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Police Have 911 And Dispatch Tapes In Gates Case

911 and police dispatch tapes captured some of the action between Sgt. James Crowley and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. last week. Cambridge police are considering making the tapes public, which could give provide a much clearer understanding of what transpired.

In a radio interview yesterday morning with WEEI's John Dennis and Gerry Callahan, Crowley, a 42-year-old father of three, said he hasn't heard the tapes.

"One of my first transmissions was to slow the units down and I'm in the residence with somebody I believe resides here, but he's being very uncooperative. So, that's in real time," Crowley told the sports-talk hosts.

"I'm not really sure how much you could hear from Professor Gates, you know, in the background. I, I don't know. I haven't heard the tapes."

If it's the tapes prove that Gates has been lying about his actions that day don't expect retractions or apologies for besmirching the reputation of, by all accounts, a stellar policeman. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has already moved the goalposts in that regard when he says, "You ought to be able to raise your voice in your own house without risk of arrest."

From the previous article:

"It's powerful evidence because the (people involved) have not had a chance to reflect and you are getting their state of mind captured on tape," said former prosecutor and New York City police officer Eugene O'Donnell, who is now a lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan.

"More often than not," O'Donnell said, "as the facts come out, they are more favorable to the cop. It's crucial in the sense that it provides independent evidence. There is no question it provides corroboration." He called the tapes potentially "crucial" to Crowley's ability to defend himself against charges of racism.

If you're keeping score at home, the police report has identical reports from two of the officers and the scene, and as we noted yesterday a witness corroborated the story that Gates was yelling loudly at the officers. Sgt. James Crowley teaches courses on racial profiling at the police academy, and prior to joining the police force spent 15 minutes trying to save the life of Boston Celtic Reggie Lewis.

For his part Gates has claimed he was incapable of yelling and might sue.

As Michael Graham notes, it appears that the only racist that day was Gates.


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Comments (213)

Sorry I tried to give this ... (Below threshold)
rory:

Sorry I tried to give this five stars-because I think this is an interesting break in the story that I have not read anywhere else-and I accidently gave it one star...

We keep hearing from Gates'... (Below threshold)
davidt:

We keep hearing from Gates' defenders that a man should be safe in his home, while reports are that the causes of the arrest occurred outside in the front yard.

Typical tactics of confusion of the facts by hustlers.

Once it becomes widely known the disturbance of the peace was happenning outside, look for the Gates people to claim the front yard is part of the home, and he should be free to be as disturbing as he wishes there, while the Crowley defenders and other common sense types explain the front yard is in public.

Thank god someone is here t... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Thank god someone is here to defend the police against the old black man with a cane. Good ole Wizbang.

Old black man with a cane..... (Below threshold)
Lisa:

Old black man with a cane....lol, you are funny. Oh, wait, you did mean to be funny didn't you?

Gates,Jackson,Sharpton,Obam... (Below threshold)
1903A3:

Gates,Jackson,Sharpton,Obama,all cut from the same clothe.

Since when is being a jerk ... (Below threshold)
Neil:

Since when is being a jerk or a s.o.b a crime in this country? And I am talking about the famous Doctor Louis Gates! When do the police go to far? And should the police department really have a say in that question? Who works for whom? Sgt. James Crowley is not a racist, but he is an arrogant police officer and as such he does not like being questioned or doubted. The arrest of dr. Gates served what purpose? It was only to prove who was in control, who is the boss ... it was intimidation and retaliatory in nature ... it was abuse of power all the way. Don't officers have training to defuse situations like this? The President put it best the police "acted stupidly". It is just the same when a 95 yr old lady gets questioned and searched at airports. We all see that and say the same thing, that is STUPID, meanwhile Alibaba goes unchecked. When is too far TOO FAR, enough is enough already. If the officer is as good as they say where was his ability of discernment or had Dr. Gates already unpacked his bags from his trip, did the limo parked outside not shed any light on the situation, does a greying old man dressed as he was not give the officer reason to chill out? Dr Gates really looked like a perp? Dr Gates was on the phone when the police arrived ... mmmm robbers in the mist of robbing stop to use a phone. OK Dr Gates was an ass to refuse at first to give his ID, maybe thinking please take a look do I look like a thief ... in the end he gives his ID(s) but he continues to be an ass in his own home ... this is a crime, is it a crime to insult officer Crowley's mother? When is it enough ... when do police go to far? We are not "obligated" to be nice or polite to police, where does it say in the constitution be polite to cops. Sorry it does not, BUT it does say plenty on individual rights of any who walk in this country. Officer Crowley works for us, once he had his proof his demeanor, tone, attitude should have changed. We should have to defer to police in OUR OWN HOMES if NO CRIME IS BEING COMMITTED. Again when is too far TOO FAR?

If Gates house was really b... (Below threshold)
mag:

If Gates house was really being broken into by some robber and the police did not come...the all the moaning would be about how the police don't care about blacks homes.
You can not win with some people, damn if you do and damn if you don't.
This policeman seems to be a upright guy and Gates..well see #5 that explains it all.

Shouldn't a professor reali... (Below threshold)

Shouldn't a professor realize that police have to put their lives on the line daily and that it is very difficult to tell the average citizen from a killer? Guess it's just easier to tell that someone is white.

Well, judging from everythi... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Well, judging from everything I've heard so far about this incident, it seems Mr. Gates has a bit of a problem. The fact that so many are making excuses for him for every new revelation that unfolds tends to imply that his actions weren't so innocent. Yet, in all fairness, until we know what's on the tapes, we won't know enough.

This reminds me of an incident in a department store not long ago. I made a rather large purchase with a credit card and the clerk asked to see a picture ID to be sure I was indeed the owner of the card. I thanked her for her diligence. Not ten feet away another man was hassling another clerk for the same situation. That man was black and insisted the clerk was "profiling" him. His voice was raised and he actually called her "stupid". I just shook my head and left with my purchase.

If I were breaking into my own home and was approached by an officer. I'd gleefully show him my ID and thank him for caring enough to check out the situation.

Oyster,It is sad t... (Below threshold)
Grace:

Oyster,

It is sad that we are still such a racially charged nation that your department store story happened. I believe that some racial profiling still happens, but it is probably rarer now than ever but each case is blown out of proportion so that Prof. Gates might still teach about it.

When the "victim" status that Prof. Gates teaches becomes old (will it ever?), we might be able to move beyond, but I fear with someone of the stature of the POTUS weighing in with his completely UNINFORMED OPINION, we are far from that time.

I pity Officer Crowley. I fear the same machine that attacked Joe the plumber will now have him in their crosshairs.

Gates was out of line and s... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Gates was out of line and should be the one offering an apology.

Ironically enough, the "rogue" cop, as Gates refers to Crowley, taught a racial profiling class at the Lowell Police Academy in 2004.
Further, he was handpicked for the job by former Cambridge Ma Police Commissioner Ronnie Watson, who is also black.

The only racist in this incident is Gates.

Why do liberals like jp2 ha... (Below threshold)
Zaugg:

Why do liberals like jp2 hate white people?

A few words of advice to # ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

A few words of advice to # 6. Neil, when you seek to convince someone by use of questions, use questions that are not so easily answered (with answers you won't like).

For instance: "When do the police go to far? And should the police department really have a say in that question? " Yes. Civilan review panels and the inclusion of lay-people on technical review panels has a poor record of success.

"Don't officers have training to defuse situations like this?" Yes, and the officer in question taught the class on racial profiling.

"If the officer is as good as they say where was his ability of discernment or had Dr. Gates already unpacked his bags from his trip, did the limo parked outside not shed any light on the situation, does a greying old man dressed as he was not give the officer reason to chill out?" If Gates' bags were visible that potentially could make matters less clear. Bags carry things, both into and out of places. The limo and driver had left by the time the officer arrived. Old people don't commit crimes, is that your position?

"in the end he gives his ID(s) but he continues to be an ass in his own home ... this is a crime, is it a crime to insult officer Crowley's mother?" So Gates was less than cooperative from the start of the interaction. He gets away with everything he does and says while he's in his house even the, "I'll talk to your momma" bit. It's when he took his behavior outside, in public, and ignored the officer's caution to calm down that he got arrested.

He's a tenured professor, a Harvard media star. If you want to talk about arrogance and a feeling of entitlement, just talk about Prof. Gates.

Well stated, Upset Old Guy.... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Well stated, Upset Old Guy.

I'm still amazed that Obama... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

I'm still amazed that Obama came out and within the same breath says that he doesn't have the facts of what occurred and then refer to the Cambridge Police as acting "stupidly". It shows extremely poor judgment on Obama's part for not only involving himself in this but in making such a definitively assessment of the officers without having the facts. Very unprofessional.

Gates was an A$$. Plain an... (Below threshold)
TheBloodletting:

Gates was an A$$. Plain and simple. He didn't get arrested IN his own home, he got arrested OUTSIDE of his own home, where he continued to DISTURB THE PEACE at that very late hour of the night. When advised to calm down, HE CHOSE NOT TO. Therefore, by law, the police DID THEIR JOB.

You stupid, stupid people who feel so damned entitled to do and say anything you wish at any time and anywhere. Grow the hell up!

There are a certain number ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

There are a certain number of blacks who will take the black guy's side and be against the white guy, even if they know the black guy was wrong. (cough, O.J., cough) It's racism.

That's just the way it is in our society. Does it happen with other races, too? Sure.

But when it's blacks you get the marches, bullhorns, threats of 'no justice, no peace', wall-to-wall interviews with deeply concerned 'civil rights activists', and even the President of the United States of America taking the side of the black guy even though he admits he does not know the facts of the case, etc etc...

As long as we keep nursing these grievences and keep treating blacks as 'immature babies that we have to look out for' we're just going to keep getting incidents like this.

Time for everyone to grow up; the President especially. He has a responsibility as Prez to not throw flames on a racial fire until all the facts are in. His BFF Gates got arrestd, so Obama makes a difficult and still-developing situation worse. On national T.V.
The Prez does not take the duty of his office seriously enough. Someone should remind him that it's not all about him.

Here's an article that lays... (Below threshold)
Timezoned:

Here's an article that lays out what a disorderly conduct charge requires, basically a threat to actually cause a riot. Which is why they had to drop that charge.

http://www.slate.com/id/2223379/

Which leaves us with the fact that he was arrested for asking for an officer's ID. Which isn't a crime, yes even if you do it more than once and yes, even if you do it loudly.

And no, he was arrested the moment he stepped onto the porch, for things he did inside the house. Namely, demanding ID from a cop.

In fact, not only is it not illegal to ask for it, it's illegal for the officer to refuse the request.

Gates may have played this "wrong" in the sense of how to get along and go along and make no waves, sure. But he was entirely within his rights, pissed off, and demanding what he legally had a right to. The cop was entirely in the wrong. He got pissed off too, clearly, from his "he talked about my mother, I was amazed" statement. Yeah, not nice, but hardly something to arrest someone for.

