Gun battle between fugitive Dorner and police underway; cops ask to press to "stop tweeting"

Christopher Dorner, the former LAPD officer suspected of murdering three of his ex-colleagues, has finally been cornered—first, by officers who tried to pull him over, then at a cabin in the Californian mountains. Dorner has killed one police officer in the confrontation, according to the LA Times, but is surrounded. The San Bernadino Sheriff asked that the press stop covering the unfolding event on Twitter.

Update: It looks like the tweet was likely an "overheard joke", posted by @nostrich, then hastily retweeted (and subsequently taken down) by the San Bernadino District Attorney! [Thanks, Andy Baio!]


  1. Media blackout, huh?

    This entire thing stinks, has from day one. Something is being hidden from the public.

    1. If they catch him, he’s going to be dead. Even if he surrenders I think they want him dead. That’s why they’ve been so frigging trigger-happy.

      1. Yeah, and that is bad, but the biggest gang in LA would have murdered 4 people too in the hunt for this guy if their aim wasn’t such shit.  40 bullets into a truck, all kill shots aimed for the cab, and they couldn’t kill two Asian women?  Apparently LAPD has more in common with Star Wars storm troopers than having no concept of civil rights or due process…

        1. Wow. You’ve opened the doors for many movie moments where I went “Hah, yeah right, that guy would be dead.” to suddenly being “That scene seemed rather feasible.” 

      2. Is it common in the US for the police to instigate a witch-hunt that involves gunning down innocents and burning down buildings in the fight for justice?

        I’m pretty sure it isn’t, but I’m happy to be corrected.

        This isn’t police work, it’s a vendetta.

          1. Both of those seem like ‘isolated’ incidences though – I don’t see any mention of the Police driving around and unloading their weapons into innocent bystanders cars because they’re kinda similar to the suspects cars (‘kinda similar’ being a stretch).

            They were after Dorner’s blood, not justice. In the cases you linked that doesn’t appear (I could have missed something) to be the case.

            Whatever side of the argument you stand on, they have shown themselves to be incapable/unwilling to protecting the public, and incompetent at protecting themselves.

          2. There was another incident in Philadelphia where the cops dropped a bomb on a house from a helicopter.  The bomb started a fire that eventually burned 67 homes to the ground.

            I never said cops do this all the time, i was just pointing out that the cops do from time to time go a bit apeshit.

        1. I really don’t see how pointing out that Dorner had murdered four people and tried to kill many more means I am somehow trying to defend or excuse the cops who decided that every person driving any sort of truck should be immediately shot.

        1. Because up to the second coverage of what the cops are doing during an active standoff could have inadvertently helped Dorner? All it takes is a smart phone for him to be connected to the news like everyone else.

          1. Have you spent any time the those mountains surrounding Los Angeles? Unless that “cabin” had satellite or cable, Dorner would not have had a signal for his smart phone. Also, I could have sworn there are First Amendment rights that should have precluded the police…”request.”

  2. The press should tweet more….what’s he going to do, escape from a cabin surrounded by police/soldiers and tanks? He can’t have electricity or cellphone service at the moment (they’d surely have cut it off/jammed it by now). They just want his execution to be private in case it’s as he’s coming out with his hands up.

    1. Execution? From the way this guy’s been acting, I think the correct expression might be suicide by cop. 

      1. Please reference the attempted extrajudicial execution of an elderly woman and her daughter (who they though was Dorner) by the LAPD a few days ago.

        1. That would be proof that his strategy goading the police has succeeded. Now he can go down in a big blaze of glory

          1. The LAPD had the option of acting like respectable police officers or thugs. Sadly, they chose the later. All of the evidence that has been released points to Dorner being a murderer who killed people without cause and intentionally and maliciously caused great suffering to the families of his victims. His crimes will sadly be forgotten due to the incredibly unethical way the police responded. The LAPD need to reevaluate their place in the world. They are certainly not responsible for Dorner’s murders, but they need to think about how their broken culture and their continual violation of the civil rights of their citizens contributed to this tragedy.

          2. “The incredibly unethical way the police responded  will sadly be forgotten due to his crimes.”

            That’s the way I’m afraid it will go. We’ll see endless video of the  murder victims and their families, and the constant and outrageous abuses of the LAPD will be ignored as usual. But LAPD will use this to increase their military powers…drones, armor, surveillance tech, less oversight. Count on it.

          3. What “evidence” has been released? What physical evidence ties him to the murders? His posted “manifesto”? We, meaning the public and the media only know what we have been told and what has been released may not be fact.  I recall a national disgrace associated with the medias preoccupation and reportage about “weapons of mass destruction.” What do we really know about this case? Very, very little. The sad thing – we are supposed to be a nation of laws and yet so many people believe his death is acceptable because we “think” he may have committed these crimes. Citizens who applaud this young man’s death because he was a perceived threat are icing the very slippery slope of how law enforcement personnel view he average citizen.

          4. The usual method of suicide by cop involves targetting one specific cop, in an attack that can’t possibly succeed, but forces the cop to use lethal force- a 50-yard charge with a knife, or pulling an unloaded gun, for instance.  The point is to make your own nonviolent arrest impossible.

            But Dorner managed to go one better – he made the cops give up on even attempting to arrest him.  That method of suicide by cop only works when you’re dealing with a police force chock full of willing murderers.

            That’s something special.

  3. Wow.  Where did this conspiratorial group-think come from?  Did I miss something or is this the guy who has killed 3 people?  (Or have I been brain washed into believing that?)
    The cops certainly should not expect the press to stop reporting, but they have every right to request (not demand) it.  I could certainly see some local cub reporter pulling a Geraldo Rivera and tweeting something like “they are about to enter the second floor in 60 seconds through the window in the rear” thus alerting the suspect to their plans.  That said, not sure if he has time to be monitoring twitter (or the signal strength.)

