Claims of racism at the LAPD leveled by a former officer who allegedly killed four people before a fatal standoff with law-enforcement officials struck a chord, Professor Donald Tibbs said in a TIME magazine article published on Feb. 14.
That sympathy emerged in the form of facebook followers of Christopher Dorner, the former officer who alleged “lying, racism and cover-ups” by the LAPD, should not come as a surprise, Tibbs said.
“His accusations seem to take us back and remind us of the days of old—maybe they’re not so old,” Tibbs said, alluding to the longstanding tensions between the LAPD and African Americans that climaxed with the 1991 videotaped beating of Rodney King by officers.
In a Christian Science Monitor article about questions that have arisen concerning the Dorner manhunt, Tibbs discussed the tension between media and public interest in details of the matter and the desire by police to control the investigation and the release of information that could raise liability issues.
Tibbs, an expert on criminal law and the overlapping issues of race, law and civil rights, is the author of “From Black Power to Prison Power: The Making of Jones v. North Carolina Prisoners’ Labor Union,” published in 2012 by Palgrave MacMillan.