Whatever Christopher Dorner is – a killer, a lunatic, a man with a deep, abiding grudge – the LAPD is no agency of angels. It’s a police department steeped in violence, corruption, and abusive policing.
Consider that since 2000, the federal government, through an agreement with the city, has provided federal oversight of LAPD policing practices. This oversight came in the wake of the Rodney King beating, and the Rampart scandal involving an anti-gang unit in the Rampart Division in downtown Los Angeles in which more than 70 officers were implicated in some form of misconduct.
In one incident involving a Rampart division officer, the officer was the mastermind behind the armed robbery of a Bank of America branch.
The Rampart scandal involved “unprovoked shootings, unprovoked beatings, planting of false evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury, and the covering up of evidence of these activities.”
In November 2010 the United States Department of Justice expressed “continuing concerns about the overall quality of… investigations of biased policing.”
As recently as September 2012, video surfaced of LAPD offices beating and punching a skateboarder being arrested for skateboarding on the wrong side of the road.
For more on the LAPD Consent Decree, watch Frontline‘s episode on the topic.