    Either way, how about waiting form something resembling confirmed facts before singing “Fuck the Police?”

    1. They’re not even asking anyone to stop reporting, are they? Just tweeting, right? Not exactly a media blackout.

      1. Not that we’ve heard about, no.

        How hard would it be to do this AND send around the appropriate demands to the various media corporations at the same time?

        You think they’d just come out and say, “Yeah, we’re imposing a media blackout, so deal with it”? Plausible deniability, man.

        1. Not hard, but it doesn’t seem like a parsimonious assumption. If you’re right, the media sure aren’t listening.

        1. Apparently the fire started at the same time as a single gun shot before SWAT actually went in, but possibly after the Police started tearing the house apart with a large vehicle

    2. I don’t know where you’re from, but here in the USA much of us don’t take kindly to the police asking us to stop free speech.

      If you can explain to me how tweeting is going to undermine justice in America, I’d like to hear it.

        1. The authorities may sometimes have valid reasons for requesting a media blackout. That doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be subjected to intense scrutiny when they do it.

      1. Here in the USA, we also tend to rush to judgement. I think that’s all Grahamers was asking us not to do. 

        If you can explain how all these conspiracy scenarios are justified by known facts about the situation, I think that would be quite enough to satisfy both him and me. 

        But I think he asked a perfectly valid question and gave a sensible (if debatable) example of how tweeting could lead to a Bad End for the officers on the scene. I don’t quite see where you’re getting off acting like they’re a radical authoritarian apologist or something, just for pointing out we have no concrete evidence that there’s something sinister behind the LAPD’s request.

        1. If you can explain how all these conspiracy scenarios are justified

          I didn’t posit nor defend any conspiracy scenarios so I have none to justify.

          I don’t quite see where you’re getting off acting like they’re a radical authoritarian apologist

          I get off in all kinds of ways, but that’s not one of them. :D

          example of how tweeting could lead to a Bad End for the officers on the scene

          Shh! You’ll only show the bad guys how to tweet the cops to death!

      2. Read what I said again.  I said “The cops certainly should not expect the press to stop reporting…” before pointing out that they have the *right* to ask them to do so.  (Note:  Much depends on how the request is made.  A cop “requesting” that you don’t take his picture could be an honest guy asking you politely not to do so if that is ok with you…or it could be a cop yelling “Don’t take my picture…thus implying that it is an order.  this appears to be more of the former as it was a broad request for help from an official and not a “if you keep tweeting we will raid your new room” threat.)

        I, too, value free speech above pretty much everything else, including my life.  That includes the freedom of the police to request (not demand or order) some help from the press when they feel it is appropriate.  

        I next referenced Geraldo’s brilliant moment.  If you don’t recall, he broadcast troop locations and movement plans on live international TV before a military offensive.  Brilliant, right?  I related it to an example of what can go wrong when the press starts yaking while the cops are trying to resolve the issue.  This was an attempt to explain *one* possible reason the cops might have for requesting the halting of tweets.  There are many other possible reasons that they may have made the request and that is why I suggested, in conclusion, that we may not want to jump to the conclusion of “The cops are murdering this guy and don’t want people to know it” before we get the facts.  To those who asked how we can get facts if the press isn’t tweeting the event live….I don’t know what to say to you.  If you think that tweets made from a reporter’s viewpoint at the moment of a standoff is the only way we can obtain factual evidence with which we can evaluate the justification for the cops’ request to stop tweeting, I really think you need to reconsider how you gather your evidence.

        1. Read what I said again.

          Maybe you should do the same with my words?

          “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Ben Franklin

      1. This isn’t the LAPD; it’s the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department. Also, there are a lot of people in the LAPD. Three apparent murders is kind of a lot for one person.

    3. Never, ever, ever trust a police. Ever. They are not your friends. They have invisible quotas to meet, careers to advance and protect, their lives are filled with PTSD-inducing stress and while the US Justice system is “the best justice system on the planet”, it still stinks on ice.

      Confirmed fact: not once but at least TWICE police have opened fire on innocent civvies in just the manhunt for this dude – without warning.

      Confirmed fact: those police will not be fired for those actions, which in any other occupation would constitute /prima facie/ evidence of unfitness for service.

      Confirmed fact: you can be arrested by a police, held without access to trial or attorney on bullshit charges, lost in their jail for weeks, acquire life-threatening MRSA, have your life savings in cash, auto, and home seized until and unless you prove your INNOCENCE of possessing and distributing a forbidden substance, be released, and STILL HAVE TO FOOT THE BILL TO EXPUNGE YOUR ARREST RECORD AND TREAT THE INFECTION you would not have if not for the negligence of governmental functionaries who are supposed to act solely on positive good faith knowledge and belief – and their actions WILL BE INDEMNIFIED by every judge in the system on the basis that — unless you can prove malice beyond the ability of Young Flat Earth Creationists to deny it — the police in question acted “in good faith”, and were following the law. The law that supposedly is meant to protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of YOU, from THEM.

      Their slippery slope is 89.9999 degrees vertical and coated with Teflon. Do not step up to the edge unless you have powerful friends with powerful rope and do not particularly care about your life, liberty, or property.

      1. I chatted up a motorcycle cop in a line at Starbucks about 6 months ago.  I acted friendly and we talked bikes as I’m an avid motorcycle rider.  Long story short, he said “NO, there are no official quotas.  But…the chief does issue warnings when the un-official quotas aren’t met”….

        Great.  At least the Federales would just take a direct bribe.

      2. It sounds like you or someone close to you has had a really bad experience; I’m sorry to hear it. But I don’t think it justifies such a generalization of police. Of course they can be honest and friendly; they’re human. I realize a middle-class white man like me is going to experience the softer side of civilian/police interaction disproportionately often, and I understand that makes me more sympathetic toward police, but I still believe that absolute generalizations about large groups of people are never correct or helpful. And I suspect most of us believe that when we’re not actively engaging in those generalizations.