Back in the mid 90s, I used... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Back in the mid 90s, I used to work in a chain retail software store which has since "evolved" into a mostly used game store, part time to help pay the rent.
Anyway, one day a young black man came in asked for a job application. He filled it out, I read it, and then told him we couldn't consider him for a job at this time, and told him why. An hour or so later, his mother cam back, with him in tow. She yelled at me and my partner, the other assistant manager, called us racists. Threatened to call the EEOC, the local news and I don't remember how many acronyms.
My partner Vingh (you may now guess that he wasn't very white) let her wear herself out then proceeded to pull out a hilighter and marked up a blank application form. The EEOC clause and the age requirement. MUST BE 18.
Her son didn't tell her that part of the story... that we told him to come back in 2 years.
I don't know if he did so on purpose, or if she heard we said no and immediately went into Al Sharpton mode before he could tell her the whole story.

This may be a redefining mo... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

This may be a redefining moment re racism. Here you've got a cop who goes by the book, who TEACHES sensitivity, who did mouth-to-mouth on Reggie Lewis - being accused of racism.

Can anything more blatantly illustrate just how desperate the struggle to maintain 'racism' as a means of social coercion? MLK had it right - "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

Seems to me like it's Gate's character that's in question - not Crowley's. Of the two, I believe MLK would have been on Crowley's.

Crowley didn't judge by skin color - Gates started screaming about racism from the start.

The subtext in all of this ... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

The subtext in all of this is the sweeping generalization that most police are racist thugs just looking to harass poor innocent black men.

Why is there a presumption of guilt against cops?

I'm not familiar with all the facts, but I believe President Obama behaved stupidly.

"Of the two, I believe M... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"Of the two, I believe MLK would have been on Crowley's."

That should have been...

"Of the two SIDES, I believe MLK would have been on Crowley's."

Timezoned -If you ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Timezoned -

If you read the report, Crowley'd given his name and badge number TWICE - but from what's been reported and published he was playing to the crowd once he got outside.

"Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!" Why does that scene from 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' come to mind?

JLawsonHere's the ... (Below threshold)
Timezoned:

JLawson

Here's the report. Nowhere does Crowley write that he showed ID.

He said he "tried" to give his name several times.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0723092gates2.html

I know the habit of just making things up and being insistent about them is hard to break, but you'll have a lot more credibility if you at least try. Especially when trying to ridicule others with "If you read the report" when you clearly hadn't.

Which leaves us wi... (Below threshold)
Gizmo:
Which leaves us with the fact that he was arrested for asking for an officer's ID.
Yeah, that's it.. the poor guy was arrested merely for asking for the cop's ID. The yelling, arguing, etc. didn't factor into it! It was just because the prof dared ask for the officer's name and badge number.

My personal experience from what I've seen is that if you continue to argue with, berate, etc. a police officer in the line of duty, odds are the cuffs are coming out. Skin color doesn't matter. I've seen white guys refuse to leave a public area after being told to by police at a disturbance. They unwisely continued to argue with the officers and... boom, the next thing is the guys' on the ground being cuffed.

This reminds me of an interview with Spike Lee in Rolling Stone in the early 90's. Lee was bemoaning the fact that the US legal system was still biased against the "black man". He cited the recent rape conviction of Mike Tyson and the acquittal of William Kennedy Smith of similar charges. Spike said that it showed that "The System will take the word of the White Man, but not a Black one". The interviewer then threw the film director a curve and said "But if the verdicts were reversed, couldn't you claim that the courts were willing to believe the word of a White woman, but not a Black one???" Lee's response was basically "@#!% you!"

Last time I checked, being ... (Below threshold)
Lisa:

Last time I checked, being an annoying, asshole in your own home was not an arrestable offense. I have no doubt that Professor Gates was an asshole to the officer. He sounds like a gaping asshole on TV at his press statements. However, that still does not justify arresting the guy. We will see. If he took a swing or threatened someone, that would be another story. But calling the officer a racist and shrilly demanding his name and badge number is not an arrestable offense.

Yeah, that's it.. the po... (Below threshold)
Timezoned:

Yeah, that's it.. the poor guy was arrested merely for asking for the cop's ID. The yelling, arguing, etc. didn't factor into it! It was just because the prof dared ask for the officer's name and badge number.

See, that's the point. Yes, even if you ask real loud, even if you ask more than once, it's not something you can get arrested for. It's a question of law, not how insulted you are.

The giveaway was the "he talked about my mother" line. Well sheesh, man, have some perspective. You can't take someone insulting you, then find another line of work.

You can't arrest someone for asking for ID. That's all. No matter how much you don't like how he asked.

You're admitting that this is why he was arrested, only that he must have done it so loudly and not to the officer's liking that he deserved it.

Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

Disorderly conduct requires a fear that he's going to start a public disturbance that will spread. What, to other professors in the neighborhood? Give me a break.

BTW, I don't think that it ... (Below threshold)
Lisa:

BTW, I don't think that it was racist: I just think someone let an annoying member of the public get under his skin. Look, we all have those days where we don't want to hear any lip. But when you are a peace officer, there is a lot more at stake. Most people are rude and hang up on a customer on one of those days. But ARRESTING someone carries a lot more shit with it. You just can't afford to let people get to you or you are going to be...well...in this situation.

Right at the top, TZ, the o... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Right at the top, TZ, the officer said he gave his name at the start, and tried several times more only to be shouted down.

JL may be wrong, but you are clearly playing a game of semantics.

I would advise the officer ... (Below threshold)
jim2:

I would advise the officer to do everything possible to make sure those tapes are kept safe. I remember all too well how tapes were conveniently "lost" or "damaged" in the Duke LAX case. In the meanwhile, I would advise him to file a FOIA request to get them released.

At that point, I would consider defamation suits.

SCSIwuzzySemantics... (Below threshold)
Timezoned:

SCSIwuzzy

Semantics?

Here's what the poster wrote:

If you read the report, Crowley'd given his name and badge number TWICE

Badge number?

What I had posted was that he was asked for "ID" and refused. Someone responds that the report clearly states that the officer gave his "badge number" twice. The report says no such thing.

Who's playing with semantics?

So, is this just a right wing site that clings to one viewpoint no matter what the facts show?

I think Gates blew it, actually. But he was entirely within his rights, and the cop blew it too, badly. When you respond to a call and say "I heard there was a problem are you okay?" to a resident who opens the door, that seems right. When you say "I heard there was a problem, please step outside" that's not. That started things off wrong, wrong, wrong.

Gates was pissed, clearly, but so was the cop, clearly. Both acted stupidly.

You're admitting t... (Below threshold)
Gizmo:
You're admitting that this is why he was arrested, only that he must have done it so loudly and not to the officer's liking that he deserved it.

Sorry, it doesn't work that way.


Assuming you are correct, and I don't think you are, it begs the question: What does being arrested for yelling at the police have to do with race or racial profiling??? The answer: Nothing.
BTW, reading the report, th... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

BTW, reading the report, there is no reason Gates had to follow the officer and continue to harass the Sgt outside. In front of a gathering crowd.

Did the sgt have to wait for the crowd to get bigger and agitated?

Personally, I think Crowley could have just walked away and let the Harvard campus police deal with Gates. They likely have put up with his shenanigans before, I'll wager. But Gates was treated no differently than I would have been treated in the same situation, had I been yelling at the cop, claiming "this is what happens to half-breeds in America" (though I don't hear that term used this far east, not enough of us to have a common slur for) or "Catholics in America" or "bukra in the North!".

If anything the cops would have tolerated it less from me. And Gates, IMO, was counting on that.

TZ -If Gates would... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

TZ -

If Gates wouldn't STFU long enough to LISTEN to Crowley - who's fault is that? Crowley's? Or Gates?

Seems to me like Gates was/is looking for anything he could to make this the next Rodney King incident.

What does being arrested... (Below threshold)
Timezoned:

What does being arrested for yelling at the police have to do with race or racial profiling??? The answer: Nothing.

Really? I mean, I'm assuming you're wrong also, but who knows, you could be right. But do you really not grasp why this would even be thought of?

Here's what I think: A white, surburban, professor who looks like a professor is met as his door by a policeman investigating a burglar call. He says "Good evening, are you okay?" The guy says, "yes, why?" And you can imagine it from there.

Now what happened in Cambridge? The officer sees a black man, says "step outside please". And all hell breaks loose.

I can't claim racism was involved for certain, but that would be the first place to wonder about it. And by the way, Barack Obama didn't say that there was. But the conclusion that this was handled "stupidly", from the "step outside" to the hauling off someone to jail from his own porch, even when you knew it was his porch? That's a no-brainer.

But ARRESTING someone ca... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

But ARRESTING someone carries a lot more shit with it. You just can't afford to let people get to you or you are going to be...well...in this situation.

Are you saying that this seasoned, veteran cop did not foresee this situation beforehand? The sargeant already knew Gates was a Harvard professor. According to the officer's interview yesterday he radioed for the other officer's to slow down in response because he was with someone who appeared to be the resident of the house. You think he just wanted to arrest the guy because he insulted his mommy? I think Crowley knew what he was doing and knew the possible consequences. It was Gates's actions that caused him to be arrested.

Unless you think it should be OK for a man to follow a police officer outside of his house, loudly berate and accuse him of being a racist after repeatedly asking him to calm down while a crowd is forming? All while the officer is trying to protect this man's residence? If Gates didn't follow the officer outside it would be a different story. A crowd was gathering and what if the crowd started sympathizing with the professor and they started berating the cops, what happens then? Don't say it wouldn't happen, how are you to know?

You think this officer forgot his training and acted irrationally because of the taunts from a disgruntled old man? Give me a break.

Yes, TZ, semantics.A... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Yes, TZ, semantics.
As I said, JL was wrong. But the report clearly states that the Sgt identified himself up front. When he tried to do so again at Gates' request, he was not permitted to do so. You've decided to focus on ID issue and ignore the begining of the encounter.
BTW, the person that refused to allow the ID# to be given was Gates, not the SGT, per the report that we are referencing. So if you're going to be a little prick about JL being wrong, you'd best try to keep your facts straight as well.
Unless you're just a left wing troll that only clings to one viewpoint no matter what the fact show.

#6 neil:"Dr Gates re... (Below threshold)
twoplanker:

#6 neil:
"Dr Gates really looked like a perp?"

I thought it was improper to judge a book by its' color, er cover. When does judging a book by its' cover apply when investigating a break-in? Never would be the best answer.

Is Harvard going to fire Pr... (Below threshold)
George Author Profile Page:

Is Harvard going to fire Prof. Gates?
Or do they tolerate racists on their faculty?

Every black "spokesman" has... (Below threshold)
Trajan:

Every black "spokesman" has been on cable TV
today, circling the wagons for this rabid
Gates. Obama stepped in a cowpie for sure
and I couldn't thank that Chicago shill,
Lynn Sweet, enough for her asinine question.

When you respond to a ca... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

When you respond to a call and say "I heard there was a problem are you okay?" to a resident who opens the door

Really, is that how its supposed to go down? The cop is just to assume that the first person to come to the door is the resident? Are you just trying to be ignorant with that statement?

When you say "I heard there was a problem, please step outside" that's not. That started things off wrong, wrong, wrong.

According to Crowley's interview he asked Gates to step outside because he was the only officer there and that point didn't know what was going on or who Gates could be. If Gates had done nothing wrong or had nothing to hide there is absolutely no reason for him not to step outside, speak with the officer and straighten out the situation. You seem to forget that the officer was there because it was reported there was a break-in in progress. Your righteous indignation should be directed at Gates.

