Thursday, July 23, 2009

Officers behaved "stupidly" but may have been trained that way

You know when the President of the United States calls a police officer's decision "stupid" in a primetime press conference that your department has had a particularly bad day, one that's going to reverberate in the national conversation about racial politics for quite a long time.

Obama was talking about the remarkable arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates in his Cambridge home for disorderly conduct after a neighbor called police thinking he was a burglar.

Having read several accounts of the incident, I think its root cause may or may not have been racial but was much more definitely the result of basic police training regarding how officers are taught to engage with the public. In this case, even after learning that Gates was in his own home and they'd been called out based on an error, officers still wanted to maintain a "command presence," in the policing lingo, and Professor Gates apparently was having none of it.

To be fair, Gates indulged his own frustrations and acted unwisely. The proper approach IMO would have been, after establishing he was in his own house, to repeat like a mantra, "Please get off my property, please get off my property ..." No need to argue or attempt to reason with police when his goal should be for them to leave.

Still, the "I'm in charge here" bluster by police heightened tension in a confrontational situation instead of defusing it and the end result was the President calling the cops "stupid" on national TV. To the extent it was "stupid," though, it's also worth remembering it's probably exactly how the officers were trained to behave, whether they're dealing with a black man caught breaking into his own home or some blogger who's babysitting while white.

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that they were originally called out for a suspected burglary, but arrested him for "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior."

Um, what law does that fall under again? The man was in his OWN home, and police knew it. Nothing more than another card carrying KKK cop deciding he wanted to harass a black man. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I pretty much agreed with the prez's description, having read a few articles about the incident.

One caveat: My sense is that Gates acted not only like a black victim of racial profiling but also like a member of a very privileged group accustomed to be treated with deference.

And his expressed sudden interest in researching race and criminal justice cracks me up to no end. I'm sure all of us working in this field eagerly await enlightenment.

BB

Anonymous said...

Go read the offense report. Gates is an obvious elitist jerk off who doesn't deserve an ounce of sympathy.

Charlie O said...

Anon. 11:24. If you take a police report as gospel truth and an accurate depiction of any incident or contact with police, you are both stupid and naive. Police reports are some the biggest works of fiction ever written.

I have read police reports of incidents that I either witnessed or was a party to and they were all rife with factual and descriptive error. In some cases, they couldn't even get the personal information correct.

Anonymous said...

The arrest of Professor Gates has been viewed by many as simply the latest incident in a long history of racial profiling by law enforcement officers. But rendering this episode as a case of racial profiling obscures more than it illuminates.
This is not a classic instance of racial profiling, in which a police officer assumed that Professor Gates was breaking into a home simply because he is black. Rather, Officer James Crowley was summoned by a woman who observed two black men on the porch trying to force open the door.
The officer approached Professor Gates not as a result of a racial profile, but based on a witness’s account of a specific suspect engaged in suspicious behavior, just as we should expect him to. And, the witness remained at the scene with her phone until the officer arrived.

Anonymous said...

It could have been worse. If it had happened in Texas, Gates would have been Tazed.

Anonymous said...

Police respond to a call of a possible break in and all you have to say is "yes sir I live here and here's my ID".

Gates is the one who escalated that situation and made it a racial thing - not the officer.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the President ought to know stupid when he sees it. To quotes to ponder....

> "Life's tough......it's even tougher if you're stupid." -- John Wayne
>
> "We live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it." -- Barack Obama

Anonymous said...

"Go read the offense report. Gates is an obvious elitist jerk off who doesn't deserve an ounce of sympathy."

Ok, where in the law does it say elitist jerks get to be arrested for being elitist jerks?

Whether he is or he isn't the same applies, He was in his own home, no crime was committed and the cop fabricated a charge to bust him. Plain and Simple. If he would have taken a swing at the cop, ok, there you have something, but merely becoming vocal about being harassed is not a crime, actually it is a constitutional right. Especially if one is standing in one's OWN doorway...

Anonymous said...

