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WMG / RoboCop (1987)

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Kinney's death by ED-209 was no accident; Dick Jones wanted him eliminated for an unspecified reason.
Dick Jones was willing to risk his credibility by having the ED-209 rigged to used deadly force on a surrendering suspect because Kinney was some threat to Dick. (Whistle-blower, knew too much about Dick's criminal enterprise, etc.) Another interpretation takes into account how Kinney is reckless with the Desert Eagle pistol suggesting clumsy and stupid; this and his potential whistle-blower status, may be Dick's way of saying, "You have failed me for the last time."

This can cause some Fridge Horror once you connect it with the following: Mister Kinney is called without hesitation by Dick Jones. Following Kinney's death, Bob Morton is warned on the descending elevator by Donald Johnson to watch his back, after attempting to out-do Dick Jones with his Robocop proposal. After the warning, Morton says. "Too bad about Kinney."

The ED-209 accident was by design of Bob Morton

It also makes just as much sense that Bob Morton sabotaged the ED-209 demonstration for the purposes of getting the RoboCop project greenlit. Notice how quickly Morton is to suggest his project after the Old Man chides Jones for setting them back. Or how he is laughing at beginning of Jones's presentation. If Kinney had some dirt on Dick (like suggested above), this takes suspicion away from Bob, at the expense of the viewer seeing Bob in an even more ruthless light.

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This theory goes that ED-209 was meant to be outfitted with blanks for the demonstration, and Morton convinced someone to switch the blanks out for real bullets, and possibly even tampered with the programming.

If this were the case, then his assassination at the hands of Clarence takes on a much more personal pretext, and makes him more of an Asshole Victim.

Lewis was supposed to be the next Robocop.
Robo's line "They'll fix you, they fix everything" at the end of the first film sounded more than just reassurance.
If Clarence had won, Delta City would never reach construction.
With Robocop dead and the strike still in full swing, the new crime empire Dick promised Clarence would have gotten out of hand.
Dick Jones had not actually been fired, but Robocop didn't know
As pointed out here, you can't just fire someone, especially an executive, by screaming at him he's fired out of the blue. Legally, the Old Man couldn't fire him out of the blue... And, judging by that scene the only one who didn't know was Robocop, hence why the directive stopped bothering him.
A variant on the above: OCP contracts allow to fire someone that way
Considering that the CEO in the third movie was fired that way, it's possible that OCP contracts allow an executive to be fired in case of dire crimes... And being proved having committed murder and taking the CEO hostage in sight of a police officer and the whole board of directors would qualify as grounds for termination.
  • There would be very few employment tribunals in the world that would not find that Dick Jones could be validly terminated with cause after what he'd pulled.
    • OCP, being a virtual den of evil in a Crapsack World, probably has a "terminate at will" clause in everyone's contract. It's up to you as a prospective employee as to whether or not you sign it, but if you do, the Boss can fire you whenever and for whatever he goddamn feels like.
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