JR, esp given that the repo... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

JR, esp given that the report said there were two men breaking down the door. Should the only officer on the scene go inside where one or more people could be hiding and get bushwhacked?

<a href="http://www.thesmok... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0723092gates1.html

Seems to me the relevant stuff is in paragraphs 4 and 5, TZ.

Short of having 3 video cameras there taping everything, that's about the best we're going to get on what happened. It's also funny that the outside witnesses aren't denying what's in the report - or so it seems...

BTW, the person that ref... (Below threshold)
Timezoned:

BTW, the person that refused to allow the ID# to be given was Gates, not the SGT, per the report that we are referencing. So if you're going to be a little prick about JL being wrong, you'd best try to keep your facts straight as well.

Oh nice ad hominem. So I guess I was right about the ideology-driven blindness here, won't listen to anything but what you already believe from the right wing talking points.

My question about "semantics?" was wondering where I was quibbling with semantics. Not sure why that should be hard to understand, and I haven't seen a response that made any sense or even addressed it. He didn't "show ID". This is what I posted in my first post.

The arrogant "if you read the report" that then just made things up about it wasn't very convincing, no.

Well, that was fun except this place is clearly filled with people set on thinking what they're going to think from some right wing playbook, and anyone who disagrees, even with reason, with long thought out posts, is a "troll".

Good luck understanding anything with that "I've already decided" mindset. Been fun, by now.

What does being arrested... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

What does being arrested for yelling at the police have to do with race or racial profiling??? The answer: Nothing.


lisa, neil, and tz: Please read Gizmo's comment above again as it sums up the ridiculousness of this incident. I would like to see how the race baiters surrounding Gates would answer that question.

I haven't seen any of Gates... (Below threshold)
Hank:

I haven't seen any of Gates TV interview(s) but I'd like to see any talking head simply ask him why he couldn't have acted reasonably and respectfully to a Police Officer who was responding to a 911 call about a breakin at his residence.

Then I'd like them to ask Gates what the race of the Police Officer had to do with anything.

Finally, I'd like to see them ask Gates why a supposedly well respected Harvard Professor would say something derogatory about the Police Officers mother.

I think the answers would be very illuminating.

Well, that was fun excep... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Well, that was fun except this place is clearly filled with people set on thinking what they're going to think from some right wing playbook, and anyone who disagrees, even with reason, with long thought out posts, is a "troll".

I don't think you're a troll and I don't think those of us who disagree are playing from a rigth-wing playbook. I do think you're being ignorant of the fact that this clearly had nothing to do with race. If anyone is blindly playing from some playbook it is you. You nitpick "semantics" instead of addressing SC's point (even after he states JL was wrong, in essence agreeing with you!).

What talking points, TZ? N... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

What talking points, TZ? Name the talking points I am using.
I am only referencing the police report that you yourself linked to. You introduced the ad hom "right wing site" BS, so don't whine that it was used back on you.

Seriously, you were right that the report didn't say that Crowley gave his badge number, only that he tried. But on every point you're trying to argue with me, you're just getting it handed to you. And falling back on the debate tactics of someone that knows it.

As more facts come out, we'll see who poured fuel on the fire, and when.

Still mystified why this st... (Below threshold)
The Obvious One:

Still mystified why this story is appearing in a political blog.

Oh yeah - Gates is black - that makes him a target?

At that point, I w... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
At that point, I would consider defamation suits.

And your lawyer would tell you that the truth is an absolute defense against liable and defamation suits. To succeed you would have to show that the tapes were edited. Given the number of witnesses who heard the incident first hand, it would be easy for the defense to prove the tapes were accurate. You lose.

Gates admitted publicly yesterday that he was uncooperative with Crowley from the start. Crowley was called to the scene by a 911 call and the person who made the call met Crowley on the street to confirm that they saw two men breaking open the back door of the home. Crowley as duty bound to investigate and there were no white men in the house that Crowley ignored in order to focused on some black man instead. In light of the facts, claiming there was racial profiling involved is stupid.

Gates saw a white police officer enter his home uninvited (but legally) and blew a gasket. The only stupid behavior was on the part of Gates and Obama for injecting himself into this local incident on behalf of a friend and before he knew the facts. When politicians do that for family members it's considered corruption.

@ J.R. (#36, #41)A... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

@ J.R. (#36, #41)

According to the Police Report:

1. Gates followed Crowley outside, at Crowley's request.
2. In Crowley's own version of the story it was the *second* time he asked Gates to calm down - while he was reaching for handcuffs (i.e. immediately before arrest).
3. The crowd that was forming consisted of several police officers - persons there because Crowley called for them.
4. Very early in the encounter, Crowley was aware that Gates was the resident. Why else would he have dropped his guard enough for Figuera to be able to sneak up behind him?

That's all in Crowley's own police report - just the one side of the encounter. None of those things support your interpretation of what happened.

And the fact that the charg... (Below threshold)
The Obvious One:

And the fact that the charges were dropped proves Gates innocence.

Still mystified why this... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Still mystified why this story is appearing in a political blog.

Were you wondering the same thing when Obama was asked a question about it the other night?

TZ -"So I guess... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

TZ -

"So I guess I was right about the ideology-driven blindness here, won't listen to anything but what you already believe from the right wing talking points."

And you seem conditioned to automatically support any accusation of racism, no matter what might be available as far as contrary information.

(Shrug.)

Doesn't really matter, does it? You can go off and feel virtuous for semantically defending Gates against a mob with torches and pitchforks.

The Oblivious One,<bl... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The Oblivious One,

Still mystified why this story is appearing in a political blog.

Oh yeah - Gates is black - that makes him a target?

And Obama talking about it on a prime time press conference complete escaped your notice. Quit being so oblivious.

"And the fact that the c... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"And the fact that the charges were dropped proves Gates innocence."

No - it proves the charges were dropped. Nothing more, whether innocence or guilt.

I hope the next time there ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

I hope the next time there is a report of a break-in at Gate's house, before responding, I hope the police sloo-owly ask for the radio report to be repeated (just so there are no misunderstandings), I hope the cops sloo-o-wly get in their patrol car, carefully put on their seatbelts, takes time to properly adjust their mirrors and then sloo-o-wly and carefully drive towards the perfessor's house (all in the name of public safety).

And if the report says it's a suspected black male breaking in the house - hoo boy! The cops better drive around the block a few times first (just in case) before going to the house. They should drive up to the house but not get out of the car, as that may be intimidating to minorities (even if the cops are minorities themselves).

If they see a black man carrying a tv out of the window, they should not make any assumptions. They should yell from the street "Scuse me sir, do you live here?".
If the guy replies "Yes I do." or "Go f*#k your mother!" the police should then just smile and wave and drive away (per some of the commenters here)

So to all you burglars in Cambridge, I wonder what the good Perfessor's address is. And if you are a black burglar, well you just got a get out of jail free card. Enjoy.

/sarc

"If they see a black man... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"If they see a black man carrying a tv out of the window, they should not make any assumptions. They should yell from the street "Scuse me sir, do you live here?".
If the guy replies "Yes I do." or "Go f*#k your mother!" the police should then just smile and wave and drive away (per some of the commenters here)"

No, no, no! In order to be sensitive they should offer to help carry the TV!

And the fact that ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
And the fact that the charges were dropped proves Gates innocence.

And of course everyone who has changes dropped or is acquitted was still arrested. Crowley was doing his job.

Everybody can see the cop w... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Everybody can see the cop was probably being uppity. Yup. Time to riot in the streets.

There is a difference between being a public servant and being a servant. Crowley knows the difference. Gates apparently does not, strange as that may seem.

There is racism and celebrity media at work, most always a dangerous combination.

"Crowley was doing his j... (Below threshold)
The Obvious One:

"Crowley was doing his job. "

Crowley made a bad arrest that was tossed out before it even got to court.

Gates is innocent. The charges were dropped. These are indisputable facts. It was a bad bust and Gates never should have been arrested.

The police, who have the 911 recordings according to this report, dropped the charges.

Obviously Gates is innocent.

"There is racism and cel... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"There is racism and celebrity media at work, most always a dangerous combination."

Boy, ain't THAT the truth...

The crowd that was formi... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

The crowd that was forming consisted of several police officers - persons there because Crowley called for them.

Are you only reading what you want to? There was also the original caller and at least 7 unidentified passers-by. Even if Gates was established as the resident, why didn't he listen to Crowley when he warned Gates that he was becoming disorderly?

sorry, my interpretation is closer to the truth then you are apparently willing to believer.

@ Les Nessman, #57... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

@ Les Nessman, #57

Do you really believe that a world where cops intentionally provide shoddy protection to people they don't like is one to hope for?

1. Gates followed... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:


1. Gates followed Crowley outside, at Crowley's request. True. Crowley said he was leaving, and if Gates had any more questions he would answer them outside.

2. In Crowley's own version of the story it was the *second* time he asked Gates to calm down - while he was reaching for handcuffs (i.e. immediately before arrest). You would prefer that he flashed the cuffs the first time? Pulling out the cuffs is a way of showing you mean it. Like a parent picking up the yard stick... And it was the second time once they were outside in front of a crowd

3. The crowd that was forming consisted of several police officers - persons there because Crowley called for them. Tsk tsk. Being selective with your facts. It also consisted of 7 or more unknown passersby and the neighbor that called 911. I suspect she'll never do that again unless Gates' house is on fire...

4. Very early in the encounter, Crowley was aware that Gates was the resident. Why else would he have dropped his guard enough for Figuera to be able to sneak up behind him? Supposition. Evidence of sneaking?

That's all in Crowley's own police report - just the one side of the encounter. None of those things support your interpretation of what happened. You are being selective. He inititially asked for Gates to step outside because he was alone. Once it was clear that Gates was Gates, he wanted to move outside so he could use his radio better, then to disengage.

mba #64I wasn't go... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

mba #64

I wasn't going to add a '/sarc' at the end of my comment, but I'm glad I did now.

It meant I was being sarcastic.

Sheesh. Are people really that dense?

And the fact that the charg... (Below threshold)
Rich:

And the fact that the charges were dropped proves Gates innocence.

52. Posted by The Obvious One | July 24, 2009 10:41 AM |

No, the charges were dropped at the behest 0f the mayor of Cambridge, a friend of the Professor and the President. In her politically correct world, the police are always wrong and the "oppressed" are always right. I'm sure that she discusses this at length at the dinners at "the private Italian restaurant on the upper east side" of Marthas Vineyard with the good professor.

" I suspect she'll never... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

" I suspect she'll never do that again unless Gates' house is on fire..."

And even then, likely think twice about it, because he might accuse her of arson. She is, after all, white...

Obviously she was looking out for him - but if I had a neighbor like that, I don't think I'd be willing to watch his house too closely.

@ J.R.in #36 you s... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

@ J.R.

in #36 you said:
A crowd was gathering and what if the crowd started sympathizing with the professor and they started berating the cops, what happens then? Don't say it wouldn't happen, how are you to know?

The Police Report, filed by the officer in question says:
When I left the residence, I noted that there were several Cambridge and Harvard University police officers assembled on the sidewalk in front of the residence.

So you've got "several" cops and "at least seven" passerby. Sounds like the recipe for a riot to me <eyeroll>.

