Dozens of protesters rallied outside Los Angeles police headquarters Saturday in support of Christopher Dorner, the ex-LAPD officer and suspected killer of four who died after a shootout and fire this week at a mountain cabin.
Dorner was the subject of a massive manhunt in association with the murders, and claimed in a manifesto that has been attributed to him that the LAPD is corrupt and that he was a victim of racism.
Protesters were careful to say that they don’t necessarily support Dorner’s deadly methods, but that they object to police corruption and brutality. They also said they believe Dorner was telling the truth in his many claims about the LAPD.
Thirty-year-old protester Michael Nam held a sign with a flaming tombstone and the inscription “RIP Habeas Corpus.”
KTLA’s Christina Pascucci posted these photos of the scene on Instagram:
“How the police handled this -– they were the judge, the jury and the executioner,” Nam said according to the Los Angeles Times. “As an American citizen, you have the right to a trial and due process by law.”
“Dorner did what he did because that’s what he felt he needed to do,” protester James Pedregon reportedly added. “I think that’s a little extreme, there’s always a peaceful method of dealing with the situation, but it’s getting the right people to listen to you.”
47-year-old Escoto of West Los Angeles Dina Escoto explained herself: “I’m angry because the police didn’t conduct a thorough investigation – this man wouldn’t have gone on a rampage if he was wrong.”
In addition to the story’s fiery conclusion, many were upset that the LAPD fired on two vehicles that they suspected were Dorner’s, though he was in neither. In the process, they reportedly shot a woman in the back.
The L.A. Times has more from the rally:
“If you’re not enraged, you’re not paying attention,” one sign read.
“Why couldn’t we hear his side?”
“Clear his name! Christopher Dorner”
Liliana Alaniz, 40, came with her family -– her mother, sister, nieces and daughters -– from Long Beach to join the protest, which she said was her first.
“I really, really believe he was innocent in the firing case,” Alaniz said of Dorner.
Alaniz held a sign that read, “Trying to clear your name.”
Her daughter, Andrea Tovar, said Dorner “has his supporters.”
“Murder is never right, but neither is the law when it’s unjust,” said Tovar, 18. She said police need to know they “can’t get away with everything.”
The protesters are not the first to sympathize with Dorner. He attracted a cult-like following on social media, and CNN guest Marc Lamont Hill came under heavy fire for saying it was “kind of exciting” watching the murderer last week (he later apologized).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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