Police respond to a call of a possible break in and all you have to say is "yes sir I live here and here's my ID".

Gates is the one who escalated that situation and made it a racial thing - not the officer.


Actually, if you read the account and the report Mr. Gates DID tell the police officer who he was. It became escalated when he asked the officer for HIS name..

Connie Lowe said...

There is no doubt that the job of a police officer is not easy. I think an officer needs to have a strong ego to do it. However there are times when egos need to be checked and an officer must remain calm. This was one of those times.

In my opinion, the minute the professor identified himself the officer should have said thank you and got the heck out of dodge. If the professor asked for his name and badge number, he should have complied. Instead he chose to "keep it real" and that never leads anywhere good.

I also believe the professor was remiss in how he behaved. He should have identified himself. In Texas, an officer does not need to have probable cause to ask a person to i.d. themselves. I do not know how the law is written in MA. Ironically the officer had probable cause based on the information he had been given. The professor chose to be defiant and use it as an opportunity to play the race card. He should be ashamed, they both should.

I do no believe the president should have used the word "stupidly" when discussing this topic. Especially on national television! He should have checked his ego at the door and acted as a president, and not the friend of the professor that he is.

On a side note- Not to be argumentative with Mr. or Mrs. Charlie O but calling someone stupid, as you did, is not helpful. Calling someone stupid is quite uncivilized. You and the president need to learn some new words. Using naive was fine, ignorant would have also been a better choice.

Anonymous said...

If you read the police report, you'd see that Gates only provided his Havard ID, not a DL that had his address on it.

My daddy taught me to say yes sir and no sir to the police or expect to be beaten, shot or have something planted on you and be arrested.

Too bad daddy Gates didn't tell his son that. Generally, the time to fight the police is not on the street. I guess he found that out. He should send a thank you note to the officer for not being tazed.

He's as much of a stupid ass as his buddy's health insurance fiasco.

It is interesting, is it not, that the dem Congress members exempted themselves and the prez from this absolute abortion of a health plan, isn't it?

And I hate to say it, but even in this day and age of enlightened race relations, a white man with a black child or vice versa is PC for stop and question.

I could just hear grits screaming if some white man had actually abducted the child that grits was with...ah, the librul pain!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot, grits likes sex offenders, so grits probably wouldn't care if some child sex offender who was white abducted a black relative of his.

Anonymous said...

You can read the police report at the following link

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

Anonymous said...

"Oh, I forgot, grits likes sex offenders, so grits probably wouldn't care if some child sex offender who was white abducted a black relative of his."

You're gross and out of line. You should be ashamed, but you're probably too stupid to understand why.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. Its
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/
archive/years/2009/0723092gates1.html

Anonymous said...

Thanks you Mr. President and all for the free publicity.

It's already for sale on a t-shirt "I'll speak with your mama outside!"

http://www.zazzle.com/ill_speak_with_your_mama_outside_tshirt-
235090175211093481

Anonymous said...

According to the police report, the woman that called in the "robbery in progress by two black men" was nearby when the police arrived.

If she was really convinced that a robbery in progress, she would not have been nearby with her phone when the police arrived. It seems she also behaved stupidly.

The photograph I saw included several police officers. Sad that not one among them could figure out that they had made a mistake and there was no crime to fight.

The truth is that the everyone in our culture has been indirectly trained to believe that black people are criminal. This idea is wrong the vast majority of the time. We need more stories like this one pointing out that fact. I cheer the President for starting the dialog.

Anonymous said...

Officer Crowley today told Obama to "butt out" of the matter.

GOOD JOB OFFICER CROWLEY!!!

Now, how can we get Obama to get his butt out of America?

Anonymous said...

Not surprsising that President Obama made this comment. After all, his administration is presently proposing to cut slain officer's benefits in half.

Of the very few reporting on this, the Associated Press reported on May 7 that the president's proposed budget calls for cuts in the Public Safety Officer's Death Benefits Program. Obama wants to cut $50 million from the program, the budget to fall from $110 million to $60 million.

Anonymous said...

