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CNN Panel Clashes After Contributor Suggests Alleged LAPD Cop Killer Can Teach Us a Lot About 'Institutionalized Racism


"His story is the kind of testimony that we need to take a look at how America operates in general."

A CNN contributor on Wednesday said that the story of suspected cop killer Christopher Dorner can tell us a lot about corruption, "institutionalized racism," and give us a framework to examine how "America operates in general."

Dorner allegedly shot and murdered Keith Lawrence and his fiancée, Monica Quan, on Feb. 3. Four days later, he allegedly shot and killed Police Officer Michael Crain, a decorated U.S. Marine and a father of two children. (Facebook/Reuters).

“He says a lot about more than just guns,” said Politic365′s Jason Johnson. “He tells us a lot about how our urban police departments are working, he tells us a lot about corruption. He tells us a lot about institutionalized racism. His story is the kind of testimony that we need to take a look at how America operates in general.”

CNN’s Carol Costello jumped in to point out that being “evil and vile” -- as Dorner has been accused of being -- makes it awfully difficult for anyone to take his supposed “message” seriously.

The New York Times’ Ross Douthat chimed in to point out that “crazy people” are capable of making good points “in the course of coming to evil conclusions,” but also noted there's a double-standard clearly on display in the Dorner case.

“Now you have a psychotic killer who has published a manifesto that expresses basically left-wing ideas and the takeaway is supposed to be that we should enact left-wing policy proposals?” he asked, noting that this was definitely nothow people reacted after Jared Loughner shot and killed six people in Tucson, Arizona.

“It seems like there’s a slight double standard in how the media reacts to these kind of rampages, don’t you think?” he pressed.

The panel then turned to CNN contributor Van Jones who was not at all pleased with the discussion.

“There are many better spokespersons for the cause of racial justice than this murderer,” Jones said, adding that we’re going “down a very dangerous road.”

We should be talking about the victims, he said, and “the legitimate people who have been trying to make positive change in peaceful, lawful ways.”

San Bernardino County Sheriff's officers Ken Owens, center, and Bernabe Ortiz search a home for former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner in Big Bear Lake, Calif, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. (AP Photo).

Johnson jumped back in to defend his earlier point.

Dorner isn’t “the Rosa Parks of gun violence,” he said. But “his story is telling and the kind of thing we can learn from — it doesn’t have to be an either/or.”

Jones countered by saying that it's fine to view Dorner’s case as one of a mental health issue, but “I don’t want to validate his political thinking while people are literally planning funerals.”

Douthat sided with Jones, leaving Johnson all alone in his argument.

“In these kind of moments,” Douthat said, “you know, you want to focus on the victims, you want to condemn the crime, and you want to save the political points the person may have been inspired by for a more appropriate time.”

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

(H/T: Mediaite). Featured image Facebook.

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