News Column

Donors Balk on Murder Reward

March 25, 2013

Some donors to a reward fund in the case of a murder suspect who died after leading California police on a 10-day manhunt say they are rethinking their pledges.

A $1 million reward was offered for the arrest and conviction of ex-police officer Christopher Dorner, alleged to have killed two law enforcement officers and two civilians.

But Dorner died in a burning cabin -- police said he killed himself as officers closed in -- so there was no arrest.

A couple who were tied up and their car stolen and a man whose pickup was hijacked by Dorner have filed claims for the reward, which was offered by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

More than 25 donors pledged money to the reward fund. Some groups, 'including a few that are substantial," have decided to withdraw their pledges, said Ron Cottingham, president of the 64,000-member Peace Officers Research Association of California.

"They said the reward doesn't fit their criteria," Cottingham said.

Much of the controversy is embedded in confusion about the reward language, a Los Angeles Times report said.

In announcing the reward, Villaraigosa initially said during a news conference the money would be given for Dorner's arrest and conviction. He then broadened the scope of the reward to the suspect's "capture."

In a written statement, the Los Angeles Police Department said the money was for "information leading to the apprehension and conviction" of Dorner.

The department recently proposed replacing that phrase with "identification and capture," the Times said.



Source: Copyright United Press International 2013


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