"He should be ashamed, they both should."

Well, maybe so Connie. But I noticed that only one of them came out of that house in handcuffs.

Anonymous said...

Reported minutes ago by MSNBC

The white police sergeant criticized by President Barack Obama for arresting black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. is a police academy expert on racial profiling, and the academy's director on Thursday called him a "good role model."

White House: Obama didn't mean to call officer in Gates arrest 'stupid'

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32092715/ns/us_news-race_and_ethnicity/?GT1=43001

Anonymous said...

The Boston Herald reported that Crowley gave dying Boston Celtics star Reggie Lewis mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in 1993. The 27-year-old forward suffered a fatal heart attack during an off-season practice at Brandeis University, where Crowley was a campus police officer.

"I wasn't working on Reggie Lewis the basketball star," Crowley told the newspaper. "I wasn't working on a black man. I was working on another human being."

Anonymous said...

NBC and FOX reporting this evening there had been a previous break in of the residence.

Meanwhile, President Obama shoots himself in the foot and the media attention today is on his opinion regarding this arrest and not on healthcare or the other "central issues" of his campaign or the problems in this country.

And just like healthcare when he admits he has not read the entire proposal, he doesn't have all of the facts related to this arrest.

Both statements are self defeating on his part.

President Obama received 17 parking tickets in Cambridge between 1988 and 1991, mostly for parking in a bus stop, parking without a resident permit and failing to pay the meter, records from the Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation office show. Paid them two weeks before announcing his intent to run for president.

A nexis?


“A wise man is cautious and avoids danger; a fool plunges ahead with great confidence” (Proverbs 14:16 LB).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the report 6:06. I haven't been monitoring the cable news outlets this evening.

But I'd just like to ask if Obama didn't have his facts straight in this case and if there had been previous break-ins, why was Gates not charged with that crime?

In other words, if they thought he was breaking and entering unlawfully then they should have charged him with that crime instead of the "you really are pissing me off now" charge instead.

Somehow I think Obama can see inside the heart of this or any other matter without reading a 1000page treatise on the subject.

Not that it is way too hard, simple common sense for most folks will do. Thank God Obama has some of that.

Boyness said...

I'm with the cops on this one. that guy acted like a complete ass. The cops, for once, were doing there job. I am sick of racism regardless of how who rares it's ugly head.

Anonymous said...

"Somehow I think Obama can see inside the heart of this or any other matter without reading a 1000page treatise on the subject."

Obama would have been better off not getting involved in his friends arrest. He could have skirted the question by saying he did not know enough about what happened and declined to anwser. Instead he said he did not know enough and then answered.

It's kind of funny how Obama's formerly fairly plain-spoken Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, was instructed by Obama's minions to stonewall the U.S. Senate at her hearings, but the President feels compelled to interject himself, disingenuously, into a police blotter matter.

Charles said...

Actually Obama did not call the officer stupid. He said he acted stupidly. There's a huge difference. I have acted stupidly more than once, but I'm not stupid. Well, maybe I am for getting into this. Or maybe I'm just acting stupidly.
Charles Kiker, Tulia

Anonymous said...

The police should offer Gates an “opt out” agreement where they agree not to respond to any 911 calls concerning his residence.

How about in Texas we offer to put a sign in yards telling neighbors not to call police in case of break-ins?

Rage Judicata said...

He should have showed ID. The cop was just responding to a call, and the professor was carrying his racial chip on his shoulder. Had he shown ID, the cop would have gone away.

Hell, I'd be happy of the cops showed up after someone said my home was being broken into. Instead, I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.

Also, cops suck.

Anonymous said...

Grits,

Thanks for confirming what I suspected happened in this case - POC charge. Gates is wrong that the cop showed any racism, it was simply that since Gates refused to kiss the cops ring and show "due" respect, he was immediately subject to arrest. Only reason this one made the news was simply because of the high profile of the arrestee and the president saying the cop acted stupidly. Always enjoy when the potential victim becomes the subject of an arrest. Recently happened in Harris County with a Sikh family, I believe.