1. Gates followed ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
1. Gates followed Crowley outside, at Crowley's request.

Standard practice in a reported burglary is to get the owner and family out of the house. Just because the owner doesn't think there is a burglary in progress doesn't mean that's not the case. Remember, there was an eye witness to the fact that two men broke in the back door.

2. In Crowley's own version of the story it was the *second* time he asked Gates to calm down - while he was reaching for handcuffs (i.e. immediately before arrest).

Police reach for the handcuffs to make a point that they are serious about making an arrest if they don't get corporation. Only the terminally stupid keep provoking the officer.

3. The crowd that was forming consisted of several police officers - persons there because Crowley called for them.

Standard practice is to call for backup. It actually supports Crowley's case that he was having problems at the scene.

4. Very early in the encounter, Crowley was aware that Gates was the resident. Why else would he have dropped his guard enough for Figuera to be able to sneak up behind him?

Crowley didn't arrest Gates for burglary, he arrested him for disorderly conduct in public. Being the owner of the house is irrelevant to the fact that Gates, now outside his home, was disturbing the peace by loudly yelling at Crowley and even referring to Crowley's mother in derogatory terms. Fighting words are not protected speech.

Dunno JL, with a neighbor l... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Dunno JL, with a neighbor like that, maybe she called the cops knowing it was Gates, but wanted to inflict some grief on an asshole neighbor. I am withholding judgment on the virtue of the 911 caller, given the lack of facts.

Sorry Les Nessman, Poe's La... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

Sorry Les Nessman, Poe's Law and all. Consider SCSIwuzzy and J.R. both maintaining that several cops and "at least seven" passerby is a recipe for a riot.

" Do you really believe tha... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

" Do you really believe that a world where cops intentionally provide shoddy protection to people they don't like is one to hope for? "

Do you really think this incident is going to produce better protection for homeowners? If you were a cop in Cambridge, don't you think it will affect how you treat reports of home break-ins?

The President himself threw your department under the bus, before he knew all the facts, and you don't think it is a problem?

Never said that NEaM. Just... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Never said that NEaM. Just pointed out you were being selective with your facts, and now pointing out you do it dishonestly so.

And the fact that the charg... (Below threshold)
The Obvious One:

And the fact that the charges were dropped proves Gates innocence.

The man is innocent of all charges. This is a witch hunt because Gates is black. It's shameful to see this taking place in present day America. You'd think this is Alabama 60 years ago.

Perhaps I am being selectiv... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

Perhaps I am being selective, nonetheless the following statement is from the police report:

"At some point during the exchange, I became aware that Off. Carlos Figueroa was standing behind me."

This is not a realization that a good veteran cop would make if he was investigating a burglary. He knew there was no break-in, he knew that Gates was lawfully in his own home.

Here's my version:
Crowley saw an old man disrespecting him, and when that continued after they were outside - where there were other fellow officers about - well Crowley had to save face.

Tell me, is that less believable than a riot of seven passerby?

Dang - Crowley's even got u... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Dang - Crowley's even got union support.

Cambridge Police Union President Stephen Killion "Disgraced" That Obama "Is Our Commander-In-Chief"

The president of the Cambridge Police Patrol Officer's Association says that President Obama's statement that officers "acted stupidly" when they arrested black scholar Henry Louis Gates was "disgraceful."

Stephen Killion told the Huffington Post that he was shocked when he heard the president make the remarks during Wednesday night's press conference.

"That was totally inappropriate. I am disgraced that he is our commander-in-chief. He smeared the good reputation of the hard-working men and women of the Cambridge Police Department. It was wrong to do. It was disgraceful."

Killion, whose union does not represent officer Sgt. James Crowley, says that Crowley is "a good sergeant." He added that Obama's comments today, in which the president said that cooler heads should have prevailed, were "back-pedaling, not a clarification."

Killion also claimed that audiotapes, now in the possession of the city solicitor's office, will show that Harvard Professor Gates "turned this non-incident into a racial incident." He said the audiotapes will prove Crowley's account of the incident and show that Gates "was provoking the incident. He wanted to prove who he was... He deems himself higher than everyone else around."

On the tapes, Killian claims, "you can clearly hear him berating the officer, creating a scene."
Home someone's made multiple copies of the tape. It'd be a shame if it 'disappeared'.

J.R. both maintaining th... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

J.R. both maintaining that several cops and "at least seven" passerby is a recipe for a riot.

You haven't seen me maintaining there would be a recipe for a riot, only that a crowd was forming and that gave justification for Crowley's actions re: the disorderly conduct arrest.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has already moved the goalposts in that regard when he says, "You ought to be able to raise your voice in your own house without risk of arrest."

So what, the earlier goalposts were that you were not allowed to raise your voice in your own house without risk of arrest? Who set those?

MacLorry - #50The ... (Below threshold)
jim2:

MacLorry - #50

The defamation suits I had in mind would not be by Professor Gates against Officer Crowley, but by the officer against Gates. Thus, if the tapes support the officer, it would be Gates who would want to claim the tapes had been edited.

Crap.HOPE someone'... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Crap.

HOPE someone's made multiple copies of the tape...

So what, the earlier goa... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

So what, the earlier goalposts were that you were not allowed to raise your voice in your own house without risk of arrest?

Please, according to reports, he was no longer inside his house. I'm not saying anything about the goalposts, but that little bit of information is important.

I believe timezoned needs t... (Below threshold)
epador:

I believe timezoned needs to provide equal time on the oblivious one to maintain, semantically speaking, any credibility.

Folks on both side of this argument are tending to run off abit, as they are somewhat emotionally charged. It happens.

However, the fact that the President of the United States made the comments he did on TV at a news conference show he has no interest in healing racial wounds, and does not possess adequate skills to properly execute his responsibilities in a dignified manner. His comments, which could have diffused the matter, have served to further polarize the nation. If the situation escalates, and there is violence in the streets as more angry black people repeat Watts and Detroit, then he will shoulder the entire blame for the situation.

@ SCSIwuzzy #74,Di... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

@ SCSIwuzzy #74,

Dishonest? Wouldn't that be J.R. who said that the disorderly conduct arrest was possibly to head off some sort of violent mob? Isn't the "selective" reading the one that misses the fact that several police officers were already on the scene?

@ Les Nessman #73,

If I were a Cambridge cop this might make me think twice about what level of respect I am due from the people I am suppose to be protecting. And then I'd realize that the answer to that in cases where *no crime is being committted* and there is *no danger to myself or the public*, well the answer is none.

This is a witch hunt bec... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

This is a witch hunt because Gates is black.

A witch hunt? If Gates would keep his big, fat yap shut the matter would be closed!

The man is innocen... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
The man is innocent of all charges. This is a witch hunt because Gates is black. It's shameful to see this taking place in present day America. You'd think this is Alabama 60 years ago.

It's Gates who's attacking a police officer who was only doing his duty, and he's only doing so because that officer is white. The only raciest involved is Gates.

It was a bad bust. The char... (Below threshold)
The Obvious One:

It was a bad bust. The charges were dropped. It never even made it to court -- the police realized their mistake in arresting Gates and dropped the charges.

I may have made a mistake. ... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

I may have made a mistake. I sort of assumed that people may have read Timezoned link @ #18.
http://www.slate.com/id/2223379/

Especially the part regarding "What, exactly, is disorderly conduct?"

It seems to me that minorit... (Below threshold)
BluesHarper:

It seems to me that minorities are doing everything in their power to keep racism alive.

Dishonest? Wouldn't that... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Dishonest? Wouldn't that be J.R. who said that the disorderly conduct arrest was possibly to head off some sort of violent mob?

mba, I'm applying the situation at hand to the reasoning for his arrest on disorderly conduct. I'm not being dishonest at all.

mba: according to TZ's link... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

mba: according to TZ's link:

Massachusetts courts have limited the definition of disorderly conduct to: fighting or threatening, violent or tumultuous behavior, or creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition for no legitimate purpose other than to cause public annoyance or alarm.

Again, seems Crowley was within the limits of the law to me.

"It was a bad bust."<... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"It was a bad bust."

No, an officer only needs probably cause to make an arrest. The prosecutor has to look at the case as being proven 'beyond a reasonable doubt'. I have no doubt the BLACK mayor was informed and told the cops to release Gates. Politicians have another standard for judging - it's called "cover your ass".

Should Crowley have just walked away? Probably. I've been in situations like that with obviously racist blacks who have an axe to grind and try to push all the right buttons. Yeah...that's right "racist blacks".

But that's a dirty secret people like Al Sharpton and Jesse "Shakedown" Jackson will never admit.

Earth to Gates. The hole is deep enough. Quit digging.

Oblivious One is such a ste... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Oblivious One is such a stereotype for a naive, out of touch with reality lib...typecasting!

nmba:"If I were a Ca... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

nmba:
"If I were a Cambridge cop this might make me think twice about what level of respect I am due from the people I am suppose to be protecting. And then I'd realize that the answer to that in cases where *no crime is being committted* and there is *no danger to myself or the public*, well the answer is none."

None, huh? The cop should realize that they are due no respect?
Nice. I'm sure that will help.* (* that was sarcasm)
If you were a cop who gets no respect would you do your job with much enthusiasm?

Well, I hope you don't ever need a cop to help you. And if you do, I hope you don't show him 'no respect'.

What a racial healer we have for a President. He could have helped calm the situation or at least kept his mouth shut until he had all the facts. Instead he pours gas on the fire.

@ J.R. #90Really? ... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

@ J.R. #90

Really? The situation at hand was:

Some passerby. "At least seven", coulda been more. "Several" police officers. One old dude standing on his porch yelling.

Do you honestly believe that this was a reasonable case for arrest?

It was a bad bust.... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
It was a bad bust. The charges were dropped. It never even made it to court -- the police realized their mistake in arresting Gates and dropped the charges.

The police didn't drop the charges and they are not admitting any mistake. In case you didn't know, it's the DA who drops charges, not the police. DA's drop charges all the time and doing so is not an admission of a bad bust, but rather that there's no public interest served in proceeding with the case.

"No, an officer only nee... (Below threshold)
The Obvious One:

"No, an officer only needs probably cause to make an arrest. The prosecutor has to look at the case as being proven 'beyond a reasonable doubt'.

And this never made it to the prosecutor's desk because Crowley's superiors looked at the arrest and decided Gates was innocent and so the charges were dropped.

Gates is innocent. The Police said so by dropping the charges.

The police would not have dropped the charges unless it was a bad bust.

@ Les Nessman.None... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

@ Les Nessman.

None. There is no requirement for anybody to be worshipful of anyone else - least of all because they are in uniform.

If the police require co-operation *in the conduct of their duties as police officers* then you must comply, otherwise they are just everyday Joes.

I respect that the police have a very dangerous job. I know that I myself could not do it. Nonetheless, that does not mean that they are immediately "owed" the respect of everybody they encounter.

Do you honestly believe ... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Do you honestly believe that this was a reasonable case for arrest?

Wouldn't have said it otherwise. I don't think anyone is within their rights to berate police officers there for a legitimate purpose while in plain view of the public! It would appear, according what I've read and heard, that Crowley acted appropriately and within the law and that Gates has only himself to blame for the arrest.