        1. I too agree that the more sweeping a generalisation the less accurate it probably is, but what I think bardfinn’s commentary is trying to impart is that this is the best rule of thumb as you don’t know if you’re going to get helpful cop or douchebag cop.

          In my experience I have never been helped out by a cop… the closest is that ONCE a cop made it so i wouldn’t get a ticket after causing a car accident. Every other time I have had anything to do with a cop it’s been a crap experience. They’re always there to tell my party to shut up but never show up when my neighbours are partying until 5+am, singing along to HOUSE MUSIC and screaming ‘yaba daba doo’ at the top of their lungs.

          When my gf called them because an unpredictable junkie refused to leave her store they never showed up. Every other incident is them giving me a ticket or trying their very hardest to defect my or my friends’ cars. I used to think like you until I became good friends with some Iranians. OMFG the way the cops deal with them is unbelievable compared to how I (as a white guy) get treated.

          The 1 good cop in a pile of power-tripping social rejects doesn’t make up for the stank of the pile.

        2. The (hypothetical) example I posited is a synthesis of four cases that occurred merely in the Dallas, Texas County Jail. One fellow: lost (or “lost”) for five weeks, while his family and the public defender tried to have him found; he’d survived by drinking his own urine. One fellow contracted MRSA, was refused medical treatment, lost his limb (this is not an isolated incident of prisoners being refused medical treatment); routine War on Drugs seizures; Texas’ unique view of habeas corpus (a junior judge reading the charges against you in court, even if there has been no indictment and they are not ready to go to trial, “satisfies” habeas corpus indefinitely – no actual trial is capable of being undertaken, but loophole the Constitution); none of it is extraordinary.

        3. you can be middle class and white as you please and still be unlawfully detained– it has happened to me and people of similar description i personally know. 

          checking my skin color is not to be used as a predictor of how far i trust the police.

        4. You really can generalize with the police.  Imagine a police officer beats you in front of three other officers, there is no recording device.  What do you think your chances are that those three witnesses are going A) turn the rogue officer or B) testify against said officer if you try and press charges.

          The answers?
          A) 0.01%
          B) 0.1%

          A good cop is the exception, not the rule.  Most cops might not all be actively corrupt, but they are all corrupt by refusing to enforce the law equally against their own.

          Dorner is a pretty good example.  The guy reports a fellow officer and gets fired for “lying”.  Do you think the two police officer that tossed 40 bullets into the backs of two Asian women are going to tossed?  Fuck no.  The union rep is going to be there to see that they get a minimum penalty (if any) and the department will not put any fight.

          Turn in a fellow cop and you get fired.  Nearly murder two completely innocent citizens and the blue wall comes slamming down to protect them.

          You literally cannot trust the police.  If they decide to violate your liberties when you are dealing with them, unless you have a clear video of them doing it, no matter how many officer witness it, you are fucked.  Hell, even if you have clear video evidence, you are still probably fucked.

          The Mafia can only dream of such brutal loyalty.

          Perhaps not every single police officer is corrupt, but the ones who are not corrupt and would willingly turn in and testify against another officer are the tiny and extremely rare exception, not the rule.

          Corrupt cops are better than no cops.  I’ll use one if I truly need one.  I’ll also drink my own piss if I am dying of dehydration and eat shit if I am about to starve.

          1. There are few “dirty cops”.  I define that as police whose activities are clearly inside the criminal line: taking bribes, getting in bed with drug dealers, doing murder-for-hire on the side, etc.  But there are lots — LOTS — of “dingy cops” who look the other way, who keep silent, who bend (if not quite break) the rules.  If I were asked which was the greater problem for society, I’d have to go with the dingy cops.

        5. Every encounter I’ve ever had with a cop has been an either positive or neutral experience, but I still think bardfinn’s advice is excellent. Our police and justice systems are dangerous and corrupt. Police can be professionals who genuinely care about protecting the community, but they can also be absolute monsters who are above the law. Given the astounding risk you’re taking every time you interact with a cop, it seems very wise not to just assume they’re one of the good guys.

        1.  Cops in France have been taking a beating lately: the chief of police of Lyon (2nd biggest city) got arrested for being friend with all kind of crooks (and passing them info), some cops friends of DSK (the guy who was to become France’s current president but a blow job got in the way) got arrested for running prostitution rings, even half of the supposedly incorruptible Internal Affairs service got arrested for trying to frame other cops who had political ties. Fun times.

      3. As an attorney who has done federal criminal defense work, I fully support the “don’t trust the cops” sentiment.  I regularly post expose stories on facebook of bad cop shenanigans ever since the NYC bike ride incidents really pissed me off.  

        However, I am also in support of evidence-based discussion.  Until we have some, let’s not start with the conspiracy theories.

  4. Freedom of the press does not mean it is moral to say anything at any time; reporters are rightly asked to withhold operational details of military missions, names of rape victims and other sensitive information that may do more harm. I see nothing wrong with the police asking reporters on the scene not to report (through any means, twitter or otherwise) in a way that could exacerbate the situation or put officers in danger. And it’s just asking, not shutting down reporters/confiscating equipment and that sort of thing.

      1. I don’t see anything servile about complying with such a request; waetherman gives a number of perfectly good reasons where such a request can and should be made.  

        Whether or not it’s a reasonable request in this specific matter is another question. 

  5. If the officer says “You can’t film / cover / report that” it’s censorship.  It’s not censorship if they ask you not to broadcast the details in immediate realtime, thus giving media-aware violent criminals information about police plans, responses, etc.

    Usually this is not necessary.  This is not a usual situation.

    1. The Munich kidnappers were following the movement of police via TVs in their hotel rooms, as the TV stations were showing the police moving into positions to attack.