Anon 1:37 - thanks for the URL.

Anon 2:05 Do you even know what the heck you are talking about? Historically the funding has been padded. This administration just gave an honest budget figure for the coming year. Do the math. 140plus officers die in the line of duty at about $300,000 for a death benefit. Doesn't come close to $110 million. You blaming the administration for the drought, too?

Always find it interesting how people blame the citizen after they get upset when having to deal with the cops. It's NOT a crime to be rude to a cop, especially when you are dealing with a condescending, arrogant "my way or the highway" SOB. NO matter what the clown in a uniform thinks. Gates was loud in his own home and had already identified himself; no law yet says you have to have a DL (including in Texas), though many want to turn the DL into the new internal passport of America.

Rage - Re-read. He did show ID and it was accepted by the cop before the arrest - that's why the cop called the university police. By his statement he also accepted that Gates was the resident of the home.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, I forgot, grits likes sex offenders, so grits probably wouldn't care if some child sex offender who was white abducted a black relative of his."


First, You are a troll, aren't you? Secondly, I do not think Grits 'likes' sex offenders. He does not agree with the punitive laws being passed against them, just like all of the other constitutionally minded people in the nation. Third, Seeing that 93% of ALL child abductions are done by a family member or a friend of the family, I believe it is YOU that we need to be watching out for.

Anonymous said...

so that troll must be your friend or family member ...... LOL

Hilary said...

Grits:

I'm sorry to see people leaving personally abusive comments about you. You deserve much better, and it is particularly unpleasant and ungrateful for somebody to be talking about you in such a vulgar and unfounded way when you do us the courtesy of providing an open forum for debate. Not to mention providing so much useful information in the first place. I hope your niece is doing better after that awful wreck, by the way.

Hilary

Anonymous said...

Thank you to Grits for all the great stories you provide us.

This was not racial. It has happened in TX - it has nothing to do with race. It could have been handled better as in the case of which I am aware - it happened to an American with white skin.

Anonymous said...

The officer probably should have just walked away in the end. And Gates is clearly the racist here. It's just dazzling to think that this guy is shaping young minds at Harvard. Let's praise both of the fools for engaging the nation, however.

andres morin III said...

It doesn't matter if Gates had the "black" chip on his shoulders!! He wasn't the one sworn to uphold the law...and he was in HIS own home to boot!! You want to talk about liberals and politics to avoid the real issues. But since you opened the door, where were you when Bush was getting us into this mess that Obama must NOW clean up??? Oh, I guess, you were proboly blaming the liberals while wearing your KKK hood!! Why does anyone who has anything that is pertanent and right have to hide behind a hood??....just like when you post anonymously....andy

Grear said...

Every high school student in Texas is required to take a "Health" class where they teach about nutrition, exercise, personal hygiene, CPR, basic anatomy and human reproduction.

One of the lessons teaches about natural dangers like lightning, floods, venomous snakes, and rabid dogs. This lesson should probably also instruct our kids how to behave around police officers.

andres morin III said...

Grear, if by behave, you mean bow down........I think you are in the wrong country...not to mention frame of mind. Maybe we need to teach the cops now to behave around people who are in there own homes minding their own business!!........andy

Anonymous said...

Andy: We have more citizens in prison than any country in the world - that is deplorable and shameful. They include mentally ill, addicts and people who have committed non-violent crimes and victimless crimes. We are building our economy on traffic tickets. Unfortunately FEAR causes some of us to write anonymously. We need to work together on issues in this country and be pushed into strife. Of course, it has pushed the health issue way back off the media desk.
The health issue which will command you to have insurance OR WHAT - go to jail. AHA, another way to imprison people. And, don't we look like morons to the rest of the world when we say we are the "land of the free".

Anonymous said...

"Please get off my property, pplease get off my property" You truly are an ass Grits. If they were trying to unreasonably detain you or search you or your house, sure. But in a case like this, once they've done their job, a smile and a handshake as you walk them out the door would probably work just as well if not better. "Well officers, I'm sorry someone wasted your time with this, but I appreciate you checking up on me, have a nice day." as the the door closes. Leave your protest slogan for the protest.

