No Charges For Officers Who Mistakenly Shot Two Women During Dorner Manhunt
There will be no charges against the LAPD officers who mistakenly fired on two newspaper delivery women during the manhunt for Christopher Dorner.
The L.A. County District Attorney's Office made the decision today, citing a lack of evidence to prove that the eight LAPD officers involved in the shooting were acting in anything other than self-defense or in an attempt to defend others, City News Service reports.
A report from the D.A.'s Office Justice System Integrity Division states:
The actions of the officers in this case nearly caused the death of two innocent victims. The fact that those actions were based on a significant mistaken fact does little to mollify the emotional response to such a near-tragedy. Nonetheless, this office is guided by the legal principles discussed in this memorandum. The findings in this memorandum are not an endorsement of the officers' conduct nor of the tactical decisions made by LAPD in this situation."
Attorney Gary Fullerton said that the officers were ill-prepared for the gravity of the situation caused by Dorner, according to the L.A. Times. "This Dorner thing was probably a once-in-a-lifetime type situation—but it could happen again. But I don’t think the department is taking responsibility for their share of why this thing happened and what they’re going to do about it in the future," he said.
The shooting occurred after 5 a.m. on February 7, 2013. Police were on an intense manhunt for Christopher Dorner, a former LAPD officer who went on a spree killing after he was fired from the force for reasons he believed were unfair. He targeted police officers and their families, first murdering the daughter of a former LAPD captain and her fiance, and later Riverside Police Department Officer Michael Crain. He wrote about his motivations in an online manifesto.
In the 19500 block of Redbeam Avenue in Torrance, LAPD officers opened fire on a blue pickup truck that they believed was being driven by Dorner. In actuality, the truck was being driven by two women—Margie Carranza, 47, and her 71-year-old mother Emma Hernandez—who were simply out delivering newspapers. Hernandez was hit twice in the back while Carranza was hurt by broken glass, but both victims survived and later received a $4.2 Million settlement.
This happened again in an incident at about 5:45 a.m., this time involving officers from the Torrance police department. The victim in this case was David Perdue, who was headed to go surfing before work. He said he was already questioned by police and released, moments before a Torrance cruiser rammed into his truck and opened fire. Perdue was not shot, and Torrance later agreed to pay him $1.8 million. The L.A. County District Attorney decided not to file charges against those officers last January.
At the time, these incidents inspired someone to make "Don't shoot! I'm NOT Dorner" bumper stickers.
Dorner ultimately took his own life during a standoff with police after they pursued him to a cabin near Big Bear where he was hiding. San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Detective Jeremiah MacKay was killed in the shootout between Dorner and law enforcement. San Bernardino County agreed to pay $200,000 to the couple that owned the cabin, as it was destroyed in an attempt to flush Dorner.