Bauer: Cop killers and the left
It’s difficult not to be shocked by the left’s attempts to turn Christopher Dorner into some sort of a folk hero. But we shouldn’t be surprised.
Dorner, the former cop who died last week in a shootout after murdering four people, including two cops, isn’t the first cop killer the left has tried to redeem.
The cheering Dorner has received reminds me of leftwing support for Mumia Abu-Jamal, who’s serving a life sentence for the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer. Abu-Jamal became a liberal cause-célébre.
But there’s a key difference between the support these two cop killers have received. Abu Jamal’s backers think he’s innocent; nobody denies that Dorner is a cold-blooded killer.
By now you know the story. Dorner was a Los Angeles Police officer and former U.S. Navy reservist who claimed he was fired from the LAPD as punishment for reporting a case of police brutality.
As revenge for his termination, Dorner purportedly killed two police officers as well as the daughter of a former Los Angeles Police captain and her fiancé. He almost certainly would have murdered again had he not been taken out by police.
Thousands of people rallied around Dorner during the manhunt. Numerous Facebook fan pages with thousands of followers were set up by his supporters. In Los Angeles, flyers were produced and distributed for Dorner that imitated the iconic Obama “Hope” poster.
Progressives in the media were especially inclined to defend Dorner. While urging Dorner to turn himself in, Jesse Jackson said, referring to Dorner, “I understand your feelings of hurt and pain.” An article on Alternet, the online website funded by George Soros, ran a story describing Dorner as someone who “dared to tell his version of the truth regarding the LAPD’s history of corruption and racism.”
CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill called Dorner “a real life superhero to many people.” While being careful to say that what he did was “awful” and “bad,” Hill said many people were “rooting for somebody who was wronged to get a kind of revenge against the system. It’s almost like watching ‘Django Unchained’ in real life, it’s kind of exciting.” It’s no coincidence that Hill co-authored a book with Mumia Abu-Jamal.
It seems that the only gun violence some leftists approve of is gun violence aimed at cops and other groups they see as oppressive or racist.
Hill’s comparison of Dorner to Django from “Django Unchained” refers to a new movie about an ex-slave who goes on a shooting rampage against his former captors. Dorner, who was black, has been hailed as a hero for fighting back against a racist institution, the LAPD. But even Dorner said that he wasn’t motivated by racism.
It’s not new for some liberals to look the other way when violence is perpetrated for a cause they deem “righteous.” Many of them (especially those in the Obama administration’s Department of Justice) dismissed calls to prosecute members of the New Black Panther Party who took billy clubs to a Philadelphia polling station in 2008 and yelled racist threats in a clear attempt to intimidate voters.
Then there’s Occupy Wall Street. The media strained to portray the Tea Party movement as inherently violent, a claim that proved demonstrably false. They should have been paying attention to OWS instead.
There were numerous incidents of violence at OWS rallies, including rape and attacks on police. Things got so bad in New York City that “safety tents” were set up to separate women from the sexual predators in their midst. At an Oakland OWS protest, violence against police got so bad that the Oakland police considered pursing legal action against demonstrators who attacked its members.
The head of the New York Police Department Sergeant’s Benevolent Association also threated legal action, claiming that 20 cops had been injured in OWS protests. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that postings at an OWS website called Dorner a “true patriot.”
To be sure, most liberals don’t support Dorner or Abu-Jamal or any of the violence I mentioned. But some on the Left can be very selective about the kinds of violence they oppose. For some of them, gun violence is a crime to be decried—unless it is committed by an “aggrieved” victim against what they consider a corrupt institution.
During his full-throated endorsement of gun control in his State of the Union address, President Obama mentioned that police chiefs were asking for the administration’s help in their attempts to cut down on guns on the street, “because they are tired of being outgunned.”
The irony is that it’s not the NRA or other Second Amendment supporters who represent a threat to outgunned cops. The real threats are people like Abu-Jamal and Dorner—and their cheerleaders on the left.