Eric Hartley, Daily News (Los Angeles), February 9, 2013
Hundreds of pages of court records, which include confidential Internal Affairs reports, detail a pitched struggle between Christopher Jordan Dorner and the Los Angeles Police Department.
Almost from the beginning of his employment the seeds of Dorner’s 11,000-word manifesto, which details his grievances against the department, were sown.
His troubles began as a Police Academy recruit in February 2006. It was then Dorner filed an official complaint, saying two other recruits had made “ethnic remarks,” an investigator wrote. The department found one recruit made such a comment, but the other had not.
The court records outline Dorner’s attempt to overturn his 2009 firing from the LAPD for lying about another officer’s conduct. Dorner himself said the failure of those appeals led directly to last week’s rampage.
He told a colleague he wasn’t happy with the outcome of the complaint he filed as a recruit. Dorner, who is black, said he believed the LAPD was racist and planned to sue the department once his probation was over.
His 2007 accusation against another officer led to an investigation, an internal hearing and court appeals that together spanned more than four years.
The court records not only outline Dorner’s legal case and his complaints about racism, but hint at his trouble fitting back in after a year of military service in Iraq.
Dorner, a naval reservist, spent just four months on the street after graduating from the Police Academy in February 2006. He was called to active military duty that July and served in Iraq before returning to the LAPD in July 2007.
Because of his military duty, his probation was extended, and he was assigned to ride with a training officer, Teresa Evans.
Not long into their time together, Evans told investigators, Dorner started crying while they were in a car and asked to be taken back to the station. He had asked about “reintegration” training given to officers returning from military duty, Evans said.
About a month after rejoining the police force in 2007, Dorner made a complaint about Evans, saying she had kicked a suspect during an arrest. Evans said it was untrue, and witness reports were conflicting.
That August 2007 complaint sparked an internal investigation that led to Dorner—not Evans—being brought up on internal charges.
Dorner was accused of making a false report.
After Dorner returned to duty in July 2007, he wasted little time telling Evans, his training officer, about his problems with the department.
Evans told another officer about “an unusual conversation she had with Dorner regarding the fact that Dorner seemed preoccupied with the race of officers and the suspects they arrested,” the internal report says.
“Dorner continually tried to solicit information from Evans regarding whether or not she saw any racist behavior or if she had been treated badly by the Department,” the report says. “At some point within the first week, she told Dorner that their relationship and conversation needed to be geared toward training and not personal matters.”
He seems preoccupied with race in the manifesto, too, criticizing some white, black, Hispanic and Asian officers for their own forms of racism and calling them “high value target(s).”
On July 28, 2007, within Dorner’s first month back on the force, he and Evans went to a San Pedro hotel for a report of a man causing a disturbance. The man, who had schizophrenia and dementia, didn’t listen to officers’ commands, and they took him to the ground and used a Taser to subdue him.
Dorner later said Evans kicked the man three times, but told him to leave that out of the report. Dorner wrote a report that doesn’t mention the kicks.
He never reported the kicks until almost two weeks later, Aug. 10, when he told a sergeant about them. That sparked the Internal Affairs investigation.