Dorner had history of complaints against fellow LAPD officers
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The fugitive ex-policeman Christopher Dorner, suspected of killing three people and injuring two, had a history of making complaints against fellow officers within the Los Angeles Police Department, and one officer said he had a reputation as a ‘hot head,’ according to internal affairs records.
Dorner was accused of punching a recruit in the chest while he was in the Police Academy in 2006. That recruit, Abraham Schefres, was wearing a bulletproof vest and a trauma plate, when Dorner allegedly punched him. After being hit, he glared at Dorner, whom Schefres said responded as though he had made a mistake, records show. Schefres said he believed that Dorner had not been trying to hurt him but that the punch was ‘more of a ‘hello’’ and to appear tough.
Schefres told an investigator that he ‘believed this was part of Dorner’s persona,’ records show. Schefres described Dorner as ‘a hot head’ who would walk up to fellow recruits and ‘get in their faces in an aggressive’ but joking way.
Dorner, 33, is wanted in connection with a double homicide in Irvine on Sunday and the shooting of three police officers, one fatally, in Riverside County on Thursday.
Authorities described him as armed and extremely dangerous, and alerts about him were issued across California and Nevada as federal, state and local authorities intensified their search.
Police say Dorner embarked on a campaign of deadly violence to exact revenge on those he blamed for his firing.
In 2006, Schefres was interviewed about the punching incident during an investigation into allegations that Dorner slapped the hand of another recruit officer, internal affairs records show. Dorner had accused that second recruit--as well as another recruit -- of using a racial slur while they were traveling in a police vehicle during their time in the academy.
The department confirmed Dorner’s slur allegation against one of the recruits but not the other, the records said. The agency concluded that Dorner’s punch of Schefres did not rise to the level of misconduct.
By then, Dorner was serving a military deployment overseas for the Navy. He returned to the LAPD in the summer of 2007, and in August accused his training officer, Teresa Evans, of kicking a mentally ill man during an arrest in San Pedro.
Two months later, Dorner lodged another complaint against fellow cops, according to an LAPD complaint review report. Dorner said that after work on Oct. 10, 2007, he discovered that his jacket, on top of his duty bag, ‘was wet and dirty,’ according to the report.
He believed someone had urinated on it. Dorner testified at a disciplinary hearing that he believed that he had been singled out in retaliation for his complaint against Evans.
The department found no misconduct involving Dorner’s jacket. An analysis of the clothing showed no sign of urine.
Meanwhile, an internal affairs investigation into Dorner’s accusations against Evans concluded that the training officer had not kicked the mentally ill man and that Dorner’s statements were false. Dorner was notified he was to be fired.
During an LAPD Board of Rights hearing into the case, Sgt. Sherrielyn Anderson argued that Dorner ‘lacks the integrity necessary’ to be a cop and ‘should receive the harshest penalty for violating the trust of his peers, his department and the public he was sworn to serve,’ according to a transcript of the hearing.
The board rejected suggestions that Dorner might be given additional training instead of being dismissed, noting that he had received extensive training already.
Capt. Phillip C. Tingirides, the board’s chairman, announced that he would be fired, saying Dorner’s ‘credibility is damaged beyond repair.’
Dorner was dismayed upon learning the board found him guilty of making false statements, according to the transcript. ‘I don’t understand that you guys came to guilty,’ Dorner blurted out in the hearing room. ‘I told the truth. I don’t understand how – I told the truth. How can this happen?’
His attorney, Randal K. Quan, asked whether he wanted to say anything before the board decided his fate. ‘I told the truth,’ Dorner repeated, according to the transcript.
In an online manifesto that authorities said was published on what they believe is Dorner’s Facebook page, Dorner complained that Quan and others did not fairly represent him at the review hearing.
‘Your lack of ethics and conspiring to wrong a just individual are over,’ the manifesto said. ‘Suppressing the truth will lead to deadly consequences for you and your family. There will be an element of surprise where you work, eat and sleep.’
Quan’s daughter, Monica Quan, a Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, were found dead Sunday in Irvine. Irvine police on Wednesday named Dorner as the suspect.
Those killings set off a violent rampage, culminating in the shooting of three police officers early Thursday, one fatally, police said. Authorities continue to search for him.
-- Hailey Branson-Potts