LOS ANGELES – Dozens of protesters rallied outside Los Angeles police headquarters Saturday in support of Christopher Dorner, the former LAPD officer and suspected killer of four who died after a shootout and fire this week at a mountain cabin following one of the biggest manhunts in recent memory.
Protesters told the Los Angeles Times they didn't support Dorner's deadly methods, but objected to police corruption and brutality, and believed Dorner's claims of racism and unfair treatment by the department. Many said they were angered by the conduct of the manhunt that led to Dorner's death and injuries to innocent bystanders who were mistaken for him.
Michael Nam, 30, who held a sign with a flaming tombstone and the inscription "RIP Habeas Corpus," said it was "pretty obvious" police had no intention of bringing Dorner in alive.
"They were the judge, the jury and the executioner," Nam said. "As an American citizen, you have the right to a trial and due process by law."
During the hunt for Dorner, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck called for Dorner's surrender and said he didn't want to see the suspect or anyone else injured.
Dorner was already believed to have killed three people when he was cornered Tuesday at the cabin near Big Bear Lake, and during the standoff shot and killed a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy, authorities said.
Only after calls for surrender and use of milder tear gas did deputies launch pyrotechnic gas canisters into the cabin, and the subsequent fire was not intentional, the Sheriff's Department said.
Dorner died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the end of the standoff, sheriff's officials said.
The 33-year-old has already inspired a burgeoning subculture of followers. While most don't condone killing, they see him as an outlaw hero who raged against powerful forces of authority, and some even question whether he really died.
Tributes include a ballad titled "El Matapolicias," or "The Police Killer," penned by a Mexican crooner with lyrics paying homage to Dorner, and a YouTube clip showing excerpts from a video game titled "Christopher Dorner's Last Stand Survival Game" whose opening frame declares him "A True American Hero."