Law enforcement in each of the jurisdictions where Dorner is believed to have committed crimes will be investigating everything from shootings to officer threats, carjackings, kidnappings, and robberies. While it might seem counterintuitive to continue investigations when the suspect may be deceased, there are many unanswered questions, ranging from who may have aided or abetted Dorner to how and when he traveled between the various cities.
“We have assault with a deadly weapon on one of our officers,” says LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith, adding that there were threats on some 50 police officers and their families still outstanding. Protection is still being extended in some cases, he points out, noting “there is still very much the possibility of copycat crimes, and everyone is very much still on alert even if the tactical alert is officially over.”
Will police tactics and behavior during the manhunt be investigated?
Each department will conduct its own investigation of issues such as use of force by a police officer. This means that every time a police officer discharges a weapon, the department must make a decision about the extent to which the incident will be evaluated. In cases where people have died, each shooting will be carefully evaluated for adherence to department policies.
For instance, there have been questions – and conflicting answers – about how the cabin in the final shootout caught fire. Reporters listening to police scanners have reported overhearing law-enforcement personnel saying they intended to burn the house down. But San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said at a Wednesday afternoon press conference that it was not intentional.
Each jurisdiction has its own review policy, notes Commander Smith. Following a series of scandals in the 1990s, the LAPD was placed under federal oversight for eight years. “As a result, our policies on use of force by officers are some of the strictest in the nation,” he adds.