For days now, law enforcement personal has been looking, in full gear, for a former Los Angeles police officer who allegedly was wrongfully thrown out of the force for a crime that someone else committed.
The situation with that former police officer should be an eye-opener for those in administrative and supervisory positions, not only in police departments, but in any other group or organization where injustice, humiliation, verbal and power abuse is an everyday thing.
Unjustifiable behavior by people who are in charge, and sometimes by just average employees at the front counter, those who have to deal with the public in governmental or public offices in general, is rampant.
It has happened in the past at a postal service office, at the Social Security Administration, at a Workmen’s Compensation office, and many other places.
People who have not faced situations like being abused due to their financial status, or mistreated because they read the law differently than the woman sitting at the front desk (who, as a gesture of rear-end-kissing, does not want to “disturb” the supervisor and so makes decisions on their own) cannot understand or comprehend why someone is in desperation mode, ready to snap or behave erratically.
It is like those who have never been accused of a crime that they have not committed, cannot know how that feels. Only those accused unjustifiably will understand how it feels; others will have to wait until it happens to them (pray God it doesn’t) to understand how it feels.
A native of New York, Dorner grew up in Los Angeles County. He attended John F. Kennedy High School in La Palma and Cypress High School, and graduated from Southern Utah University in 2001 with a major in political science and a minor in psychology. The university confirmed that Dorner had played football for at least two of those years.
Dorner, a former Naval Reserve lieutenant (O-3), was commissioned in 2002, commanded a security unit at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, and served with a Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit from June 23, 2004, to February 28, 2006. He was deployed to Bahrain with Coastal Riverine Group Two from November 3, 2006, to April 23, 2007. Dorner was honorably discharged from the Navy Reserve on February 1, 2013.
Dorner was hired by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on February 7, 2005; he was terminated on September 4, 2008, for allegedly lying when reporting a fellow police officer, Teresa Evans (now a sergeant), for police brutality.
Dorner accused Officer Evans of kicking a mentally-ill suspect that suffered from schizophrenia, Christopher Gettler, in the face while he was handcuffed and lying on the ground.
An internal review board found that Dorner had lied, even though the alleged victim and victim’s father testified to police brutality on the part of Officer Evans.
Dorner cited this wrongful termination in his online manifesto in early February 2013 as his reason for committing the 2013 Southern California shootings. No action was taken against Officer Evans, whom Dorner had accused of police brutality.
Most likely, Sgt. Teresa Evans was part of the police clique or knew someone very close in the higher-ups of the police administration, and was in fact guilty of the allegations of police brutality.
That is why, I believe, that all those participating in the manhunt of former fellow officer Dorner should think twice when they are going to apprehend their former colleague and not try to make points with their superiors, because somewhere along their career there may be another Teresa Evans with more friends in high places, and they may become another victim.
It is my humble opinion that most police officers wear the uniform for the right reasons, but those who wear the uniform for the wrong reasons and for personal reasons including greed and ambition, can damage not only the career of those good officers, but also that of the otherwise impeccable reputation of the department and the community it is serving.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is a good example of what I am saying here today, where 98 percent of the officers have the good intention of serving the community of which they are a part, but that ugly two percent damage the image and the reputation of the department as a whole.
Firing one of their own for “crossing the street”; ransacking the desk of one of their own for running for office after refusing to participate in a cover-up on a home invasion; and firing a good and dedicated police officer for leaving a restaurant where other police officers were eating are not good ways to run a police department, and serious consequences may come out of all that.
Allowing a police detective to snort cocaine on a daily basis while on duty and then knowingly allowing that police detective to set up public officials to later blackmail them by using his badge and his position is despicable; but even more despicable is the fact that higher-ups in the administration helped that criminal detective to work a plea bargain that scored him only a few months in a federal country club camp.
Allowing a police lieutenant to retire honorably, with just a little slap on the hand, so he can collect his pension – after ripping the community off; allowing a police captain to retire after being indicted for conspiracy and wire and mail fraud; or allowing a police captain accused of domestic and spouse abuse to retire honorably; all show very little honor or integrity regarding that administration’s leader.
I believe that there are always three sides to every story (yours, mine, and the truth) and being a police officer accused of lying is as bad as being a citizen accused of drug trafficking because he refused to lie, even while being forced to, about a casino owner’s connection to organized crime.
I also believe that it is not who you know, but who knows you; and if a fellow gaming license-holder is punished for his friendship with a convicted felon, another gaming license-holder should also be punished for visiting a convicted felon at a federal penitentiary, regardless of the name recognition of either one.
During a recent press conference, after destroying the reputation and the life of an otherwise maybe decent man and an honorable police officer, the Los Angeles Police Chief announced that it would reopen the disciplinary proceedings that led to Dorner’s firing. Perhaps a little bit too late for the officer that at one time did not want to accept the fact that there is police abuse in every police department; maybe a little too late for an officer that refused to accept the fact that it is a common practice for a police officer to go to court and commit perjury on a daily basis; perhaps a little too late for an officer that refused to believe that the higher-ups could allow high-ranking police officers to conspire to commit crimes, yet when and IF they are caught and prosecuted, they would only get a slap on the hand and asked for a promise not to do it again. I, for one, pray for the safe return of Officer Dorner. I hope that his former colleagues spare his life and let justice take its place.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
* * * * *