Christopher Dorner’s Manifesto & LAPD’s Recent Actions Raises Lots of Disturbing Questions

Davey-D-brown-frameAll eyes are on Christopher Dorner the fired LAPD officer who is the subject on a massive manhunt that involves more than 1000 cops up and down the state of California and in Nevada. He’s accused of gunning down three people including Monica Quan, a popular basketball coach and the daughter of a former LAPD captain and her fiance Keith Lawrence who is described as mentor to many and recently graduated from a police academy. ..

Dorner’s also accused of shooting 3 police officers killing one in Riverside California…In an 11 page manifesto that he posted on-line, Dorner lays out the reasons he’s on the rampage and why he’s down to take out his fellow officers and their family members. He feels they are racist, unfair and done him dirty by tarnishing  his name and reputation.  In this manifesto which is an epic read, he describes in great detail a department that is corrupt  and more violent than the streets he was assigned to patrol…No matter how this turns out all of us should be asking a whole lot of questions and not resting until we get solid answers..You can read an uncensored copy of that manifesto HERE

Mainstream Media Coverage-Who Do they Work For?

Let’s start with media coverage? Does the media work for the people with the goal of getting the truth out or do they work for the police? I was surprised when media outlet after media outlet printed the Manifesto written by Dorner with all the names erased. The rationale was that they didn’t want to endanger the lives of police officers by printing their names because Dorner was targeting them..  Let’s say we buy that argument… Does that policy extend to other areas and to other citizens? After all, we live in an era where we’ve seen media become more paparazzi-like and go on all out crusades publishing people’s names addresses etc, invading folks privacy and sparking controversy to push a particular cause under the guise they are ‘just reporting the story‘. It hasn’t seem to matter what impact it had on those they highlighted. But in this instance a document that already been seen by thousands, they erased the names. Are such decisions made case by case by media outlets or only with the police?

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck

Since many in the media opted to take out the names leaving many in the dark about who may or may not have done any wrong doing as alleged in the in the manifesto, one might ask, were those same outlets going to follow-up with any sort of investigative reporting? When I hear reporters state the manifesto is nothing but a bunch of rambling, are we to assume they checked out everything that Dorner referenced and concluded it was false?

Yesterday former LA deputy prosecutor Robin Sax noted that while we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Christopher Dorner committed some heinous crimes, we should not ignore the cases and incidents he sites in the Manifesto or the corruption he says exists in within LAPD..

Sax who appeared on  yesterday on Fox 11 in LA, noted that many of the incidents detailed may in fact be true and we should check them out.. From a journalistic point of view we should follow-up. People working in the police department should follow-up if for any reason, to avoid having another officer snap and go off because of how incidents were handled or mis-handled. If there’s any truth to Dorner’s allegations of corruption, LAPD should go all out to clean it up and in a very public and transparent way.. We can’t simply take LAPD Chief Charlie Beck‘s words of dismal during yesterday’s press conference, where he said the manifesto was a ‘bunch of ramblings on the internet’..

What Dorner wrote can’t be that much of a ramble, because beck and law enforcement all over the state read that manifesto and saw it credible enough to send more than 40 security squads to protect the officers and the families mentioned in the document. If we can find the threats credible, then perhaps some of those allegations of corruption and wrong doing are just as credible.

Here the Link...Legal Documents Filed by Christopher Dorner Challenging LAPD..

Questions Raised by Dorner’s Manifesto

Christoper Dorner

Christopher Dorner

Based upon that Manifesto we should be asking why Dorner was said to be lying on his supervising officer Sgt Teresa Evans when legal documents show that the victim, Christopher Gettler  and his father gave similar accounts as Dorner? Was it true that there were conflicts of interests during his BOR (Board of Rights) Hearings in terms of the Sgt Evans being close friends and former partners to BOR members who voted to terminate Dorner?  Was it true Sgt Evans has a history of violence? Did she really brutalize an elderly woman as pointed out in the manifesto? Why would we not check out this information?

Answering such questions is not to somehow vindicate or give Dorner a pass for any wrong doings especially if he murdered several people. Its to make sure folks who receive our hard-earned tax dollars are conducting themselves in a fair, just and uncorrupted way.

Was it true that academy recruits were singing Nazi songs to a fellow recruit Abraham Schefres and Dorner stood up for him? Are these recruits now officers working the streets of LA? If so how is that? why is that? Should we not check this out?

What about the confrontation Dorner had involving  two officers Hermilio Buridios IV and Marlon Magana?  According to the manifesto  he grabbed Buridios around the neck because they insisted on referring to Black people as Nigger in spite Dorner’s objections.  These officers are currently LAPD Officers.  What was once dismissed as ‘hearsay’ has since been confirmed by a supervising officer who was present at the time. He did an interview with local Fox 11 in LA.. He said Dorner shouldn’t have grabbed the officer..

