July 24, 2009

What's missing from this NYT article about Henry Louis Gates?

The article starts out with genuinely sympathetic stories about another black man who was arrested twice, then ties it to the Gates story. "[B]lacks and others said that what happened to Professor Gates was a common, if unacknowledged, reality for many people of color." Now, that quote bothers me, because it assumes that "what happened to Professor Gates" is the same as the "common, if unacknowledged, reality for many people of color." But that's not my question about this article.

I have a question about this:
The police and Professor Gates offered differing accounts of what happened after officers arrived. The police said Professor Gates initially refused to show identification and repeatedly shouted at officers. Professor Gates said that he had shown photo identification to Sergeant Crowley but that the sergeant had not appeared to believe that he lived there.
There's a crucial, missing fact that the journalists, Susan Saulny and Robbie Brown, don't seem to have any interest in. What I want to know — and I haven't seen it mentioned in other articles — is whether Gates's photo ID had the address of the house on it. Was it his University ID? My UW ID doesn't have my home address on it. I have read elsewhere, not in this article, that Gates rented the house. Perhaps he had a driver's license with a different address of his on it.

If the ID did not show the address of the house that had been broken into, then Crowley's continuing investigation into whether Gates really lived there was perfectly reasonable. (Or do you — did Gates? — think that affiliation with Harvard University should end the matter?) Moreover, Gates's belligerence and presentation of himself as a person too important to be questioned should have heightened Crowley's suspicion that Gates didn't live there. While a person who really lived in the house might get outraged, many — I think most — would respect the need to make sure that there was no crime in progress and quickly find something in the house — such as an addressed envelope — that connected the name to the address.

A person who didn't belong in the house would not have that option and would be forced to pursue a different strategy, and protesting the investigation might be that strategy. The police officer is obviously not going to accept shouted assertions that this is my house and questioning of his authority. He shouldn't!

ADDED: In this radio interview, Crowley — at around 6:30 — says that he was shown only a Harvard ID, which had no no address and that an ID with an address "would have been helpful." Thanks to commenter Mike for pointing me there. Bearbee, the commenter, points me to Gates's interview with his daughter, in which Gates says:
... I got out my Harvard ID and my Massachusetts driver’s license which includes my address and I handed them to him.
So there is a real factual dispute here. (Also: My lawyer's eye catches the phrase "my address" and makes me want to ask the follow up: "By 'my address,' do you mean the address of the house Crowley was questioning you about?")

By the way, in the linked interview, Gates goes on to say:
So he’s looking at my ID, he asked me another question, which I refused to answer. And I said I want your name and your badge number because I want to file a complaint because of the way he had treated me at the front door. He didn’t say, ‘Excuse me, sir, is there a disturbance here, is this your house?’—he demanded that I step out on the porch, and I don’t think he would have done that if I was a white.
Crowley tells us the question was: "Is there anybody in the home with you?" (at 4:40 in the radio interview). It was asked, Crowley says, because of his concern that the man he was talking to was not one of the persons seen breaking into the house. Now, it seems that Gates knew that the front door had been tampered with before he arrived home, so why wasn't Gates worried about whether there was someone somewhere in the house? Shouldn't Gates have taken the opportunity to tell the police that when he arrived home, he discovered evidence of a break-in? Why didn't he seek Crowley's help with that?

Crowley says that Gates's "tone" was "peculiar." And I'm wondering why the question "Is there anybody in the home with you?" would have upset him so much. It could have been just that it was an invasion of his privacy, but think about this along with the fact that Gates didn't seem to want to report the damage to his door that made him need to force it open when he got home. Did Gates already somehow know who had broken the door while he was away, so that he wanted to protect that person? Was that person in the house, such that the question "Is there anybody in the home with you?" felt threatening to Gates?

291 comments:

1 – 200 of 291   Newer›   Newest»
Widmerpool said...

Ann,

Good point, although I think it should be obvious by now that the MSM really doesn't want to get into the details of this (since it's obvious to anyone who pays the least bit of attention that Skippy is a high-handed prick). The MSM would rather scold all of us pale penis people for our racist, bigoted views.

Sy said...

Don't you know Ann? "I am a Harvard professor" pretty much covers everything. It's a magical phrase where upon hearing it, mere mortals should bow down and kiss the grounds that person walks.

Mike said...

Ann,

Crowley addressed just that question in an interview with a Boston radio station yesterday morning.

http://audio.weei.com/m/25432556/sgt-james-crowley-cambridge-police.htm

The short answer is that the Harvard ID did not have his address on it, which Crowley acknowledged would have been helpful.

Sy said...

Ann,

I am sorry to say but "I am a University of Wisconsin professor" does not have the same cachet.

Fred4Pres said...

The officer was obviously a Yale man.

Fred4Pres said...

I mean, come on, it is not like the cops burst into Skip Gates' home (because they got the address wrong) in the middle of the night with a no knock warrant, he shot one of them while protecting his daughter, and then got convicted of murder and sentanced to death...

John said...

But Ann, they should have known who he was. He is Henry Louis Gates. Doesn't everyone know who he is an stand in awe of his presence? Police are constantly subjected to the "don't you know who I am!!" routine. If Gates produced a Harvard ID with no address, I am sure the cop said "so what, I need proof you live here". At that point Gates and his giant ego and huge chip on his shoulder went berserk and started calling anyone and everyone a racist.

I am a bit torn about this case. On the one hand, it should not be a crime to be rude to a cop. On the other hand, the cop had a duty to find out if Gates actually lived there. Gates just seems like an insufferable prick on every level. That in itself does not mean that he should have been arrested. But it does mean he is in no way a sympathetic character.

What exactly was Obama thinking when he shot his mouth off about this? It is not like he had to answer the question or that he ever answer a question that hasn't been written by the Whitehouse and sent out to the media. He deliberately chose to have the question asked and chose to answer it that way.

NKVD said...

Yes, but did the Havard ID have "Race Hustler" stamped on it?

Once again, the MSM doesn't care about facts. How is the Honduras story going? Or the Iranian revolution? How about the Norks? The only important thing is the narrative. And dead pop stars.

I was saddened to see that the NYT turned a profit. This is bad news for the free world.

NKVD said...

Fred - Gates doesn't own a gun. He shoots off his mouth.

Alex said...

Big surprise that grey lady is trying to stir up the racial wars again...

John said...

If Obama actually cared about the plight of black Americans, he might have something to say about Corey Maye instead of using his bully pullpet to shuck and jive for a tenured Harvard Professor. Of course if Obama cared about anything other than being the Obama, he wouldn't have kicked those poor black children out of his daughter's private school.

L. E. Lee said...

Surprise, surprise. Another post to keep the Althouse Hillbillies foaming at the mouth. Keep fanning those flames Ann. Very classy.

The need to refer to this man as "Skip" or "Skippy" is very telling.

Paul Zrimsek said...

MinuteMan finds the feminist angle we all missed:

Is it inconceivable that Gates was an angry husband in the midst of a ghastly separation from his wife? Not every woman who kicks her husband out and changes the locks also gets a temporary restraining order, and perhaps the police don't check for TROs in their immediate response to a break-in call. My question - is it the official position of domestic violence workers and the feminist movement that henceforth, police should simply move on if the apparent man of the house says all is well and refuses to answer any questions?

Richard Fagin said...

Professor, I'm surprised that you expect any kind of even-handed treatment of this story from reporters. Reporters have no interest in and typically do not report facts that do not support "the narrative", in this case being, "black man arrested in his own home by racist cops."

Cedarford said...

In general, there are very different stories between what Gates claimed he said and the cop said inside the house and outside the house...and the cop's official report.

Apparantly, not only are their witnesses to the two's coversations inside and outside the house, but all the cops radiotraffic and what Gates was saying when Crowley's microphone was keyed...are on audiotape that is now with Cambridge PD's solicitor's office.

The tape may show:

1. Who is telling the truthful story and who is not. (Mind that Crowley and the other cops gave signed, official statements that could get them in big trouble if they lie...while Gates faces no consequences if caught lying...he can just say he was so racially traumatized he didn't remember accurately what he said. )
2. If the Sgt and the other officers followed the standard questions and protocols they would do when querying residents if they thought a crime might be in progress.
3. It may show how independent an independent group that will review the evidence of the incident actually is..You have strong oppositional groups lined up now - police unions vs. Friend of Gates Obama, and the black Cambridge Mayor, who has already apologized to the great black scholar.
4. The tapes may show if the level of belligerance and disregard of warnings by Gates outside his house - and the concern of the cops the gathered crowd was getting agitated, did in fact warrant Gates being put into custody - because he was out of control.

=================

L. E. Lee said...

John wrote

"shuck and jive"

Ann, very classy group of commentors you have here.

Widmerpool said...

You are a piece of work L.E. Didn't Obama call him Skip? I'm nominating you an honorary Cantabridgian.

Richard Fagin said...

I wonder what Mr. Lee does for a living and where he went to school that he can refer to the commenters on here as the "Althouse Hillbillies."

garage mahal said...

What is it with black people providing ID's and birth certificates? Now two white people's lives are going to be ruined.

Alex said...

LE Lee - on the contrary it's the NY Times stirring the racial stew, not Althouse. Don't hate the playa, hate the game!

bearbee said...

’ He says ‘Can you prove that you’re a Harvard professor?’ I said yes, I turned and closed the front door to the kitchen where I’d left my wallet, and I got out my Harvard ID and my Massachusetts driver’s license which includes my address and I handed them to him. And he’s sitting there looking at them.

Alex said...

LE & Garage are performing their own "shuck and jive" with us.

Jim said...

LE Lee -

"Another post to keep the Althouse Hillbillies foaming at the mouth. Keep fanning those flames Ann. Very classy."

Tell you what. You go tell Skippy McSkipperstein to shut up about being racially profiled and continuing the story. Tell Obama that he was wrong to condemn the police officer without the facts. Then you can start telling other people how to react to the headlines that Gates and Obama are creating with their gross stupidity.