Anonymous said...

Typical politician

07/24/2009

Obama rushes to quell racial uproar he helped fire (AP)

AP - Knocked off stride by a racial uproar he helped stoke, President Barack Obama hastened Friday to tamp down the controversy. Obama, who had said Cambridge, Mass., police "acted stupidly" in arresting black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., declared the white arresting officer was a good man and invited him and the professor to the White House for a beer.


How's it working for you now?

Andres Morin III said...

In response to anonymous 7/24/2009 3:12pm:
I apologize for lumping you together with all the other anonymous'. The ones I'm speaking to know full well who they are! Let me clarify something though......when you tell the truth you shouldn't have to hide behind pseudonyms.....because it makes your post lack credibility. As far as the prison issue goes, that is what I do on a daily basis. If you go to prisontalk.com, you can read all my posts! Aside from my screen name, achapinguy, I sign all my posts with my real name......all 180 of them.

The anonymous posters that I was 'calling out' in my earlier post today were the right- wing hatemongers!! It seems like their world just keeps getting smaller so lash out more vigorously day by day!

One posted that he/ she is having some ridiculous t- shirts printed. It's funny because I bought one the other day at the local mall that says: REPUBLICAN MOTTO: I HATE; THEREFORE, I AM. I really do like this t- shirt and I'll probobly wear it often. I was thinking of having one printed myself. It'll probobly say something like: STOP THE HATE MONGERS!! DEATH TO THE RIGHT WING, REPUBLICANS, AND CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE EVANGELICALS!!...andy

Boyness said...

I like Obama but he needs to learn when to mind his own business.

Anonymous said...

Oh well, I guess obama's apology today pretty much makes your post sorta stupid.

Andres Morin III said...

Obama apologized because his words probobly ruined this cop's career. If I were him, I wouldn't have apologized. I'd have crucified him!! But, I'm not Obama; I'm a mean SOB!!

Boyness said...

Anonymous said...

Oh well, I guess obama's apology today pretty much makes your post sorta stupid.

7/24/2009 08:13:00 PM
---------------------------------
No it does not and let me clarify it for you since you are obviously an idiot. Mr. Obama should learn when TO KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT! Then we could have avoided this unnecessary racial back and forth and he could concentrate on healthcare. MORON!

4 Borders Pundit said...

Well, Gritsy, it seems that the amount of effort the White House put into responding to O's original remarks suggests that his administration had a far worse day than that police department. But thanks for the attempted spin.

Steve said...

I think you are on point. Not so long ago I had a conversation with the former Commisssioner of Public in my state. He stated that law enforcement in this country are trained for control and that aggression is part of that and that the fundamentals of approaching the public need to be changed. We probably have all encountered some example of that.

When race enters the equation in a high profile case such as this one, it opens pandora's box with all of the struggle and pain of the past. Maybe a few beers and good conversation can bring calm waters to what should have never been a big deal to start with.

You might find my blog on the 'prison nation' of interest. Cheers.

about the middle of the page:
http://ruminationsbydesign.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately NONE of us were there! Therefore, to make any factual(?) statement regarding this incident would be acting "STUPIDLY".
Bush had the "Strategery" comment and now Obama has his dumb comment!!
What I would like to know is WHY did the President of the United States even get involved? AND why, given the economy, is this even newsworthy. Please don't give me the "racial" excuse.

Anonymous said...

GRITS, where's the information on the Federal Lawsuit against Bexar County CSCD chief Bill Fitzgerald by his former assistant chief Paul Kozerowski. Also the state lawsuit for Sexual Harassment by Fitzgerals against probation officer Michelle Garza as well. Someone told me you have the info. I understand the chief settled his Federal lawsuit by probation officer Steve Lara. Also, is there anything new on the other federal retaliation/wrongful termination lawsuits? Please post these for us if you can, as that chief seems to be totally out of control and those Bexar County Judges don't seem to care.
Thanks for your blogs, I really enjoy them and the knowledge I gain from reading them and the posts by "INFORMED and KNOWLEDGEABLE" individuals. I ignore the uninformed morons!
Old as Moses

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I've got to say, I find the ardent defenses of Officer Crowley saying he did nothing wrong not just silly but deserving of a hearty belly laugh!