For many of us, hearing that these two men are officers is beyond disturbing especially when you consider the tens of millions LAPD has had to shell out in police brutality settlements that were rooted in racially charged incidents, one would think there would be zero tolerance to this..This story should be checked out.. Questions should be answered about how they feel and how they behave..

Police man’s Bill Of Rights

Now before folks start drawing conclusions, you should know something about California law and why these incidents are important. Police officers in California have what is known as the Police Man’s bill of Rights. many of us who worked on or followed the Oscar Grant case found out the hard way how this law totally insulates police officers. The public has no access to their files even during a trial.. Yes you read the right. The public access to these personnel files so we have no idea what sort of checkered past an officer has.

Johannes Mehserle

Johannes Mehserle

In writing this story I checked with Uncle Bobby (Cephus Johnson) , the uncle to Oscar Grant, the young man who was unarmed and shot point-blank in the back my BART officer  Johannes Mehserle as he lay restrained on a subway platform in January 2009. Johnson explained, that during the trial they discovered that Mehserle had incidents of excessive violence in the past, but it was not allowed into the trial before the jury because of the policeman’s bill of rights..His record as well as the record of other police officers in California are shielded. last year even tighter restrictions were put on public’s access to officer records as, their names and addresses are removed from all public data bases.

So to get names dates, times and places in this manifesto is important, especially if they check out to be true. It raises important questions as to who is patrolling our streets and why.

In the manifesto Dorner notes that many of officers who were problematic in terms of racial intolerance during the Rodney King days  and even during the Rampart scandal, have been promoted.. That should be investigated with us all asking the question as to how and why?

Innocent people Shot By Frenzied Police

Screen shot 2013-02-08 at 9.39.32 AMMoving beyond the Manifesto, all of us should be asking hard questions about the 3 innocent people shot by LAPD and Torrance police in what police describe as ‘accidental’ and mistaken identity’. Maggie Carranza, and her mother, 71-year-old Emma Hernandez were initially described as two elderly Asian women… We now know they were Latino, and in the wee hours of Thursday morning they were driving a bright blue pick up truck delivering news papers as they always done..Keep in mind, the truck Dorner was driving was grey.

Undercover police claim the women had no lights on and thus they thought the truck was being driven by Dorner. The women weren’t told to pull over, show ID or given any sort of commands.. Instead the police administered what one witness/ neighbor who was interviewed described as ‘street justice‘.. The mother, Emma Hernadez was shot in the back. Her daughter was shot in the hand.. Take a look at the photo and you can see the car riddled with at least 20 bullet holes.. How and why did that happen?

From another angle one might ask how did these officers shoot so many times and the target is still alive? Were they shooting to kill because they thought Dorner was in the truck. How did they only hit these two women twice?

We need to be asking questions about the man who was shot by Torrance police. He too was driving a pick up truck when he came upon LAPD officers who directed him to turn his truck around. he complied and as he drove he came upon Torrance officers who thought this man who was described as a white male was Dorner. They rammed his truck and started shooting..Fortunately the man in spite being shot was not hurt according to police. They have not identified the man and the owner of the truck Lizette Perdue   refused to talk with reporters about who was driving the truck.

Lots and lots of questions should be raised about this? Of course the Policeman’s Bill of Rights will prevent us from finding out what sort of records the officers involved in these shootings have..

For folks living in the inner cities of LA populated with Black and Brown folks such scenarios of police shooting first and asking questions later are not uncommon. LAPD has long had a reputation of shoot first ask questions later, leaving victims to fend for themselves as the media would quickly rush to the support the story given by the police. Had it not been for a massive man-hunt with so much attention on every move police were doing, these incidents might have been buried with us hearing some crazy story about how the two women or the man were ‘gang members’ who tried to attack the police.. You can how LAPD already attempted to spin this by saying the women were driving with their lights off.. Who delivers newspapers in the dark? Having been a delivery boy myself once upon a time, you have to at least keep your flashers on.. These incidents are shady and should not disappear in all the hoopla around capturing Dorner.

More Questions Raised

Although not directly related to Dorner, but related to the issue of corruption, are the seven LA sheriff deputies who were released the other day for being members of gang formed within the department called the Jump Out Boys. These were officers who wore similar tats and basically operated like a gang relishing in how many Black and Latinos people they’ve shot..I know this may sound far-fetched. There’s a ton of information on gangs or social clubs existing within Southern Cali police departments.. You can read about the Jump Out Boys HERE..  When you read the manifesto where Dorner says how violent it is within the department and take into account this recent discovery of the Jump Out Boys, we have to ask the question what sort of police culture are we dealing with in Southern california?