"The need to refer to this man as "Skip" or "Skippy" is very telling."

Obama was the one who referred to him as "Skip," so save your self-righteous indignation. No one would have known anything about his little nickname if Obama hadn't brought it up first. [And yes, I called him Skippy McSkipperstein earlier in my post precisely because of your patently ridiculous attempt to try to make an issue out of it.] Given the man's obviously inflated sense of self-importance, calling him "Skip" or "Skippy" as a term of derision has more to do with puncturing that undeserved balloon than anything else. Or are you now claiming that "Skip" is a universally recognized code word for "black"?

Alex said...

garage - so it's ok that Gates rushed to calling the cop a racist? Why is that A-OK and not the subsequent arrest for disorderly conduct? Just more shuckin' and jivin' from your side...

Quayle said...

"Do you know who I am?" is the refuge of supercilious assholes.

Michael said...

The NYT reporters use the phrase "people of color" when we all know that the appropriate use is "peoples of color." Clearly they are a lap behind in matters of oppression, white hegemony and rhetoric.

Alex said...

BTW, "troll logic":

It's ok for Obama/MSM to fan the racial flames until we have 200 Watts across the country, but for Althouse to DARE comment on the NY Times story is HORRIBLE RACISM AND MUST BE STOPPED!!!

Jim said...

LE Lee -

"Ann, very classy group of commentors you have here."

Make sure you're looking in the mirror when you say that.

Alex said...

I think between all of us, we've pretty much eviscerated the trolls in 10 minutes flat! That has to be a new Althousian record.

*pats self and friends on back from good work done*

TROLL FLUSH COMPLETE

AllenS said...

L. E. Lee, you ignorant mother fucker, this is what Obama said at the newsconference: "Well, I should say at the outset that Skip Gates is a friend"

Jim said...

garage -

"What is it with black people providing ID's and birth certificates?"

Probably the same thing that led to lawsuits claiming that McCain wasn't a natural-born citizen.

Thanks for playing. See the doorman for your consolation prize on the way out.

Alex said...

Sy, Mike, Jim, Michael, Widmerpool - you guys are DA BOMB!

Florida said...

"... the journalists, Susan Saulny and Robbie Brown, don't seem to have any interest in [the facts]."

Of course they don't. And that's why newspapers are valueless in today's society.

You used to be able to turn to the newspaper for an unbiased accounting of events. That simply isn't true any more; and it's why newspapers aren't worth the paper they're printed on any longer.

Both of these reporters would be fired in newsrooms of yore; they're deliberately hiding facts that would change the tone and substance of their article.

Of course, they're taking their lead from our President, who admitted he didn't have the facts before he pronounced his judgement on the arresting police officer.

This country is fundamentally no longer a fair or decent place to live - specifically because of acts such as this.

It has been cheapened and lessened by the people and their philosophy, which you see in stark relief on display here.

And it is only going to get worse.

garage mahal said...

Probably the same thing that led to lawsuits claiming that McCain wasn't a natural-born citizen.

Ah, the old "I can't be [this], because you did [this!]

By he way, have you seen any Democrats trying to bring bills to the floor demanding McCain prove he is a U.S. citizen?

Alex said...

Florida - really? Even when Hearst was engaging in *yellow journalism* to cause the Spanish-American War to break out so he could have even better business? Sorry but yellow journalism is an American hallmark since 1776.

Alex said...

Another example of American yellow journalism:

That NY Times Walter Duranty who covered up for Stalin's gulags.

L. E. Lee said...

Hey, why are you getting so bent out of shape because I pointed out that Ann is just throwing more red meat to her hillbillies? She is probably traveling today and need to keep all twelve of you occupied.

If you can't handle the truth, don't eat the red meat.

traditionalguy said...

A small point, but Gates appears as much African American as I appear Cherokee Indian. Little or none. I suspect that he is unconsiously afraid that he will one day be treated as a common white person is treated, and not bee treated as one of the New Black Aristocrats certified by Harvard University as a real deal.

Quayle said...

L.E.Lee is here on a new astroturfing coverage assignment from his party bosses.

Tell us, L.E., do they give you pre-written insult talking points, or do you sometimes amuse yourself with suggesting and arranging such little cutting putdowns as may be adapted to ordinary occasions, which you then give with as unstudied an air as possible?

Alex said...

Interesting, I didn't know being an immigrant from the Soviet Union made me a "hillbilly", but you learn new things every day from trolls!

Cedarford said...

I did notice that several pals and some of my wife' coworkers said whites and blacks are splitting on fault lines like over OJ.

I note that the black culture and value system appears so different from the way whites, asians and most hispanics expect one another to interrelate - that a Famous Harvard Professor on Race Relations and a cop who trained others in how to avoid profiling cannot bridge the gap.
All that focus on "understanding race" and they still see things through entirely different, apparantly unfathomable prisms. Like OJ.

If that is the case, and no about of education can make whites and asians and most hispanics understand blacks and they can't understand the other groups - then all the "race education and sensitivity training" is worthless.

If that is so, the rational thing to do is avoid blacks, avoid wasting time trying to understand them..and for me as a white, focus more on better integrating and knowing where hispanics, asians and key groups within the Caucasian race I lack good understanding of, like Indians, Arabs, Turkic people, and Iranians.

I mean, with study and work, American whites and Japanese people or Filipinos or Chinese learn to understand one another enough to know similarities and what is just unique and strange to the other side..But we can have dialog and know the exact norms and limits and quirks the other Party has.
I know Asians don't understand blacks and distrust them.
I know that Hispanics generally do not understand blacks, and generally don't want to, don't want to live in neighborhoods and schools mixed with blacks.

Sort of a dark vision...but I see little changed since OJ.

hygate said...

An example of what can happen when police are insufficiently curious and fail to ask enough questions:

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/notorious/dahmer/index.html

Alex said...

Cedarford - prepare to get REAMED by the trolls after that statement. I totally agree with you man and keep rockin' the truth!

The Exalted said...

The Harvard faculty affiliation should have immediately calmed the police down, yes. The chances of a crime going down went down 99% when that information was discovered. Only simpletons could disagree.

DADvocate said...

The police report makes no mention of the driver's license, If it had been presented, why did Crowley contact the Harvard police?

The police report states that, according to Gates, the front door didn't work properly because of a previous break-in attempt. Seems he would have been glad the police were trying to make sure there wasn't another break-in attempt in progress.

While there were several other people present during this incident, I have yet to see anything by anyone present other than Gates contradicting Crowley's version.

I bet the neighbor doesn't call the cops again is she suspects a break-in in progress.

And, of course, it's important for the liberals to perpetuate the lies of racism because in a post-racial world, they lose more elections.

Patrick said...

The only racial connotation to 'skip' that I have ever heard is that it describes 'white' Australians.

Completes our racial make-up since the wogs, boongs, gooks, latte lefties and niggers would feel superior if we didn't have a derogatory epithet of our own, too.

garage mahal said...

And, of course, it's important for the liberals to perpetuate the lies of racism because in a post-racial world, they lose more elections.

Yet if you read these threads it's not liberals accusing anyone of racism. Quite the contrary. Just scroll up!

American Liberal Elite said...

Even if Gates' ID had shown a matching address, a further inquiry would have been appropriate. For instance, an estranged and violent spouse might very well have an ID that still reflected his old address. I see no evidence that Sgt. Crowley did anything out of line until, perhaps, the arrest occurred, and plenty of evidence that Gates behavior was completely unjustified and inappropriate.

I was once in a similar circumstance; I showed the cops the requested ID, answered their questions and was left to go about my business. I guess I must have forgotten to be insulting and abusive.

Maguro said...

The Harvard faculty affiliation should have immediately calmed the police down, yes. The chances of a crime going down went down 99% when that information was discovered. Only simpletons could disagree.

You're so right. It's absurd to think a university professor could be involved in a crime. Completely unthinkable.

CarmelaMotto said...

Exactly. A point Juan Williams from NPR made, although a black man from the bronx who said he has had his issues with cops as a kid, is that standard op is also to make sure that if you say everything is OK, that they investigate that there isn't someone with a gun to your wife's head in the other room forcing you too say everything is fine. He said he has had that experience due to an alarm going off in his house.

I thought that was a good point.

As I said, all of this could have been avoided if GATES did not jump to the conclusion that the cop and his neighbors were racist after there was a PREVIOUS break in at the house and he just broke in due to damage done to the door in the previous break in.

NKVD said...

@Patrick:

Thanks for that list. I watched the series "A Town Like Alice" and heard the word boong, but never understood it. Bryan Brown's character keeps calling Jean Paget "Mrs. Boong" and, not being familiar with the word, didn't understand what he was saying.

Thanks to you I have learned something. I read that the epithet comes from the sound made when you hit an Abo with a bull bar equipped vehicle. Nice!

Have at it, LE Lee - you are the arbiter of all that is decent and liberal.

Jim said...

LE Lee -

"If you can't handle the truth, don't eat the red meat."

And if you can't handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

Obama got caught yelling fire in a crowded theater while Skippy was in the corner playing with matches.

sierra said...

Jim says: No one would have known anything about his little nickname if Obama hadn't brought it up first. Actually, it's widely known that Gates goes by the nickname "Skip." It says so right here.

Jim said...

garage -

"Yet if you read these threads it's not liberals accusing anyone of racism. "

You should re-read the threads because LE Lee is quite evidently doing exactly that.

ironrailsironweights said...

According to the police report, the Cambridge PD asked for the Harvard PD to come to the scene when they realized who Gates was. If anything, this sounds like an act of courtesy, for unless the house was university-owned the Harvard PD would have no official jurisdiction over the incident.

Peter

Jim said...

sierra -

"Actually, it's widely known that Gates goes by the nickname "Skip." "

I didn't even know who this race-huckster was before he started screaming racism, and I surely didn't know his name was Skip - nor did the vast majority of the country - before Obama said it.

