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The Los Angeles Police Department ceased to be an active force for justice on March 4, 1991, when George Holliday turned over his amateur video of Rodney King’s arrest to the Los Angeles TV station KTLA.
With tape in hand, the media began what the late Christopher Dorner might call a surge of “unconventional and asymmetrical warfare” against the LAPD and police departments everywhere.
As in the Trayvon Martin case, the media edited and presented the tape to reinforce its favorite template: evil white racists oppress innocent minority. I say “asymmetrical” because in the King case, unlike the Martin case, citizen journalists lacked the means to fight back.
In 1991, there was no viable Internet, no social media, no Fox News. The mainstream media effectively controlled all visual imagery. The television viewer never got to see or hear the evidence that persuaded a Ventura jury to acquit three of the cops on trial and fail to convict a fourth.
“Viewed from outside the trial,” said the first President Bush in arguably his lowest moment as president, “it was hard to understand how the verdict could possibly square with the video.” The Bush view prevailed.
Prompted by horrific post-verdict riots, the officers were tried again in a federal court, double jeopardy in everything but name only. Among the scores of baton blows administered to subdue King, the sentencing judge decided that the final six crossed the line to illegality and thus sent two of the cops to federal prison for “only” 30 months.
The incident created two basic narratives, both of them harmful to the black community. The one that the cops received was “why bother?” Why be pro-active, why be aggressive, why try hard to protect the community if six extra baton strikes can cost you your job, even your freedom?
The second message is the one that 11-year-old Christopher Dorner received. As he phrased it in his now famous manifesto, “The department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days. It has gotten worse. The consent decree should never have been lifted.”
Dorner was 17 when the Rampart scandal erupted. If he only knew what the media told him, he would think that this was still further proof that the white police establishment was oppressing minorities, but, in fact, it was something very close to the opposite.
On the morning of July 28, 2007, Dorner scripted out Act 1 in his own media-fueled racial fantasy. As a probationary officer with the LAPD, he was paired with a field trainer named Theresa Evans, who is white.
The pair received a call to deal with a mentally ill soul named Christopher Gettler who was causing problems at a local hotel. When Dorner and Evans attempted to escort Gettler away, he resisted arrest.
The LAPD may be the world’s most PC and thoroughly scrutinized police department. Race and gender dominate almost all conversations. When Gettler resisted, Evans offered Dorner no real assistance other than to grab his taser.
Dorner and Gettler struggled, and the two fell into some nearby bushes with Dorner on top. Despite his heft, Dorner was not able to handcuff Gettler on his own. So Evans fired the taser at him twice, and that did the trick. Gettler suffered a quarter-inch scratch on his face in the course of the takedown.
Over the next two weeks, Evans grew increasingly concerned about Dorner’s emotional stability and his obsession with racial grievances. She documented his inefficiencies.
Two weeks after the incident, Dorner approached a sergeant and reported that during the Gettler incident Evans had kicked the perp in the face and torso and caused injury. Dorner also claimed that Evans insisted he not mention that in the report.
This one claim prompted an investigation that lasted for months and generated a final report more than 20 single-spaced pages long. The report is comprehensive. The LAPD err if they decide to retry this case to appease Dorner’s absurd fan base.
The problem for Dorner was that there were four independent eyewitnesses, three of them hotel employees. All the eyewitnesses backed Evans’ claim that she was not close enough to the scuffle to have kicked Gettler even if she had wanted to.
As to Gettler, both his parents confirmed that he suffered from severe dementia and would not even be able to understand the questions that might be asked him. (I suspect the trial lawyers are queued up outside his house right now ready to jog his memory.)
Ten months after the incident, the LAPD relieved Dorner of duty. “It is clear as day that the department retaliated toward me for reporting Evans for kicking Mr. Christopher Gettler,” said Dorner in his manifesto.
No, what is clear as day in reading Dorner’s disturbed manifesto and the excessively detailed report on the Gettler incident is that liberals and their media allies are still hellbent on destroying urban America.
They have emasculated the police forces, left the citizens unprotected, made a gaggle of trial lawyers rich and created an army of monsters, some, like Dorner, on active duty and others, like his thousands of fans, waiting for the call.
Fasten your seat belts, America, for when a Florida jury acquits George – “Too bad Trayvon didn’t smash your skull completely open, Zim” — Zimmerman on all charges.