Yes, Gates behaved poorly, but he's a civilian; the officer is supposed to be a professional who does this for a living.

The charges Officer Crowley said should be filed were 100% spurious and rightly, immediately dropped as soon as they were reviewed by the prosecutors' office. Filing false charges against someone out of anger and retaliation unrelated to any lawbreaking is tantamount to official oppression. What's more, Crowley's police department and the mayor both issued an apology, demonstrating the town fathers don't support such tactics. Besides the union (who in this case is acting as Crowley's attorney), nobody in officialdom is willing to justify Crowley's actions. Given that he arrested Gates with no legal basis when NOBODY believed he was a danger to himself or others, "stupidly" seems like a tame description of the bad decisions the officer made.

Also the commenter was right who mentioned that Crowley and Gates may have both been in the wrong, but only Gates left the scene in handcuffs. Assigning blame without also examining the relevant power relations and disparity in outcomes inevitably leads to a skewed and disingenuous analysis.

Andres Morin III said...

Thanks Grits!! I think Crowley learned from his mistake though. He "bit off more than he could chew" on this issue. He picked on the wrong man this time whether black or white. The next time he goes out on a call he'll remember to keep his BIG, BAD BOY attitude in check.....andy

Anonymous said...

Word coming out today the 911 caller never mentioned the race of the two men.

"I've got to say, I find the ardent defenses of Officer Crowley saying he did nothing wrong not just silly but deserving of a hearty belly laugh!"

So is your opinion which is clouded by your dislike and prejudice of law enforcement officers. Course you and the President acted in the same manner by judging without having all of the facts.

You still don't have all of the facts, cause they are still coming in, do you?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

2:35, I've got a LOT more information already than did the Massachusetts prosecutor who looked at Crowley's police report the day it happened and immediately dismissed charges as unfounded. I do however, agree with that prosecutor's assessment.

Besides, none of the new information that's come out since I wrote this post would change my opinion and mostly reinforces it. For example, they've produced recordings of the 911 call and from officers who were mic'ed at the scene, but according to the Boston Globe, "One thing the tapes didn't show: any obvious background sound that indicated Gates was shouting during the incident." (That direct documentary evidence contradicts Crowley's police report.)

Bottom line: The arrest was simply not justified. Period. And while both mem acted badly out of ego, only one of them abused the authority of the state in the process.

Anonymous said...

While I disagree with you, there is one thing I think we will both agree on. If the officer or other officers on scene were not miked up with video on, this is another example of how it would refute or prove the claims made by both parties.

And it's interesting to note there has not been any inquiry made as to whether there is dash cam audio/video recordings.

Have a good evening.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are a lowly blogger and do not hold any position of substance in this state or national government.

And a sad sack like you would be doing the loudest crying if a cop was 1 second late when you call them.

Your kind should be on a no call list for cops. When was the last time you gave blood for an injured cop or sent money to a fund for a dead cop's family.

Anonymous said...

"For example, they've produced recordings of the 911 call and from officers who were mic'ed at the scene, but according to the Boston Globe, "One thing the tapes didn't show: any obvious background sound that indicated Gates was shouting during the incident." (That direct documentary evidence contradicts Crowley's police report.)"

Cambridge police on Monday released the 911 recording and radio transmissions from the scene which are far different from dash cam video/audio.

Surely you don't expect radio transmissions compared to dash cam audio to accurately record everything that was said.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

8:28, I haven't heard whether there was any dash cam audio and was only commenting on what was released today, pointing out that the new information trickling out so far bolstered the conclusion that the officer overreacted.

