While police and government officials are relieved the apparent fiery death of fired Los Angeles Police Officer Christopher Dorner, California historian and UC Riverside Professor of Creative Writing Mike Davis offers some qualifications, writing at the London Review of Books Blog:
Perhaps his brain synapses have been misfiring for a long time, but the core of Dorner’s Manifesto is a coherent account of how a police Explorer Scout realised his life’s dream as a LAPD rookie and then had his reputation and career destroyed for being an honest cop. He debunks the myth – propagated by the LA Times, Mayor Villaraigosa, and most of the liberal establishment – that thanks to Saint Bratton a kinder, gentler and more diverse LAPD now protects and serves Los Angeles.
Indeed Dorner’s eye-witness account of routine sadism, racism and conspiracy in the department is totally in line with its historical institutional culture and was inadvertently fact-checked by the LAPD’s wild shooting of two innocent women and Chief Beck’s kneejerk exculpation of the officers involved. (Those who think that there are no more Rodney Kings should look carefully at the case of the LAPD patrol woman who killed a mentally ill woman last summer by stomping on her genitals.)