Kathleen Miles is the executive editor of Noema Magazine. She can be reached on Twitter at @mileskathleen.
Call it the “Dark Knight Complex.” In the age of the Internet and social media, behind certain high-profile alleged murderers, there are loyal fans.
Supporters of Christopher Dorner, the former LA policeman turned “cop killer,” have shown up online, with tweets and fan pages on Facebook. Some call Dorner a “hero” for writing a manifesto alleged on racism and corruption within the LAPD.
Numerous supporters on Twitter are calling the alleged murderer a “Dark Knight.” One Facebook page calls him “the hero LA deserves, but not the one it needs right now … He’s a silent guardian, watchful protector against corruption, he’s our Dark Knight.”
The vast majority of Americans are horrified that Dorner declared “war” on the LAPD and has allegedly killed three individuals so far. But the public disgust seems to add fuel to the fire for his followers, as it does with skeptics of 9/11, the Aurora massacre and the Newtown massacre.
However, it is clear that Dorner’s fans have a more issue-driven focus than, for example, the fans, or “Holmies,” of alleged Aurora shooter James Holmes.
Dorner’s supporters say the media should be focusing on police brutality and officer-involved deaths as much as they are on this alleged killer.
Police are desperately continuing a massive manhunt across three states and Mexico in search of Dorner, who claims he was fired by a racist, corrupt police force. In their search for the dangerous police- and military-trained man, officers accidentally shot two innocent Latina women Thursday. Some of Dorner’s fans have criticized the incident as an example of the police’s “shoot first, ask later” approach and say Dorner is giving police a taste of their own medicine.
“This is an intelligent man who has stared into the dark heart of corruption,” Ruth Iorio, a 33-year-old LA screenwriter, wrote to HuffPost in a Facebook message. “Now he’s taking vengeance upon it, trying to turn the LAPD into the victims they have persecuted, including Kendrec McDade, Alisia Thomas and Kelly Thomas.”
Edward D., 25, told HuffPost that he started the Facebook fan page “Christopher Dorner“ to “wake up the citizens and force police departments to change their ways. If they learn from this, it shouldn’t happen again.” He continued, quoting President Kennedy, in a Facebook message, “‘Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable.’ -JFK”
The individual behind the Facebook page “I support Christopher Jordan Dorner“ explained to HuffPost that he started the page to steer the conversation away from Dorner’s mental health.
“I knew that the media was going to turn this into just another ‘He’s a psycho ex-cop ex-military that went insane’ story, and wanted to show that there was more to what was going on than that,” the individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote in a Facebook message. “There is a huge underlying story of police corruption and the plight of a man that tried his best to do good but was relentlessly punished for it.”
The page has over 2,000 likes as of Friday afternoon.
Click through other comments supporting Dorner and/or his plea to end police brutality and racism: