“People, especially Americans, like to identify with anti-heroes and underdogs, and if you take away the fact that he has killed innocent people, people identify with his messages,” North said of the attention and sometimes sympathy that Dorner’s online rants against racism, injustice and police brutality have brought.
In that way, she said, some will identify him with popular outlaws of the past such as Bonnie and Clyde or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
“But when we do this, we often forget that these people are creating heartbreak for the individuals’ lives they affect,” North continued.
People watching the case haven’t overlooked that Los Angeles police officers who are clearly on edge have mistakenly opened fire on two different vehicles they thought Dorner might be driving.
Since those shootings, one of which wounded a woman and her daughter, some pickups around town now carry handmade signs reading, “Don’t Shoot. Not Dorner.”
The manifesto linked to Dorner rambles on for more than 10,000 words, spending much of the first half accusing Los Angeles police of wrongly firing him, destroying his reputation and leaving him with no choice but to kill people to bring those actions to the public’s attention and restore his name. He also tells of enduring racist taunts during much of his school years, when he says he was often the only black student in his classes.
In the second half, the ex-cop addresses numerous celebrities, including Sheen.
Dorner, who has said he expects to die in a violent confrontation with police, also laments that he likely won’t live to see the third “”Hangover” movie. He also advises director Todd Phillips to end the franchise after that film and not cheapen it by milking it for more sequels. He sides with Larry David’s character in an episode of the TV comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in which David’s black friends tell him white people keep their homes too cold at night.
He also heaps praise on Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Cosby.
Except for Sheen, the celebrities have chosen to ignore Dorner.
“We will look back on this not as somebody with a great cause who called attention to it in a bad way,” she said. “This is somebody who created terrible heartbreak.”
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