Updated Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 10:16 PM
BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif.— The Los Angeles Police Department said Saturday that it would reopen the investigation into the firing of Christopher Dorner from the force, a firing that apparently prompted Dorner’s rampage that has left three people dead.
Chief Charlie Beck is reopening the investigation because he wants “to ensure ... that the LAPD is fair and transparent,” Cmdr. Andrew Smith said at a news conference.
Officials in particular will re-examine the accusations by Dorner, 33, that his law-enforcement career was undone by racist colleagues, Beck said. While he promised to hear out Dorner if he surrenders, Beck stressed that he was ordering a review of his 2007 case because he takes the allegation of racism in his department seriously.
“I do this not to appease a murderer. I do it to reassure the public,” the chief said in a statement.
Dorner was stripped of his badge after a police disciplinary board found him guilty of making false statements against his training officer, Teresa Evans. In August 2007, Dorner accused Evans of kicking a schizophrenic man during an arrest in San Pedro.
The internal-affairs investigation concluded she had not kicked the man and that Dorner’s statements were false.
Dorner is suspected of killing three people, including a Riverside police officer, and injured others in a campaign to take revenge on those he blamed for his dismissal from the LAPD, police said.
Smith said a special task force was being formed to investigate the Dorner case. Other agencies on the task force will include the Irvine police, Riverside police, the FBI, the U.S. marshal’s office and other agencies.
Also, authorities revealed that Dorner’s burned-out truck found on a mountain road in Big Bear last week had a broken axle and that weapons were found inside.
Meanwhile, Beck, interviewed by CBS News, formally apologized to two women who were shot at by officers guarding a high-ranking police official targeted by Dorner.
Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, were the victims of “a tragic misinterpretation” by officers working under “incredible tension,” Beck said Friday.
As their pickup headed in the general direction of a police official’s residence in Torrance, the officers on guard received a radio call that indicated the truck matched the description of Dorner’s gray Nissan Titan.
As the vehicle approached the house, officers unloaded a barrage of bullets into the back of the truck. When the shooting stopped, they quickly realized their mistake. The truck was not a Nissan Titan, but a Toyota Tacoma. The color wasn’t gray, but aqua blue. And it wasn’t Dorner inside the truck, but a woman and her mother delivering the Los Angeles Times.
Hernandez was shot twice in the back and is expected to recover. Her daughter escaped with only minor wounds from broken glass.