Christopher Dorner gripped the Southern California law enforcement and its citizens like a plague, but came to a burning halt in a San Bernardino mountain community late Tuesday evening. After reading the Dorner Manifesto, I can say while many African Americans can identify with his allegations of racial incidents on the job, none can identify with the way he went about trying to resolve his complaint. Maybe Dorner had not heard of the NAACP, Black Press, or any of the state or federal agencies designed to look into such matters. It is apparent Dorner did not trust the internal complaint procedures established in the police department or the courts where he lost twice. From my personal experience, few employees trust internal complaint procedures unless they trust the investigator. Apparently, Dorner did not trust anyone so he took matters into his own hands with his military and police training.
Since Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has stated he will reexamine the case and desires transparency with the intent of increasing credibility with the African American community, he should or must outreach using these long standing institutions of the NAACP and Black-owned media to carry his findings. Chief Beck did reach out through Pat Harvey, a longtime CBS broadcast journalist, for credibility with the Black community and that is a start for I know and trust Pat Harvey. However, one thing I have noticed from the press conferences called during the weeklong ordeal was the absence of African American police officers standing with police leadership in front of the camera. Having officers of color standing with him would have helped improve their image in the community.
I know that many of our younger generation African American citizens have tossed out these tried and proven institutions of civil rights that have brought us thus far in America. The Black Press has been “pleading our own cause” for justice in America since 1827 with the first publication of the Freedom’s Journal and currently over 200 publications nationwide, over 20 here in California and 10 in Southern California. They love to print these kinds of stories that help fight discrimination in public and private organizations. One of the publishers in Los Angeles County is in court almost every day fighting allegations of police abuse cases against Black citizens all over Southern California.
The NAACP, which is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, has been fighting discrimination and police abuse cases since 1909 throughout America. California has over fifty active branches with nine branches in Los Angeles County and 22 branches in Southern California.
If there is one thing these two organizations know how to do it is get the word out into the community after they do a preliminary investigation into the complaint. There are other organizations one could turn to in the Black community such as a religious institution for help with these kinds of issues.
I am not saying they always get the kind of results one might want, but they are there as a beginning alternative to taking matters into your on hands by killing innocent people. I am identifying these organizations for people seeking solutions to perceived or real acts of discrimination in the workplace.
Once a story has been printed and remedies are sought by the NAACP, a person has the right to sue an employer for discrimination. I am suggesting that our brothers and sisters take this path to address our grievances to help flush out the real culprit who is doing the discrimination inside these organizations. My professional experience from investigating discrimination complaints inside a large corporation is the same person’s name has a tendency to surface more than once.
Nothing we can say will undo what has been done, but I have a feeling others feel the same way but would never dip to that level to get relief. I am also suggesting that law enforcement management staff seek ways to investigate complaints and do more outreach into the African American community to improve the police image and make friends before you need them.
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