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“Burn that fucking house down”

Last night, I was catching wind that this Dorner character was surrounded. Then, the news was that police ordered the press and media away. And then, I knew. This was to be an execution. He was not going to make it out alive. The police burned him alive. At first, I was hearing reports that the fire was an accident from the tear gas but then the recordings surfaced.

Regardless of that, a man was alone in a cabin that was someone else’s property and, instead of waiting him out or doing, you know, police stuff, they set the place on fire. He had no hostages and was isolated and could have been waited out. Instead, he was burned alive. And the police destroyed an innocent third party’s property. Hope the owners have insurance.

Now, I’m not excusing Dorner or his actions but, at this point, he was still a suspect, entitled to due process, and effort should have been taken to get him alive. What the police did here was inexcusable. No time for due process when execution will do, I suppose.

Also, this one is going to fuel conspiracy theories for years.

77 Responses to ““Burn that fucking house down””

  1. Phelps Says:

    From the linked article:

    Deliberately starting a fire, rather than waiting out the suspect, could be seen as an extreme measure.

    Extreme measure? I think it could be seen as murder. I’ve never heard of the “this is going to take a long time” exception. Once he was surrounded out there in the woods, he wasn’t an imminent threat to anyone.

  2. Some Guy Says:

    Also, it wouldn’t have been “jury nullification.” Any defense lawyer worth his salt would have pled the statutory defense of self-defense. He would use the publicly reported actions of the police to establish that Dorner was in reasonable fear for his life in every confrontation with a police force that had decided to kill him. The judge would then instruct the jury that they were free to determine that the defendant acted in self defense (for the cop shootings, not the original murders), and find him not guilty.

  3. Gerry Says:

    “Once he was surrounded out there in the woods, he wasn’t an imminent threat to anyone.”

    If your in his rifle range he’s still a threat.

  4. Diane Says:

    Caleb,

    I’m pretty sure that the Batcat robot used to tear the cabin walls down is owned by the LAPD. That means LAPD was on the scene.

  5. Jake Says:

    If your in his rifle range he’s still a threat.

    Which is a common danger in these kinds of standoffs.

    Oddly enough, the usual procedure is still containment and negotiation, rather than murder-by-arson.

  6. Diane Says:

    I think this piece of equipment is too expensive for most police departments: http://www.policemag.com/videos/channel/vehicles/2011/05/lapd-s-remotec-batcat-robot.aspx

  7. JKB Says:

    Well, he’d killed a 27 yr old police officer early in the final engagement but not one of the CA FW officers who first came upon him in Big Bear plus sent reportedly a lot more to the hospital (media tweets so possibly not accurate). There were later reports of them extracting at least one more officer using smoke and a truck to transport to waiting air ambulance helos. No way they were going to wait it out after taking casualties.

    Reading the live twitter? feed as it was happening over at Legal Insurrection, the LAPD reportedly had teams on aircraft waiting for the Riverside Sheriff’s request. It apparently came if the reports were accurate. I stopped reading the feed when they had him holed up.

    Not to mention, the eagerness to shoot up trucks without seeking to identify occupants pretty much signals that CA police had no interest in capture.

  8. harp1034 Says:

    Diana, they get grants from Homeland Security to buy things like that.

  9. wizardpc Says:

    Caleb: it’s not hearsay if I’m one of the people that heard it.

    Which I was.

  10. Caleb Says:

    Diane, there are actual photos of the vehicle used in the assault available online (http://radaronline.com/exclusives/2013/02/chris-dorner-lapd-cop-killer-final-minutes/ for example) that pretty clearly show a Sheriff’s insignia on the side of the demolition vehicle.

    Care to try again?

  11. SteveA Says:

    We don’t know that he did any of the things police have said he did. There was no trial and wont be one, so no evidence has been examined to determine if he was guilty or not.

    p.s. Caleb, you Sir are an ass.

  12. Caleb Says:

    @wizardpc – So since you’re such a keen listener, did you also hear dispatch announce that LAPD had arrived at the scene? Or did you just hear something about some SWAT guys in some helicopters somewhere?

    @SteveA – Yes I am, and I’m not ashamed of it. There’s a point to all of this, and the point that I’m trying to make is if we’re going to be critical of law enforcement in situations like this, we need to be certain that we’re getting our facts 100% straight, otherwise we look like a bunch of whacko conspiracy nuts. Going around the internet saying dumb shit like “LAPD committed arson” makes the person who says it look like a dumbass.

  13. wizardpc Says:

    When you hear hoofbeats, do you think zebras?

    It apparently doesn’t matter to you what I heard the dispatchers and deputies say.

  14. Ohio shawn Says:

    Nice weather we’re having, eh?

  15. Caleb Says:

    What you heard matters quite a bit, especially since what you claim to have heard runs contrary to the available reports. That’s why I want to know if you heard dispatch report that LAPD was actually on the scene, instead of just in some helicopters somewhere.

    The reason I’m asking is because if someone heard dispatch report LAPD was actually on scene, that would prompt more research on my part. The only thing I can find that puts LAPD SWAT on the scene is a report from TMZ, which is well, a report from TMZ with all the journalistic integrity that entails.

    The problem I’m having here is that everyone is so quick to jump to conclusions about this whole mess based on very little actual evidence. So when we as a blogging community just start sprouting half-truths and assumptions, we look like a bunch of basement dwelling whackos.

