Although I don’t agree with what Christopher Dorner did, I do understand how these large Police departments can drive a person to a state of mental disrepair.
As a former Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer I have seen my share and been the victim of administrative head-hunting. I have seen many times when officers have been terminated unjustly and the next thing you know they become “police enemy number one.” I have seen cops’ pictures on the walls at substations because they are believed by administration to be a threat to the department, thus creating a dislike for them by their former peers. These large departments have agendas, and if you don’t fit into that agenda, or for some reason become part of a hit list, you can count on a career of discredit or intentional ruining of your name. This starts at the top and filters throughout the ‘sheeple’ of the departments. Once you are labeled as being on the hit list, it’s just a matter of time before officers or supervisors, wanting to further their careers, become part of your demise. As a young officer within the department it isn’t long before you hear of the hit list and hope to never become a distinguished member, but it only takes one incident, or to cross the wrong administrator, to make you a member.
Once you become a member of this hit list, you can pretty much guarantee false allegations, complaints and sustained internal affair investigations. These complaints can be argued, of course, but you don’t stand a chance in fighting them because your fate was already decided before the investigation was launched. I was the victim of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and I know all too well that when you are in the Bullseye, there is absolutely nothing you can do but try and get your years in before they pull the trigger on your career and discredit years of exemplary public service.
In 2002 I was a participant in an officer-involved shooting that left me with a substantial hearing deficiency requiring the use of hearing aids. From that moment forward, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was gunning for me as though I was the bad guy. I was ordered to undergo numerous doctor evaluations so the department could catch me falsifying my injuries. At one point, I was told, by then undersheriff, Doug Gillespie, while sitting in his office, that when he proved my injury to be false, he would see to it that I be terminated. Unfortunately for him, I was given a test called an “audio brainstem recognition test,” which proved I wasn’t falsifying anything; rather it confirmed that my injuries had caused diminished hearing. I had slayed the powerful beast, proving their theory wrong; but instead of an apology, they looked for another way to destroy my career.
Every year from that point on, I had to justify my existence and my ability to work as a full-duty officer within the detective bureau. I would have meetings with administrators on my ability to perform, as if having diminished hearing had left me less of a person. Finally, in 2010, I had two supervisors (whose names will not be mentioned) get on the band wagon. They forced me out of my position, leaving me to make the choice to either stick around and wait to be terminated, or to retire. I chose to retire. Nevertheless, the department unjustly refused to acknowledge my retirement and to this day has yet to give me my retirement credentials (retirement identification and badge).
So I sit… having been involved in an armed confrontation where I saved another officer’s life, having suffered an injury that left me with diminished hearing, and nothing to show for my career in law enforcement. Not to mention: when I die, my family will not be able to lay me to rest with an honors ceremony because I’m not considered to have retired in good standing.
Christopher Dorner went too far. Innocent people should never have died because of a few who decided to be instrumental in Dorner’s demise.
I am sure, and I believe that many other police officers who have been in similar situations of falsehoods and premature terminations based on lies, would agree with me. That is that fighting these departments to get your name and status back is almost impossible. This type of occurrence is not new by any means. I personally know many former police officers who were removed from their police employment because they told the truth about an incident or somehow crossed someone who held a major position of power.
Christopher Dorner is an example of how a person can go from being an honorable, respected person, to being public enemy number one, just by being pushed to their breaking point by the people who are supposed to be above falsehoods and lies.