There aren't enough readers of Boston magazine nor people who even knew who this clown was at all to claim that it was "widely known."

There are all sorts of things known about him today that have only very recently come to light: like the fact that he has a history of being a blatant racist (see my post on a previous thread about accusing a stranger of being a slaveowner's descendent).

Jim said...

ironrails -

"the house was university-owned"

I believe it was university-owned.

Jim said...

garage -

"By he way, have you seen any Democrats trying to bring bills to the floor demanding McCain prove he is a U.S. citizen?"

No because a court of law made the determination that he was a natural born citizen, so there's no need for additional legislation.

As far as the bill being brought to the floor, it simply requires that candidates for president be required to prove they are citizens. It doesn't single out Obama and demand that he specifically prove his citizenship.

Personally I think such a thing would be a good idea as it would prevent future issues surrounding the legitimacy of the US President. Why is that you have such a problem with it?

Gregory said...

bearbe,

Interesting post. So what I want to know is when did Gates start saying that he showed officer Crowley both his Harvard ID AND his driver's license? Note that the report in the Root is dated July 21, five days after the police filed their report.

I have my suspicions--because I believe the police on this one--that Gates is adding to his narrative here to fill in the blanks that make him look less credible.

LaurenceJarvik said...

Gates presented a Harvard University ID. His house is Harvard-owned. The sergeant admitted that he did not suspect Gates. That should have been enough for the officer to leave.

You are a lawyer, and a law professor and no doubt familiar with the 4th amendment.

Please help me understand where you are coming from, by answering these two procedural questions:

What legitimate grounds were there to arrest Professor Gates, given that Sergeant Crowley admits that he did not suspect him of burglary?

If there were legitimate grounds for his arrest, why were charges dropped prior to trial?

The Den Mother said...

When I hear "Skip," I think of Gilligan's Island. Just sayin'.

I'm the pastiest white person I know, yet even I managed to have a lovely interaction with two small-town police officers a couple years ago, when I inadvertently pushed the "panic" button trying to disarm the alarm system at my brother's house while I was house-sitting. Realizing that the police showed up anticipating a break-in in progress and someone in danger, I was actually grateful for their diligence and bent over backwards to be cooperative until they were satisfied I was indeed authorized to be there, which they weren't until they got my vacationing brother on the phone and questioned him. In short, they did everything they could have done to make sure it really was a false alarm. As a result, I know that, if I ever have a real reason to push the panic button, the Leicester, Massachusetts, police will have my back.

Maybe I should be offended instead, get in touch with Dr. Gates, and join his bitch-fest.

Kirby Olson said...

There's an audio tape that's going to be played at the noon press conference given by the Massachusetts Police Union that apparently captures Gates' screaming about the police officer's "mama," while trying to incite the officer in any way possible.

On Fox this morning they had an African-American prof from Temple University saying that anybody would be upset with a police officer in their home. The newswoman disagreed and said she would welcome the police into her home even if they were there on a misperception of illegal entry, and be very grateful for their attention.

That was my take. Obama too said anybody would dislike the police in their home. Not me. I like it when the police have come to my house. I feel protected and I trust them to be on my side.

I think a big part of the racial divide has to do with trust of the police, and whether we like the police.

It might also be part of the political divide. It seems that the Democrats distrust the police, and the Republicans have more trust in them. President Clinton and his wife used to refer to the secret service personnel at the White House as their "personal pigs."

It might also be some kind of class divide that upper-class Marxists can't stand what they regard as the lower-middle class police, and look down on them.

It's a mystery that may get some light through this. The hippies used to call the police "the heat," whereas I would refer to them as "the light."

Different emphasis.

MJ said...

There is another revealing fact which Gates' account confirms. The officer was leaving the home and the arrest appears to have ocurred only because Gates followed him out.

The cop shouldn't have arrested him, but Gates is claiming elite priviledge, not suffering from racism.

Jim said...

American Liberal Elite -

"I was once in a similar circumstance; I showed the cops the requested ID, answered their questions and was left to go about my business. I guess I must have forgotten to be insulting and abusive."

A few years back, my wife's car was stolen out of the parking lot of the apartment complex where we lived. We called the police, and an officer showed up and began asking questions.

Those questions consisted mainly of asking us if we were behind on the payments and insinuating that we had the car stolen because we could no longer make the payments.

That was pretty offensive, but it was also part of his job as it's not exactly unheard of for that sort of thing to happen - especially since the car was of the more expensive variety.

We answered his questions and he was on his way. We later found out that the thief had actually brought the car to a chop-shop sting that the police department was running within hours of it being stolen. We were only informed of this fact, 3 months later after we had already been paid by the insurance company and the car was no longer legally ours.

I guess that was pretty obvious racism by the police too. I probably should have raised a commotion and gotten in the officer's face about how we were treated.

...except that both my wife and I are white with blue eyes, so that avenue wasn't available to us. Maybe if we had been black we could have gotten Obama to hold a national press conference and tell the country how we were "racially profiled" by the cops who insinuated that we were committing insurance fraud.

52% of Americans Acted Stupidly said...

Some of the most race conscious people seem to be part-white like Gates and Obama. Do they unconsciously hate their black selves and then overcompensate with extreme indentification with their black selves?

Jim said...

Laurence -

"What legitimate grounds were there to arrest Professor Gates, given that Sergeant Crowley admits that he did not suspect him of burglary? "

He was arrested for disorderly conduct, not anything related to the supposed break-in. Gates pursued the officer outside after the investigation was over and attempted to incite the gathering crowd against the police officer: pretty clasically "disorderly conduct" type behavior.

"If there were legitimate grounds for his arrest, why were charges dropped prior to trial?"

The vast majority of all disorderly conduct arrests result in dropped charges because the judge is only going to order community service at the most anyway, so why waste resources in prosecuting the case?

Maguro said...

What legitimate grounds were there to arrest Professor Gates, given that Sergeant Crowley admits that he did not suspect him of burglary?

Complete non-sequitor - Gates wasn't arrested for burglary.

If there were legitimate grounds for his arrest, why were charges dropped prior to trial?

Surely you don't believe that every "legitimate arrest" goes to court? There's simply no time for prosecutors to try everyone arrested for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor that basically amounts to someone being an asshole. Cops do catch-and-release arrests like this all the time for people who act just like Gates did.

Jim said...

When I see how noxious these somewhat ridiculous situations, I wonder if there is sufficient will left in this country to ever get "post-racial."

Jim said...

Gregory -

"Note that the report in the Root is dated July 21, five days after the police filed their report."

Also note that Gates is an editor at the Root. (I could be wrong on the exact position he holds, but I know he's part of the management.) So that's not exactly an objective source.

The other interview he gave was to one Elizabeth Gates....his daughter.

So we're not exactly talking about people who were going to challenge his story....

Patrick said...

No probs NKVD. And just out of an abundance of caution, whilst wog has been largely 'appropriated' by the mainstream, and the more redneck whites will happily call themselves 'skips', 'boong' and 'gook' have very litte use outside of gang culture and can be reliably associated with the externally unpredictable norms and violence of gang culture.

Just in case you ever feel like visiting Australia :)

Jim said...

(other) Jim -

"When I see how noxious these somewhat ridiculous situations, I wonder if there is sufficient will left in this country to ever get "post-racial.""

I've come to realize that when people said Obama was "post-racial" that it was a typo....

...what they meant to say was that he is the "most racial."

[perhaps with the possible exception of our First Black President, Bill Clinton]

garage mahal said...

Personally I think such a thing would be a good idea as it would prevent future issues surrounding the legitimacy of the US President. Why is that you have such a problem with it?.

Future issues from fringe birther conspirators? I don't have a problem with it. I think it's fascinating.

Jim said...

maguro -

"Cops do catch-and-release arrests like this all the time for people who act just like Gates did."

As was noted in the thread yesterday, it was Gates himself who specifically requested that he be taken "downtown."

The more likely result is that the cops would have uncuffed and released him if he had chilled out for half a second and hadn't insisted on making such a scene. But hey, if the guy wants to be taken in, then isn't it the obligation of the officer to do so anyway?

Jim said...

garage -

"Future issues from fringe birther conspirators?"

You were the one who implied that there was some sort of racial aspect to it because Obama is black. Are you now backing off your implication or do you really think it's a bad idea to require candidates for the presidency to prove their constitutional eligibility?

Don't chicken out now.

Bryant Likes said...

When I lived with my parents I came home one night and started working on my computer downstairs. Unknown to me, my younger brother was upstairs and didn't see me come home but heard someone downstairs. He called 911 and told the police an intruder was in the house. I saw the cops show up and walked outside very carefully. They handcuffed me to a chair and one watched me while the rest searched the house. Eventually it all got worked out after they talked to my brother, but they didn't even bother to ask me for id. I guess Gates should consider himself lucky that the cops actually took the time to ask him questions first.

BTW - I'm white and so were the cops that handcuffed me to a chair.

garage mahal said...

Jim
So can we count you "in" among the birther crowd? What hasn't Obama provided for you to prove his eligibility for POTUS?

DADvocate said...

garage - I based my statement not on the comments but on Gates statements, Obamas statements, NYT's statements, liberals broken record statements that continue to fail to recognize that those of us who live in the real world are not lost in the 60s anymore.

Florida said...

"I think a big part of the racial divide has to do with trust of the police, and whether we like the police."

Yep ... that's it exactly.

The police investigate blacks, and they don't like it.

Take a look at this NY Times graphic detailing all the murders in (and around) New York City for the last six years. (I think in this instance the NY Times can be a fair arbiter of the facts concerning who is committing the murders in New York.)

http://projects.nytimes.com/crime/homicides/map?ref=nyregion

Notice anything?

What I notice is that Blacks and Hispanics committed 90% of the murders over this long time period.

These facts demonstrate that blacks and whites are not equal.

