By: Kimberly Turner, M.S. Student
Author Rex Grossman most notably defined the world population into three distinct categories; sheep, wolves and sheep dogs. Borrowing from the hierarchy of nature he explained that sheep, like most people are gentle non-violent pack animals, and their natural predator is a wolf. The wolf will violently strike at the flock, at will, if not for the presence of sheep dogs. Dog lovers attest to the gentleness of sheep dogs, they are often described as gentle giants, but the sheep dog is capable of extreme violence and will exercise the same against a wolf it tries to harm any of the sheep he is protecting. The sheep, wolf, sheep dog analogy is often used to describe the parallel relationship between victims, criminals, and police. In a democratic society, the police are the proctors against evil, capable of violence and only choose to use it against a threat to the flock of citizens they swear to protect. Any sheep dog that intentionally harms a little lamb will be punished and removed as the order of our Republic will not allow any other way but what happens when the sheep dog becomes rabid?
On February 7, 2013, Christopher Dorner began a 10 day murderous rampage dubbed “revenge killings” that left a college basketball coach and her fiancé slain, two police officers mortally wounded and two additional officers hospitalized in critical condition. Dorner, a former Los Angeles Police Officer, idealized himself a sheep dog who turned against the pack. In his 11,000 word “manifesto” he pontificated the violence, death and destruction he extolled were the direct result of being fired from LAPD after he spoke the truth about his field training officer allegedly abusing a mentally challenged arrestee.
There have been outcries from the public supporting Dorner, expressions of empathy from those crying abuse by LAPD officers, thus propelling him to near hero status even as more officers fell trying to capture him. The same shouts of injustice proclaiming police violence against the oppressed citizens of Los Angeles hypocritically support the same violence murder of their oppressor.
As students of justice, we are naturally passionate about social justice and the culminating events beg the question of how we as a democratic society empower our police departments and how for the first time we address the ramifications of a sheep dog infected with the rabid disease of violence? I pose these questions to you, the reader, as an invitation to engage in discourse as it is only through the marriage of thought and action that we can facilitate change to end the violence that permeates the sheep and for the first time infected the sheep dog.Tags: Dorner, LAPD