Video captures oddly cordial confession from murder suspect
LYNWOOD, Ill. (WGN) -- It was the end of a 12 hour shift.
A murder earlier that morning in Hammond led to an armed stand-off with the suspect that night in Lynwood.
Police believed Joseph Barner had shot three people, killing one of them. They didn't know if he would give himself up without a fight.
But he did. And later in the Lynwood Police Department's booking room, he told the officers why. Booking room video captured their conversation:
Barner: "Lynwood is the only police department that takes care of their people and they do their job."
Officer Brian Dorian: "Write our mayor a letter. Tell them how good we are to you, man!"
It turns out that Dorian had helped the suspect's mom during a previous call with paramedics. Repeatedly, the officer tells the man wanted for murder he doesn't have to talk about the crime. He's just there for booking.
The suspect says he's at peace – then nonchalantly confesses.
Dorian: "Did you get your head cut a little bit?
Barner: "They hit me when I was talking to them."
Dorian: "Who did?"
Baner: "The people that I shot."
Dorian: "What did they hit you with?"
Barner: "They hit me with their fists."
While police video may make Barner look calm and controlled, court documents obtained by WGN Investigates paint a different picture.
A probable cause affidavit says in a videotaped statement with Hammond detectives an hour later, barner confessed again.
Detectives quote him as saying "so much stuff had been building up on him." He claimed his ex-girlfriend had been "spending all of the money he had made" and she would "put spells on him."
That's why he says he went to her house at the corner of Tell and Truman with a gun.
Back at the Lynwood police station, the video shows the suspect thanking the officers for how they treated him.
Dorian: "Nineteen years of doing this, the only thing I say is: I'll treat you exactly how you treat me bro."
It's not just 19 years as a cop that forms this officer's actions. He's the same police officer who once found himself accused of murder.
Seven years ago, Will County authorities wrongly charged Dorian with a two-state shooting spree.
"When I'm talking to someone, when someone is in a set of bracelets or shackles – I see me," Dorian said.
After the charges were dropped, Dorian went back to police work. He's a leader in the Lynwood Police Department, showing the ropes to younger officers like Stevie Bradich, who was also in the booking room with Barner. It was her first encounter with a man wanted for murder.
"Being able to have that compassion to deal with another human being, regardless of whether you're in uniform or not," Bradich said, describing Dorian's character. She added that being in the booking room with Dorian and Barner was a really good lesson.
"I think the biggest thing I learned is I'm not looking at some 'piece of garbage,' like I was looked at and just hurry up and get back out on the street. I actually don't mind given them an ear because all they want is to be heard," Dorian said. "If you can sit back there for 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes and talk to them like a person not a piece of garbage sitting on a bench handcuffed to wall you're going to get a lot father in this line of work."
Just before ending his extra long shift that night, a final exchange between a murder suspect and an officer who has been in his place:
Barner: "I thank you for being the way you are."
Dorian: "You're welcome. Hey, I don't know if it means anything to you but when I lay down tonight and go to bed I'll say a prayer for you. Alright bro?"
Officer Dorian says despite his soft touch in that booking room, he never stopped thinking about Barner's alleged victims. He says he said a prayer for them and their families that night as well.