We do not behave in the same way in this society. According to the NY Times, blacks and Hispanics are far more likely to kill people than white people or Asian people. Comprising only 12% of the total population, blacks committed 60% of the murders in a major American city over the last six years.

We're fundamentally different, according to the NY Times' data. And the police are forced to react to that difference, since they investigate the crimes.

They're forced to investigate much larger numbers of blacks because much larger numbers of blacks are committing murders (at least in New York).

So it's not surprising that black people are leery of the police. They're being disproportionately investigated by them; because they're disproportionally committing the crimes, according to the Times' data.

William said...

Is it impossible for Gates and Crowley to see their seperate culpabilities and vulnerabilities and reach an understanding? (I say seperate but not equal. My sympathies are with the cop.) They both seem on balance if not in situ decent people. No one, especially including the President, occupies the high moral ground here.

Jim said...

garage -

Answer the question: do you think it's wrong to require that presidential candidates prove their constitutional eligibility for the office?

It's a yes or no question. It's not that hard really.

Don't be a coward, garage. Answer the question. Yes or no.

[For the record: it's irrelevant whether he is or not. He won the election, and even if it was ultimately proved that he was not a citizen for whatever reason, it's not like we could go back and undo the damage that he's done just by waving a magic wand anyway.]

Jim said...

william -

"Is it impossible for Gates and Crowley to see their seperate culpabilities and vulnerabilities and reach an understanding?"

It's Gates and Obama who are pushing this story ahead - giving interviews and pushing their "the cop is racist" BS. Gates has no interest in "an understanding": his response was the most condescending and insulting "I'll accept an apology if Crowley comes crawling on his hands and knees, begging for enlightenment from the superior African-American male" crap I've ever heard in my life. And that includes half the stuff out of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson's mouths.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Another post to keep the Althouse Hillbillies

Considering that my 'elite masters' consider anyone who doesn't live in Chicago or on one of the coasts 'a hillbilly', I'll proudly wear the label of an Althouse Hillbilly.

I'm proud of the fact they consider me an outsider.

NKVD said...

@Patrick - have already been, not going back. Nice place and all, but I am sick of riding in airplanes. Plus, I can't move there permanently. More's the pity.

AJ Lynch said...

Rush just gave you a shout out on his radio show Professor.

Robert Cook said...

Kirby Olson said: "On Fox this morning they had an African-American prof from Temple University saying that anybody would be upset with a police officer in their home. The newswoman disagreed and said she would welcome the police into her home even if they were there on a misperception of illegal entry, and be very grateful for their attention.

That was my take. Obama too said anybody would dislike the police in their home. Not me. I like it when the police have come to my house. I feel protected and I trust them to be on my side.

I think a big part of the racial divide has to do with trust of the police, and whether we like the police."


This is exactly right, and black citizens in general have been subject to more and greater groundless harrassment by police and abuse at their hands than white citizens, and thus maintain a greater degree of distrust and dislike of them. One's past experiences will unavoidably color one's present and future perceptions and expectations.

Some people, to this day, shockingly believe police officers to be paragons of virtue who would never ever lie and whose testimony to the facts of any given situation is always unimpeachable.

These are folks who have never got on the wrong side of cops, or don't know anyone who has.

"President Clinton and his wife used to refer to the secret service personnel at the White House as their 'personal pigs.'"

Do you have any documentation for this claim? It sounds like a scurrilous slander to me.

NKVD said...

@52%

You bring up a good point, but specuation on motive is always dicey.

Rev. Wright is so pale that he needs sunscreen, yet he is a black supremist. I really don't want to delve into what makes him such a twisted, hateful person.

The Drill SGT said...

I was struck by the fact that many of the Gates defenders make much of the SGT's "racist" behavior, when in fact it was just standard SOP. examples:

1. the SGT, upon seeing Gates at the door, asks him to step outside.
Gates view: this was an attempt to place him at a legal disadvantge with fewer rights.
COP view: I'm alone, I have one guy in sight, there were reports of 2, I need to get the one guy into a position to cover him, while I locate the second guy.

2. SGT asks if there is anyone else in the house:
Gates view: The nosey racist pig won't go away, and keeps asking me irrelevant questions, of course I'm alone.
COP View: I'm alone, there were reports of 2 men, I only see one, where is the second? He may believe Gates belongs there, but until the SGT knows he is in control and has all suspects located, his life is in danger.

PS the comments about the door being previously broken in seem off base in my recollection. As I remember the facts, Gates and the driver broke the stuck door in. As Gates is going off to jail, references to the previously damaged door, obfuscate that it was Gates who did the damage.

Bottom line: any white guy had done what Gates did, a cop, black or white would have done what the SGT did.

Jim said...

Robert Cook -

From page 90 of the book "Unlimited Access" by former FBI agent Gary Aldrich:


Another close source, this one in the Secret Service, told me that Hillary had ordered her Secret Service protective detail to
"stay the f--k away from me!" and to keep at least ten yards of distance between her and them at all times.
The Secret Service agent told me that it was much harder to protect her from a distance of ten yards, and she was told this, but she didn't seem to care what the Secret Service said. He also told me that it was obvious that she had a clear dislike for the agents, bordering on hatred, in his opinion.

Along those same lines, another source reports that two Secret Service agents heard Hillary's daughter Chelsea refer to them as "personal, trained pigs" to some of her friends. When the friends had gone, the senior agent on the detail tried to scold Chelsea for such disrespect. He told her that he was willing to put his life on the line to save hers, and he believed that her father, the president, would be shocked if he heard what she had just said to her friends. Chelsea's response?

"I don't think so. That's what my parents call you."

bearbee said...

As expected Cambridge Chronicle loaded with Gates headines.

Robert Cook said...

Jim,

Anonymous sources with no corroborating evidence...that's the kind of compelling documentation that simply can't be denied!

Sofa King said...

This is exactly right, and black citizens in general have been subject to more and greater groundless harrassment by police and abuse at their hands than white citizens, and thus maintain a greater degree of distrust and dislike of them. One's past experiences will unavoidably color one's present and future perceptions and expectations.

So what? That's no excuse to act like a jerk.

Jim said...

Jim -

"Anonymous sources with no corroborating evidence...that's the kind of compelling documentation that simply can't be denied!"

If it's good enough for the NYT, LAT, and Washington Post to run unsourced allegations against Sarah Palin, then why is it all of a sudden wrong when the accusations run the other way?

I don't remember you speaking out against anonymous sources when they're used to bash Republicans, but all of a sudden now you have a problem with them?

You're making me laugh. Don't look now, but your Leftism is showing...

LaurenceJarvik said...

"What legitimate grounds were there to arrest Professor Gates, given that Sergeant Crowley admits that he did not suspect him of burglary? "

He was arrested for disorderly conduct, not anything related to the supposed break-in. Gates pursued the officer outside after the investigation was over and attempted to incite the gathering crowd against the police officer: pretty clasically "disorderly conduct" type behavior.

*The photographs I have seen show Professor Gates surrounded by police, not an angry crowd, so I don't know what basis you have for this version of the Gates story. Please cite a source.

"If there were legitimate grounds for his arrest, why were charges dropped prior to trial?"

The vast majority of all disorderly conduct arrests result in dropped charges because the judge is only going to order community service at the most anyway, so why waste resources in prosecuting the case?

*Do you honestly believe this is the reason that charges were dropped in this case? If not, why say it?

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

Jim,

This, from Wikipedia:

"In 1996, Aldrich wrote Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House (published by Regnery Publishing), a controversial book on the Clinton administration. The book was praised in many conservative circles. In the mainstream news media, the book was condemned as an untruthful attack -- for example, CNN reviewed it, saying the book is "filled ... with second-hand, unsubstantiated sexual rumors about and bitter attacks against President and Mrs. Clinton". Amongst his claims were that "drug paraphernalia and sex toys were put on the White House Christmas tree," according to Washington Post contributor Howard Kurtz."

Wow! It was published by Regnery! That seals it. There's no way these claims could be doubted, just as the veracity of the shocking account of sex toys on the White House Christmas tree can only be iron-clad.

NKVD said...

Cookie is here! Yay! The lunatic fringe has offered an opinion. And, if it is from a mind so great that it voted for Nader, what could it be but brilliant!

chickenlittle said...

Some people, to this day, shockingly believe police officers to be paragons of virtue who would never ever lie and whose testimony to the facts of any given situation is always unimpeachable.

@Cook: Do you think Officer Crowley is lying?

Jim said...

Laurence -

"*The photographs I have seen show Professor Gates surrounded by police, not an angry crowd, so I don't know what basis you have for this version of the Gates story. Please cite a source.

Gates' own version of the story corroborates this as does Crowley's. It's not in dispute.

"*Do you honestly believe this is the reason that charges were dropped in this case? If not, why say it?"

As I said in my previous post, I believe that Gates would have been uncuffed and released on the spot if he had, for even one second, shown even a hint of self-restraint. I believe the only reasons those charges were brought in the first place is because Gates himself insisted on being taken to the station. At that point, the officer pretty much has no choice but to do so and to file charges.

Roger J. said...

I'm sorry, but hasnt this "story" been beaten to death? No one's mind is going to be changed and it comes down to two competing versions of the truth--I think that was the subject of Rashomon 50 years ago.

The biggest idiot in the whole thing was Obama who brought it up and let his elephant mouth overload his hummingbird ass. But we are now rapidly approaching as, as the ever eloquent C4 noted, OJ territory. I am just surprised there are no Jews involved :)

The Drill SGT said...

reasonable people can differ on this, my take is:

- the SGT was doing his job
- Gates was an ass
- Gates behavior can get you arrested whether it would stick or regardless of whether it was appropriate. Mouthing off to cops can get you arrested, black or white cop, black or white perp. That is the way it is;
- the one who clearly had race on his mind from the outset was Gates, the SGT, not clear to me
- Dropping the charges after 4 hours cooling off is the not unexpected.

Jim said...

