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The Christopher Dorner Tragedy: “Learning Event” or Shameful Fiasco
BJW Nahse
A number of words and phrases immediately come to mind in regard to the murderous rampage and fiery demise of ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner. “Learning event” is not one of them. However, these are precisely the terms used by San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon in his first public interview since the Dorner tragedy concluded. In addition to other statements, McMahon is quoted as follows: ”As I thought about this, if it was not our department involved in this event, we would be watching this event on TV, looking at what they were doing and asking ourselves, ‘If this occurred in our county, would we be prepared to deal with it, and how would we deal with it?’ So this is a learning event for law enforcement across the country. Clearly, everybody can learn from an event like this.” Of course the sheriff is speaking of tactical considerations, particularly in response to the intense media scrutiny over the Department’s use of pyrotechnic tear gas as a means of flushing Dorner out of the barricaded cabin in which he spent his final moments, steadfastly refusing to surrender to authorities. Sheriff McMahon is indicating to us that, based on the experience gained from this event, law enforcement everywhere will be even better able to deal with the next heavily armed psychopath who stages a standoff.

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