Get PJ Media on your Apple

Should Living Victims of Christopher Dorner Be Entitled to the Reward Money?

They only did what any citizen would have done if victimized by crime: they called police.

by
Jack Dunphy

Bio

April 11, 2013 - 12:38 am
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

Christopher Dorner may be dead, but even from the cold grave he’s still causing trouble.  Recall that when the former Los Angeles Police Department officer was still on the loose (discussed here), a consortium of donors offered a $1.3 million reward for information leading to his “arrest and conviction” for the crimes he had committed, which at that point included three murders and two attempted murders.  Dorner went on to commit a fourth murder in the course of the final gun battle that saw him surrounded in a mountain cabin near Los Angeles, and when San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies deployed tear gas into the cabin, resulting in a fire, he took his own life rather than surrender.

Three people are making arguably legitimate claims on the reward: the couple Dorner briefly held captive in the Big Bear condo where he had been hiding, and the man Dorner carjacked shortly before the final shootout.

But not so fast, now say some of the reward donors.  Yes, Dorner was found, and the very real threat he presented was rendered null, but in a strictly legal sense he was never arrested, much less convicted, of the crimes that inspired them to pledge their share of the reward.  And it is in this strictly legal spirit that these donors are slamming shut their checkbooks.  Hey, they seem to be saying, the guy’s dead and gone anyway, why should we go into our pockets now?

Writing in support of those who say the reward should not be paid at all are the editors of the Long Beach Press Telegram, who in an April 2 editorial wrote that the three claimants did not “go above and beyond to lead police to a dangerous suspect,” but rather did only “what anyone would have after being victimized: call the police to report a crime.”

All of which is true, of course, but it is nonetheless the case that these people provided the information that led to, if not the arrest and conviction of Christopher Dorner, the cessation of his campaign against Southern California police officers and the calming of nerves throughout the region.  Certainly anyone who had been held captive or had his car stolen at gunpoint would report it to the police, but these were the people who were so treated by the man with the price on his head.  Should that price now be discounted because Dorner chose to commit suicide rather than surrender?

And while I’m not suggesting a police officer should be entitled to a reward for doing his job, what about a police officer’s family member?  Recall that one of Dorner’s first two murder victims was the daughter of a retired police captain who was among those Dorner named as targets, and that in his Facebook manifesto he threatened other LAPD officers and their families.  If Dorner had gone after another cop’s daughter, would she have been eligible for the reward if she managed to shoot and kill him first?

Why do authorities offer rewards?  In most cases in which a reward is posted, the identity of a wanted suspect is unknown to the police but not to others, and the reward is intended an inducement to the suspect’s associates to put aside whatever loyalty to him they might have and turn him in.  But in the Dorner case, everyone knew the person the police were looking for, and investigation into his family and friends had been fruitless in finding him.  It was hoped that a substantial reward would sharpen the eyes of people across Southern California, any one of whom might stumble across his path.  That those who did were so unfortunate as to also be victimized by him does not diminish the fact that it was their information that led sheriff’s deputies to him.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
How about awarding it to the drivers of random pick ups shot up by the LAPD?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Absolutely not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Why should a family be rewarded when a member killed other loved ones????????????????Isn't right!Liz
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
definitely should got to the victims and anyone that helped find the killer.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think giving the reward to victims would be a good thing to do since people pledged the money. But I disagree that there is any morally compelling reason to or a legitimate claim that as victims they are heros.

The purpose of offering a reward is to compell people to do something they wouldn't otherwise, motivated by their own greed. I think it's a completely legitimate point that these people would have called the police based on the fact that they were victims of the crime. Had an alert neighbor called, or another person not specifically victimized by the criminal, resulted in his death I would say the payout should be made.

I agree basing the arguement on "arrest and conviction" is wrong, but denying people the money doesn't mean that the next victim in such a case won't call is ridicuous.

If they are granted the money I would say that they won based on the technicality of their "luck" (yes I use the word in terms of chance rather than fortune) of being victim, not any specific action or heroism that is deserving of a reward.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Why do authorities offer rewards? In most cases in which a reward is posted, the identity of a wanted suspect is unknown to the police but not to others ...".

Jack - I enjoy your work but respectfully disagree regarding the above description.

It's been more than ten years since I worked bank and armored car robberies but I seem to recall many cases of law enforcement knowing the subject's ID but not his present location. The FBI's current "Ten Most Wanted (http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten)" are all named subjects.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're right. The old "Wanted Dead or Alive" posters were closer to what most people want to see happen. First and foremost, we want a killer stopped.

These limp excuses for not paying off are a bad move. We want people to respond, either out duty or desire for that reward. Tacking on legalism or demanding that they go 'above and beyond the call of duty,' perhaps risking their own lives, misses the point of offering rewards--to catch an active criminal.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What ever happened to "dead or alive"?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think this was actually predicted either here or on Free Republic; there was no way that the Dorner was going to be arrested and convicted - the cops were going to kill him no matter what.
So there was no way the donors were going to pay out on the reward.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How about awarding it to the drivers of random pick ups shot up by the LAPD?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Were they really his victims?

Dorner easily could have killed them. By logic, he should have, since he was already facing murder charges and eliminating them would have made finding him harder. (See the movie Heat)

Yet he didn't. Because he only wanted revenge against the police.

I'm not saying they didn't have a scary time, but frankly, they probably were safer with him, than people were with the police, considering that car they shot up with the women inside. If anyone should get the reward money, it would be the victims of the police
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wow, that comment was worse than ones I saw at Daily Kos and HuffPo.

"Police bad, Dorner not so bad", got it.

Yes, the LAPD made a mistake and shot up the wrong car, but it was a mistake. In contrast, Dorner was on an intenentiional rampage murdering people. I'm pretty sure that if you were held at gunpoint by an insane and famous rampage killer, you would consider yourself a "victim".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Shame on those representing the provisions of the reward fund if this story holds true! The true foundations of any reward is piublic assistance in ending the furtherance of a criminal and his crimes. The issue of arrest and convict is so petty and morally immature. The husband and wife held captive for days in the close proximity of law enforcement who failed that house search and whose call and timely information to law enforcement that ended that criminals crime spree, should be the beneficiaries of that reward fund.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
View All