Recent headlines following up on some of the events tied to ex-Los Angeles cop Christopher Dorner’s revenge-murder rampage last month demonstrate the particularly disturbing willingness of the state to trample innocent citizens whenever it feels it is threatened.
While Los Angeles police officers were on their trigger-happy hunt for Dorner, it seems everyone in the City of Angels started looking a bit like a 6-foot, 270-pound black man.
The city became a particularly dangerous place for anyone unfortunate enough to own a pickup that looked anything like Dorner’s 2005 Nissan Titan. Two women delivering newspapers found that out the hard way when, early Feb. 7, LAPD officers riddled their blue Toyota Tacoma with bullets. The officers managed to shoot 71-year-old Emma Hernandez in the back and injure 47-year-old Margie Carranza with shrapnel and bits of flying glass.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck categorized the shooting as “a tragic misinterpretation” by officers working under “incredible tension” hours after Dorner allegedly shot police officers.
Of course, Carranza and Hernandez were not the only innocents attacked by LAPD officers during the manhunt. The same morning the women were shot, David Perdue, a white man, was on his way to go surfing in a pickup similar to the fugitive’s when a squad car slammed into his vehicle and an officer opened fire. Perdue was not hit.
LA blogger Davey D offered a good assessment of the situation:
TV news stations in LA are warning people not to drive pick up trucks in LA and to obey all traffic laws or rick being shot by police who are all stressed out and tense.. This is happening right now.. Its no exaggeration… I don’t care whats going on, we pay officers to be have professionally under the most stressful situations.. No excuse for this bullshyt
Beck promised the mother and daughter whom his officers shot up that their truck would be replaced regardless of whether they decide to sue the department. But it seems the state wasn’t finished trampling on Hernandez and Carranza after officers of the law recklessly pumped the women’s vehicle and bodies full of lead.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Glenn Jones, an attorney representing the women, says they are still without a vehicle.
“After they shot my clients… this broken promise of a truck donation and the nonsense that followed is a slap in the face,” he said.
According to the attorney, LAPD first attempted to give the women a used truck; when that was refused, they were offered a Ford lacking four-wheel drive to replace their four-wheel-drive Toyota.
The LAPD’s ill-attempted benevolence also comes with stipulations. The women were told they would have to agree not to sell the truck for a period of one year and that the new truck must be considered a gift for tax purposes. That means, not only were the women shot and had property destroyed by one agency doing the bidding of the State but that they also must pay a tax collector for the privilege of being abused.
But, come to think of it, that’s really what we are all forced to do, isn’t it? We pay taxes to cover the salaries of government officials, militarize police departments and provide all of the tools necessary for those in positions of authority to abuse their power.
Perhaps if the women are going to continue having to traverse the streets of LA alongside officers notorious for using excessive and unwarranted force with near impunity, they should request that LAPD upgrade the Tacoma to something with armor and bulletproof glass.