Did Chris Dorner receive due process?

Dehumanizing the enemy make soldiers willing to kill him. Did Southern California police use that tactic on Dorner?
Photo: Chris Dorner AP

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md., March 4, 2013 — From Feb. 3 to Feb. 12, Christopher Dorner was the most sought after person in Southern California. He had declared war on the Los Angeles police department and in a manifesto claimed he would kill police officers and their families.

He confirmed these claims when he killed the daughter of a retired police officer and her fiancé. Dorner’s crusade was his response to his perceived unjust firing from the police department for whistle blowing in 2007.

TV viewers soon learned many details of Dorner’s life, including the fact that he was an African- American, Iraq war veteran, accomplished marksman, athletic, and very large. The police departments involved in the investigation and subsequent pursuit provided lots of information about the former policeman.

The image portrayed indicated a very dangerous person with special skills who would be very difficult to easily subdue. The information coming out appeared to convey an idea of Dorner as a mad, super being that would not hesitate to kill indiscriminately.

People familiar with combat psychology can easily recognize these tactics. When soldiers are trained to go to war, they are always told how their enemy is extremely dangerous, but outside the realm of humanity because of fanaticism, drugs or madness.

They are told that the enemy is cunning and ready to kill them without mercy at best, and if captured, they will suffer a very painful death. Cementing these beliefs makes the soldiers dehumanize the enemy and accept their duty to kill him.

Whether on purpose or because of lack of discipline, all the facts released about Dorner accomplished the same goals. The un-given order that many in the police force appear to have inferred was that of “shoot on sight.” Dorner was given the status of a rabid dog or worse.

This became evident when two different police details shot at vehicles similar to what Dorner drove. In one of these shootings, two women delivering newspapers were hit and had to be taken to the hospital. The police detailed the responsibility for protecting the homes of people that Dorner had mentioned as targets in his manifesto.

Additionally, police radio transmissions, picked up by bystanders appear to indicate that during Dorner’s last stand at the cabin, the police appeared satisfied to let him “burn.” Spokesmen for the police department have clarified that the burning mentioned had to do with firing the gas canisters and not to setting fire to the dwelling. It is curious that the type of tear gas canister used is known to start fires.

Ironically, some of the people that have clamored about our government not providing due process to enemies targeted by drones, haven’t said peep to what appears to be a more evident denial of due process in the case of Dorner.

Maybe in both cases due process became a victim of expediency and the public’s good as determined by someone else.

Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, is a bleeding heart liberal, agnostic, exercise fanatic, Redskin fan, technophile, civil engineer, combat infantry veteran, jewelry maker, amateur computer programmer, Environmental engineer, Colombian-born, free thinker, and, not surprisingly, pacifist. You can find his articles - ranging from politics to cooking a mean brisket - in 21st Century Pacifist <http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/21st-century-pacifist/> at The Washington Times Communities. Follow Mario on Twitter @chibcharus #TWTC and Facebook at Mario Salazar.

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Mario Salazar

Mario Salazar is a combat infantry Vietnam Vet, world traveler, renaissance reconnaissance man, pacifist, metal smith, glass artisan, computer programmer and he has a Master of Science in Civil/Environmental Engineering.  Now retired from the Environmental Protection Agency and living in Montgomery County, Mario will share with you his life, his thoughts, his musing on living in yet another century of change.  He will also try to convey his joy of being old.

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