Protesters rallied outside the LAPD HQ in Los Angeles on Saturday in support of Christopher Dorner, the former LAPD police officer suspected of killing four people, including a police officer during a shooting spree.
He died in a burning cabin near Big Bear Lake, California, after a shootout with the police.
The protesters told the Los Angeles Times that they were not protesting in support of Dorner's killings but that they were protesting against corruption, brutality and racism in the LAPD.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the protesters said they believed Dorner’s claims that he was unjustly dismissed from the LAPD. They said they believed his claims of racism and unfair treatment. Many of the protesters also told the Los Angeles Times that they were protesting the circumstances of his death and the civilian deaths that occurred during the hunt.
The protesters decried police conduct of the hunt that resulted in officers shooting at two trucks they mistook for Dorner's. One woman was shot. She is reportedly recovering at the hospital.
One of the protesters, Michael Nam, 30, of Lomita, who stood at the corner of 1st and Main Streets with a sign that showed a tombstone engulfed in flames and the words "RIP Habeas Corpus,” said the circumstances surrounding the burning of the mountain cabin near Big Bear Lake where Dorner barricaded himself were disturbing
Digital Journal reports that the fire started after police fired "pyrotechnic" tear gas capable of causing fire into the cabin.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Nam, a former Marine and a member of the Army National Guard, questioned the decision of the police to fire "pyrotechnic" tear gas capable of causing fire into the cabin. He said that a combatant who had barricaded himself in would eventually get "tired" and come out on his own.
AP reports Nam said it was obvious that the police had not planned to bring Dorner in alive. He said: "They were the judge, the jury and the executioner. As an American citizen, you have the right to a trial and due process by law."
However, LAPD has countered claims that Dorner's death was a revenge killing, saying that he died from a single shot to the head in an apparent suicide and not from the fire that gutted the cabin.
According to AP, LAPD chief Charlie Beck called for Dorner's surrender, saying he did not want to see the suspect or anyone else injured.
San Bernardino Sheriff's Department defending the action of his officers said SWAT officers used pyrotechnic gas canisters only after they had shot tear gas canisters. LAPD officials said the fire that resulted was not intentional.
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon, said during a news conference Friday: "The bottom line is the deputy sheriffs of this department, and the law enforcement officers from the surrounding area, did an outstanding job. They ran into the line of fire."
The protesters told the Los Angeles Times that they mobilized on Saturday through a Facebook page called “I support Christopher Jordan Dorner."
The Facebook page said: “This is not a page about supporting the killing of innocent people. It’s supporting fighting back against corrupt cops and bringing to light what they do."
The Los Angeles Times reports that many drivers honked, waved hands and gave thumbs up to show to their support.
According to AP, the 33-year-old has already inspired followers, who see him as a Robin Hood outlaw hero, standing up against official corruption and injustice.
AP reports that tributes to Dorner include a ballad titled "El Matapolicias," or "The Police Killer," written by a Mexican singer. A YouTube clip also shows excerpts from a video game, "Christopher Dorner's Last Stand Survival Game." The opening frame of the video declared the ex-fugitive "A True American Hero."