Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck's decision to review the firing of Christopher Jordan Dorner, the rogue ex-LAPD cop now accused of killing a Riverside police officer and a former LAPD captain's daughter and her fiancé, marks a change in tone from the chief since Thursday.
Beck was asked during a news conference Feb. 7 about Dorner's manifesto and the accused cop-killer's allegations of racism in the LAPD, after Dorner allegedly shot police officers in Corona and Riverside.
"You're talking about a homicide suspect who has committed atrocious crimes," Beck told reporters. "If you want to give any attribution to his ramblings on the Internet, go right ahead. But I do not."
When Beck was asked about Dorner's stated desire to clear his name, Beck replied "It's not going to happen."
On Saturday Feb. 9, the LAPD issued a statement from Beck in which he said, "I am aware of the ghosts of the LAPD's past and one of my biggest concerns is that they will be resurrected by Dorner's allegations of racism within the Department."
In an interview with CBS2 Los Angeles on Saturday, Beck said, "I am going to look into his allegations again. We are going to reopen the investigation and take a look at all facets of that investigation.
"But it's important and this is maybe the most important thing I want you to know and I want your viewers to know. I'm not doing this to appease him. I'm doing this so that the community has faith in what the police department does."
Below is the text of Beck's full statement.
I have no doubt that the law enforcement community will bring to an end the reign of terror perpetrated on our region by Christopher Jordan Dorner and he will be held accountable for his evil actions. The families that have been devastated by his actions will never be the same. By all accounts, the Los Angeles Police Department has made tremendous strides in gaining the trust and confidence of the people we serve. Dorner’s actions may cause a pause in our increasingly positive relationship with the community but, it will not stop our commitment to provide courteous, professional and constitutional policing to each individual this Department makes contact with. I am aware of the ghosts of the LAPD’s past and one of my biggest concerns is that they will be resurrected by Dorner’s allegations of racism within the Department.
But, I also know that we are a better organization now than ever before; better but not perfect. Fairness and equality are now the cornerstones of our values and that is reflected by the present diversity of the department. We are a majority of minorities, almost exactly reflecting the ethnic makeup of Los Angeles.
As hard as it has been to change the culture of the Los Angeles Police Department, it has been even more difficult to win and maintain the support of the public. As much as I value our successes in reducing crime, I value even more our gains in public confidence.
Therefore I feel we need to also publicly address Dorner’s allegations regarding his termination of employment, and to do so I have directed our Professionals Standards Bureau and my Special Assistant for Constitutional Policing to completely review the Dorner complaint of 2007; To include a re-examination of all evidence and a re-interview of witnesses. We will also investigate any allegations made in his manifesto which were not included in his original complaint.
I do this not 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.
A pdf copy of Beck's statement is attached to this report.
A search for Dorner in the San Bernardino Mountains, which began Thursday when his burned-out pickup was found on a forest road in the Big Bear Lake area, was placed on hold at sundown Saturday and was expected to resume Sunday morning.
Overnight lows were expected to plunge near 10 degrees in the Big Bear area, with 5 mph winds capable of bringing windchill values to near zero.