Forty former officers of the Los Angeles Police Department are demanding reviews of their dismissals, in the aftermath of a February rampage in which a former cop murdered four people and wounded three others.
The murders, which alleged killer Christopher Dorner claimed were revenge for his 2008 termination from the LAPD, have prompted the department to review the cases of former officers with grievances concerning their dismissals. Dorner is believed to have shot himself during a firefight with San Bernardino County Sheriffs near Big Bear Lake on February 12th.
A number of former officers agree with Dorner's contention that the LAPD disciplinary process is affected by institutional racism and unfairness. They claim the department's board of rights, two officers and one civilian who review disciplinary cases, are biased against complaining officers.
The forty unnamed former officers have registered their grievances with the department and with their union, the Los Angeles Police Protective League. The LAPD has said that only those fired within the last three years can have their cases reopened. The former officers must present “new evidence or change in circumstances that would justify a re-examination” of their termination. The reviews open the possibility that some former officers could be reinstated.
Gary Ingemunson, an attorney with the Protective League, has decried the board of rights as unfair, since the officers on the board must defy the will of the police chief if they wish to clear an officer.
The LAPD has instituted a series of reforms since the Rodney King beating in 1991, which exposed racism and corruption on the force and eventually triggered a series of riots.
Dorner left the force in September 2008, after the board of rights determined he had lied when accusing a fellow officer of abusing a mentally ill man. Dorner appealed his termination, but his firing was upheld in the courts in 2011.
During the February rampage, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck ordered a review of the disciplinary case that led to Dorner's dismissal. He has also ordered a review of the department's overall disciplinary procedures.