Robert Cook -

"Wow! It was published by Regnery! That seals it. There's no way these claims could be doubted, just as the veracity of the shocking account of sex toys on the White House Christmas tree can only be iron-clad."

1) You completely dodged your selective citation of anonymous sources dependingn on what's most convenient to your lame spin attempts. So thanks for ceding the point that you only like anonymous sources if they say what you want them to say: completely discrediting your argument.

2) Do you have personal knowledge and know for a fact beyond a shadow of a doubt that those things did not happen? If not, then you can't claim that they didn't with any more credibility than the guy who says they did.

As far as citing CNN's "review," see my previous citation of the NYT, WaPo, and LAT and their own shady sourcing issues. It's not like Eason Jordan ever worked for CNN or anything, right?

Jim said...

Roger J -

"The biggest idiot in the whole thing was Obama who brought it up and let his elephant mouth overload his hummingbird ass."

Exactly.

Florida said...

"... black citizens in general have been subject to more and greater groundless harrassment (sic) by police and abuse at their hands than white citizens ... "

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but this opinion is not based on any known facts.

Black citizens in general are subject to more and greater investigation by the police specifically because they commit a disproportionate number of the crimes in our society, relative to their population numbers.

The NY Times data backs up this statement.

Robert Cook said...

"@Cook: Do you think Officer Crowley is lying?"

I don't know. Without compelling evidence that will document what did actually occur, any conclusions that any of us draw can only be speculation.

Perhaps such documentation will be offered and then we'll know.

I don't claim, by the way, that Mr. Gates was necessarily the acme of rectitude in his behavior; again, I don't know whether his outrage and "tumultuous" behavior was justified or whether he was just being an asshole.

I don't, however, think any citizen should be arrested at his own residence simply for being an asshole.

garage mahal said...

garage -

Answer the question:
.

I asked you first.

Jim said...

garage -

"I asked you first."

1) No you didn't.

2) I already answered your question.

Your cowardice is showing. You brought it up in a lame attempt to tie it to race, and now you're caught in the web of your own deceit.

Once again, you reveal yourself.

bearbee said...

Cambridge Police Unit Demands Apology From Obama for 'Stupidly' Remark

bagoh20 said...

According to Gates and many commenters here and elsewhere, I have to conclude that this entire controversy would not exist if this officer had more melanin in his skin. Maybe police forces could just hire only blacks and prevent this kind of problem. Of course the same thing would occur, but nobody would care.

This form of racism against whites is just as stupid as the old kind against blacks, but now it's us doing it, so some people need to get off their high horse. They are just old style racist with fancy new excuses.

garage mahal said...


2) I already answered your question.
.

No you didn't. You didn't even try.

Again: So can we count you "in" among the birther crowd? What hasn't Obama provided for you to prove his eligibility for POTUS?

Lem said...

It looks like Drudge has crashed the Boston Hearald with the police tapes story.

That’s I call power.

Dont mess with the Drudge ;)

Robert Cook said...

"Do you have personal knowledge and know for a fact beyond a shadow of a doubt that those things did not happen? If not, then you can't claim that they didn't with any more credibility than the guy who says they did."

I don't have any personal knowledge that you aren't actually the brains behind Al Qaeda, with Osama bin Laden merely fronting for you as your stooge. Can anyone without personal knowledge claim with any greater credibility than I that you aren't Al Qaeda's secret mastermind?


Sorry...I'm being unreasonable. Obviously, the most outrageous and unlikely claims, as anyone knows, must be assumed to be at least possibly true until someone can prove definitively that they aren't. It's certainly unfair of me to assume that claims that the President of the United States and his wife decorated the White House Christmas Tree with sex toys or that they and their adolescent daughter called their secret service detail their "personal pigs" simply because I can't, personally, show proof that these claims are slanders. We all know that skeptics who doubt extraordinary claims bear a greater burden of proof than those who make the extraordinary claims.

bearbee said...

police report

chickenlittle said...

I don't know. Without compelling evidence that will document what did actually occur, any conclusions that any of us draw can only be speculation.

Thanks for being honest. For your sake and and also for Madison Man, I hope this gets played out even further. As Cedarford has pointed out, there is now plenty of interest on both sides. As I said before, I hope Crowley becomes another Joe the Plumber.

The true victim in this important sideshow is the discussion of nationalized healthcare.

rcocean said...

People need to understand this isn't Rashomon.

We have a second policeman's Report that backs up Crowley and shows Gates to be a liar.

We have the cops/passers by who witnessed Gates yelling at Crowley and his arrest. We have the radio transmissions (no doubt on tape) made while Crowley was in the house.

Gates has been shown to be a liar. He was yelling at the policeman. No doubt to believe the rest of his "Story".

Finally, there is NO reason to believe Crowley would deliberately lie and risk his job and pension when he knew he eyewitnesses and the radio transmissions could prove him a liar.

elHombre said...

Gates, quoted in The Root: My lawyers later told me that that was a good move and had I walked out onto the porch he could have arrested me for breaking and entering. He said ‘I’m here to investigate a 911 call for breaking and entering into this house.’ And I said ‘That’s ridiculous because this happens to be my house. And I’m a Harvard professor.’ He says ‘Can you prove that you’re a Harvard professor?’

So his lawyers told him that only on the porch could he have been arrested for breaking and entering his own house? And the cop was more interested in whether he was "a Harvard professor" than whether he lived in the house?

Unbelievable!

I guess that story makes sense to a Harvard prof, but in the real world, not so much.

Let's see, what was it that Wm. Buckley said about the first 2000 names in the Boston phone book?

Jim said...

Robert -

"Can anyone without personal knowledge claim with any greater credibility than I that you aren't Al Qaeda's secret mastermind?"

The problem with your argument is that not only I, but everyone who knows me, would be able to definitely refute any assertion to the contrary. In addition, any insinuation to the contrary would be defamatory, and you would have to prove in a court of law that you had reasonable reliance on the facts in order to make that assertion. Since we both know you can't, you'd end up losing everything you owned if you even tried.

"We all know that skeptics who doubt extraordinary claims bear a greater burden of proof than those who make the extraordinary claims."

But yet you never demanded any greater burden of proof for claims against Palin than the anonymous sourcing by the media. How do you square the circle?

[For the record, I don't necessarily believe any of the allegations about the Clintons although from what I know of the lack of character and integrity from both Bill and Hillary, none of the above would surprise me if it were true.]

My point was, and is, that you are operating with an obvious double standard: demanding rock-hard proof if something doesn't comport with your political beliefs, but willing to repeat every slander and smear if it suits you.

You discredit yourself.

L. E. Lee said...

Anedjamikated Redneck wrote

"Considering that my 'elite masters' consider anyone who doesn't live in Chicago or on one of the coasts 'a hillbilly', I'll proudly wear the label of an Althouse Hillbilly."

Uh, I don't live in Chicago or on one of the coasts. People here who write stuff like "Obama shucks and jives" are Althouse hillbillies. Plain and simple.

PJ said...

I, too, have been wondering about the question not answered. If one questions whether Prof. Gates's conduct might have been rationally goal-directed rather than an expression of uncontrolled outrage, an obvious candidate for a goal was to thwart any further inquiry about the occupants of the house. I haven't read as much about the case as others here: is it known whether the house was cleared before the police left?

For the record, I don't think any of the principals here have covered themselves in glory, including the President. I don't think we have enough facts yet to know whether Prof. Gates was technically guilty of disorderly conduct (and I don't regard the decision not to prosecute as evidence that he wasn't). At present, each man can plausibly claim to have behaved within his legal rights, and each can plausibly claim that the other behaved like an officious jerk. But even if the arrest was legally justified, I think it needn't and oughtn't to have occurred.

Lori B said...

One perspective that I haven't seen mentioned, is that Sgt. Crowley may have finally determined it was necessary to arrest Prof. Gates to protect himself from the real, career-ending threat of a racial complaint being filed against him.

After all, Gates was yelling outside of his house loud enough for the onlookers to hear, and all they saw was Sgt. Crowley exiting the house with Gates screaming 'Racist!' after him. Gates reminds me of Bob and Mayella Ewell accusing Tom Robinson of rape for having the temerity to feel sorry for her and try to help her.

If Gates had wanted to file a complaint, it could have taken on any type of fiction whatsoever. Sgt. Crowley was stupid like a fox to make sure he had an official police report of the incident within the hour of it happening. Gates made the threats, and provided the impetus, for Sgt. Crowley to practice "defensive" medicine for a cop.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

PJ -

"But even if the arrest was legally justified, I think it needn't and oughtn't to have occurred."

That's an easy thing to say in hindsight. However, given what we know about Gates' aggressive pursuit of Crowley out the front door and his attempts to incite a gathering crowd against Crowley, he was constituting a nuisance to the neighborhood at that point.

The officer gave Gates a couple of opportunities to chill out. He refused them and escalated his behavior to shouting at the neighbors instead. If the officer had no reasonable expectation that Gates wasn't going to stop making a spectacle of himself, then he had an obligation to Gates' neighbors to remove him from the scene.

People forget that this is a quiet neighborhood, and having some guy standing on his front lawn ranting about "This is how a black man is treated" at the top of his lungs is an affront to all of the residents of that neighborhood. Gates isn't the only one that the officer needs to concern himself in such a situation.

For example, what was the likelihood that one of his neighbors was going to come out of his house and demand that Gates pipe down; thereby leading to a physical confrontation? If that had happened, wouldn't we be excoriating Crowley for not removing Gates in the first place when he had the chance.

People who want to condemn the officer for being "stupid" are placing him in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation in order to avoid placing the blame squarely where it belongs: on the jackass that started the whole thing in the first place, Skippy Gates.

Alex said...

I've heard the Officer is going to file a defamation suit against President Zero. I can imagine the HuffPo will be in quite a tizzy over that one! BTW, Stefanie Miller over on AirLess America said that Obama was stupid to call out the cop, but she agrees the cop is a racist.

Roger J. said...