      1. This, on the other hand, is not the Olympic Village in Munich.  It’s an isolated mountain cabin surrounded by tall trees.  You have to be in a helicopter directly over it to see it.

    1. If I was clever and hiding in the mountains, I’d have a burner cell phone picking up SMS tweets about the manhunt. Untraceable, quick, easy, no contract required. Information such as “one of the cops wounded earlier today has died” could certainly effect negotiating a surrender.

      1. Exactly right.  Guys, much though I despise the police state, it’ really not unreasonable to ask reporters to put a couple of hours of delay on information when you’re surrounding a violent cop-trained lunatic who’s attempting to commit suicide and take a bunch of bystanders with him. 

        Even if there’s no journalists present stupid enough to tweet “there are 23 officers on site total” or “they’re coming in the side door now”, how are the police supposed to know that?  They’ve either got to waste people on full-time tweet monitoring, or take a reckless chance – because journalists that stupid definitely exist.

        And no, it’s not remotely censorship.  Not unless the reporters are going to be (a) prevented from reporting what they saw afterwards, or (b) prevented from reporting something that effects the public in time to make a difference – say, if Dorner escaped.

        1. Guys, much though I despise the police state, it’ really not unreasonable to ask reporters to put a couple of hours of delay on information when you’re surrounding a violent cop-trained lunatic who’s attempting to commit suicide and take a bunch of bystanders with him.

          Whether or not it’s reasonable is a factual, not a philosophical, point. Are there any journalists (or anybody other than the police) in a position to observe any activity the reporting of which could compromise the police? And if so, why? It’s Big Bear, not downtown LA.

  6. Again, how are these tweets going to get to him? They have jammers that can block cellphones. The cabin power has surely been cut.

    As for the “conspiracy” idea, I don’t think anyone honestly believes they even WANT to take him alive. They’ve shot up two vehicles with no warning and no attempt to even IDENTIFY the occupants, much less give them a chance to surrender. It’s no great leap in logic to think they’re going to shoot him regardless of his actions from here on out. (That said, I doubt he will surrender, knowing this.)

      1. Now there’s an information source I’d hate to have to rely upon when on the lam: tweets read over the radio.

    1. Even not knowing this, I would have been amazed if he attempted to surrender.  His actions are just not consistent with a guy who’s planning to live afterwards.  This is the most blatant case of suicide-by-cop for a while.

  7. If he makes it to trial, I will be shocked and awed. If it’s an open trial, even more so. But I’m pretty sure he’s not going anywhere except the morgue, and then all we have to go on is what the police tell us. And the LAPD doesn’t exactly have an exemplary reputation for honesty and transparency.

  8. Dude ain’t making it to trial.  Dude ain’t leaving the cabin alive.  It’s on fire and he’s dead inside it.

    I stand corrected.  I figured this guy was smart and in Mexico.  But I was wrong. Guess I ain’t too smart either!  He’s not too smart, and neither is the LAPD. I am betting 1 more truck will get shot up AFTER the news Dorner’s dead and there’s no manhunt, these people are that dense.

      1. Yeah, we don’t need no stinkin’ trial, or evidence presented before a jury.  He’s guilty.  Just torch the place.

        1. No, HE torched the place then shot himself in the face.  He already said he wouldn’t be taken alive, so it’s not like I’m making some big prediction.

  9. BTW, I urge you to check out the first installation of “Black Mirror” from Channel 4. It deals a lot with the desire to control the media and the public in this era of social media. It’s a very dark and scary piece, but something public officials need to figure out.

    1. The first episode is absolutely insane.  And the second episode (15 million merits) is prophetic.  Thumbs up for mentioning the most amazing series to be broadcast in twenty years.

    1.  If you’re going to say SPOILERS it MIGHT help if you said what you were spoiling?  you know.. maybe?  

      e.g. SPOILERS for SKYFALL..

      I thought you might be spoiling the Dorner thing.. or   making a joke…   not spoiling a movie I’d like to see..

    2. I haven’t seen Skyfall (thanks for that, btw) but I thought tunnels were a possibility too – Dorner seems like the type to plan ahead, fake his own death, etc. But the account of the chase (if it is to be believed) suggests that he was staying at a different cabin, which he had to flee when he was discovered by maids who came to clean the place. He tied them up and fled, was identified by police in a chase, and ultimately he took shelter in a cabin that he had not (AFAIK) been in before. All of that sounds incredibly unplanned so I doubt there’s a chance that he faked his own death. But we’ll see….

  10. there were reports of a single gunshot after the tear gas went in, and before the fire started. they seem to be quite confident he shot himself after the tear gas went in, but nobody is saying anything until they are absolutely certain. it sure seems most likely. he said he wasn’t going to be taken alive, and he knows procedure.

    1. I can’t see him offing himself. The whole thing was planned for a while and reading his little mission statement I got the feeling he wants to go out guns blazing.

    2. Sounds like he may have setup some kind of booby-trap system, or perhaps there was just a nice open fire in there, if tear gas is flammable. 

      1. “Tear gas” is an umbrella term that covers CS, CN (Mace), CR, pepper spray, etc., but we’re probably talking about CS.

        The actual tear-inducing chemical, CS, isn’t the problem, at least in terms of flammability.  It’s the delivery method.  CS powder can be dry-sprayed like garden dust, wet-sprayed as a liquid, vaporized using solvent, etc.  

        Pyrotechnic CS rounds were used at Waco, including the M-651 40mm grenade-launcer round and the Flite-Rite 37mm barricade round.  The M-651 burns a resin to make smoke, the Flite-Rite burns a mixture that includes guncotton.  Land a hot, gas-generating round in the right spot and *poof*.

    1. You are defending him?  Wow….

      (since I can’t reply) Yup, I’m convicting him. Are you thinking there was a 2nd shooter on a grassy knoll? It is good to stick to “innocent until proven guilty” but that doesn’t mean you have to shut off your brain. My sympathies are with the people he murdered.