Christopher Dorner w/ Chief William Bratton

Christopher Dorner w/ Chief William Bratton

Lastly we need to be asking questions about Chief William Bratton who is shown shaking hands with Dorner. In his interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN, Bratton who is widely credited with cleaning up  LAPD in the aftermath of the Rampart Scandal, said he didn’t recall meeting Dorner.  Many of us find that hard to believe, but we’ll give a seasoned officer who trains police all over the world on how to be to improve their security, to not remember a guy like Dorner.

During the interview Chief Bratton spoke about a coin that was riddled with bullet holes that Dorner had sent to Anderson Cooper. Included with that coin was a hand written note to Bratton that read, ‘Thanks but No Thanks‘. Bratton said that Dorner was angry with him because he had to sign off on him being fired from LAPD..

He noted that the coin was a special personalized coin of courage that he personally gave to officers who were deployed for war, which was the case with Dorner.. Bratton said he didn’t recall Bratton, and many of us asked; ‘How many of those special coins did Bratton give out to officers that he didn’t remember a big guy like that?’ But be as that may, the larger question we need to be concerned about is how much corruption did Bratton really clean up within LAPD? If these stories laid out by Dorner check out, then Bratton has some explaining to do, because what Dorner is talking about happened on his watch..

With the world watching, this is an opportunity to make sure we push for changes within a department that seems troubled. Amd not just LAPD, law enforcement in that region overall. The fact that we had 3 innocent people shot and a complicit media telling folks to not drive pick up trucks vs asking why cops are going buckwhyld on citizens they are supposed to serve and protect should be enough of a wake up call.

In terms of Christopher Dorner..I was asked if he was a hero. he ceased to be hero when he shot innocent people. And who knows if he would’ve gone all out to blow the whistle on the corruption he witnessed if he was allowed to keep his job..With that being said, he laid out some information for whatever reason and its up to is to follow-up and make sure dreadful wrongs are forever corrected.

Man Facing 16 Years for Videotaping the Police..A Full Fledged Police State Looms Larger

Police are pushing hard to make it a crime to videotape them.. They are making the case that even though they are public servants filming them without permission should be off limits.. This is not good at all… We been talking about this for weeks, how police departments all over the country, have been making moves to get laws passed making it a felony to videotape them. They have been citing wiretapping laws and parts of the Patriot Act.

Up to now, having video cameras has been the saving grace for many for many police brutality cases. Imagine if the murder of an unarmed Oscar Grant at an oakland subway station wasn’t videotaped? If folks recall, the day after he was shot, police released his criminal record to local newspapers and spun a narrative which suggested that he deserved to be shot because he had done wrong in the past. This information had huge impact as defenders of  Johannes Mehserle, the cop who killed Grant, have touted his criminal background as a reason to side with the convicted officer and see his action as ‘accidental’.

The push to shut down videotaping is coupled with most police departments having what is known as the Police Man’s Bill of Rights or some other Police protection law that allow officers to keep reports of violent incidents hidden, restrict them from having to polygraph tests, have their lockers searched and even have records of complaints excluded during any sort of criminal proceedings. We saw this play out during the Grant case. The world got to know about Grant past but not the unsavory things of  Mehserle who was no angel. Add all that up to this new tactic to enforce wire tapping laws and we now see the a full court press to keep citizens at a severe disadvantage.

Where might one wish to videotape the police? Let’s say we have concerns that racial profiling laws are being violated in Arizona under the controversial SB 1070. There’s a sizeable population of people who feel concerned that police will go overboard or that indviduals like Sheriff Joe Arpiao will defy court restrictions and direct officers to push the envelop and be aggressive in stopping people. Videoapes would be the best way for all concerned to keep everyone honest, but if we have wiretapping laws being cited and possible jail time being the result, this is more then chilling.

You wanna see where this has troubling effects? Look at the news Blackout that took place last year during the student protests in Iran. Many of us were upset and thought it barbaric that Iran had restricted  journalists and were beating and jailing protestors who videotaped police who were brutalizing protestors. How in the world did we here in the US get to a place where we are behaving like the country’s we heavily criticized? What will the public do when law enforcement starts putting into place new mass arrest techniques like Operation Falcon which has been damn near ignored by Main Stream media. How will we keep officers involved with that operation accountable?

