Los Angeles police will re-examine the 2008 firing of an officer wanted in three slayings, the police chief said on Saturday, as a massive manhunt for the fugitive stretched from a southern California mountaintop to the Mexican border.
Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Charlie Beck called on the former officer, Christopher Dorner, 33, to turn himself in and tell his side of the story. Dorner was dismissed after officials found he had made false statements accusing another officer of using excessive force.
One of the three people Dorner is accused of killing this week is the 28-year-old daughter of a retired police captain who represented him in a disciplinary action that led to his firing. He is also wanted for the killing of the young woman’s fiance and an officer from the town of Riverside.
Dorner posted an online manifesto this week that declared war on law enforcement and complained of his 2008 firing. Some online commentators have expressed support for Dorner and aired grievances against police.
Beck said in a statement he was not reopening the probe into Dorner’s firing “to appease a murderer.”
“I do it to reassure the public that their police department is transparent and fair in all the things we do,” he said.
Beck’s decision was first reported by local television station KCBS, which carried a lengthy interview with him.
Officials have called on Dorner to surrender.
“He can turn himself in anywhere and he’ll be taken into custody and he’ll be able to get his side of the story out,” LAPD spokesman Commander Andrew Smith told reporters.
Police details in southern California are protecting more than 50 officers and their families who have been threatened by Dorner, after he named specific enemies in the department in his rambling manifesto, Smith said.
Police also plan to bolster their force of officers standing guard at the Grammy Awards in downtown Los Angeles yesterday, he said.
Police have said they believe Dorner has multiple weapons, including an assault-style rifle. He claimed in his manifesto to possess Russian-made shoulder-launched missile systems, but that could not be confirmed.
The hunt for Dorner has centered on the area of Big Bear Lake, a popular ski resort in the San Bernardino Mountains about 130km northeast of Los Angeles, where his burning pickup truck was discovered on Thursday. Authorities have acknowledged he may have slipped away undetected.
Officers have used dogs, helicopters and armored personnel carriers equipped with snow chains to maneuver through the mountains. More than 100 officers have been deployed to the area.
Dorner joined the navy in 2002 and the LAPD in 2005, and he has received marksmanship training in both jobs.