BTW--what kind of black dude goes by the name "Skippy or Skip?" That would get him in big trouble here in Orange Mound

Alex said...

Dunno, in my corner of the woods, you go by the name Skippy you're just askin' to get your ass kicked.

Jim said...

alex -

"I've heard the Officer is going to file a defamation suit against President Zero."

What I've read is that he's not ruling out a defamation suit against Gates because of Gates' subsequent interviews where he claims that he knows that Crowley was behaving in a racist fashion.

I don't believe he's considering a defamation suit against Obama. For one thing, all Obama did was say he was "stupid" which is a patently subjective assessment (and also stupid in and of itself). In addition, the President would likely be immune from such a lawsuit as he made the assessment in the course of his duties as president (in much the same way Murtha has avoided taking any responsibility for calling the Haditha Marines "murderers" by claiming that he has congressional privilege).

AlphaLiberal said...

You're treating the police report as factual/Gospel, Ann. That's a naive mistake. There are thousands of examples in American life where police have falsified reports. (Especially when they make asses of themselves).

This prevalent notion that citizens should be obsequious to police is offensive and not appropriate for a country that lays claim to being a beacon of freedom. Failure to be obsequious is not a crime.

Maybe Gates was just another arrogant professor. That's not a crime, people. You don't arrest people [in their own homes] for that.

It's a testament to the lunacy of the modern conservative movement that we're even debating this.

The Drill SGT said...

Roger J. said...
BTW--what kind of black dude goes by the name "Skippy or Skip?"


short version: An Ivy league guy talking about his ivy league buddy

Alex said...

Ah yes, we're supposed to believe AlphaTroll over the official police report and the witnesses. Yup, I'll do just that from now on!

Jim - I think it's dastardly that Obama can hide behind immunity of POTUS. He should pay a price for defaming a good man. I suspect his punishment will be lower approval rating and no ObamaCare!

Eat it RahmBo.

Jim said...

Alpha -

"You're treating the police report as factual/Gospel, Ann. "

Gates hasn't produced even a single iota of evidence which would contradict anything in the police report.

In addition, the whole thing is on tape as Crowley's radio was open the entire time. Since I'm sure the higher ups in his department have listened to those tapes, I very much doubt that they would be standing behind Crowley if they thought there was anything on those tapes which could be construed in any way to make Crowley look bad.

You should be careful before you jump to the defense of race-huckster like Gates because you're most likely going to wind up with egg on your face.

Alex said...

BTW is anyone buying RahmBo's bullshit on HuffPo that a bill is going to happen next week? Sounds like Alinsky 101 - declare victory and hope your enemies wimp out...

madawaskan said...

I was listening to an unedited interview with Gates-and of course I can't find it again-

but-

Gates might have been yelling that he was a Harvard professor-because the house is owned by-

Harvard Real Estate Services-which you can find at Harvard's official website.

That also makes it more understandable that Crowley summoned the Harvard Police.

Michael said...

What seems to be missing from this story, I suspect, is that Gates might have been well toasted after lunch. Granting that the police report could be total fiction, reading it it's very hard for me not to hear the voices of family members whose interactions with the police were, shall we say, represented by the firm of Walker Daniels and Beam.

Jim said...

alex -

"I suspect his punishment will be lower approval rating "

Look at today's Rasmussen polling. He dropped 2 points overnight in a 3-day rolling average poll. That's a tremendous hit.

I imagine some of it was due to his disastrous performance on health care at the press conference, but I think a larger portion of it is due to his stupidly stupid comments on the Gates situation.

As I commented elsewhere earlier today, I think that those comments - more even than his policies - are going to do him permanent damage at the polls.

Many people who voted for him were trying to exorcise their racial demons. Obama promised them that he was post-racial, that he would help heal the racial divide in this country. And I think that many idealists bought into the idea that if they pulled the lever for Obama, that we could finally get beyond having to listen to the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons of this country try to drag race into every situation - no matter how unrelated it might actually be.

Obama shattered that expectation Wednesday night. He revealed himself to be every bit as much of a race huckster as Sharpton or Jackson. He admitted that he had no facts, but he condemned the cop anyway and said the Cambridge police department (the whole department, mind you, not just one officer) acted stupidly.

That's the sort of thing you don't expect to hear from the president. That's racial politics at its worst, and I think that he's going to pay dearly for it.

Lots of people have been giving him the benefit of the doubt because of the false illusion that was built up around him before the election. Obama just did himself an immeasurable amount of harm by destroying that illusion.

AlphaLiberal said...

Alex:

Ah yes, we're supposed to believe AlphaTroll .

Look, dipshit, I'm addressing the subject of the thread and am a (too) frequent visitor here. That is not a "troll." That's someone who disagrees with you.

Beyond that, the notion reflected here that the police can arrest, shackle and toss in the clink any citizen who disagrees with them or protests their actions is outrageous.

When that happens in Cuba or Venezuela, you guys start yammering "police state" and such.

Yes, liberals question authority and conservatives worship authority.

Jim said...

alex -

"BTW is anyone buying RahmBo's bullshit on HuffPo that a bill is going to happen next week? "

It wouldn't surprise me one way or the other. Pelosi and Obama both know that if there's no vote before recess that the public option, at the very least, is dead in the water. Both of them want it very badly, and they may be willing to promise the sun and the moon to vacillating members in order to make it happen.

Just remember: all you have to do is follow the money...

elHombre said...

It's a testament to the lunacy of the modern conservative movement that we're even debating this.

Actually, Alpha, it's the lefties who want to focus on Gates v Crowley. It serves to distract from the immaturity and racism of the comments by The One on the incident.

Additionally, if Gates' actions met the technical standard of "disorderly conduct," that has little to do with being "obsequious to police." So, why the red herring?

Jim said...

I'll give Alpha this much: he's not a troll.

He has been a long-time commenter, and although I can't remember a time when he and I have agreed on a subject, he is no worse than any other Leftist who comments here.

He's entitled to be wrong if he wants to. [j/k Alpha...sort of :)]

Alex said...

We're the lunatics for discussing an issue blown up by the MSM and NY Times AND Obama? So it can only be on their race hucksterist terms?

Alpha - you are indeed a troll as all you do is repeat HuffPo talking points and never ever admit when you're wrong.

Alex said...

Alpha - you can whine and complain about how racist Althouse and her "hillbillies" are, but Zero's approval ratings are tanking as we speak and the numbers are colder then death itself.

madawaskan said...

Actually I found the link to it-

Gates interview-

ABC News Boston

madawaskan said...

Actually Gates says that-

"Harvard owns the house."

The Drill SGT said...

Looking at the possibility of lies by Gates or the SGT. consider that:

1. Who has the most to lose by lying?

2. The SGT has made an official report. His backup, an Hispanic officer made a report. There were a dozen civilians present, along with white and black officers from 2 PD's (Harvard and Cambridge), the Harvard Maint man.

3. much of it is on tape, the cop could expect that one of the locals had a video or cell phone camera.

4. it was broad daylight

5. If the SGT fabricates his police report, he could lose his job and pension. It's not like he abused Gates or beat him. Why take the risk?

6. Gates on the other hand, sees PBS mini-series and a book out of this.

who is risking what on their story here? I think that the Cop is staying closer to the truth, because he both has more at stake and knows how many ways the stories can be checked.

Alex said...

Drill Sgt - one thing the copy doesn't have going for him is an Orwellian media that will say "2+2=5".

elHombre said...

"Yes, liberals question authority and conservatives worship authority."

That must be why conservative are supportive of expanding government, governmental authority and gov't takeovers of the financial, healthcare and automaking sectors of our society.

Jeez, Alpha, give it some thought, willya?

bagoh20 said...

PJ said: "...But even if the arrest was legally justified, I think it needn't and oughtn't to have occurred."

I felt this way too, but after reading more info, I feel the arrest was required. Gates was inciting the crowd against the police and repeatedly ignored warnings. You can't have a civil society if people are free to be combative with police and ignore their legal requests and commands as they try to maintain the peace. If people can just shoo away the police rather than obey them, that town will have no peace or justice.

We can't have standard police procedure be: "If threatened or igrnored run away." What kind of fool would want to be a cop in that world? Or a law abiding citizen there?

amr said...

Missing I believe is what was reported on Imus (http://imus.969fmtalk.mobi/2009/07/23/imus-in-the-morning-guest-michael-graham---72309.aspx?results=1), there had been 9 daytime break-ins in the neighborhood the first 3 months of 2009.

Michael said...

Alpha Liberal:

You are quite right. It is not a crime to disagree with or be argumentative with the police. In this case the police would have done better not to arrest Gates. The fact that they did, however, does not make the arrest a racist event and it is this distinction that seems to be out of the grasp of many on this thread. Unfortunately, it appears that those with a more liberal bent seem to think you have to go all in on the side of Gates or be against all peoples of color.

Penny said...

Let me HIGHLY recommend that you all take a few minutes to follow the link that sierra left in his 10:28am comment.

It's a long link, but well worth the read for shedding some new light on Skip Gates.

madawaskan said...

Gates also says that the other man -that was reported as the other person-was the driver for Boston Car Services that he almost always gets the same driver that helps him and that he-the driver is-Moroccan.

bagoh20 said...

Sorry Jim, I just noticed that I virtually repeated your comment without seeing it first. "Great minds...".

Duscany said...

So many posters here assume that the issue was the matter of identifying Gates. Sgt. Crowley said in his report that he pretty quickly determined that Gates was not an intruder, both from his Harvard ID, from his appearance and from the fact that a Harvard maintenance man who showed up personally knew him.

Contrary to what so many people here assume, Gates was not arrested for not showing proper ID. He was arrested for following the cop out the door, continuing to shout insults and ridiculing Sgt. Crowley's mother.

And this happened after the cop was leaving the premises. All Gates had to do to keep from being arrested was shut up once the cop was out the door. Yet he acted like some homeless street person with no self-control who can't let go an insult, real or imaginary. He had a racial victim chip on his shoulder as big as the Grand Tetons.