If Gates had acted with a modicum of respect for the officer this would never had happened.

nmba:" None. There is no re... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

nmba:" None. There is no requirement for anybody to be worshipful of anyone else - least of all because they are in uniform."

Ah, so now you're changing it from 'respect' to 'worshipful'. Not sure why you're moving the goalposts like that, but whatever.

Well, good luck with having 'no respect' for the police. But if you want to live in a civilized society it helps to have mutual respect.

Obvious One... charges are ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Obvious One... charges are dropped all the time if a case is not worth the time. Ever go to traffic court and when the officer didn't show up, the case was dropped? Not settled in your favor, just dropped.

"Gates is innocent."<... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Gates is innocent."

So he was judged by a jury? No, the upper echelons realized this was a 'no win' situation. Was Gates guilty of disturbing the peace? Probably. There are a lot of situations where a person (of ANY color) is "guilty" of being "an asshole in public". But there's no specific law addressing that. Like I said earlier, there are times when it's just better to walk away. You know that the jerk will file a bogus complaint, you just have to deal with it. One thing I learned the hard way was to always carry a tape recorder on my belt. You'd be surprised how many "attitudes" were quickly adjusted when they saw me push the record button. They'd ask "what's that for?", and I'd tell them, "well things look like their going south in a hurry, so for your protection and MINE, I'm recording everything that's said".

Les, Because like T... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Les,
Because like TZ, he know his ass has been handed to him. He can't debate on the facts, so he's trying to re-frame the discussion.

Let me clarify this whole "... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

Let me clarify this whole "respect for the police" thing.

If a cop is making decisions on who is worth police protection and who isn't, based on how much respect they are shown - that's not civilized society. That's a messed-up para-military regime.

If a person decides to become a cop, because that way everybody has to bow down and consider them some sort of super-important hero dude - well they'd probably make horrible cops.

The social contract we have with the police is that we concede some of our civil liberties and agree to obey and comply with their instructions *when they are acting as police officers* specifically *for the purpose of maintaining peace and order*.

Crowley was clearly not acting to promote peace and order. He was well aware that Gates was lawfully in his own residence, and instead of apologizing for disturbing the man, instead of making any attempt to defuse the situation, he basically said "if you've got a problem then we can step outside and settle it."

Cops take a lot of abuse, but so long as that abuse is *not illegal* they shouldn't be doing anything about it. And if they can't handle one angry old man yelling taunts at them, do we really want them walking around with guns and badges?

Sharptongue, Jack$on, Farag... (Below threshold)
914:

Sharptongue, Jack$on, Faraghengiskhan.. All are trying to get Whitey for their alledged disgruntlement with history..They have scammed millions, yet continue to follow after the biggest scammer of them all. The big O' linskee.

@ Les Nessman #100... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

@ Les Nessman #100

I totally agree that people *should* give others due consideration and respect, simply because they are fellow human beings.

My point is that *expecting* respect is the mistake. Just because people *should*, does not mean that they *must*.

Crowley was clearly not ... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Crowley was clearly not acting to promote peace and order. He was well aware that Gates was lawfully in his own residence, and instead of apologizing for disturbing the man,

that's classic. So the cop should apologize for responding to a call and doing his job!! Unbelievable.

J.R. @ 107,Yes he ... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

J.R. @ 107,

Yes he should. If the police inconvenience innocent people, they should apologize for it.

If you have done nothing wrong, which was clearly the case for Gates *before Crowley arrived* - then you shouldn't be bothered. If you are, then whomever is doing *ought* to apologize. It really is that simple.

"Crowley was clearly not ac... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Crowley was clearly not acting to promote peace and order."

That's YOUR assumption. Here's another assumption. Gates has a big black chip on his shoulder. Being so intelligent and a HARVARD professor, how dare some dumb WHITE cop come to HIS door and ask he prove he belongs there.

I was sent to a pharmacy on a Sunday morning because of a silent alarm. Guy in a lab coat greeted me at the door, apologizing "did I set off the alarm". I asked his name. He looked down at the name tag on his coat. I said "Hard to read upside down, aren't they, CATHY". He took off running. Yeah, he was a burglar.

"If the police inconvenienc... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"If the police inconvenience innocent people, they should apologize for it."

How was Gates "inconvenienced"? Someone saw what they thought might be a break-in of a residence. Cops are sent to investigate, they don't know who lives there. The homeowner accuses the cop of racism and profiling because he's asked to prove he lives there.

Being asked for ID is "inconvenienced"?

Well, nmba,All I c... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Well, nmba,

All I can say is if the cops are not shown respect, it is a perfectly human response to show no respect in return. Police training teaches them to try to overcome this, but it doesn't always work.

I just think this whole situation does not help engender respect from either side. Our 'leaders' are supposed to help resolve this situation and instead just aggravate it.

This is a mess. This is a time when leaders should put on their big-boy pants and act like adults. We're lacking in that.

Examples:When road... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

Examples:

When roads are closed down for investigations, you'll almost always hear "sorry for the inconvenience". If you're stopped for a breathalyzer test, and you're stone cold sober - a "sorry for the inconvenience" would go a long way.

In context:

If Crowley had simply stated "sorry for the inconvenience" after seeing Gates' ID and then left the scene, there would be no hullabaloo.

Fact of the matter: Gates was lawfully in his own home. There was no crime being investigated or threat to the public order.

If you have done nothing... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

If you have done nothing wrong, which was clearly the case for Gates *before Crowley arrived* - then you shouldn't be bothered.

This is absolute BS! Gates does not deserve any sort of apology. Could Crowley have apologized for the confusion, perhaps, but in no way should an officer even be expected to apologize for ensuring that there was no B&E at that particular residence.

I know if a neighbor called the police on me because they didn't recognize me trying to break into my own house I would be happy that the police responded. And it wouldn't be an inconvenience! Apparently you would be waiting for apology.

If you are, then whomever is doing *ought* to apologize.

This statement is the height of arrogance!

GarandFan @ #110,I... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

GarandFan @ #110,

Is being asked for ID being inconvenienced? Yes it is.

Is being disturbed in your own home being inconvenienced? Telemarketers say "no", but I disagree.

If Crowley had simply st... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

If Crowley had simply stated "sorry for the inconvenience" after seeing Gates' ID and then left the scene, there would be no hullabaloo.

Come on. Gates had already started shouting and claiming racial profiling before he got his ID!

Show respect, get respect. Gates was actually shown more respect than he deserved.

"There was no crime being i... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"There was no crime being investigated or threat to the public order."

Pull your head out. YES THERE WAS! There was a citizen report of a possible break in of a residence. The local PD was well aware that similar events had occurred in this area. A break-in is a CRIME! Crowley was INVESTIGATING.

re: 104neamba show... (Below threshold)
epador:

re: 104

neamba shows true colors.

Does not understand what respect means.

Does not understand what apology means.

Will continue to dig hole deeper without realizing it until hits China.

GarandFan @ #110,"... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

GarandFan @ #110,

"Is being asked for ID being inconvenienced? Yes it is."

I would maintain that it all depends on the circumstances. You appear to have a tendency to deal in absolutes. I prefer to deal in the real world.

I think Gate's reactions, a... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

I think Gate's reactions, and our 'leaders' reactions will result in less diligent investigations of suspected break-ins. That may be a proper response or an improper response. Either way, I think it will happen.

shrug. We'll see.

J.R. @ #113Crowley... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

J.R. @ #113

Crowley was well aware that there was no break-in. He suspected that Gates was the resident very early on, from before he even asked for ID. He was comfortable enough to know that there was no crime being commited that he dropped his guard enough for Figueroa to just materialize behind him.

No crime. No threat to peace or public order.

What does he do in that situation? He tells Gates to step outside if there's a problem.

Look, I appreciate that cops have it pretty rough. They deal with a lot of people when they are at their worst. All the more reason for them to be able to handle abuse and defuse problematic situations.

That attitude of "you should be grateful that I was protecting your home" is the problem. Keeping the peace is a police officer's job, they are supposed to do it whether they get kudos from the homeowners or not.

Here's an interesting compa... (Below threshold)
epador:

Here's an interesting comparison. I am a doctor. I do rectal exams on patients to look for cancer. Most of the time there's nothing there. Should I apologize if I stick my finger up someone's butt and don't find anything? Apparently so by neamba's standards! Of course in neamba's case, I'd assume since there has been plenty of close-up examination of personal rectal mucosa that a digital exam by a stranger might not be necessary.

Please, according to rep... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Please, according to reports, he was no longer inside his house.

You want to go over the state statutes and case law that show that a person's front porch is absolutely considered part of their house and a prosecutor would have a very hard time proving that is a public place ("'Public' means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which the public or a substantial group has access" - Alegata v. Commonwealth)? It would be especially hard to prove considering in the case the only "public" in the area were there because of the large number of police surrounding the house (all for a nonviolent 50+ man with a cane at his own house, I might add).

Beyond that, would you like to discuss the First Amendment, which would be applicable in this case as Gates was apparently protesting his arrest, making it political speech and thus not covered under Massachusetts disorderly conduct statutes?

This charge never would have held up in court, which is why they dropped it, despite defending the officer's actions as correct. Normally an officer will charge a suspect with obstruction of justice when they are POP (Pissing Off Police), but since the officer had already determined no crime had been committed, that would have been ridiculous, so he charged him with disorderly.

I'm inclined to believe that Gates was being an asshole, and I haven't heard anything that leads me to conclude the officer is a racist or the arrest was racially motivated, but it was still an idiotic arrest to make and the officer never should have.

I hope they release the tapes, in any case.

Garandfan,But t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Garandfan,

But there's no specific law addressing that.

Just because you are unfamiliar with the law, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

GarandFan @ #116Th... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

GarandFan @ #116

The investigation was complete the second Gates handed his Harvard ID over. It was mostly complete by the time Gates picked up the phone, when Crowley was already pretty sure he was dealing with a resident of the house. Everything that happened from that point on was due to Crowley not ending the encounter with a quick and simple "sorry for the inconvenience."

@ epador #117,

Have I reached China yet?

@ epador #112,Well... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

@ epador #112,

Well, if you received a citizen's tip that I might have prostate cancer and then showed up on my front door, shoved a finger up my ass and found my prostate was fine - I would want an apology *at the minimum*. Maybe dinner and a movie too.

"he dropped his guard enoug... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"he dropped his guard enough for Figueroa to just materialize behind him."

Here's my take:
Crowley asked Gates if there was anyone else inside. Gates refused to answer. Crowley asks Gates to show ID and step outside because Crowley is aware the reporting citizen said there were TWO people forcing the front door. Crowley is focused on the one person he can see. He's not concerned what's behind him. He's focused on what's in front of him. Yeah, you'd like to be aware 360, but the PD doesn't issue a second set of eyes in the back of your head. Crowley's there to check on a possible break-in. He's informed Gates of why he's there. In return, Crowley has a guy getting in his face and accusing him of "profiling".

I've got news for you. Crooks do this to cops on a daily basis. I've lost track of the number of times I've caught local crooks stone cold with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. They'll look you right in the face and accuse you of being racist.

Professor Gates makes a ver... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

Professor Gates makes a very good living by finding racism everywhere and blaming white people for all the ills of the world. It is hardly surprising that he acted as he did.