Bottom line: If this were a legit arrest the local DA would be prosecuting. It wasn't so they dismissed. When the local prosecutor disagrees with the officer a crime was committed, I don't know why I'm considered some flaming, cop-hating liberal for agreeing with them.

Anonymous said...

1. As a matter of fact, the mikes used have noise-cancelling features in order to make the voice of the user distinct from background noise. There was noise in the background, but it could not conclusively be shown to be Dr. Gates' voice.
2. Contrary to much speculation about racial profiling on the part of the 911 caller, it turns out she is Portuguese and, when questioned by the dispatcher, said she did not know the race of the two men, but speculated that one of them might be Hispanic.
3. Dr. Gates followed the officers out unto his porch and was screaming at them as a crowd gathered. He was warned several times to calm down before he was arrested.
4. In academic communities there is always tension between the academics, who are seen by locals as being 'elite' and who often see themselves that way, and the locals -even the police. Many academics routinely demonstrate distain for, and even hostility towards the police.

So, who was wrong here? Maybe both, but certainly the president. (Especially when you consider the power differential). Old Salty

Boyness said...

This was NOT a normal arrest. The institutions of justice are scared to death so of course the DA would drop the charges.

Sorry Scott and the rest, the cops were right this time. They just were. Obama was wrong (he admitted it) and the honorable professor? Give me a Texas size break and I am not a fan of the cops on a routine basis.

KatDerrick said...

I am offended that the President would demean the health care issue with his personal remarks.

Keep personal for personal and professional for professional. If he can't learn to separate the two then he needs a better speech writer or a different job.

Anonymous said...

"Bottom line: If this were a legit arrest the local DA would be prosecuting. It wasn't so they dismissed. When the local prosecutor disagrees with the officer a crime was committed"

Don't you mean prosecutorial discretion. Texas DA's often do not prosecute cases for various reasons, including poltically motivated decisions. By the way, once an arrest is made, it is not for a prosecutor to determine whether probable cause is evident, that is for a magistrate to determine. At least in Texas it is.

Anonymous said...

Grits, its people like you that make neighborhoods like the "Projects."

Don't call the police if you see two men breaking into a house.

If the police show up, act like the biggest ass, don't cooperate and then use racial language against an officer that just happens to be white until all of the neighbors come out of their houses in observance.

Heck, these days a black man publicly calling a white cop a "racist" is paramount to pointing out some poor guy walking by and shouting "child molester!"

Obviously Mr. Gates was attempting to cause a problem where none existed. The police needed to identify him so that they could confirm that he lived there. He provided the police with a Harvard ID card with no address. Obviously people from Harvard cannot commit crime so the police officer was acting "stupidly" for not having that prejudice.

I sincerely pray that if your house gets broken into Grits, that the perpetrator is a black man, but the police are too afraid to identify him because the president might call them stupid.

Why should the police even protect people like you? If it were the old days, I think you would be outlawed and held out of the protection of the state.

Anonymous said...

That last was a pretty nasty comment. Old Salty

Anonymous said...

Here's what really happened at the beer summit..........

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog
/2009/07/obamas_revealing_body_language.html

Now come on Grits, stay on top of the story and report it all.

Anonymous said...

"Um, what law does that fall under again? The man was in his OWN home, and police knew it. Nothing more than another card carrying KKK cop deciding he wanted to harass a black man. Pathetic."

Disorderly Conduct. Look it up. Gates repeatedly refused to identify himself and never gave a state ID through the incident. Why is it a growing trend for people to refuse to cooperate calmly with the police. Gates was a complete jerk right from the get go and Crowley did maintain professionalism throughout. Gates was arrested because he chose to follow the officers out of his house yelling at them for being racist rather than letting Crowley alert dispatch that the call was under control, and that the units coming code 3 no longer needed to do so. Gates was warned three times to calm down before he was arrested for disorderly conduct...which was completely within rights.

This country's growing trend to assume that the folks who risk their lives everyday to protect this nation, both in law enforcement and military, is simply disgusting to me.

Anonymous said...

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