A former LAPD officer who wrote a Christopher Dorner "manifesto" of his own supporting claims of racism at the department told the Weekly today that "I understand why he snapped."
Joe Jones' essay about his police experience, which was circulated by the likes of hacker group Anonymous today, mentions at least three incidents on-the-job in which the 48-year-old believes he was wronged by the department in part because he's African American. He writes:
I feel your pains!...But you are going about thisthe wrong way. To take innocent lives could never be the answer to anything. I say this as a Man who experienced the same pain, betrayal, anger, suffering, litigation and agony that you did in many ways, Only I didn't get Fired. I just choose to go a different route. My heart still suffered that same shock, I wasstill left to try and put the pieces back together. The disbelief that people could conspire and cause you to loose something you loved so dearly was still there. I lost my Career, I lost my Family, I lost my Dignity, I lost my Trust...But I am here now to hopefully one day see change...Bro, Don't kill anymore Innocent people. Your point has been made. Clearly. They know you mean business, The whole world knows. Refrain from any further wrong doing and do what you must to salvage your Soul. Whatever that means to you. Just remember that God is a forgiving God.
Jones told us he worked as a patrol officer for nine years in the Wilshire, West Valley and West Los Angeles divisions of the LAPD. He retired in 1998 and now has an event planning company in the L.A. area.
While he denounced Dorner's alleged hyper-violence, Jones told the Weekly he could understand how the ex-cop unraveled:
Police work was it for him and that's what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. And to come up with the reality that he's supposed to do the right thing and if he does do the right thing he should be vindicated. He felt he did the right thing and you know the repercussions came.
Jones said he didn't find it unusual at all to hear of a situation like Dorner's in which a rookie, African American officer's case against a senior white officer was met with disbelief and rejection by the department and court system.
(A manifesto allegedly written by Dorner appears to link his outrage to his firing after the LAPD concluded his claim that his training officer kicked a suspect was false).
"I went through all of that," Jones told us. "It hurts a hell of a lot."
He said Dorner's story had been weighing heavily on his mind last night when he decided to write what people are calling Jones' own manifesto about the department:
I couldn't sleep last night. Woke me up out of my sleep and I had to express what was on my chest and what was in my heart.
I'm not trying to be a cop-basher. There are definitely good police officers out there. This is about the reality that someone is killing innocent people. He's a person who doesn't realize there are people who have gone through similar if not worse circumstances. Taking innocent lives is not the answer to it.
The LAPD needs to fulfill their obligation to stop these types of things from happening. If a person has a complaint and they told the truth it needs to be adjudicated fairly.
Jones posted his thoughts on his Facebook page this morning.
Asked if he experienced racism on-the-job, Jones almost laughed. Asked if he was surprised to see the African American community in L.A. respond so differently to Dorner than the rest of town, he said, "Of course they're going to see it different:"
They've been victims of these same things. The average caucasian person hasn't been privy to being harassed, stopped and talked down to, treated bad by officers. They haven't experienced that. They feel only criminals get treated disrespectfully. But the reality is that police are human and some come there with certain issues.
Jones said his worst experience at the department came in the early 1990s when he was off-duty and headed to his car in West Hollywood. It was parked close to a red curb, and a sheriff's deputy had a problem with it. He pulled out his LAPD ID to indicate, he said, "I'm not an issue for you," but in response he says the deputy "proned me out" at gunpoint.
Jones complained, and nearby LAPD officers responded. He says those cops backed his side of the story in a department internal investigation but then changed their stories when he sued the L.A. Sheriff's Department for what he says was a case of him being "illegally detained and handcuffed at gunpoint."
He lost his case.
"I definitely know what it's like to go through having your name slandered after having done the right thing," Jones told us. "It's a terrible feeling."
[Added at 12:35]: We talked to Jones today. He was upset and argued that this piece creates the perception that he supports Dorner.
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He was adamant that he does not: "I'm not siding with him."
He wants readers to know that his greatest sympathy for the victims of the suspect in this case.
"No," he said, "I don't understand him killing people. I don't understand a police officer that's dead."