Dr. Boyce Watkins: The Federal Government Must Investigate the LAPD and Chris Dorner's Death
The Los Angeles Police Department has, for far too long, served as judge, jury and executioner in too many situations. Rather than seeking justice and allowing the courts to determine guilt or innocence, this police department has often positioned itself as a well-organized street gang, terrorizing and even killing scores of innocent citizens.
The latest civil rights violation by this department was during the apprehension of Christopher Dorner. We are not in agreement with the crimes Dorner allegedly committed before his death and DO NOT seek to make him into a hero. But equally egregious was the decision by the LAPD to try to kill Dorner before he had any opportunity to stand trial. We believe that the premature, on-sight execution of Christopher Dorner was done in order to suppress evidence of police corruption that Dorner was determined to release to the public. While the LAPD consistently denies that it deliberately burned Dorner alive, there is sufficient audio evidence that suggests otherwise. We believe that the LAPD deserves to be scrutinized with the same intensity with which people are scrutinizing the mistakes made by Christopher Dorner before his death.
Another piece of evidence to show that the LAPD was seeking to kill Dorner was when 71-year old Emma Hernandez was shot several times in her truck because her vehicle was similar to Dorner's. The police did not, in this case, appear to even have an interest in allowing Ms. Hernandez to come out with her hands up or properly identify herself, which she would gladly have done. Instead, they simply opened fire.
Again, while we do not condone the actions allegedly taken by Christopher Dorner right before his death, we also must not allow for the blatant disregard for law and justice embraced by the Los Angeles Police Department. We are demanding a thorough federal investigation into LAPD corruption, which appears to be just as pervasive as it was before the Rodney King riots over 20 years ago. We also demand that there be through investigations into the reasons that Christopher Dorner was fired from the LAPD, as well as findings on the manner by which he died. Some of Dorner's fellow officers have stated that many of the disturbing claims made in his manifesto are true, which warrants a deeper analysis.
Should it be determined that the LAPD engaged in corruption or civil liberties violations, we demand that all of those involved be brought to justice. We cannot support anyone taking the law into their own hands, whether it be Christopher Dorner or the corrupt police officers determined to see him dead. Allowing the LAPD to get away with this puts all of our lives in danger, and this case must not be allowed to wash away without unearthing the complete truth.
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