A day after LA Weekly and the New York Times reported that some in the African American community believe that disgraced ex-L.A. cop Christopher Dorner had reasonable and believable complaints against the LAPD regarding alleged racism, Chief Charlie Beck said his firing would be reexamined.
The LAPD's top cop told CBS Los Angeles' Pat Harvey tonight the move was not to "appease" the man suspected of killing three in a rampage tied to his termination but to allay any fears in "communities of color" that the department has backslid on commitments to be "fair" to all:
Beck said he chose Harvey for this announcement because she has been even-handed in her coverage of the department and because she is well-respected in the African American community.
He said the department has made "great strides" since the dark days of the L.A. riots and the Rampart Scandal and that "I want to make sure we don't undo any of that."
Dorner's case would be reexamined anew and witnesses might be reinterviewed, he said.
Dorner, who barely worked two years as an entry-level LAPD cop on probation before his firing in 2008, alleged his training officer kicked a suspect in the head.
The department determined he was lying. The man assigned to represent Dorner in his internal fight was former LAPD Capt. Randy Quan. His daughter, Monica Quan and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, were found slain Sunday in Irvine, allegedly in retaliation for Dorner's termination.
Fox 11 News yesterday circulated video of the arrestee in the Dorner claim: In it, he does say he was kicked in the head by a female cop.
But Chief Beck today said he would didn't want to promise that the new review of Dorner's termination would turn out different and added that there had been "discrepancies" in testimony.
In fact, Beck said, the case had been investigated thoroughly more than once, including by the independent Inspector General's office.
However, the chief did reach out to Dorner, saying that if he turned himself in peacefully the department might even reinterview him regarding his case.
In a manifesto uncovered following the Quan murders, a suspect that cops believe is Dorner blames racism, in part, for his undoing and says he told the truth about his training officer.
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[Added at 6:04 p.m.]: Here's Beck's written statement to the media regarding the reopening of the investigation into Dorner's firing: