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LAPD review of Christopher Dorner firing: why black community wants more

Even 20 years after the Rodney King riots, mistrust simmers between the LAPD and the black community. Some leaders say federal authorities need to investigate Christopher Dorner's claims.

LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck looks on during a news conference at the LAPD headquarters in Los Angeles Sunday. A record $1 million reward was posted Sunday for information leading to the capture of fugitive former Los Angeles cop Christopher Dorner, suspected of targeting police officers and their families in three killings committed in retaliation for his 2008 firing.

Patrick Fallon/Reuters

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Los Angeles's African-American community is casting a skeptical eye on police chief Charlie Beck's decision Saturday to reopen the investigation into the 2008 firing of alleged cop killer Christopher Dorner. Twenty years after the Rodney King riots deep distrust remains, with some community leaders saying the Los Angeles Police Department cannot be trusted to investigate itself – and that perhaps even the US Justice Department should be called in. 

Mr. Dorner's firing from the LAPD is at the center of the online manifesto that outlines his motivations for revenge. Police say Dorner has already killed three people and has threatened several police officers and families by name. The massive manhunt for him began Thursday.

In his manifesto, Dorner calls his firing "unjust," and suggests that he was fired partly because he reported that a fellow cop kicked a suspect. The allegations of police abuse and prejudice within the LAPD strike a chord within the broader black community. Moreover, they come at a time when some black leaders worry that the LAPD is backsliding after making significant gains toward more inclusivenessxxxxx under the previous chief.


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