“There is a difference between a right to know and a need to know,” says Professor Burke, suggesting that in a 24/7 culture of impatience, "where people stand in front of their microwaves and say 'hurry,' " law enforcement is often in an impossible position. “They want to present themselves as transparent,” he says, just as LAPD Chief Charlie Beck did early in the Dorner investigation. But, then, he points out, they also have a duty to the investigation itself.
“They cannot put out information when they have barely begun their own investigation into what actually happened at a crime scene,” he says. “This is an active, ongoing investigation into many crime scenes by multiple jurisdictions,” he says, adding that meaningful answers may be far off.
But some answers are obvious and should be immediate, says Los Angeles forensic psychiatrist and expert legal witness, Carole Lieberman. “It is not too early to question the police's handling of the rampage,” she wrote in an e-mail.