        1. I’m a big fan of “innocent until proven guilty”, with an especially large safety margin where LA is concerned.  But Dorner’s pretty high on the “it won’t be hard to prove” scale.

          There’s room in the world for more than one villain.  Despising the LAPD doesn’t mean I have to defend this guy, and I won’t.  My support is reserved for the victims – his and the PD’s.

          1.  The comment in question could (and probably should) be read as a criticism of the LAPD rather than a defense of Dorner.

  11. Because they’re worried that Dorner might take the time to check twitter in the middle of a firefight to discover that it’s been reported that he’s in the middle of a firefight?!

    1. “The police have an armoured car South of the house, two SWAT teams to the West and one to the North ”

      Just being tactical, super simple stuff.

      A time/event-limited media blackout would have saved a lot of lives in situations like this in the past, look at what happened with the media surrounding the Munich Terrorists in the athlete’s housing.

  12. Keep in mind, he didn’t just murder his ex-colleagues, but he murdered the daughter of one (and her fianceé) because he thought it would inflict more pain.

    While I sympathize about him being a possible victim of the bad behavior of the LAPD, he’s not Robin Hood. He may have avoided shooting some innocents, like the guy whose boat he tried to steal – but his definition of “innocent” did not include the families of police officers.

    Now, based on the police response in Torrance, we knew all along that he wasn’t going to make it to trail. He knew it too. He had chosen to go out in a blaze of gunfire even before he started. I doubt he intended to be Waco-ed, but he had made his choice.

    Just because some of his complaints were (possibly) valid, he’s no hero.

    1. And what if those family members were party to police corruption? We’ll never actually know now, now will we? Because there will be no trial, there will be no investigation, there will only be one side of the story and no ability to fact check or verify that story.

      The police have this wrapped up perfectly – a manifesto that Dorner himself never delivered, which could have easily been forged, which paints him as unhinged and mentally ill, which was rapidly disseminated to every major media outlet, which justifies and earns public support for a manhunt, which is so anxious to kill the guy and on such a hair-trigger that it involves multiple instances of opening fire on innocent civilians without warning, and which culminates in a convenient corpse that can’t contradict the official story.

      Place yourself in the shoes of a cop who has seen too much. What can you possibly do to combat the corruption? You’re pressured into silence, into sitting back and watching perversion of justice take place under the protection of the badge. Who the hell do you turn to? What are you supposed to do? You try to blow a whistle on it all and what happens to you? Do you think they’ll just quietly and politely listen to your grievances? Do you think they’ll give you a chance to bring the corruption to the attention of the public? Or will they just ruin your credability and then shoot you dead?

      1. [edited to fix formatting that went wonky]

        I don’t dispute what you say about the difficulty — or even, perhaps, the impossibility — of getting justice within a corrupt police force.

        However, the daughter and fianceé who were murdered almost certainly were not party to police corruption. It’s not like they’re ciphers, and we’ll never know anything about them. They were citizens who were involved in their communities. If you put any effort into it at all, it’s not hard to find out details about these two.

        Don’t get me wrong. I’m well aware of corruption in the city of Los Angeles, including the police department. But justifying the murder of the adult children of police just because her dad was the cop who didn’t adequately defend Dorner in his troubles… that is too much.

        1. I missed a step on this story, so I apologise if this is out of line, but how do we know that he killed them anyway? Was he convicted of it? Were there credible witnesses? Did he explicitly confess via a live, unedited medium?

          This isn’t justice, regardless.

        2. Could you give me the “evidence” that proves that Dorner killed the two young people in the garage of their condo? I am serious and not trying to provoke you….I have read a lot about the case, and I have not seen any verified facts that Dorner killed these two young people. “He owned the gun, the ammo and was seen in the vicinity before or very soon after the murder…” Please help me with this evidence?

      2. > And what if those family members were party to police corruption?

        Well, I guess murdering them was a reasoned and appropriate response then. What the *fuck* is wrong with you?

  13. It may be possible that they didn’t want the show down with this person to be glorified. Like a movie that he wanted played out.

    1. Yes. A tweet-based movie. I’m sure that’s exactly it.

      But ya know what? Let’s assume you’re right. Let’s assume they don’t want his actions to be glorified. What right do -the police- have to make that call?

      The cultural side of these events has nothing to do with the police. They have no right or authority to adjudicate anything to do with the societal and cultural ramifications of these events. Their powers only extend to enforcing the law. Which is why they have to at least claim that they’re asking for this blackout because they’re concerned about “officer safety”.

      1. So when I said “glorified”, you said I meant a tweet based movie and based on my comment you told me I gave authority to the police “to adjudicate anything to do with the societal and cultural ramifications”. Do you have a costume I can wear or something? Because you are addressing someone you made up in your head.

    2. Not a few people who have committed hugely public crimes have wanted to go out guns blazing, in some kind of huge, gorey memorable way.  Denying them that publicity can be key to preventing future crimes of that nature. There was a recent Charlie Brooker Screenwipe segment that covered how making a big deal of these events makes them more likely to be copied.

  14. You have no interest in instantaneous updates other than the macabre. You don’t know these people. He’s not going to escape and murder your family. You are in no immediate danger, but you’re CREATING a danger, just like those dicks on the freeway that come to a sudden and complete stop just to rubberneck the accident across the way. In hoping to see a corpse, they just might MAKE one. I know you don’t know these people because you’re posting on boingboing while it’s happening. SO fucking entitled to spin a pragmatic REQUEST as press/speech-oppressive. The truthiness of your speech doesn’t matter if it puts other people in immediate, unncecessary danger. Yes, that’s actually the rule.

    1. You seem to have sidestepped a multitude of political and criminal issues associated with this case in favor of calling everyone here rubberneckers. The LAPD have a long history of acting like a crime syndicate. It’s very much in the public interest for this case to be observed and analyzed by as many people as possible.