PJ said...

@Jim: I think you overstate the case that Gates needed to be arrested to protect his neighbors from the consequences of his conduct. But I hope you're not including me among "People who want to condemn the officer for being 'stupid.'" I don't think there was anything stupid about his conduct (in fact, I think Lori B may be onto something in that regard), and I think the President oughtn't to have accused him of acting stupidly while ignoring his pal Skip's regrettable behavior.

Melody said...

Another possibility might be a domestic violence situation. All the officer knew was that there was a report of a man forcing the door at that residence. I'd imagine that there are quite a few estranged husbands running around who technically "own" the house and have an id with that address on it. It doesn't mean that he belongs there at that particular point in time. Domestic violence isn't the domain of poor people alone. I wonder what his daughter would have been telling the press had this same office just walked away while her mother died of a head injury on the kitchen floor because an officer didn't ask a couple of questions.

Ralph L said...

[in their own homes]
Alpha, you keep saying this, but it's not true. He wasn't in his house when he was arrested. He followed the cop out of the house. Do you not understand the distinction? Or do you prefer to lie?

Lori B and Michael:
Excellent points. I thought immediately that Crowley thought Gates was drunk or high. In his shoes, I would.

Invisible Man said...

Another possibility might be a domestic violence situation. All the officer knew was that there was a report of a man forcing the door at that residence. I'd imagine that there are quite a few estranged husbands running around who technically "own" the house and have an id with that address on it.

I think that your now just confusing yourself. The crime that Crowley was investigating was a B&E. Once he found that the suspect was actually the owner, there by definition can't be a B&E if its your own property. Investigating a domestic violence situation isn't about who owns the house, but whether a crime has been committed in it. This example doesn't hold up.

Duscany said...

Jim: "He should pay a price for defaming a good man. I suspect his punishment will be lower approval rating and no ObamaCare!"

I think you're right. Obama jeopardized his health care plan by defaming a professionally acting police officer on behalf of an unprofessional Harvard professor who acted like a race baiter. Lots of people have gotten off 20 hour flights two sheets to the wind. I wonder if after his arrest the police checked Gates's blood alcohol level.

Alex said...

Invisible - stop stepping in the doo doo. Gates followed the cop outside and continued berating him. Should the cop have ignored it? I think he would if there wasn't a crowd being incited. Ever hear of "disturbing the peace"?

Alex said...

Duscany - give me the credit. Jim was quoting me.

Invisible Man said...

Yet he acted like some homeless street person with no self-control who can't let go an insult, real or imaginary.

And Crowley acted like some police state thug in Iran who arrests someone for speaking. We rightfully defend the Iranian citizen's right to protest in the street (and not their house, which should be an easier case). Yet obviously saying something that insults an officer requires an arrest by your definition. By your standard, the Iranians had every right to start hauling off protesters to jail when they didn't like what was being said. You obviuosly don't care much for Freedom of Speech.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that Obama's problem right now is that he was a racist in this matter. He jumped onto the racist bandwagon, and didn't look at all the facts. If he had, and his handler's and teleprompter had, he probably would have just kept his mouth shut.

The problem is that from a White's point of view (on average), Gates was clearly in the wrong. There is plenty of evidence that Crowley did things exactly by the book. And, at least his official report looks that way, and he has plenty of witnesses to corroborate his side of the story, about Gates disturbing the peace. He was arrested for that, and I think most of us would consider someone yelling and screaming like he had to be be disturbing the peace.

Yes, the Black community may see things differently, and they may be totally justified in it. But they aren't going to deliver any of Obama's priorities into law, nor get him reelected. They would vote for him, based on his skin color, even if he were a serial rapist (or, in Marian Berry's case, a convicted drug dealer).

So, even if he had been able to make some good points in his speech on health care, what a lot of people took away from it, was that deep down, the post racist candidate, is the worst type of racist. And that is what he squandered critical political capital for this last week.

Invisible Man said...

I think he would if there wasn't a crowd being incited.

What crowd was being incited?

You do realize that half the people outside during the arrest portion were actually police. This is just rationalizing at this point. I truly doubt that the Watts riots were about to break out in THAT community unless maybe the police began threatening their Volvo's and afternoon tee times.

Come On!

MJ said...

bagoh20 said...
"...I have to conclude that this entire controversy would not exist if this officer had more melanin in his skin..."

I don't agree with this. He'd have just said the racism was institutional. I suspect he would have adopted a more condescending, faux educational tone to the officer. But he still would have pushed the spectacle. Regardless of his title he's essentially a paid political activist, a group not particularly known for skipping a chance to push their agenda.

samaBlog said...

The house is rented. Photos from gates being booked show the number 17 on it, and the police report says it's on Ware St. Quick Google search reveals the following:

http://www.hres.harvard.edu/RRE/NewWeb/Brochure/Affiliated/Complexes/17ware.htm

Jim said...

Invisible -

"And Crowley acted like some police state thug in Iran who arrests someone for speaking."

Yeah. In your dreams. Every person who has been asked about Crowley has had nothing but good things to say about the manner in which he performs his duties. Even defense attorneys who have a vested interest in potentially discrediting any testimony he might give against their clients, have said that he has always been even-handed and fair in dealing with their clients. That's a pretty powerful endorsement from people speaking against their own interests.

Black and white officers alike have said he's a good cop, but you expect people to believe that in this one instance, he was some out-of-control power-mad thug? Sorry, but that's not going to wash.

Even Gates' own account shows that he aggressively pursued the officer when he tried to leave. So who instigated the incident? Who was the one who attempted to incite the crowd by yelling at the top of his lungs?

Gates is a race-hustler, and a fraud. Obama was stupid for backing him. And you're not doing yourself any favors either.

Alex said...

The only people defending Skippy are guilt-tripping liberals. the rest of America is horrified by Obama's racist remark.

Invisible Man said...

I think that Obama's problem right now is that he was a racist in this matter.

Yes, of course! Those who point out racism are just as guilty of racism as the racists. Martin Luther King Jr. in his quest to get rid of racism was obviuosly just as guilty of racism as Bull Conner. That makes perfect sense.

Again, Obama didn't accuse Crowley of racism. He accussed him of acting "stupidly". Obama pointed to the extremely well-researched and proven problem of "racial profiling" that many on the Right are explicitly for. But take your petty potshots if you want.

PJ said...

You can't have a civil society if people are free to be combative with police and ignore their legal requests and commands as they try to maintain the peace. If people can just shoo away the police rather than obey them, that town will have no peace or justice.

I agree with this as it relates to the burglary investigation, but my understanding is that the Sergeant had satisfied himself of the Professor's bona fides as related to the burglary and arrested the Professor because the Professor followed him outside as he was leaving and engaged in disorderly conduct at that time. If the Professor had been arrested for obstructing an officer in the performance of his duty (or some such crime), that would put the matter in a different light to me. I don't think civil order is likely to break down just because verbal abuse of police officers goes unpunished.

Jim said...

Invisible -

"What crowd was being incited?"

The neighbors who were standing around. You know, the same ones who are backing up Crowley's (and the Hispanic officer's) story that Gates was being belligerent.

Bill Twomey said...

If the cop had been racist, Gates would have been shot. And Gates would be in a bodybag or ambulance. If the cop had been racist, Gates would have found himself on the floor with a pistol at the back of his head. If the cop had been racist, Gates would have been clubbed. If the cop had been racist, Gates would have been roughed up and painfully handcuffed.

There's numerous way the cop could have acted out racism. That word does not mean what Gates thinks it means.

Seems to me the cop profiled him accurately, as not a burglar, and displayed patience while trying to sort out Gates identity and authority to be in the house.

td said...

If you had troubled yourself to read the police report you would know that quite early on the officer states that he believed Gates was in the residence lawfully. This was clearly a case where the cop didn't like the guy's attitude and got his swagger on. No two ways about that.

traditionalguy said...

Observation for today: Innocent and law abiding people are warm and friendly with a policman who is in fact their protector/friend. But guilty and law avoiding robbers are adverse to a policeman's mere presence, since they know that a policeman is their nemisis/enemy representing a vengeance due them from the broken law.

Jim said...

PJ -

"I don't think civil order is likely to break down just because verbal abuse of police officers goes unpunished."

So what rights do Gates' neighbors have to be free of the public nuisance that he was making? I mean, that is the definition of disorderly conduct after all: conduct detrimental to the general order.

Everyone keeps talking about Gates, Gates, Gates as if he was the only one affected by his little racist tirade. As soon as he took it public and shouting at the top of his lungs, he made it a matter of general public interest. And yes, if you stood outside on your front lawn and made a nuisance out of yourself, you could be arrested for disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace if you refused to calm down when an officer asked you to - regardless of the color of your skin, and regardless of why or what you were shouting about.

Invisible Man said...

Yeah. In your dreams. Every person who has been asked about Crowley has had nothing but good things to say about the manner in which he performs his duties.

And everyone who knows Skip Gates loves the guy as well. I don't know what any of this has to do with either of their behavior.

If you don't know good guys/gals who haven't acted like jerks at times, you don't get out much. I don't question whether Crowley is a good guy or not in his daily life. But I do know that he took an action that day, that his own police department can't even support. I've known a few sherrif deputies, who were great guys in the capacity that I've known them (law school), but during drinks I've heard stories that made me cringe. Let's not put cops on a pedestal as if that badge prevents them from doing crappy things. I'm not going to put Skip on a pedestal either, but I'm able to look at this level-headed unlike some of you.

Jim said...

td -

"This was clearly a case where the cop didn't like the guy's attitude and got his swagger on. No two ways about it."

Except that's not the case. The officer attempted to leave peaceably. It was Gates' who instigated the incident, and Gates who pursued the officer outside and proceeded to shout at the top of his lungs. Even by his own admission.

If you had read the police report, you would know that.

J said...

