Margie Carranza, 47, and her 71-year-old mother, Emma Hernandez, had more than 100 rounds of bullets pumped into their blue pickup truck on the morning of February 7 because seven LAPD officers thought they were Christopher Dorner—despite the fact that their truck was a completely different model and color than the one cops were instructed to look for. That's why they're getting four times the already and still controversial reward total for Christopher Dorner and walking away with $4.2 million of their own. "The deal is relatively a very simple, very clean deal. It's a win-win for both parties," L.A. city attorney Carmen Trutanich told NBC Los Angeles, confirming the settlement amount, which Carranza and Hernandez can split any way they want. "It closes this chapter in Los Angeles and LAPD history on all issues," Trutanich added.
That chapter was embarrassing. In the hunt for Dorner, the ex-cop whose vengeance and escape from much of a state's law enforcement powers led him to kill four people, police had told Southern California residents to be on the lookout for a charcoal Nissan Titan pickup truck. Carranza and Emma, who were delivering newspapers early in the Torrance that Thursday—in their blue Toyota Tacoma—were shot at with at least 100 rounds of ammo, USA Today's Michael Winter reports. It was an embarrassing vehicular mixup in a wild chase, but these two women were also (clearly) not an African American male. And 100 bullets? The 71-year-old Hernandez was shot twice in the back, while Carranza was injured by broken glass, NBC LA reports.
The two women also weren't the only ones mistakenly shot at by police. Torrance police fired upon a black pickup truck driven by a man named David Perdue later that morning. His undisclosed settlement was reached this weekend, reports Long Beach's Press Telegram, which also notes that Trutanich, the city attorney, said that if Perdue's case went to trial, Los Angeles could have been facing damages of up to $15 million.
Still unresolved is that approximately $1 million reward for actually finding Dorner, not being mistaken for him. And there remain those competing calls for the reward money offered up by officials from multiple cities in Southern California: "Two claims have been made: one by a couple who were held hostage by Dorner, the other by a man whose pickup Dorner stole at gunpoint," USA Today reported. But recently, according to The Los Angeles Times, major donors have been dropping out, claiming that since Dorner died, no one was entitled to the money—which, well, that's a bit problematic since there's really not much incentive for anyone to give important tips if there's a cost-cutting incentive working against them ... and, well, it's not exactly a good sign for the LAPD to come across as duplicitous for offering more money for violent mistakes than for finding the violent man half a state was looking for. Because, you know, the duplicity of the LAPD is what made Chris Dorner so upset in the first place.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.