      1. No, you’re riding the crest of twitter’s popularity and exploiting an ideological buzz-metaphor (the LAPD) to push for greater press entitlements. This may very well be an LAPD story. You’re fixating on it just in case it is. Tell me, oh prescient twitter, whether there was criminal negligence in the mistake shootings.

        But it certainly isn’t a story about the man harshing on twitter. As all of us tune to the State of the Union, LIKE WE SHOULD, the last thing we’ll remember is how the LAPD murdered our twitter. Fucking manipulative.

        1. …to push for greater press entitlements.

          Well, that’s all that we need to know. Thanks for outing yourself early in the game.

          1. I’ve commented often. We’ve interacted often in this context, recently even. You know that ‘entitlements’ wasn’t the crux of what I was getting at. I approve of the END – the protection of free speech – wholeheartedly. The means just rubbed me wrong. Pouncing on the Twitter angle – a manufactured issue for this story – as a guy was probably burning to death, while the country tuned out, seemed distasteful. By the same token, the story is entwined with the LAPD, but you can’t let your disdain for the LAPD pre-inform the story. Especially when you’ve introduced this third element – Twitter. Because the combination – the irrelevant issue and the gimme slam dunk – makes it look like the story is nothing more than leverage in an external agenda. And third, the press (in whatever form) isn’t entitled to unlimited access, especially when that access could directly hurt someone. I have to believe that the people attempting an arrest (even the LAPD!!!) want as few deaths and as little injury involved as possible. I shouldn’t have to explain how even the most well-meaining tweet can subvert that.

            The word ‘entitlement’ is a red flag for me too. It does make me think of douchebag frathouse economists twirling their mustaches as they disdain welfare. But the word only carries that baggage if we let it. I’m not going to remove it from my vocabulary just because some Rand whore spoiled it. If my boots (ok, I don’t own boots) happened to have straps? What then? ‘Boot raising doohickeys’ just doesn’t have the same ring.

            I meant ‘access.’ I used the pejorative, ‘entitlements,’ because – in case it isn’t shmobvious – I don’t think it was unreasonable to ask people on the scene – or even generally – not to #dorner.

          2. I have to believe that the people attempting an arrest (even the LAPD!!!) want as few deaths and as little injury involved as possible.

            Based on the events of the last week, you’re going to have a hard time selling that one.

          3. “I have to believe that the people attempting an arrest (even the LAPD!!!) want as few deaths and as little injury involved as possible.”

            To follow on from Antinous, fortunately the media have been reporting these events, as now we’re aware that in fact no, they had no interest in avoiding any harm – they wanted him dead, by any means necessary.

            That’s not the job of a police force, no matter how you cut it.

        2. Um.  What?  I just… I’m trying to process all of the implications of your mishmash dialogue.  I see that you:

          – disagree with Antinous
          – that you feel he has an ulterior motive
          – that you believe his single post referencing LAPD wrongdoings constitutes a fixation
          – that watching a SOTU speech is a necessary condition for some vague reason (presumably patriotism or good citizenship) even though it has no direct bearing on the function of the U.S. government and no role in the legislative process
          – that you believe a statement of one’s hope for broad scrutiny over an investigation is tantamount to Machiavellian puppet-mastering

          Shine on, you crazy diamond.

          Also: “ideological buzz-metaphor (the LAPD)”: I don’t think that made-up thing you just made-up means what you made it up to mean.  

          1. Ugh, the royal you. Antinous didn’t report this story – or more importantly, martyr twitter. I thought SOTU was a more productive use of your time because of the first sentence I typed. You were watching the story unfold for a solitary dark reason, and “you” got your druthers.

            Not sure where you get the idea that I’M the one positing some conspiracy. Reference Antinous’ most recent comment, for example (but remember, ye prolix-hungry, he’s not the ‘you’ here).

            The LAPD = corruption, racism and unnecessary shootings. That’s the metaphor. Don’t be obtuse.

          2. Whenever a police force requests that reporters stop live coverage of an incident, it’s not engaging in conspiracy theories to question the request and consider why and to whose benefit it is being made. A responsible reporter doesn’t just roll over.

            This is especially true when it comes to a problematic police force like the LAPD with its long history of cover-ups, although in this case the request came from the San Bernadino sheriff’s office.

        3. There was clearly criminal negligence in the mistake shootings. Guns were discharged at unidentified citizens. That’s just not OK. It’s indefensible.

          It’s one thing to make a judgement call that a crazy armed man with a manifesto of violent revenge is too dangerous to attempt to arrest.

          It’s quite another to make unsupported guesses that he might be in a vehicle and then shoot at the occupants without even checking who they are.

          That is definitionally negligent.

      2. That can be done without real-time live coverage. In fact, it’s better done without real-time live coverage. That the LAPD is a violent and corrupt and broken organisation is self-evident from the insane way they’ve handled the manhunt. Real-time broadcasting of this chaotic event is only empty spectacle that serves as a distraction from the underlying issues.

  15. Maybe it’s more an editorial comment about the social networking platform.  They didn’t say “Stop tweeting about this case”, they said “All members of the press please stop tweeting”.

  16. many of you people have more in common with the crazy-ass right wing conspiracy theorists than you realize.  the web just lets you spew it all out for all to hear.  there is no big brother.  the LAPD, the amerikkkan government, fuckin FEMA are too damn dumb to organize a meeting much less institutionally fuck anybody.  the internet has killed the american left…

    i hope this guy is DRT and the world can go on.  

    1. Institutionally fucking people doesn’t have to be “explicit” or “planned”.  It’s the status-fucking-quo!

    2. Because the American left would be much better off if they ignored all apparently systemic problems based on the supposed fact that all these institutions are too dumb to organize a meeting (which is self-evidently false)??

