Dorner is angry about being fired by the LAPD. He is articulate and lucid enough to trigger flashbacks to a time not so long ago when patrol officers broke their world into two categories: "blue and everybody else."
It began in March 1991 when King, who died last year, was beaten by three LAPD patrol officers while a supervisor stood by. The officers were tried, and later acquitted of the most serious charges. The LAPD watched as parts of the city erupted in rioting that left 53 dead and damaged $1 billion worth of property.
An investigation revealed that racism, brutality and adversarial attitudes were so ingrained that it didn't even occur to officers to hide them. The inquiry documented a culture in which cops openly talked with each other about beating suspects -- "attitude adjustments," they called it -- and labeled a group of African-Americans as "gorillas in the mist," a popular movie title during the Rodney King era.
Six years after the riots, another scandal exposed more corruption and even deeper cover-ups, implicating members of an elite anti-gang unit at the LAPD's Rampart division, home to some of the city's most vicious gangs.
Rogue cop Rafael Perez was accused in 1998 of stealing eight pounds of cocaine from an evidence locker. He admitted shooting and paralyzing an unarmed teenager and planting a gun so he could claim self defense. The boy was sent to prison but later exonerated. Perez's plea bargain confession led to nearly 100 tainted convictions being overturned.
Three officers were arrested and tried. A higher court tossed out the convictions.
Attorney Harland Braun defends police officers, including the ones accused of criminal misconduct in the King and Rampart scandals. He said he believes there might be a grain of truth to Dorner's allegations of a cover-up. He said he thinks that may have been what set Dorner off.
Civil rights leaders, highly vocal in past scandals, have held back on criticizing the LAPD this time. Instead, they are urging Dorner to surrender peacefully.
Dorner wrote in his manifesto that he was forced to turn to violence because the culture of racism, brutality, corruption and cover-up continues at the LAPD. He claims he was kicked off the force after he complained about a training officer kicking a mentally ill suspect.
Braun said he had never heard of a case in which the LAPD fired an officer who reported excessive force. "You don't go after the guy," he said. Usually, though, other officers are quick to close ranks and shun a perceived "rat."