The LAPD today announced the formation of a Christopher Dorner task force that includes police in Irvine and Riverside as well as personnel from the FBI and U.S. Marshall's Service.
Noticeably absent from the list is the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, which has been searching the Big Bear area for the disgraced former L.A. cop after his truck was found there Thursday morning.
That department was the source of a media leak today that the truck contained two assault-type rifles and “survival gear.” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he wouldn't comment on such facets of the investigation:
Interestingly, as part of the task force, the LAPD says all public information on the investigation will come through it (and not, it would seem, other agencies … like San Bernardino's).
Reports out of Big Bear indicate the Nissan Titan truck found burned out in a remote area had a broken axle, begging the question of whether Dorner's alleged presence there was part of a strategy or a mishap.
Dorner is suspected in the killing of a Riverside police officer early Thursday as well as in the Sunday murders of 27-year-old Keith Lawrence his fiance, 28-year-old Monica Quan, whose father represented Dorner in his unsuccessful attempt in 2008 to keep his job at the LAPD, a losing battle that a “manifesto” attributed to the suspect indicates has led to an alleged revenge killing spree.
ABC News reported tonight that retired LAPD Capt. Randy Quan received a taunting phone call from someone representing himself as Dorner four days after his daughter's slaying.
While he took pains to emphasize that Dorner would not be appeased, Beck today announced that a new investigation into his firing would be launched. This after we reported that some in the African American community said they believe Dorner's accusations of racism and old-style policing in the department.
In a statement tonight Beck 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 …
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He joined a chorus of people today, including Charlie Sheen, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, in asking Dorner to turn himself in peacefully.
Jackson said in a statement sent to the Weekly and other outlets:
I understand your feelings of hurt and pain. I make this plea to you to
stop spreading the pain, the hurt, and the fear. Please stop. Don't take any more lives.
Christopher, your mother is distraught and deeply concerned for your safety. There are many good and credible people in Los Angeles who will help you. Danny J. Bakewell Sr. (The Los Angeles Sentinel's Executive Publisher/CEO), Bishop Noel Jones, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer and Rev. Charles Singleton are all individuals I know personally. I promise that they will gladly receive you.
Until then, it would seem, as many as 50 LAPD families connected to threats in Dorner's alleged manifesto would live with security details, Beck told CBS Los Angeles' Pat Harvey today.
Those details reported include six officers around the clock.
Even so, the department, which ritually beefs up patrols during big Hollywood awards weekends in town, is reportedly well-staffed for the Grammy Awards at Staples Center tomorrow.