      I’m confused.

  17. Just for fun, let’s turn that around… 
    “The press has asked all members of the Police to stop shooting immediately.  it is endangering the public #everyone”

  18. I’m disappointed by the comments here. They’re clearly talking about tweeting stuff like “the swat team is about to storm the back door” that Dorner could have easily seen on a smart phone, not imposing soviet style censorship. And it’s possible to simultaneously hate the brutality, incompetence, corruption, and abuse of power by law enforcement while still being glad that this psycho’s murder spree has been (most likely) brought to an end.

      1. The place is swarming with reporters, and while that specific example would probably not have happened, there was still a possibility of something helpful to Dorner being posted. The helicopter footage, and this audio: show that they could have easily accidentally helped him with some sort of information.

  19. A few reasons to have reporters hold off on tweets are: 1) in case an officer is injured, the families can find our through “gentler” and more accurate sources, and 2) in case, the perpetrator has accomplices, it prevents them from having real time information about the shootout.  I doubt most police departments have cell phone jammers and any reporters present have all of the photos, interviews etc… they would have if they wait an jour or two.

  20. You’d be surprised at the astonishing array of military/spy grade equipment SWAT teams have. Armored personnel carriers, drones, medium machine guns, rocket launchers…I’d be stunned if they didn’t have jammers.

    Today’s SWAT teams are basically military units, and use military tactics. They crash into houses in no-knock raids, throwing flash/bang grenades, shooting pets and slamming children to the floor…and sometimes they even have the right address. But they never get punished and never show any regrets.

  21. Former journalist here, card-carrying member of the ACLU, etc. But …

    Real-time play-by-play in a case like this isn’t journalism, it’s sensationalism: brainless and voyeuristic “Eyewitness News” slow-speed-chase stuff meant to appeal to the sort of morons who rubberneck at horrific accidents. That includes live broadcasts as well as Tweets. It’s protected speech, and the police can only request it stop, but it’s not useful journalism by what remains of the craft’s standards.

    If the cops were telling reporters to turn off their cameras and audio recorders or barring them from a perimeter from which they can observe safely, I’d be concerned. They’re not doing that.

    Beyond that, Dorner is a dead man walking, assuming he’s still walking at all at this point. The brotherhood of cops certainly wasn’t going to let him take the stand at what would doubtless be a highly publicised homicide trial and let him elaborate on the scattered valid points about LAPD’s corruption and dysfunction made in his manifesto.

    1.  Exactly. Dorner could be sitting in there reading tweets as they come out which might make any negotiations difficult. Tweeting isn’t a detailed investigatory tool of journalism in a situation like this, it’s marketing hype bs.

    2. <>

      But that’s exactly what makes me uncomfortable about them trying to quiet the press… they intended to kill him no matter what to silence him and to get revenge, and they didn’t want us watching, and we’re supposed to be fine with that.

      I fully understand that he was unlikely to give himself up, but some of that determination likely came from the fact that he knew they’d kill him even if he did.

      LAPD will use the sympathy of the killings to make darn sure not a single one of his allegations is ever investigated. It’s very sad when legitimate issues get drowned out by insane actions. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

      1. Would the truth of the situation be less real if it wasn’t released for an hour? Was there any talk of not filming things for later release? Was anyone’s pen and paper confiscated?

        Surely during an ongoing crisis situation involving police moving towards someone who’s armed, trained, dangerous and known to be willing to shoot women and children, the police would prefer that there’s as little chance as possible their movements will be given away by someone with a smart phone?

        1. Would the truth of the situation be less real if it wasn’t released for an hour?

          Have you read any of the back story? Do you even know that this started because of the LAPD covering up their own crimes?

      1. “Burners” is apparently slang for tear-gas grenades.  By a strange coincidence, they’re quite flammable.  

        I find the police description of the fire as “doing quite well” to be pretty revealing. 

        1. Noted somewhere else (maybe on this comment thread), incendry tear-gas grenades violate the Geneva convention.

          I found out today that the Geneva Convention doesn’t apply to the police; and even more interestingly, “The U.S. ratified all the Geneva Conventions with the exception of the two protocols of 1977.”; what protocols where they? “[The Geneva Convention] was amended in 1977 with two protocols that further protect civilians during wartime and address armed conflicts within a nation”.


  22. From the Gawker link: “11:10 PM EST: The LAPD is now denying that a body has been recovered from the cabin. LAPD Commander Andy Smith said earlier reports were false and that the cabin is still too hot to enter. “Until [Dorner is] confirmed as deceased or handcuffed and in jail, we’re going to proceed like he’s still out there,” said Smith during his most recent press conference. He also said a positive identification could take days or weeks.”

    Better not drive around the LA area in any pickup trucks then!

    1. Actually, since the truck was found burned, he could be driving anything. LAPD will likely just begin shooting at every vehicle they see.
      It’s the only way to be sure.

  23. I can just imagine Dorner hunkered in the cabin with an assault rifle.  He can’t (or couldn’t, if it’s over now) put it down, so he’s taped an iphone to the sights.  He’s parsing through thousands of tweets a minute to isolate the cops’ strategy.

    “Man, DORNER is surrounded!”
    “DORNER is in a cabin and the cops are nearby!”
    “DORNER is in the woods!”
    “The cops have cornered DORNER!”

    I don’t think so.  Maybe, just maybe, he discovered one news team’s tweet stream was pretty good info, but under assault with but one possible outcome, a SEAL trained ex-cop might just be playing his cards by the manual.

    I’m in the “this stinks” cabin.

  24. Asking reporters to stop tweeting isn’t much of a media blackout; what are the cops going to do if they keep tweeting? Prior restraint isn’t what it used to be. The cops didn’t kill Dorner to keep him quiet, they killed him to keep him from killing more people.

