The most disheartening event in the country this week wasn’t the State of the Union address, though that was certainly ugly enough.
And it wasn’t the finale of the Chris Dorner rampage, which was certainly horrific enough in its waste of human life.
From the standpoint of the picture it paints for us of America circa 2013, it’s the reaction to Dorner.
The reaction of the Left to Dorner is hideous enough. It’s personified by the vapid, disgusting and degenerate Marc Lamont Hill, who finds deep meaning – and excitement – in Dorner’s senseless mayhem and unhinged online ramblings…
If you look for more Dorner fanboys on the Left, you’ll find them. We’ll not belabor that; there isn’t much new there. As Andrew Klavan noted earlier this week, leftism is a philosophy of violence and it has been ever since Rousseau belched it forth from his spleen.
What’s worse, what’s worst, is that Dorner has his fanboys on the Right.
We now see people calling themselves members of the Tea Party who echo some of the same sentiments the Marc Lamont Hills of the world are bleating.
These sound a bit more sophisticated than the mind-numbingly stupid defense of Dorner as an anti-establishment superhero who satisfies an onanistic, Bill Ayers-esque fantasy about killing cops. But they’re just as ugly.
The “Tea Party” – and we use this description very guardedly – defenses of Los Angeles’ newest cop-killer are that by tracking him down, cornering him and ultimately (we think) bringing about his fiery demise at Big Bear Lake, law enforcement violated Dorner’s 4th Amendment and 6th Amendment rights.
For this, let’s give a quick refresher course on what the 4th Amendment and 6th Amendment actually say. The 4th Amendment…
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
There is little question the police had a warrant on Dorner, and there is little question it would have been issued upon probable cause seeing as though he penned a 22-page manifesto declaring war against the Los Angeles Police Department to explain three murders and explaining, poorly, his reasons for doing so.
When you declare war on the police and then back that declaration by killing a cop in cold blood – and then killing the daughter of the man who defended you at the hearing which established the cause of your firing, plus her husband, on the theory that killing his daughter might actually hurt him worse than killing him – it’s not a difficult case to make that there is probable cause to warrant your arrest.
And it’s hard to assert Dorner’s 4th Amendment right to be secure in his home when he’s in a cabin somebody else owns that he broke into.
And the 6th Amendment…
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
This is the more substantive argument. In fact, some of the complaints about Dorner’s 4th Amendment rights are really poorly-informed juxtapositions of the 4th Amendment and the 6th. And it goes like this…
Alleged cop-killer Christopher Dorner was supposedly chased into a cabin, where he allegedly exchanged fire with officers and killed another. I use the term alleged because that’s what you’re supposed to do until one is proven guilty in a court of law.
Christopher Dorner will not have his day in court.
As you can hear in this audio of the police scanners, they appear to have set fire to the cabin Dorner was supposedly occupying. Notice they discuss the “4 side” (assuming back of the cabin). They discuss watching for him to exit this side, and “remember your backdrop.” Clearly they intended to shoot if he emerged.
There is much to unpack here. First is the refusal to accept what are fairly unmistakable facts. Namely that Dorner shot two cops and killed one. Are we supposed to believe for the purpose of indicting the law enforcement officials involved that this was a frame-up? Did those cops shoot themselves? Did O.J. do it?
This wasn’t exactly Compton. It was a cabin in the woods at the base of a mountain miles away from the town of Big Bear. There was nobody there but Dorner and the cops.
Dorner shot the cops. If you can’t believe that, then you’re pretty far gone.
And by shooting the cops – and continuing to shoot at the cops throughout the final showdown – Dorner wasn’t exactly pressing for his right to a fair and speedy trial. One might almost say he didn’t appear overly concerned with that right. Holing yourself up in somebody else’s house, barricading yourself inside and unleashing as much weaponry in the direction of the police as you can isn’t consistent with a 6th Amendment exercise.
It’s consistent with combat. Which is precisely what Dorner promised the cops in his manifesto. In a combat situation, what expectations of a Miranda arrest could one possibly have?
It should be pointed out that Big Bear Lake is not Los Angeles, and the LAPD was not the lead law enforcement agency on the scene. The county sheriff in San Bernardino County was the lead agent in that siege. And Dorner had already been in one gunfight with San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies before he’d holed up in that cabin.
He was an active shooter. He was still shooting at cops.
A tear gas canister was thrown into that cabin. Tear gas canisters can start fires when thrown into a wooden structure. That’s what happened in Waco, and it’s what happened at Big Bear.
Was it perhaps insensitive to Dorner’s safety to throw a tear gas canister into the cabin and create a fire hazard? Sure. But when Dorner is still shooting at the cops, bringing the incident to a close becomes more important than his safe arrest. Particularly when by all of his words and deeds it’s beyond argument that he won’t be taken alive.
Tear gas, whether it starts a fire or not, is the best method for finishing the incident. It gets Dorner out of the cabin and into the open.
Where yes, he’s going to be shot.
But if you’re going to arrest and Mirandize him as the Tea Party Dorner Fanboy Club laments not having been done here, shooting him and taking him down is the only option available. Taking him down, disarming him, arresting him and transporting him under guard to the hospital is the only way that incident ends without further loss of life.
Because he’ll kill more cops if you storm that cabin. And after he’s already killed one, it’s time to put an end to his adventure.
But Dorner never came out of that cabin. By appearances, he shot himself instead.
And if that’s true, are we really supposed to lament the loss of Chris Dorner’s trial? The one he wanted no part of?
The fact is, Chris Dorner was insane. He was a bad police officer who was destined to be removed from the force regardless of what happened with respect to his claim of police brutality by his commanding officer – and because he Lost A Job he felt himself justified in killing four people and wounding four more.
But while Dorner was insane, what’s most discouraging is that people who are reputedly not insane are using nonsensical, almost masturbatory constitutional arguments against how his story ended.
That’s scary. Because if we can’t agree that Chris Dorner got exactly what he deserved and probably what he wanted, we’ll never agree on anything again.