"I'm inclined to believe th... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"I'm inclined to believe that Gates was being an asshole, and I haven't heard anything that leads me to conclude the officer is a racist or the arrest was racially motivated, but it was still an idiotic arrest to make and the officer never should have."

BINGO!

Unlike 'not an mba', we have a winner!

mantis:"I'm inclined... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

mantis:
"I'm inclined to believe that Gates was being an asshole, and I haven't heard anything that leads me to conclude the officer is a racist or the arrest was racially motivated, but it was still an idiotic arrest to make and the officer never should have."

And yet we have our President spouting off about the case when he admits he doesn't have all the facts, and then immediately lectures us about police racism while addressing the nation. Other community 'leaders' immediately go on tv denouncing the racism of the police.

If it wasn't racially motivated then why are they pouring gas on the racial fire?

"Oh yeah - Gates is blac... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Oh yeah - Gates is black - that makes him a target?"

Oh yeah - Crowley was white - that makes him a target?

GarandFan #126,Fro... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

GarandFan #126,

From Crowley's police report:
"As he did so, I radioed on channel 1 that I was off in the residence with someone who appeared to be a resident but very incooperative"
and
"While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited towards me."
and
"Gates initially refused, demanding that I show him identification but then did supply me with a Harvard university identification card."

All before Figueroa shows up. Crowley is pretty dure from before he steps inside that he's dealing with the resident. He is aware very early in the encounter that there is no crime to investigate. That it's a false alarm.

And yet we have our Pres... (Below threshold)
mantis:

And yet we have our President spouting off about the case when he admits he doesn't have all the facts, and then immediately lectures us about police racism while addressing the nation.

That was dumb too.

If it wasn't racially motivated then why are they pouring gas on the racial fire?

The Sharpton gang? That's what they do. They're idiots.

My own take on this is that... (Below threshold)
James H:

My own take on this is that you've got two guys with giant chips on their shoulders and they came into conflict. If this were a just world, they would both shut the hell up and let local internal affairs types look into this. But, no, they both have giant chips on their shoulders, they both believe they're right, and they're both shouting at the top of their lungs.

This Salon commentary makes some salient points, I think.

@ GarandFan #128So... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

@ GarandFan #128

So I take it that you agree with Obama that the Cambridge police acted stupidly.

Or does an "idiotic arrest" that should never have been made not count as a stupid action?

"If it wasn't racially moti... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"If it wasn't racially motivated then why are they pouring gas on the racial fire?"

Because that's how they make their "living". Just ask Al, Jessie, and David Duke. It's how they keep power over other people.

Incidentally, here's what O... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

Incidentally, here's what Obama actually said:
"Now, I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that, but I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge Police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there is a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That's just a fact."

So if we're going to criticize him, let's criticize what he's actually saying.

"So I take it that you agre... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"So I take it that you agree with Obama that the Cambridge police acted stupidly."

No I don't agree with Obama. He didn't have the facts, he wasn't there. He should have said "No comment". Although I'm sure The One would have phrased it more elegantly.

As I said before, Crowley should have walked away and dealt with the fallout. Maybe he'll also start carrying a tape recorder. They don't cost that much.

BUT, I can also see why he fell into the trap and arrested Gates on the flimsy 'disturbing the peace' charge. Call it frustration, or indignation of being accused of something you didn't do. Gates knew how to push all the right buttons.

GarandFan @ 137,I ... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

GarandFan @ 137,

I posted some of the text of Obama's answer. Here's a link to the transcript:
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/2009/07/transcript-of-obamas-press-conference-july-22-2009.php

He said that he didn't know the facts. He said that he doesn't know what role race played. He said that the flimsy charge was stupid. He said that *separate and apart* from the incident, racial profiling does occur.

Which part of that do you disagree with?

One final thought before ta... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

One final thought before taking She Who Must Be Obeyed to the grocery store.

What would have been Gates response if a BLACK police officer had come to his door?

The charges were dropped. G... (Below threshold)
The Obvious One:

The charges were dropped. Gates is innocent as defined by the law.

As per #136, I don't think ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

As per #136, I don't think Obama called the cop a racist, but was making it clear that police do racially profile suspects, even in liberal strongholds like Cambridge, Portland, and San Francisco. That's neither disputable, nor particularly interesting in its tautologicalness (to butcher a word).

And, as NEAMBA has repeatedly made clear, nobody is obligated to be respectful to police officers, whereas police officers do have such an obligation. Must be hard when someone is insulting your mother to thank them for their time and walk away--and yet who said it's supposed to be an easy job?

And, as for it being a super-dangerous job that involves risking life and limb, whatever. It's not like being a police officer is as dangerous as, say, fishing for crab or cutting down trees. The point is, it's a hard job, because police are supposed to remain level-headed when an asshole like Gates goes ballistic. They are supposed to act like armed social workers when there is no real threat of violence, as there certainly was not in this case.

Gates: asshole. (No surprise to anyone who knows anything about the arrogant prick.)

Crowley: idiot, but no reason to assume he's a racist.

Even if the charges were no... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Even if the charges were not dropped, under the law you are innocent until convicted.

The real questions are: Is Gates a pompous ass?
Did he act inaproriately?
Did Crowley do his job, and act appropriately?
Are either of them racists?

I hope they do have the tap... (Below threshold)

I hope they do have the tapes and they need to make them public. I have done my best to get members of my community to not pre-judge this situation with out the facts. Gates did not act rationally and I wrote an article about this on my website defending Crowley. If we are to honestly address issues of race, all parties need to lay aside personal bias and prejudices. I hope the tapes vindicate Gates and those of us in the Black community who stood up for Crowley.

mba: Okay, let's criticize ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

mba: Okay, let's criticize what he actually said.

Obama starts with this: "Now, I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that,..."

Then concludes with this: "....what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there is a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That's just a fact."

Since it's NOT pertinent to this specific incident then the fact that in the past, "African Americans and Latinos [have been] stopped by law enforcement disproportionately," is just a throw away comment.

A black man is arrested for the burglary of a convenience store. There's a long history of that store being robbed by black men. Would it be okay if a white guy said, "Well, separate and apart from this incident, this store has a long history of being robbed by African American men."

No. I don't think so, and you'd likely scream bloody murder and ask what that has to do with this specific incident - especially if that person just admitted that he wasn't there and had not seen all the facts.

The bottom line is that NO ... (Below threshold)
Lisa:

The bottom line is that NO ONE should be arrested for yelling at the police. Yes, it is rude to yell at anyone, particularly someone who has come by to make sure that you and your property are ok. However, it is NOT an arrestable offense.

When you make that kind of mistake (because you are pissed off at a fussy, annoying old man), you really need to admit you fucked up and say you are sorry. It doesn't matter what the hell the other guy did - you are a public servant and have responsibilities as such.

I meant I hope the tapes vi... (Below threshold)

I meant I hope the tapes vindicate Crowley. Gates strikes me as an arrogant fool trying to use the pain of people who are actual victims of racial profiling. He said it did not cross his mind to do a documentary on racism in the justice system before this. I don't know the man, saw one of his documentary on geneology, but again, I think he is lying and acted like a Havard snob.

The charges were d... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
The charges were dropped. Gates is innocent as defined by the law.

And Crowley's arrest of Gates was 100% lawful according to superior officers.

Sgt. Dennis O'Connor, the president of the police union that represents Crowley and other superior officers in the Cambridge Police Department, told ABC News that Gates' arrest was "100 percent lawful" and that Obama should apologize to "Sgt. Crowley and all Cambridge police officers."

The real questions are: ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The real questions are: Is Gates a pompous ass?

Looks that way.

Did he act inaproriately?

Looks that way.

Did Crowley do his job, and act appropriately?

Up until the arrest, looks that way. The arrest was a dumb move.

Are either of them racists?

Maybe. Who knows? How does one prove racism? I haven't seen anything to suggest either of them did anything obviously "racist," but who can tell what's in a person's mind? In any case, being a racist is not against the law, whether you're a cop or a citizen. This is also why hate crime statutes are idiotic and should be found unconstitutional.

The bottom line is... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
The bottom line is that NO ONE should be arrested for yelling at the police. Yes, it is rude to yell at anyone, particularly someone who has come by to make sure that you and your property are ok. However, it is NOT an arrestable offense.

Yelling at anyone in public IS an arrestable offense. Gates was outside his home yelling at Crowley and even making comments about Crowley's mother. Those are fighting words and are not constitutionally protected.

Looks likes Gates is just a... (Below threshold)
apb:

Looks likes Gates is just another whitey-hatin', racist liberal douchebag.

My bet is that anyone would have had the exact same response from the police. Your above-average (snicker) liberal douchebag white guy would have soiled himself the same as Gates.

Why? This isn't a black or white issue - it's a self-important, arrogant liberal douchebag issue.

The beauty of this situatio... (Below threshold)
Michael:

The beauty of this situation that it is a lose lose for Obami. So sweet. Watch those number fall.

grandfan - #139If ... (Below threshold)
jim2:

grandfan - #139

If you want talking heads to explode, another question might be what their reaction would have been if the roles were reversed and change "black" for "white" in the language used at the scene.

Would the "white professor" have been judged "racist" under those circumstances?

jim2, that hypothetical wou... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

jim2, that hypothetical would be a lot more germane if you could demonstrate the existence of some alternate reality where historically oppressed white people were routinely fucked with by racist black cops. I'm unaware of such a reality, but perhaps you built a portal to such a place in your garage...?

johnrj08.wordpress.com/2009... (Below threshold)

johnrj08.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/dear-president-obama-its-time-to-apologize/

Pretty good post, John.... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Pretty good post, John.

It is not legal to arrest s... (Below threshold)
Lisa:

It is not legal to arrest someone for yelling. Even saying "yo' mama" (which is probably fabricated - come on...is this an episode of The Jeffersons?!) is legal in these United States of America.

The guy may have been dickish, but yelling at a police officer is not illegal. You can even call a police officer's mother a whore in this great democracy. You would be an asshole for doing so, but not a criminal.

Oh, and where is the caveat... (Below threshold)
Lisa:

Oh, and where is the caveat to the first amendment that says: "Except for speech impugning the character of one's mamma".

LOL.

Those words warrant an assbeating but are, I assure you, constitutionally protected.

"that hypothetical would be... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"that hypothetical would be a lot more germane if you could demonstrate the existence of some alternate reality where historically oppressed white people were routinely fucked with by racist black cops."

Well Zimbabwe comes to mind today. To say nothing of early Egypt.

I think the point was, what if the descriptive words 'white' and 'black' had been reversed. Would this situation have occurred if Gates was WHITE and Crowley was BLACK?

You want to go over the ... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

You want to go over the state statutes and case law that show that a person's front porch is absolutely considered part of their house

mantis, it was my understanding that the behavior was occuring in the front yard nearer the street, not the porch. I would consider the porch to be part of the house.

mba: you have clearly demonstrated here that you have no idea what a police officer's job entails and clearly have no interest in entertaining the possibility that Gates was is in the wrong during this incident.

Not sure how much of a role... (Below threshold)
jim2:

Not sure how much of a role history should play into justifying bad behavior in the present. You know, Gates does seem to have used that as both his justification for his abuse of Crowley and his certainty that he could get away with it with no onee ever believing the white officer's version.