    1.  For the thousandth time, if the LAPD was concerned about the lives of innocent civilians chances are good they wouldn’t shoot at so many of them.

      The LAPD may be trying to save their own lives, but this is hardly mutually exclusive to keeping Dorner quiet.  I don’t see why they couldn’t be trying to do both.

      1. Yeah, except that tweet didn’t come from the LAPD, it came from the San Bernadino County DA’s office . I used to live in that area, perhaps the LAPD was brought in because he was one of their guys, but it looks like the locals were more running the show, and certainly sent that tweet. Those ‘juris-my-diction’ bits in cop shows aren’t fiction you know, the LAPD couldn’t have taken over the entire thing just because they want to.

  25. OK guys, back up.  California and the Police are a touchy subject.  I live in the Chicago ‘burbs, where my brother is an officer in the one big suburb to go without a murder in all of 2012.  I have other friends who are officers in other towns (including Chicago proper).

    Anyways.  Your mileage may vary!

    The Police, generally, do have your best interests in mind.  Yes, there’s some places (usually small towns, in need of revenue) who have quotas.  Sufficiently big towns have other means of generating revenue (which is a whole ‘nother topic–red light cameras, parking tickets.  On the latter, motherf*ckers, I am so mad about how Chicago outsources parking nazi’s, which includes the long-term O’Hare parking lots).

    I have had plenty of experiences where the local PD will let you off, no problems.  My brother has a yearly thing where he will hand out candycanes instead of speeding tickets on Christmas.  Totally awesome.  If twisted, a bit.

    Yes, there are jerks.  Yes, there is abuse of power.  You can’t have power without the abuse thereof.  In some places it’s worse than others.  But generally, if you’re not drunk or high *and driving*, my experience has been pretty positive.

    But, on the other hand, I was in college once, too.  I went to school in an affluent suburb in IL that rhymed with “Caperville”.  I heard lots of stories from people who had cars that didn’t visually meet the status quo, who were pulled over and told that “Caperville didn’t like their type”.

    My point is: Grain of salt for the officers out there.  They are under stress.  The people who shot innocent civilians, for fuck sake.  Yes.  Their employment needs to be reevaluated, given the facts.  But frankly, not everyone is a bad guy–let’s not give them too much crap because maybe you’re a Californian who has been hassled in past for a certain Green affinity.

    1. Not every cop is bad?  Even one bad cop is too many – especially when there is no effective oversight.

      1. The real problem is ‘The Code’. 
        Cops always protect each other. Hence even the ‘good cops’ are protecting the ‘bad cops’. If not directly, then by turning a blind eye.
        Protecting the public appears to be lower on their list of priorities.
        If anyone has read this far and hasn’t read Donner’s manifesto yet, you really should do yourself a favour and check it out.
        This one is apparently the original – unredacted, and minus the badly cut n pasted crazy guy shout-outs. [PDF] [128kb]

    2. You love your brother, and of course he is not evil. I hope, however chances are that your brother has watched his coworkers blatantly abuse twist and break the law and deny Americans civil rights, illegal search, false arrest perjury. Your brother probably has if  he is still on the force chosen not to do his lawful duty to report his coworkers to the FBI or Internal affairs. That may not mean your brother is a bad person. just a bad cop. Handing out candy canes once a year does not make watching and standing silently while your coworkers help destroy the liberties people have given their lives to protect and defend OK . A thousand terrorists can not damage who we are as Americans with a thousand plains as badly as a Million Good people silently watching a few bad people. Sorry. Give your brother a hug he must if he is a good person wrestle with demons. Why don’t you do your country a favor and ask your brother to simply start slow, Tell him to simply allow Americans on public property, video taping, in public police doing public duties, who have no expectation of privacy  to simply exercise the rights given them by the constitution.Just the ones listed.  Start slowly.Ask him to  honor the oath he  took baby steps. Of course if the Chicago police start doing that the public will see what the Chicago police do and Chicago will have the same problems with PR as LA does.

    3. my experience has been pretty positive
      Mine was nightmarish. When I lived in Chicago I volunteered at a DV shelter where one of the survivors’ abuser was a cop. She was tortured, but managed to escape.

      His buddies showed up late one night (in plainclothes) identifying themselves as cops and wanted to talk to her. They refused to identify themselves by name or show a badge and as we talked to the three of them through the front door, a couple tried to force themselves in through the back, causing  panic to over a dozen women and over 20 kids who went on lock down mode with screams and cries. Talk about a trigger. They eventually left after we started – yes I know – calling the police.

      Before anyone says this seems like an isolated incident I urge you to volunteer at a DV place or in an after-school program in a poor black or brown neighborhood and I guarantee you’ll have the same level of mistrust as I do.

  26. In my opinion, if you’re not tweeting breaking news, you’re not covering breaking news.

    Well, it looks like he is dead.

    The question I have at this point is, if the cabins were all unoccupied, why couldn’t the police have made a wider cordon and held a standoff instead of a shootout? It seems clear to me that Dorner didn’t plan to end up in that cabin, so he was probably completely unsupplied. “You want food and water? Come out, unarmed, with your hands on your head and we’ll arrest you and feed you.” It seems to me the police forced a premature end to that situation, ensuring Dorner wouldn’t survive it, not that he himself expected to.

  27. ‘It is appropriate for the police to request people not tweet information concerning the raid that Dorner may conceivably read and use to escape’
    ‘The LAPD are just doing their jobs and you are a nut to think that they would kill, rather than arrest,  him to silence information about some imagined conspiracy.’


    “The LAPD are liars and murderers, ‘The biggest Gang in LA.'”
    ‘They have to keep information scarce because they are committing murder in broad daylight in an attempt to subvert the judicial process by silencing a witness to endemic corruption.’

    Now, on the surface, it can be tempting and downright comforting to dive right on in to the false reality you have constructed around these events.

    I’ll let you choose your poison.

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