled “Subject: Last Resort” Dorner indicates that he is willing to attack even family members of police officers to make his point. The stress that this type of threat puts on LAPD and supporting law enforcement agencies is incalculable. I might normally suggest that this type of threat seems tactical as it might be intended as a diversion to stretch law enforcement resources thin. On the other hand the daughter and future son in law of a retired LAPD Captain have already been assasinated. I personally would throw the term “tactical threat” out of the window and consider the possibility that Dorner meant every word that he said in his letter. This would mean that it is not some type of manhunt but a strategic confrontation instead. In which case I have to wonder What preparations do the LAPD have underway for asymmetrical urban warfare?
Did Dorner have other options?
In attempting to put myself in Dorner’s shoes I have come to the conclusion that I need more information about what exactly did or did not happen after Dorner’s job was terminated. Most responsible adults will argue that utilizing the court system and due process is the right way to handle any dispute. Dorner hasn’t yet pursued all of his options in terms of appeal. Some commenters have even suggested that he (Dorner) should have taken his case to the mainstream media before picking up arms. This train of thought lead me to my next question.
Is Dorner A Crazy Man Looking for Attention?
According to a yahoo article one former FBI profiler, Mary Ellen O’Toole mentions “narcissists” and “injustice collector” when profiling Dorner. I found this interesting to say the least but I want to analyze that FBI profiler lady later. I remember reading a part of Dorner’s letter that admits to depression. Dorner actually states that he would like his brain to be donated to science for research. Does this constitute an admission from Dorner that he is not mentally healthy?
These are just some of my initial questions. I’m sure there will be more. What do you think about the media coverage so far? How has the coverage or lack thereof affected things?
-P.S. my condolences go out to the families of everyone that have lost a loved one during this crisis.
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