I’ll leave you with one more food for thought…In recent days we learned that Google is working with the CIA to monitor websites. Does Google which owns Youtube start working with local law enforcement to restrict police videotapes from being loaded up. Police departments have been upset with Youtube stating that it puts officers in bad light and even in danger. We disagree. Videotaping keeps folks accountable and brings attention to rogue cops.

What’s even more troubling is Google now working with Verizon to cut a deal to end Net Neutrality… Imagine if we have situation where a website monitoring or video of police abuse is suddenly restricted or made to load frustratingly slow on the internet. Folks the day is coming where the flow of information is being shut down and blacked out..

Below is the video that has Anthony Graber in hot water.

-Davey D-

Should Videotaping the Police Really Be a Crime?


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Anthony Graber, a Maryland Air National Guard staff sergeant, faces up to 16 years in prison. His crime? He videotaped his March encounter with a state trooper who pulled him over for speeding on a motorcycle. Then Graber put the video — which could put the officer in a bad light — up on YouTube.

It doesn’t sound like much. But Graber is not the only person being slapped down by the long arm of the law for the simple act of videotaping the police in a public place. Prosecutors across the U.S. claim the videotaping violates wiretap laws — a stretch, to put it mildly.

These days, it’s not hard to see why police are wary of being filmed. In 1991, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) beating of Rodney King was captured on video by a private citizen. It was shown repeatedly on television and caused a national uproar. As a result, four LAPD officers were put on trial, and when they were not convicted, riots broke out, leaving more than 50 people dead and thousands injured (two officers were later convicted on federal civil rights charges).

More recently, a New York Police Department officer was thrown off the force — and convicted of filing a false report — because of a video of his actions at a bicycle rally in Times Square. The officer can plainly be seen going up to a man on a bike and shoving him to the ground. The officer claimed the cyclist was trying to collide with him, and in the past, it might have been hard to disprove the police account. But this time there was an amateur video of the encounter — which quickly became an Internet sensation, viewed more than 3 million times on YouTube alone.

In the Graber case, the trooper also apparently had reason to want to keep his actions off the Internet. He cut Graber off in an unmarked vehicle, approached Graber in plain clothes and yelled while brandishing a gun before identifying himself as a trooper.

Back when King was beaten, it was unusual for bystanders to have video cameras. But today, everyone is a moviemaker. Lots of people carry video cameras in their pockets, on iPhones, BlackBerrys and even their MP3 players. They also have an easy distribution system: the Internet. A video can get millions of viewers worldwide if it goes viral, bouncing from blog to blog, e-mail to e-mail, and Facebook friend to Facebook friend.

No wonder, then, that civil rights groups have embraced amateur videos. Last year, the NAACP announced an initiative in which it encouraged ordinary citizens to tape police misconduct with their cell phones and send the videos to the group’s website,

Law enforcement is fighting back. In the case of Graber — a young husband and father who had never been arrested — the police searched his residence and seized computers. Graber spent 26 hours in jail even before facing the wiretapping charges that could conceivably put him away for 16 years. (It is hard to believe he will actually get anything like that, however. One point on his side: the Maryland attorney general’s office recently gave its opinion that a court would likely find that the wiretap law does not apply to traffic stops.)

Last year, Sharron Tasha Ford was arrested in Florida for videotaping an encounter between the police and her son on a public sidewalk. She was never prosecuted, but in June, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida sued the city of Boynton Beach on her behalf, claiming false arrest and violation of her First Amendment rights.

The legal argument prosecutors rely on in police video cases is thin. They say the audio aspect of the videos violates wiretap laws because, in some states, both parties to a conversation must consent to having a private conversation recorded. The hole in their argument is the word “private.” A police officer arresting or questioning someone on a highway or street is not having a private conversation. He is engaging in a public act.

Even if these cases do not hold up in court, the police can do a lot of damage just by threatening to arrest and prosecute people. “We see a fair amount of intimidation — police saying, ‘You can’t do that. It’s illegal,'” says Christopher Calabrese, a lawyer with the ACLU’s Washington office. It discourages people from filming, he says, even when they have the right to film.

Ford was not deterred. According to her account, even when the police threatened her with arrest, she refused to turn off her video camera, telling her son not to worry because “it’s all on video” and “let them be who they continue to be.”

The police then grabbed her, she said, took her camera and drove her off to the police station for booking.

Most people are not so game for a fight with the police. They just stop filming. These are the cases no one finds out about, in which there is no arrest or prosecution, but the public’s freedoms have nevertheless been eroded.

Ford was right to insist on her right to videotape police actions that occur in public, and others should too. If the police are doing their jobs properly, they should have nothing to worry about.

Cohen, a lawyer, is a former TIME writer and a former member of the New York Times editorial board

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