In Dorner manhunt, LAPD mistakenly shoot 2 female newspaper carriers

One woman was 41, the other 71. "It sounded like the Fourth of July," said a neighbor. Without warning, thirty to forty rounds were fired at their vehicle. The women ducked down when the shots rang out, and in so doing, saved their lives.


      1. A risk they agreed to when they signed up for the police force. Random people living their lives did not sign up for any kind of conflict, so I think the burden lies with the police to positively identify anything before opening fire.

    1. When a gang starts feeling threatened, people get hurt, and the gang doesn’t much care who, as long as it’s not them.  You do not want to be on their turf when this happens.  And if the gang is the police, the whole city is their turf.

  1. It’s worse than that. After the LAPD did their thing, Torrance PD responding to a report of “shots fired” shoot up another truck around the corner. See video:

    Now keeping in mind that channel 5 news seems to always cover the police’s ass when these things happen, they refer to both these incidents as an unfortunate case of mistaken identity as opposed to a negligent case of bad police work. 

  2. This was certainly mistaken and evidently negligent, however…

    Dorner had not that long previously driven up to a parked police officer and shot and killed him with no warning.  Before THAT, he’d driven up to the house of a former Police Captain’s daughter and fiancee and shot and killed both of them with no warning.

    Someone crazy enough to start hunting police officers and killing their own families is not the sort of person you should expect police to be giving lots of chances to get the drop on them.  A certain paranoia about cars of the same general type and color as his is going to happen.

    These two paper delivery women pulled up in a similar car (different make, same color truck) in front of the house of another person on Dorner’s hit list.

    It’s entirely accurate that even during a manhunt, the majority of people in blue pickups aren’t the violent murdering suspect, and even in front of houses of people on hitlists, most trucks that pull up won’t be the suspect.  Shooting up anyone who could be him is not OK.  But the context is informative.

    That does not excuse the mistake.  But there’s a difference between shooting up random trucks and trucks like his, in front of an identified victim’s house, right after 3 prior murders.  The two victims here did nothing wrong and didn’t deserve this, and the officers firing need to be held accountable.  It was a monumental goof and it’s a miracle the two women weren’t hurt badly or killed.

    1. The truck was a different color, driven by two asian women who in no way resembled a large black man.  There is NO excuse for the Torrance Police Department shooting up a truck like they did.

      1. You know how it is. You can’t just shoot black men meeting that description, that would be racial profiling. If you did that, everyone in LA would start dressing like Asian women to avoid getting shot.

    2. Attempted murder isn’t negligent. It is malicious. These police were trying to murder Dormer. Their only negligence was that they shot at an elderly woman and her daughter instead. It wasn’t a ‘goof’.

    3. Neither of the random trucks the LAPD shot up resembled Dorner’s truck in any way other than that they were pickup trucks. These cops deserve to go to jail for attempted murder… and as long as they remain free, the LAPD is no different than Dorner.

    4. According to your definition how do I distinguish between policing and vigilantism?
      On the one hand there is a professional organisation whose highly honed forensic and observational skills allow them to distinguish particular from merely conicidental occurrences of certain traits and on the other there is a band of thugs who are satisfied in the merely similar in their desire for revenge.

  3. I seem to recall something about an armed society being a polite society.

    This seems downright rude to me.

    1. LA standards are not…terribly impressive… These are the guys who gave us the Rampart incident(s).

      Though, in fairness, the cops involved in that one were better shots.

  4. [Sorry, intended as a reply to George above]

    They put 50 rounds into the rear of the vehicle as it drove away. This was an attempted extrajudicial execution. One of the women was shot twice in the back.

    The context explains why they were jumpy and angry.

    It’s true that it was not just a “random shooting.” The context does very little to mitigate the flat-out wrongness of the actions in any way.

  5. Well at least we know they’re not racial profiling.

    Though they did shut down the Men’s Central Jail in downtown LA today because a large black man had been spotted nearby. Insert joke here.

  6. If anything good comes out of 3 murders, may it be a very CLOSE look at Law enforcement throughout this country. 

  7. As the L.A.’s finest show their true thug colors, the rest of the world watches in wonder. Dorner is a freekin’ genius. We need more heroes like this.