Y'know, if I was a cop who got a call about two black men breaking in and when I arrived I'd make a note of that. Then if there was only one black man in view, even if he gives me proper ID, I'd ask if there was anyone else in the house because I heard there were two black men and for all I know there is someone in the house that is not a friend to the first black man and the possibility of duress exists. I'd offer the man an opportunity to leave the house to talk with me, but I'd never expect the vitriol that this Harvard professor spewed. Rest assured that if I hadn't explored those possibilities and there was someone in the other room with a gun who did physical harm to the first black man after I left him without ascertaining his safety and well being, I'd be a whole different of negligent and possibly racist after the fact.

From what I read of the event, it seems it was this follow up question that caused the good prefessor to go blacklistic on the policeman in question.

How do you win with some people?

Alex said...

The problem with liberals is they've been indoctrinated to such an extent they are incapable of reason. They look at a situation, and instead of using common sense they apply their viscious ideology. The ideology trumps all, thus the cop MUST be racist and Gates MUST be justified in feeling aggrieved.

Since Obama's poll numbers are tanking, I suspect the liberals will get even more enraged and embittered. I expect more irrational behavior from them.

lucid said...

Here is a frightening thought--just think that someone of the character, judgment, and sensibility of Skip Gates DOES have an influence through his professional work and affiliations on how Americans think about race. Now there is something to be frightened of.

Alex said...

Invisible - do you think that something is up that Althouse and the rest of us think the cop was in the right and Gates/Obama are wrong? How can we all be racist and wrong?

Jim said...

Invisible -

"And everyone who knows Skip Gates loves the guy as well. "

Wrong. I related an anecdote last night about a guy who met Gates and noted the similarity in their last names, to which Gates responded that "Your grandfather probably owned my grandfather." Leaving aside the fact that it was pretty much chronologically impossible for that to be the case and low probably that the guy's family ever even owned slaves at all, how much of a racist jackass do you have to be to even make a comment like that to a complete stranger?

Sorry. But anyone who would make a comment like that has got a serious problem. You're not going to get away with that one.

BJM said...

I really don't think Obama gets that he is no longer a member of a aggrieved group, that in winning the presidency he transcended his past and all associations. He can no longer speak for himself or any group above the other, as the office he holds must speak for all Americans.

His life is forever changed and never again will he have total control of his words as historians not yet born will interpet them.

Obama also will not have the same place in the black community either as he now belongs to a very male, very white group; US Presidents.

Alex said...

lucid - the truly frightening thing is how Skippy will go to his next lecture on "African American studies" and use this manufactured incident to poison young minds. Those young minds are captive in that lecture room and there is nothing we can do to save them from the mental abyss. Essentially he's churning out another series of Jeremys.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Just to be clear:

Obama never called Crowley of the Cambridge PD racist. PERIOD. He said they "acted stupidly" in this case. Here's the passage the freaks are all up in arms about:

"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..."

WHERE IS THE CHARGE OF RACISM?? WHERE?? WHERE??? WHERE??

Also, how did Obama bring this up when HE WAS REPLYING TO A QUESTION ASKED OF HIM?

p.s. Cedarford, based on your comments, if you are not a racist, then there are no racists.

ZZMike said...

Reports say that the neighbors called the cops. If true, how is it that they didn't recognize Gates?

Is this one of those neighborhoods where nobody knows anybody else? Are there many other Harvard types living there?

But basically, why didn't the neighbors know him? Is he aloof? Or are they?

Alex said...

Jim - funny you mentioned the Gates slave-comment. On HuffPo they were defending that as "brilliant" and "spot on" by Gates. Fever swamps.

Invisible Man said...

There's numerous way the cop could have acted out racism. That word does not mean what Gates thinks it means.

I tried to broach this type of asinine statement yesterday, but I'll try again.

The bar for racism is not whether or not you want to kill someone from another race. If you don't like black people but don't actually want to go on a murder spree in Watts, your still a racist. The fact that he didn't shoot Gates shows that he isn't a sociopath, not that he isn't a racist.

Jim said...

Invisible -

"But I do know that he took an action that day, that his own police department can't even support."

Wrong again.

Wrong.

Get your facts straight.

Alex said...

Montagne Mointaigne - you forget to take your "calm down" meds. Cedarford is a brilliant guy and we don't appreciate your defaming him.

C R Krieger said...

Not wishing to pre-judge this situation, but the comment that "Skippy is a high-handed pr*ck" doesn't square with my experience.  Getting my shoes shined at Logan Airport, I sat down next to the professor and struck up a conversation, learning he was a prof at Harvard (professors have to work somewhere).  I asked him a couple of questions about the "Middle Passage" and he was informative and gracious.

I am thinking that two tired, frustrated men crossed paths and neither was willing or able to back down.

Regards  —  Cliff

Jeff said...

I think the unstated question clears it up, that there might have been someone in the house and that the cop was concerned of the possibility that Gates was too afraid to let on.

Alex said...

BTW it's true Obama did not call Crowley a racist per se, but it's sinisterly implied... And I mean sinister!

Jim said...

Montagne -

I notice how you conveniently cut off the rest of Obama's statement where he directly ties Crowley's action to the history of racial profiling.

Kind of destroys your whole argument when you actually quote the whole thing. Nice try though.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

"My impression of him was that he was an outstanding police officer and that was confirmed in the phone conversation." --Obama on Crowley


god, Crowley should sue for defamation. Can the white grievance-mongers please STFU now?

Daniel in Brookline said...

Alpha:

I don't know you from Adam. But from the tenor of your remarks, I suspect that you are not a policeman, and don't know anyone who is. You speak at length about the rights of citizens to be rude to policemen, and on that you base your argument that the policeman of this story is in the wrong.

It's certainly true that it's not against the law to be rude to a policeman. But it's not very smart either. Similarly, it's not against the law to stand in the path of a raging bull, or to ride your unicycle along the edge of a cliff... but these things also aren't very smart.

Try to understand the policeman's point of view. When he responds to a call, he knows that a seemingly harmless situation can turn deadly without warning. (Previous commenters here have offered several examples of how dangerous this could have been for the policeman, given what he knew at the time.) So a policeman responding to a B&E call is on a hair-trigger, and for excellent reasons.

Screaming at a policeman for trying to do his job, under these circumstances, is asking for trouble. The smart thing to do -- which I would expect a Harvard professor to understand -- is to speak politely to the policeman, show him any documentation he asks for, escort him cheerfully from the premises... and then file a complaint against him later, if that suits you.

Frankly, I think Prof. Gates has shot himself in the foot... because the Cambridge Police will now hesitate before responding to disturbances at his house. Is that what he wants? Or does he want full police protection from any and all criminals, so long as such protection doesn't get in his way?

Bottom line: speaking respectfully to a man with a gun is just a smart thing to do. As Americans, we are protected by law from unreasonable search and seizure... but nowhere are we promised that innocent people will never become suspects.

respectfully,
Daniel in Brookline
(a former policeman who is related to a Harvard professor, as it happens)

Alex said...

Jim - and the standard canard from left-wingers is that conservatives always quote lefties out of context. I think they doeth protest too much.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Cedarford is a white supremacist. Hands down. Why should he be ashamed of that if that's what he believes? Doesn't mean I can't call him what he is-- a racist.

Kirby Olson said...

For Robert Cook, yes, my source for the "personal pigs" comment was Unlimited Access by Gary Aldrich. Thanks to Jim for finding that for me. It must be at least fifteen years since I read the book. The statement is made several times in the book. The author was an FBI agent assigned to the White House. He wasn't anonymous. He may have been just making up the allegations, but i doubt it. Then again, I tend to trust the police. I'm also not against Regnery. they have their own slant of course, but I don't think they will publish out and out lies. There has to be at least some credibility to what they're publishing, or they would have been sued out of business by now. I think the company is thriving, and haven't lost any lawsuits for libel, but I haven't checked on that.

Do you think that everything they publish is a lie? What do you base that on?

different publishing houses have differing perspectives, and allow different sectors of the public to speak. Aldrich was a member of the FBI, and obviously had a pretty high clearance, since he was assigned to the White House. He had been there through several presidents, but left because of the way he was treated by the Clintons.

I don't think you can just simply dismiss what he said. He had to be a man of fairly high character to get into the position he was in, and to have remained there for so long. The book was quite well-written (clear, and it was logically organized).

Asa high-lvel police officer he would have had the ability to separate rumor and innuendo from probable fact. He had also worked there through at least one other Democrat, I believe, with whom he got along superbly.

I can't recall all the details at this point. "Personal pig," stuck with me because it was such a mean phrase. I voted for Bill clinton, but was very turned off by the book. I still like the man, but he does seem to have a dark side, and like Obama he seems to dislike the police.

Maybe that's because he was the nation's first black president. I wouldn't know.

Alex said...

Montagne Mointaigne - if you think this is a winning issue for your side, please keep on peddling. I beg you to.

Jim said...

Montagne -

"god, Crowley should sue for defamation. Can the white grievance-mongers please STFU now?"

Let me paraphrase: "He's a racist, but otherwise a decent guy."

Yeah...that's much better than simply implying that he's just a plain old racist. Yep. Nothing to see here.

Obama tried to walk back his statement after the fact. He didn't call a press conference to give his walk-back the same prominence as he gave his original accusation, now did he? He wouldn't have even said that much if the police unions and policemen across the nation weren't pissed as all get out. It was ass-covering, nothing more.

That's like the NYT lying in the headlines, and then issuing a half-assed correction in small print in the back of the news section.

Alex said...

Jim - so either Obama stepped into the shit or he thinks he had something to gain politically from ratcheting up the racial wars. Which do you think?

Billy Beck said...

"If the ID did not show the address of the house that had been broken into, then Crowley's continuing investigation into whether Gates really lived there was perfectly reasonable."

This is bullshit, Ann. Go read the police report to see how completely impertinent it is: that cop arrested him after he was convinced that Gates was the homeowner.

Can you understand the implications of this fact?

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 291   Newer› Newest»