I am more eager than ever for the tapes to go public.

Since when do police have t... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Since when do police have the right to walk on your property and demand that you identify yourself? WTF?

And since when do the police have the right to arrest you because you're being an asshole because they walked on your property and demanded that you identify yourself.

I don't give a flying f... what color people are. Some cop comes in my yard, regardless what I'm doing, and tells me I have to prove I live in my own home, I'm going to tell him to f... off.

Since when do police hav... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Since when do police have the right to walk on your property and demand that you identify yourself? WTF?

When a crime in progress has been reported. Do I really have to say that?

Some cop comes in my yard, regardless what I'm doing, and tells me I have to prove I live in my own home, I'm going to tell him to f... off.

If someone had reported there was a domestic disturbance at your house and that's how you greeted the officer I hesitate to think of what would happen to you! OK tough guy.

I think some of the comment... (Below threshold)
Lisa:

I think some of the commentary on other blogs is correct in stating that a lot of the escalation was probably due to the "Ivy-League Superstar vs. Townie Cop" dynamic. Once the "Don't you know who I am, you blue-collar loser!" card was pulled, all bets were off. There is probably more class resentment simmering in that town than lingering racial unease.

I am a black American, and I don't discount the embedded race bias that may or may not have colored this whole thing. However, I think there was a lot more "How dare this cop treat me like one of THOSE blacks" than his supposed newfound solidarity for the incarcerated black people of these United States of America.

There was no crime. The off... (Below threshold)
Rob:

There was no crime. The officer admitted Gates appeared to be the owner. Therefore, no crime. There has to be EVIDENCE of a crime in progress, not just some crank phone call. Where's the evidence?

And just so we're all fair here, President Obama did not call the Cambridge Police stupid, he called the arrest stupid.

Gates was only outside because the officer demanded he leave his home. Then he was arrested for yelling outside! The officer had already seen his ID at this time.

Did Gates act like an asshole? Absolutely.

However, there was no evidence that a crime was being committed, until the officer forced the issue so that one was.

J.R. @ #159Not bei... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

J.R. @ #159

Not being a police officer, I really don't know exactly what their job entails - but I do know that innocent people should not be harassed. And if they are, an apology certainly seems like a reasonable thing to issue.

As for the question of considering Gates being in the wrong - what difference does it make? Even if Henry Louis Gates was the biggest asshole in the world, provided he is a law-abiding asshole, he is entitled to decent police protection. That's how it works.

For all those people who are focused on Gates' behavior, such as SCSIwuzzy @ #142 or apb @ #150, it makes no difference that Gates was acting like a jerk.

Is this a double-standard? Yes it is. Because Skip Gates is a private citizen who was in his own home at the time of the incident and James Crowley is an officer of the law, who was purportedly acting in the name of the law at the time. The standards of behavior for those two, in those circumstances should be significantly different.

According to the story cite... (Below threshold)
jim2:

According to the story cited below, the officer with Crowley was black and supports Crowley even to the point of saying that gates should have been arrested.

The crickets will show up soon.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090724/ap_on_re_us/us_harvard_scholar_arresting_officer

I'm not sure that link went... (Below threshold)
jim2:

I'm not sure that link went through, so here is the part with the officer backing the arrest of Gates.


++++++++++++
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A black police officer who was at Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s home when the black Harvard scholar was arrested says he fully supports how his white fellow officer handled the situation.

Sgt. Leon Lashley says Gates was probably tired and surprised when Sgt. James Crowley demanded identification from him as officers investigated a report of a burglary. Lashley says Gates' reaction to Crowley was "a little bit stranger than it should have been."

Asked if Gates should have been arrested, Lashley said supported Crowley "100 percent."

Gates has said he was the victim of racial profiling.

President Barack Obama says the officers "acted stupidly." Lashley called Obama's remark "unfortunate" and said he should be allowed to take it back.

Rob:And just so w... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Rob:
And just so we're all fair here, President Obama did not call the Cambridge Police stupid, he called the arrest stupid.

No, he said the CP acted stupidly. He didn't qualify his remarks like that, sorry.

Gates was only outside because the officer demanded he leave his home.

There was never a demand.

However, there was no evidence that a crime was being committed, until the officer forced the issue so that one was.

Gates started escalating the situation before any investigation was able to take place. Gates was already going off before showing his ID.

mba:
but I do know that innocent people should not be harassed. And if they are, an apology certainly seems like a reasonable thing to issue.

It's unfortunate that you think the officer was the one doing the harassing.

I'm focused on Gates's behavior because it is was lead to his arrest for disorderly. At trumped up the charge may be, if Gates explained the situation in a calm manner there would have been no arrest.

J.R. @ 168So, are ... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

J.R. @ 168

So, are you saying that the "disturbing the peace" charge was "trumped-up"? Are you agreeing that the charge was stupid and unwarranted? Someone sure did, 'cause it was dropped awful fast.

Anyways here's my point: It's fine for you to be focused on Gates' behavior, but bear in mind that the standard for judging it should be "did he break the law". The standard for Gates should be "did he act in accordance with an officer of the law carrying out his professional duties". Because that was the "situation at hand".

Typo there. Last sentence ... (Below threshold)
not even an mba:

Typo there. Last sentence should have been:
The standard for Crowley should be "did he act in accordance with an officer of the law carrying out his professional duties". Because that was the "situation at hand".

"I am a black American, and... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"I am a black American, and I don't discount the embedded race bias that may or may not have colored this whole thing. However, I think there was a lot more "How dare this cop treat me like one of THOSE blacks" than his supposed new found solidarity for the incarcerated black people of these United States of America."

Lisa might well be closest to the truth here. While stationed at Ft. Devens many years ago, I had the opportunity to visit several of the Ivy League college areas. This was in the late 60's period of universal love. There was a definite undercurrent of 'class' position; and I'm not talking Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior.

but bear in mind that th... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

but bear in mind that the standard for judging it should be "did he break the law". The standard for "Crowley" (your correction noted) should be "did he act in accordance with an officer of the law carrying out his professional duties". Because that was the "situation at hand".

I completely agree and it would seem that Crowley, the officers there with him, as well as the Chief of Police and other police associations all agree that the arresting officer acted within the law when he detained Gates.

BTW, do you believe this was racial profiling? Can we at least agree upon that?

to clarify, my last sentenc... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

to clarify, my last sentence should read: can we at least agree that it wasn't?

Lisa, I have been pointing ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Lisa, I have been pointing it out here, Gates is a tenured professor and a Harvard media superstar to boot. Nothing of his behavior in this incident, as we currently know it, surprises me. He treated the officer the way he would and underclassman challenging him in a class room, or as if he were a university employee that failed to recognize him and demonstrate the deference to which he feels entitled.

If anyone refuses order fro... (Below threshold)
Lori:

If anyone refuses order from law enforcement , they are subject to the law no matter what their education! Period.. Follow the orders of the officer.. end of story!!

J.R.Calling an act... (Below threshold)
Rob:

J.R.

Calling an action stupid is not the same as calling the person stupid. One is an opinion, one is an insult.

"Cambridge police are not stupid," said Cambridge Police Patrol Officers Association President Stephen Killion."

Killion should be accurate or STFU.

Lori,The police do... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Lori,

The police do not have a right to enter a person's home and demand ID unless there is EVIDENCE a crime is being committee. Since there was no evidence (i.e., Gates standing there with a VCR), only a homeowner with a busted lock on his door who the officer had already admitted he believed to be the homeowner, then the officer had no right to do what he did. He should have walked away.

A sense of entitlement is e... (Below threshold)

A sense of entitlement is exactly what allowed Professor Gates to verbally assault Sgt. Crowley for daring to question him. This was a possible crime scene and the officer was responding to a citizen's call. When an officer approaches your home and starts asking for information because there was a report of a break-in, you do what the officer asks, word-for-word, then say thanks for coming by. Gates is a pompous ass who thinks that every white cop is racist and out to oppress the black man. Sgt. Crowley didn't know who Gates was and was not at all certain of the man's state of mind, given the screaming and over-reaction to his perfectly reasonable requests.

What I find to be the strangest aspect of this whole incident is that Gates must've known someone had recently tried to break into his home, because the lock on his front door had been broken. That's why he and his driver had to force the door open. Given that Gates knew something had happened there, it is extremely odd that he wouldn't have asked the officer to search his home and make sure the house was safe. Instead, he opted to lose his self-control and scream at the officer who had been sent there to protect his property.

johnrj08.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/dear-president-obama-its-time-to-apologize/

*** I'd just like to congr... (Below threshold)
Kevin Author Profile Page:

*** I'd just like to congratulate everyone for holding a civil discussion on a controversial topic

Given the subject matter I'm proud of everyone for staying on topic, arguing the issues, and not vilifying or attacking each other. ***

Carry on...

OK, now that the Prez says ... (Below threshold)
epador:

OK, now that the Prez says he should have calibrated his words differently, is it because of the size of the exit wounds he inflicted on himself or the country?

'Americans are cowards on t... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

'Americans are cowards on the subject of race' - didn't Obama'a Attorney General say something like that recently?

I wonder why we don't talk about race more.
I can just feel the racial healing overtaking America. Thanks Barack. (more sarcasm. sorry.)

'Course he still says he th... (Below threshold)
epador:

'Course he still says he thinks there was an over-reaction by the police. What a BOZO. He REALLY doesn't get it. This is gross incompetency.


Its time for IMPEACHMENT.

Calling an action stupid... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Calling an action stupid is not the same as calling the person stupid. One is an opinion, one is an insult.

Rob, Obama didn't say the arrest was stupid, he said there actions were stupid. Sorry that's an insult and he was insulting the offiers there whether he meant to or not. Obama owes them an apology.

The police do not have a right to enter a person's home and demand ID unless there is EVIDENCE a crime is being committee.

He was investigating whether or not a crime was in progress. Considering Gates refused to initially show him ID I would say Crowley had every right to enter that house.

The police do not ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
The police do not have a right to enter a person's home and demand ID unless there is EVIDENCE a crime is being committee. Since there was no evidence (i.e., Gates standing there with a VCR), only a homeowner with a busted lock on his door who the officer had already admitted he believed to be the homeowner, then the officer had no right to do what he did. He should have walked away.

There was a 911 call and the person who made it met Crowley at the scene to confirm that she saw two men breaking in the back door, and sure enough, the back door was broken. That gave Crowley probable cause that an crime was in progress and the legal authority to enter the home. What Crowley found inside was not some surprised, but otherwise rational person. He found someone who wouldn't identify themselves at first and who was being verbally abusive.

Crowley's mistake was not recognizing the difference between an academic high on privilege and someone high on drugs. Crowley did not arrest Gates for burglary, but for disorderly conduct when Gates took his loud verbal assault on Crowley outside.

These things are all signs ... (Below threshold)
Not American:

These things are all signs of the deseased old man (the US)going down slow.. The race issues make me sick..

Timezoned and nmba, reading... (Below threshold)
Chad:

Timezoned and nmba, reading that definition of disorderly conduct, I would have to say that Gates clearly demonstrated "tumultuous behavior". If you know any officers, ask them why they would ask for ID and try to get them out of the home in a home invasion scenario. The yelling screaming hissy fit that Gates threw on his lawn was definetely a disturbance of the peace if it was loud enough and long enough to bring other people out of their homes to watch it go down.