      1. That’s just because reality is deeply disturbing. If cops weren’t the kind of people who would shoot old Asian women 50 times in the back, weren’t the kind of people who would shoot a perfectly harmless family dog to death because they got the wrong address, weren’t the kind of people who would shoot a perfectly harmless family to death because they got the wrong address for someone who was growing marijuana, he wouldn’t be seen as a Robin Hood.

        He’s not a hero to me (he crossed the line when he started killing family members), but for people who think they have to chose a side, it’s really kind of a tossup.

        1. Your analysis is correct (and as you say, random murder of young couples == not heroism.  Pretty large on the “deranged lunatic with gun” scale.)  But it also leads me to realise why I’m so disturbed.  There shouldn’t be so many people who think they have to choose a side.

          When there are only two sides to choose from… someone is lying to you in order to manipulate your choices, and it’s very likely that both sides are wrong.  Reality doesn’t often do red-wire-or-blue-wire answers, and human society never does.

    1. Dorner is a murderer and the LAPD kills (or attempts to) with impunity. But their actions don’t cancel each other out. They just create more corpses. The problem with the LAPD is that the cops themselves cover up the abuses of their fellow officers and their supervisors look the other way while designing systems to ensure the cops can’t be held accountable. Does Dorner honestly think that they are now going to say “I guess we better listen to the cop killer and change our ways?” And does he think he is going to get public support to force change when he is gunning down innocent people?

      1. Dorner’s story so far: cop finds evidence of wrongdoing, tries to go through channels, the corrupt cops murder his wife and kids, those of his only friend on the force, and a couple cops he knew, and frame all the murders on him. Now our hero, always a COP ON THE EDGE, has to go rogue to clear his name, while the LAPD goes balls out to make sure that doesn’t happen. 

        Sounds like almost every cop movie made in the last decade.

  8. According to the article, the victims’ attorney commented, “That’s what’s so disturbing, that they would fire so many rounds.” The same article estimated the number of shots at “20 to 30.” Well, it’s not an unusual number of rounds, and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess the exact number: 30. I’m prepared to bet a modest sum of money that both officers emptied their magazines, and that one of them reloaded and emptied his magazine again. Why? Because that’s what scared cops DO. If they had been carrying 50 round magazines, they would have fired 150 rounds.

    It’s contrary to all use-of-force doctrines, but it’s been studied, and it’s inevitable. Two things are at work here. One is that, especially with handguns with a high rate of fire and light trigger pull, there’s no time between shots to reassess the situation, there just plain isn’t enough time between shots to recognize that the threat has passed and they can stop firing. From interviews with officers in such shootings, the other thing is that as long as the guy next to you is still firing, you feel like he must see something you don’t, so you need to keep firing, too – but he’s thinking the same thing about you.

    Cops insist that they have to have high-speed semi-automatics with large magazines because they’re afraid of being outgunned and afraid of running out of ammunition. As long as we keep accepting their judgment on this, we’re going to keep having ridiculous and dangerous “spray-and-pray” incidents. (And, ironically, the first time they come up against a criminal who fires only one shot and then takes cover, they’re still going to run out of ammunition before he does.)

    1. Not taking that bet; I’ll back you against all comers at good odds.  A perfect analysis of why incidents like this happen so easily.

  9. Not only should everyone stay at home: Also, if you hear gunshots, do not phone in the call! It only makes things worse!

  10. Sheesh, the LAPD couldn’t even take out two newspaper delivery women with 30 rounds?  Pathetic!  What hopes do they have of taking down a trained, armed ex-cop?

  11. I like the comment in the article about how to the officers’ “credit”, they acted professionally when they realized what had happened.
    What does acting unprofessionally entail? Shooting the victims some more? Running away?

    Low standards, man, low standards.

    1. Historically, it usually entails finding some nearby vaguely-threatening debris, dropping it near a victim, and claiming in court that she was carrying something that looked like a weapon.

      So yes, sadly, actually admitting what happened constitutes slightly-better-than-average.

      Low standards.

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