The ex-LAPD cop accused of conducting a murderous rampage before apparently meeting a fiery end in a rustic cabin amid the San Bernardino Mountains is gaining hero status in some social media circles. The "We Stand With Christopher Dorner" Facebook community had drawn almost 22,000 likes Thursday afternoon, February 14. / Facebook
The ex-LAPD cop accused of conducting a murderous rampage before meeting a fiery end in a rustic cabin amid California's San Bernardino Mountains is gaining hero status in some social media circles.
The "We Stand With Christopher Dorner" Facebook page had drawn almost 22,000 likes Thursday afternoon. "We Are All Chris Dorner" drew 4,400.
Fans are also praising Dorner on Twitter.
"Dorner You're my a homie. Ill see you in heaven! Na you'll make it alive you're like #Rambo," said one tweet from Twitter user @BigD_T42.
Another, Takeshi (@becomeyoung), a self-described Ironman impersonator from Sunnyvale, Calif., tweeted, "Apparently burning people alive is now considered appropriate behavior for the police. Judge, jury, and executioner."
That one drew media attention, drawing a follow-up tweet: "Wow, I'm on @CNN."
Dorner, 33, was drummed out of the LAPD in 2008 and officially terminated in 2009. A rambling, 11,000-word manifesto he posted on Facebook blasted the department for protecting racists and promising revenge against those he believed were to blame for his dismissal.
Dorner was accused of killing the daughter of a former LAPD officer, the daughter's fiancé and a Riverside police officer before he was tracked to the mountain community of Big Bear Lake. Police say he was cornered in a cabin and killed a sheriff's deputy in a shootout shortly before the cabin was consumed in flames.
On Thursday, authorities positively identified remains found in the rubble as those of Dorner.
Scott Talan (@talan), a professor of public communication at American University in Washington, told USA TODAY that some people have grudges against government, police or other authority and see a bit of themselves in Dorner.
"It's only surprising in that what he did was so awful," Talan said. "There is this view of the rogue shooter who has been wronged. Charles Bronson in Death Wish, even Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. Some people mix reality and fantasy."
He noted that social media make visible what some people say in private. "We can see the posts. We can see the tweets," he said. "Before, they would have said these things in a car, in a bar, in a home, and no one else would have known."
Marc Lamont Hill, an associate professor of English education at Columbia University, told CNN that although "what he did was awful," parts of the manifesto make sense.
"When you read his manifesto, when you read the message he left, he wasn't entirely crazy. He had a plan and mission here, and many people aren't rooting for him to kill innocent people, they're rooting for somebody who was wronged to get a kind of revenge against the system," Hill told the website. "It is almost like watching Django Unchained in real life."
Support for Dorner on the White House "We the People" petition website is mixed. The site generally features a wide range of petitions - on Thursday ranging from pressing China to ease cultural suppression in Tibet (386 petitioners) to a request that Duke University basketball fans dubbed "Cameron Crazies" be classified a terrorist organization (275).
One petition asking President Obama to "exonerate Christopher Dorner from his wrongdoing" has drawn 58 online signatures, while a petition asking for a full FBI investigation regarding "recent actions" the LAPD took against Dorner has a respectable 249.
Contributing: Desair Brown
Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com
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