Experiments with Truth: Analysis

Matthew Cunningham-Cook on “the Christopher Dorner complex”

For the past week, the media has been struck by Dorner fever, anxiously covering the most minute developments in Southern California’s hunt for an ex-cop alleged to have killed four people: a daughter of an LAPD officer and her fiancée, and a police officer in Riverside county, and an officer involved in the shootout at a cabin in the wilderness.

We can infer that all this has taken place; there will never be a trial. Dorner’s “manifesto” has been selectively quoted, focusing on the sections where his mental illness and homicidal rage come into full view, while the allegations of racism and human rights violations by the LAPD have been slyly deemphasized.

What are those allegations, exactly? Usage of the n-word among colleagues, the lack of institutional self-reflection in the aftermath of Rodney King, retaliation against deputies for breaking the “blue line,” officers singing songs celebrating the burning of Jewish ghettos by Nazi stormtroopers, assaulting a woman in her 70s, and assaulting a man who suffers from dementia and schizophrenia by kicking him in the face. Throughout, Dorner attacks the LAPD’s pervasive culture of institutional racism: something that most Angelenos of color will confirm.

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