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

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“We don’t agree with Dorner’s tactics, but many of us sympathize with his allegations,” says Najee Ali, a black activist and executive director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E. in Los Angeles. “But we don’t think the LAPD can investigate itself and come up with a conclusion that will appease the black community. We think the US Justice Department needs to do it.”

Others have echoed the call for an outside investigation.

“Having the LAPD conduct an internal investigation is like asking Bonnie to investigate Clyde,” says Jasmyne Cannick, an African-American community activist, political commentator, and nationally syndicated columnist. “Not only does this specific incident need to be investigated, but the very process that the LAPD uses needs to be carefully looked at.”

She suggests tapping a panel of retired judges, respected journalists, or local clergy for which the black community has high regard.

Chief Beck appears to recognize the distrust that Dorner's allegations have rekindled with in the black community.    

“It is important to me that we have a department that is seen as valuing fairness,” Beck said at a press conference Saturday.

He also solicited popular local black broadcast reporter Pat Harvey for an interview, in which he said he did not want to appease Dorner but rather to provide transparency to communities of color. Beck said during the interview that he didn’t want the LAPD to slide backward on the gains it has has made since the department became the international poster child for police abuse and corruption in the 1990s in cases ranging from the beating of Rodney King to the trial of O.J. Simpson.

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