How Chris Dorner’s Manhunt Became A Meme

What was it about the Chris Dorner manhunt that set off a massive online competition to tell the darkest joke?

1. The meme-ing of Chris Dorner started oddly enough in real life, as photos of LA residents wearing “Not Chris Dorner Please Do Not Shoot” shirts went viral.

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2. Alexander Abad-Santos of The Atlantic Wire described it as a “half-sarcastic, half-wake-up-call response to very serious mistakes by the police.”

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3. It didn’t take long for the rest of the internet to spread the “meme-ification” of Chris Dorner’s manhunt.

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5. There was a cinematic feel to the story of an ex-cop and former U.S. Navy SEALs being chased by the notoriously unpopular LAPD.

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7. Made only worse by the LAPD shooting an unarmed woman during their manhunt.

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9. His unfortunately friendly-looking face on the file photo circulated by police didn’t help either.

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13. Then there was the feeling that we were watching a movie, or the idea that Chris Dorner was playing a grim, real-life version of a video game.

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18. One of the most telling jokes of the manhunt was the “Good Guy Chris Dorner” meme, capturing the online sentiment that the LAPD was no better — or even worse — than Dorner.

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22. By the end of the chase yesterday the internet’s meme engine was in full-effect:

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Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Ryan Broderick at

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