I am troubled by those who find cause to support Christopher Dorner, the ex-cop whose rampage through Los Angeles apparently left four people dead. Whatever one might conclude of his public claims, there is no moral justification for his actions.
I am also troubled, perhaps equally so, by the lawless and incompetent manner in which he was pursued by police. As I previously noted, lives were put at risk by officers who recklessly unloaded with deadly weapons on innocents who they never even attempted to identify. The officers involved in these shootings should be prosecuted for no less than reckless endangerment, if not attempted murder, and failing to do so (which I fully expect based on historical precedent) would be a miscarriage of justice.
But what about Dorner himself? He will not get his day in court to be tried by a jury of his peers. Nor will he be able exercise his right to face his accusers. He will do none of these things because he is dead at the hands of the very people he publicly accused of malice and criminal behavior. Perhaps his death in the log cabin was entirely of his own making, and that he simply would not have surrendered himself alive under any circumstance. But I can’t help but wonder, having told myself before he was found that there was no way in hell the police were ever going to take him in alive, whether or not he was summarily executed. Now, a recording purported to be between officers suggesting deliberate intent to burn him alive has surfaced, and seems completely damning if confirmed as authentic.
Moving beyond Dorner and the specifics of his firing/crime spree/death, there is a serious need for discussion about the conduct and role of police in today’s society. More and more it seems that law enforcement has a blatant disregard for the most basic rule of law, takes an entirely antagonistic view toward civilians, and operates without even the pretense of accountability. This has simply got to change.