LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Civil rights attorney Connie Rice said relations between the LAPD and Angelenos could be damaged in the face of racism allegations against the department made by triple homicide suspect Christopher Dorner.
In a rambling manifesto, the 33-year-old fugitive, who is accused of killing a Riverside cop and an Irvine couple, claimed he was terminated from the LAPD after he was unfairly accused of lying about the conduct of a training officer.
He also said he told superiors about racial epithets that were allegedly used by officers earlier in his career.
Chief Charlie Beck said Saturday he would another look at the investigation that led to Dorner's firing.
Rice, who said she applauded Beck's decision, told CBS2's Randy Paige that the LAPD's image is at stake right now.
"This is so tragic because it's causing a huge racial rift in the community. The community needs to understand there is no excusing what (Dorner) has done. Do not make him into a hero. That can't happen," she said.
Rice continued, "As Chief Beck calls them…this case is about the ghosts of the LAPD. And how do we (get rid of) the ghosts to make sure they never come back? The old LAPD needs to be buried. With Chief Bratton and Chief Beck, that process is well on its way."
Rice told Paige the "old" LAPD unfairly accused black officers of misconduct.
However, she said that's not happening anymore.
"At the top, there is no longer an open acceptance of a racist, ugly, mean culture that used to deep-six black officers," Rice said.
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