  16. bob Says:

    The problem with due process is that in CA there is no death penalty, I think that is why they just killed him the way they did. I think the biggest problem with what they did is that now crazy people will start using hostages to prevent getting burned up.

  17. Snackeater Says:

    Caleb–I don’t think that the officers on scene were lazy–I think they were pissed off at being made fools offor a week running. On national TV. And they wanted revenge.

    Reminds me of the North Hollywood bank shootout where the second perp was seriously wounded but still alive and the police just stood around, shooting the shit and refusing him medical attention. They just let him bleed out. And why? Because they’d been made fools of on national TV. Bunch of sniveling cowards.

  18. BenC Says:

    When I hear a group of people say words to the effect of “burn the house down” and the house soon thereafter catches of on fire I think it’s reasonable to jump to the conclusion that they set the fire.

  19. Disavowed With Honor Says:

    Having been a part of a SWAT team and Trained a few of them, I will say this about arrival on scene. If I were the SWAT Commander I would not broadcast that I had arrived on scene when I had the potential that my suspect could learn that information and prepare to repell boarders. That was generally done by word of mouth, or if it was on the radio it was done by “new code”. Lastly, if broadcast by radio it is generally done on restricted frequency which means 18,000, 50,000, 1,000,000, wizardpc, no wizardpc, would not have heard it. If they were en route… they arrived. Rest assured. I can speak from experience, knowledge, and training. I cannot answer as to their level of participation, however. I wasn’t there.

    As far as “burners”, they’re called that for a reason. Seven of them at the same time? That is called OVERKILL and very obviously increases the likelyhood of a fire especially when you consider the make up of the WOOD building. THIS IS LAPD SWAT and people who train with LAPD SWAT… These folks know what they are doing. It’s why our illustrious government go to them to learn and train. So I don’t think anyone can tell me with any reasonable certainty that this was an accident. Being flashbang certified (at one time) that is one of the FIRST training points. “Be careful about where you place the device, they can cause fires and injury if one is placed onto a person which will cause serious burns or if it’s placed on flammable materials… they’re likely to ignite”. So if just one can do that… imagine what seven can do. This was revenge through and through. This reminds me of the movie Dark Blue which is set in LA with the LA Riots as the backdrop. Yes it’s fiction. Yes it comes from somewhere. Yes I associate the two. Why? I’ve seen this behavior. I was always the guy in the movie with a conscience… you know… the one who got killed. That’s another reason for turning in my badge almost 2 years ago. I’d rather live and fight.

  20. Six Says:

    Sigivald
    If you read my comment closer you’ll see I didn’t say they set the place on fire deliberately. I said they tried to induce him to come out. Based on my 24 years as a cop it’s probable they used some form of irritant gas, most likely CS. That can cause fire in a wooden building. Once that happens the proper tactical response is to wait and see what happens next. We hope they surrender but if they don’t it’s their choice. What we don’t do is charge into the burning building or allow fire personnel to respond. See the earlier comment on Philadelphia. I agree with Caleb on this. Until something else comes out that convinces me of deliberate arson and complete disregard for human life I’m going to watch, wait and see.

  21. SayUncle Says:

    “Until something else comes out that convinces me of deliberate arson”

    Listen to the second link.

  22. Paul Says:

    Uncle… you do know how Bonnie and Clyde DIED, don’t you?

    Frank Hammer was not gonna take them alive after they had killed so many cops, some in very cold blood.

    So as for Dorner, I shed no tear. At least the lawyers won’t get a dime off the taxpayers.

  23. mariner Says:

    Echoes of Waco.

    “Everybody dies”.

  24. AK™ Says:

    “The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire..” Chris Dorner.

  25. comatus Says:

    I don’t know that he ever said any of those things, or wrote the manifestos. Those are a couple of the first things that would have been established at a trial. Everything I know about him comes from statements read by police at press conferences, and quotes from the press. That’s who tried him, and most of us accept both the testimony and the verdict. No problem with that?

    If “Kalifornia” can’t bring something that straightforward to trial, it’s time to turn in the keys.

  26. NUGUN Blog Says:

    Caleb,

    I love you…but let’s be honest. LAPD/San Bernadino, it’s basically like a guy calling his brother to help him take out the guy who had an affair with his wife. Granted it may not have been the LAPD per say, but it’s really the “greater Los Angeles police structure”.

    I think the fact the officers let loose on two vehicles of innocents shows huge huge HUGE issues of mis-conduct.

    I know cop down, and cops get very protective of their own. But I also know from personal experience, there are great cops and there are bad cops. And it gets dang hard for us average Joe’s to tell the difference.

    And when you have an agency known for its issues, and then they handle a situation list this in such a piss poor manner. Yes, I think the governor should be making heads roll.

    And I think most of the police chiefs of involved units should lose their chairs.

  27. NUGUN Blog Says:

    What will be horrific, is if by some chance a video comes out that shows the arrest that Dorner complained about. And if such a video appears, and it shows the victim being kicked in the head as Dorner claimed.

    Kiss LA good bye and buy some bags of marshmallows to roast on the flames. Cause the Rodney King riots will pale in comparison.

    (Perhaps the only saving grace would be the fact that Obama is in office and a personal call for calm and promise to handle the matter personally. Might prevent such riots.)