First, Timezone doesn't rea... (Below threshold)
paulw:

First, Timezone doesn't read well. According to the report the officer provided the belligerent Gates with his name 3 times. The report clearly states that Gates was making loud irrational race baiting comments. He was arrested after he continued his tirade in full view of a large public gathering outside. Clearly a disturbance or riot could have escalated with his continuing irrational loud comments.

He was NOT arrested by TZs unsupportable claim because the officer wouldn't provide his ID. Did TZ just pull that out of his ***?

They should release the tapes but I doubt they will be allowed to because it will make Gates look like the race baiting person that he is.

paulw:Clearly a... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

paulw:

Clearly a disturbance or riot could have escalated with his continuing irrational loud comments.

Do you think a neighbourhood full of Harvard academics is a tinderbox of violence and anarchy? I thought professors were supposed to be limp-wristed girly-men.

There was no threat of violence. There was an asshole yelling at a cop who acted stupidly, and he got arrested for being an asshole. That's not how law enforcement is supposed to work in a free society.

Correct me if I am wrong, b... (Below threshold)
SilverSeaOtter:

Correct me if I am wrong, but has the President of the nited States said that a black man is not responsible for his own actions?

how law enforcement is supp... (Below threshold)
TB:

how law enforcement is supposed to work in a free society.

You mean America is a free society?

That's a good one ... now tell me the one about the three bears.

" Do you think a neighbourh... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

" Do you think a neighbourhood full of Harvard academics is a tinderbox of violence and anarchy? I thought professors were supposed to be limp-wristed girly-men. "

They are and they are, if you've ever witnessed any lefty 'protest marches'.

Prior to entering the home,... (Below threshold)
charrob:

Prior to entering the home, did the officer knock at the door, call into the home and announce he was there responding to a 911 call? He should've waited a couple minutes to see if someone came to the door prior to entering. If he did not do that, he was trespassing on private property and deserved to be sweared at: rightfully a homeowner who owns a gun could legally shoot the officer who is nothing more than, at that time, a trespasser.

charrob, if you shoot a cop... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

charrob, if you shoot a cop in your home who is responding to a 911 call of a break in...you're going to spend more than a few hours at the jailhouse. I don't recommend you try that.

From all reports I've heard, the officer was following procedure when he got to the house.

All the trouble started after he began interacting with Gates.

Now, these b.s. 'no-knock' ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Now, these b.s. 'no-knock' raids where they go to the wrong address...I agree that the law-abiding homeowner has the right to shoot.

But to shoot a uniformed officer responding to a legit 911 call...whew, brother, if you survive the encounter you are still in for a world of hurt.

if I was in my home and loo... (Below threshold)
charrob:

if I was in my home and looked up and saw a stranger inside my home who did not knock, wait outside, and make several attempts to call into my home with a loudspeaker regarding the nature of his visit prior to entering, I would be absolutely outraged. I can hardly believe the founding fathers meant for such a thing to ever happen when they wrote the U.S. Constitution.

When you say the officer was following procedure, can you tell me what procedure did he exactly follow?

I don't know if their proce... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

I don't know if their procedure is the one you outlined above or not. ( the 'several times with the loudspeaker' seems a bit much, but maybe I'm wrong.)

I think the dispute is about how the cop and Gates treated each other, after they began talking.

The reason the 'several tim... (Below threshold)
charrob:

The reason the 'several times with the loudspeaker' was written was mainly to give a person time if they are in the bathroom, shower, or whatever, and to make sure the person inside the home would hear them. I go throughout life with the motto of treating others like I, myself, want to be treated, and I couldn't imagine if I were a policeman that I would ever just walk into someone elses home without giving ample time and warning of why I was there. Anything less than that is extremely disrespectful and should never be tolerated by a nation who describes itself as 'free'.

I have not heard what Gates said to the officer, but my personal feeling is if the officer didn't give ample warning and time prior to entering Gate's home, that that officer deserved every single thing Gates said to him and more.

"..if the officer didn't gi... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"..if the officer didn't give ample warning and time prior to entering.."

If. As far as I can tell, the dispute Gates has is that the Officer interacted with him in an allegedly racist manner, not about how he entered. I guess we'll find out as the story unfolds.

As to the procedure you outlined above, I'm not a LEO; so I'd like to hear from any LEOs if that is the standard procedure for investigating a break-in report.

I just heard officer crowle... (Below threshold)
Ron Cantrell:

I just heard officer crowley's partner say that the only reason Gates was arrested was that he came outside. Crowley says in the police report that he demanded that Gates come outside, and that Gates did not want to. This is a bogus deal, and Crowley just wanted to show his buddies how tough he was. All he had to do was leave, he had seen the ID.

Thanks Les Nessman: I'm in... (Below threshold)
charrob:

Thanks Les Nessman: I'm interested too if that is the standard procedure. I do know that when my current home was being built 17 years ago that I stopped in after work prior to the day the drywall and stipple ceiling were to be put in. I had wanted to verify that the builder had correctly wired my future ceiling fan outlet in a different place then what the original plan had called for (and sure enough the builder put it in the wrong place). I was glad I had stopped in after work and began to write a note to the builder that before they did the drywall in the morning they needed to get the electrician to change the wiring so my outlet would be in the agreed-upon place. As I sat there writing, all these flashlights suddenly were being beamed into my future home and the police stated on a loudspeaker outside for me to come out with my hands up. Immediately I walked out onto the balcony and told them that this was my home; they explained that a neighbor had seen my flashlight inside (it was winter and already dark) when I was looking for the outlet.

In my case the police gave lots of warning and even apologized once an explanation was made. They never asked for an ID, never entered my home, and were very nice. It all ended very cordially. I'll be very interested to find out the procedure Crowley followed: I don't believe this has anything to do with race. I think the issue is really about individual rights and liberty and the power and behavior of the police.

The police procedure that w... (Below threshold)

The police procedure that was being followed was to make sure there was not a domestic violence situation going on. Many women are killed by their estranged husbands or boyfriends. So simply saying that once id was shown it was over is not correct. Another scenario is, as brought up prior, a home invasion in which Gates or other occupants could be held against their will and Gates sent out to send the police away. For us non-law enforcement types, I think we need to stop commenting on what was proper procedure or not without doing research.

This situation clearly demo... (Below threshold)
Suitor:

This situation clearly demonstrates AmeriKa is a police State. A para-military police state. I cannot, nor will I support such a nation nor it's people when they accept such blatant tyranny.
Also, AmeriKa has 3 active Army combat units deployed on American soil. Making AmeriKa a militarized police state.
Had I the means, I would leave this Country.
But until then, I shall be a thorn in Americans side. Reminding them at every chance, they live under a rogue, despot government. And they stood by ( and still do) letting this happen. It is quite apparent, AmeriKan civilians like the taste of boot polish in the morning.

It seems a little strange t... (Below threshold)
hogtrrashhd:

It seems a little strange that Gates is saying he's ready to "move on" already..... wouldn't have nothing to do with those tapes would it sparky? I can't wait to hear them.. it will put another stake in the heart of reverse discrimination...that beast needs to be killed..

Hey suitor,dont let the doo... (Below threshold)
1903A3:

Hey suitor,dont let the door hit you in the a**!If you need money to leave,let me know,I,ll send you some to help w/the move.

According to Crowley, he di... (Below threshold)
Rob:

According to Crowley, he did NOT knock or make any announcement prior to entering the house. He walked up to the house and told Gates to come out and talk with him, giving no reason. Gates asked him why? Only then did Crowley identify himself and explain why he was there. So, basically this guy Gates is standing in his home, minding his own business, and an officer walks up to the door and tells him to come outside. No reason, just come outside. No question is Gates is the homeowner or occupant, just come outside. My guess is that if Gates was white, the officer would have asked him these questions.

J.R. Note that I did not state that Obama used the word "stupid." The Cambridge Officers Association President Killion did, misquoting Obama. Calling an action stupid is not the same as calling a person stupid.

MacLorry, it wasn't the back door, it was the front door, and Gates was standing in the foyer in full view when the police officer approached the house. Read the arrest report.

Sorry Rob, one can assume t... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Sorry Rob, one can assume that when you say the Cambridge Police acted "stupidly" that you are calling the police stupid, even if it is only for that one event. They go hand-in-hand. Stop trying to make excuses for the One.

BTW, he didn't have to knock, Gates saw him right away. Asking Gates (1 man) to step outside when there is a report of 2 men breaking into a home when you are the only cop seems to me to be a perfectly legitimate request. It had nothing to do with race. Gates owes the officer an apology for his actions.

Oh noes, now it looks like ... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Oh noes, now it looks like the 911 caller never talked with Crowley. How then did Crowley know Gates was black, as he states in his police report? Not from the tapes.

J.R. Your comment on knocking on the door (above) is an intelligent comment. That does NOT make you an intelligent person, sorry.

now it looks like the 91... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

now it looks like the 911 caller never talked with Crowley. How then did Crowley know Gates was black, as he states in his police report?

He states in that police report that he talked with the caller prior to speaking with Gates at which time she mentioned to Crowley that she thought they were 2 black males. Sheesh, you may want to reread the report.

J.R. Your comment on knocking on the door (above) is an intelligent comment. That does NOT make you an intelligent person, sorry.

Fair point, and I see where you going with this comment and the one prior, but I'm not buying it. Coming from the President I would see no difference in the following comments:

- He acted stupidly in making the arrest.
- He was stupid to make the arrest.

Like I said, stop making excuses for the One.

The 911 caller states that ... (Below threshold)
Rob:

The 911 caller states that she did not talk with Crowley at the scene, and on the 911 tape she stated she did not know the race of the two "intruders."

How then did Crowley know they were black, as he states in his report.

This is all about choice: G... (Below threshold)
Elizabeth:

This is all about choice: Gates picked the wrong white cop and Obama jumped on the bandwagon. Our post-racial president exposed himself as a member of the race-baiters club.

Had Crowley not taught classes against racial profiling and tried to resustiate Lewis, his pension would be gone and his family ruined.

This is an eye opener to many that voter for Obama.

Typical Boston cops: arrest... (Below threshold)
El Grande:

Typical Boston cops: arrest the coloreds for acting like a white man, insert lies and made up facts on the report, have all your ginger brothers close ranks. So what is the problem?

" Had Crowley not taught cl... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

" Had Crowley not taught classes against racial profiling and tried to resustiate Lewis, his pension would be gone and his family ruined.

This is an eye opener to many that voter for Obama. "

I think Crowley has stated that he voted for Obama. I hope the officer opens his eyes and does not refuse to see.

I have heard it said and se... (Below threshold)
Steve:

I have heard it said and seen it here in the comments that it was OK for Gates to act like an ass in his house but not outside. Stop it people. This cop was doing his job and doesn't need to have some crotchey old man yelling at him while he is assessing the situation. He should not "have to put up" with the yelling. I always found that you get a lot more flies with honey than viniger. Everyone here that is honest with themselves knows that if Gates had been calm and acted like a human there would have been no problem. He had/has a chip on his shoulder and this is what happens if you go around expecting to be taken advantage of because of your color. BTW I am black.




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