Crime & Justice

Christopher Dorner's former trainer and target sues LAPD for racial discrimination

Riverside police officers wear black bands over their badges in honor of RPD officer allegedly gunned down by x-LAPD cop Christopher Dorner.
Riverside police officers wear black bands over their badges in honor of RPD officer allegedly gunned down by x-LAPD cop Christopher Dorner.
Steven Cuevas / KQED

The officer who trained Christopher Dorner — the ex-cop who authorities say turned killer after he was fired from the Los Angeles Police Department — is now suing the city for racial discrimination and harassment. 

In a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, Sgt. Teresa Evans alleged she was made a department scapegoat because of the racial connotations of the Dorner case and that she was treated unfairly by members of the LAPD. The complaint alleges that retaliation by the LAPD ruined her chances for promotion and inflicted physical, mental and emotional anguish and suffering.

Dorner shot and killed himself in February 2013 during a standoff with police in the San Bernardino Mountains community of Angelus Oaks. That showdown capped a massive, multi-day manhunt.

Dorner, who was black, left a lengthy manifesto on Facebook, in which he alleged the department had discriminated against him based on his race and retaliated against him for reporting what he said was a case of excessive force involving Evans in 2007. Evans is white. 

In that incident, Evans had been Dorner's training officer. Dorner claimed to witness her kicking a mentally ill suspect, but he waited two weeks before reporting it to the internal affairs department, according to the complaint.

In 2009, the department cleared Evans and found against Dorner, who was then fired for making false statements.

In his manifesto, Dorner detailed his grievances against the department and others he said had wronged him and threatened to bring "warfare" to LAPD officers and their families.

The first to be killed were Monica Quan and her fiancé Keith Lawrence. Quan was the daughter of former LAPD captain Randal Quan, who represented Dorner in the internal review that ultimately led to his termination.

In her complaint, Evans alleges that Dorner's allegations and the fact that she is white led to a hostile work environment. Evans was transferred from a coveted assignment to the security services division, denied overtime, and lost her ability to earn a promotion to Sergeant II, according to the complaint:

 

She said she was subjected to racial harassment because of the racial tension sparked by the Dorner case and that she was retaliated against when she complained about discrimination, according to the complaint.

Evans is seeking unspecified damages.

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