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$1 Million Reward Nets Hundreds Of Tips In Manhunt For Ex-LAPD Officer

Melissa Block talks with Kirk Siegler about the latest in the search for Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles Police Department officer who has eluded police for more than a week. Dorner is wanted in three murders and there is now a $1 million reward for his capture and conviction.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

In Los Angeles, a million-dollar reward has led to hundreds of tips in the search for former LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner. Dorner is on the run, wanted for the murder of a police officer and two other people. His truck was found torched in a resort town in the mountains east of L.A. But a massive search through a snowstorm over the weekend turned up nothing.

NPR's Kirk Siegler joins us now from NPR West. And, Kirk, why don't you start by telling us what the latest is on the search for Dorner.

KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Well, the latest is, I mean, despite this being one of the largest manhunts in California history now, police really still have no firm leads on Christopher Dorner's whereabouts. Or if they do, they're certainly not saying. Authorities are drastically scaling back their on-the-ground search efforts in the mountains east of L.A., where Dorner's burned-out truck was found.

And here in the city, police have canceled what's called a tactical alert. And that means that police officers are mostly back to their regular schedules. Though, Melissa, the LAPD's motorcycle officers are still being kept off the streets as a safety precaution.

And that million-dollar reward, you mentioned, that's been put up has led to a flurry of tips coming in. At least two had police scrambling last night, but they turned out to be false alarms.

BLOCK: Now, over the weekend, the LAPD reopened its investigation into the incident that apparently led to Christopher Dorner's dismissal from the force. What can you tell us about that?

SIEGLER: Well, court documents are helping us piece together some really interesting twists and turns in this saga now. I mean, the incident that ultimately led to Dorner's dismissal from the police force occurred back in the summer of 2007. Dorner was then a rookie officer with the police force. He responded with his supervisor, a female training officer, to a call about a man causing a disturbance at a hotel.

After Dorner reportedly had a hard time restraining the man, he testified that the training officer kicked the suspect in the shoulder and in the face. Now, she denied ever kicking him but she did say she used a taser against the man.

BLOCK: So, conflicting accounts of what happened in that incident and that led to an investigation.

SIEGLER: Right, the LAPD launched its own investigation through its board of inquiry and ultimately determine that Dorner's story didn't check out. That led to his dismissal, which Dorner then unsuccessfully appealed in the coming months. Now, incidentally, Dorner was represented during those proceedings by Randall Quan, himself a former police officer.

Now, it was Quan's daughter and her fiancee who police say were the first victims of Dorner's shooting spree. All in vengeance, retaliation they say, for his firing. But, you know, this whole case is really raising broader questions about the LAPD and its reputation, which some of the force's new leaders are very sensitive about. Chief Charlie Beck saying he's aware of the ghosts of LAPD's past and that's why he's reopening the investigation into Dorner's firing, trying to be as transparent to the public as possible.

BLOCK: OK. NPR's Kirk Siegler at NPR West. Kirk, thanks so much.

SIEGLER: Glad to do it. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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