LONG BEACH - The saga of accused cop killer Christopher Jordan Dorner and his claims of racism and corruption in the Los Angeles Police Department has brought racial issues back into public discourse.
Naomi Rainey, head of the Long Beach branch of the NAACP, said she has heard some sympathy for Dorner, although no one would condone his tactics.
Rainey, who spoke for herself and not as a representative of the civil rights group, said that violence is never a solution.
"My belief is we're all citizens of the world and what hurts one, hurts the other," she said.
Nonetheless, she said, there are glass ceilings and impediments that Dorner and people of color face.
"There is racism, there's all kinds of isms that exist in our society," Rainey said, "but you become the same as those people if you use the tactics of your oppressors."
The Rev. Napolean Goshay, a retired Compton police officer and current pastor with the Bethel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Long Beach, said Dorner's allegations about his training officer's assault on a homeless man sounded plausible and he wouldn't fault Dorner for reporting it.
However, that was no excuse for what followed.
"I don't think black folks are supportive of his actions, but they can see how he got there," Goshay said. "Right or wrong, they can see how he got there."
As a police officer, Goshay said he had confrontations with white officers over their
However, in the case of Dorner, Goshay said, "There's no hero."
Rainey's biggest fear was that Dorner's story would perpetuate stereotypes of violence in the ethnic community.
She worried it would "harm not only African-American males, but minorities in general."
The resonance of some of Dorner's allegations that race and corruption played a role in his dismissal from the police led Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck to promise to take another look at Dorner's case.
"I'm not doing this to appease him. I'm doing this so the community has faith in what the Police Department does," Beck said in a Saturday television interview.
Beck also acknowledged the racial component in the Dorner story.
"This has caused so many people to be concerned about a Police Department that had made significant strides in communities of color," Beck said. "I want to make sure we don't undo that."
On Facebook, a half dozen pages have popped up with Dorner's face on them. A page called "Chris Dorner and the Revolution" has been created. As of Monday, that Facebook page had more than 750 "likes" and extensive discussions.
Also, a Christopher Dorner fan page with more than 1,300 followers, and on another Dorner page there is a petition to President Barack Obama for a Dorner pardon.
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