Chief Beck On the Dorner Manifesto, the Victims, and Who Will Get The Reward
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck spoke to the press this morning regarding the manhunt for Christopher Jordan Dorner, the reward money, and the force's re-examination of the allegations the former cop made in his widely circulated manifesto.
Though the LAPD was not the primary commanding force in any of the shooting death cases attributed to Dorner--in fact, no death attributed to Dorner took place in L.A. County--because the LAPD was the focus of Dorner's retribution and deadly ire, Beck felt it was appropriate to share the force's views on the investigation as it stands.
Beck began by reflecting on the victims, naming each of those who lost their lives, and referencing those less-mentioned survivors who suffered at the hands of Dorner--including those officers with the LAPD, the Riverside Police Department, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department who "narrowly escaped death" in encounters with Dorner.
The Chief assured that the LAPD was focused on helping the families, particularly the children, of those who were called out by Dorner in his now-famous manifesto, noting that it is their hope the children have "some sense of normalcy, some sense of security" after having their lives interrupted by his threats.
When it comes to the manifesto, specifically the allegations raised by Dorner against the LAPD regarding his termination, Beck said a review was in process, and the results will be made public so that "everybody can see the transparency" with which the LAPD is addressing the information. Beck says the review will attempt to "attach validity or not to those claims" raised by Dorner, and start off a bigger dialogue about the LAPD.
"If we don't have public confidence I can't provide public safety," remarked Beck, noting that while he knows he can't please the whole population, he understands that what Dorner said and did was very damaging to the public's perception of the LAPD.
Dorner's life or death "has nothing to do with the reexamination" of his termination and his manifesto, says Beck.
Beck also spoke on his professional view on the methods used by the SBCSD in the last standoff with Dorner outside of Big Bear, in particular the use of pyrotechnic tear gas. Though Beck says he and the LAPD are "walled off" to some extent by the separate investigations by the SBCSD--and in Irvine for the shooting deaths of Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence--he believes the SBCSD were facing a formidable foe with tremendous firepower and a cache of weaponry that put their deputies at great risk. Beck says the LAPD also uses tear gas in the same manner, starting with the cold gas that does not disperse as well, then progressing to the "hot" gas that has the potential to start fire, though he says in the LAPD's use of such gas fire "is not a goal."
In terms of what took place within Beck's jurisdiction, when asked if he thought Dorner had paid a physical visit to any of the homes of the people and relatives mentioned in his manifesto, Beck said: "We believe that Dorner did a lot of homework. That homework no doubt included physical surveillance." There is some evidence to indicate he had been physically present at some locations of potential victims to whom the LAPD ultimately wound up providing protective detail.
But as we know, Dorner spent the bulk of his last days in the Big Bear area, in San Bernardino County, which makes the distribution of the reward money offered by Los Angeles a bit tricky. Beck says the reward generated a number of valuable tips, so it "had its desired effect and should be paid out." The LAPD will make recommendations as to who the money should go to, whether it be one individual or several, but they will "ensure the reward is fairly and equitably distributed."