Thursday Afternoon Open Thread

I'm still working and our morning thread is full.

The pundits are luke-warm on Obama's presser. Bloggers, too, are all over the map.

As to whether Congress should recess or not, here's what he said in Cleveland today.

"We just heard today that, well, we may not be able to get the bill out of the Senate by the end of August, or the beginning of August," Obama said. "That's OK. I just want people to keep on working. Just keep working."

While I finish my motions, here's another open thread for you, all topics welcome.

< Thursday Open Thread | Indictment Returned Against Ms. Hepatitis C, 42 Counts Added >
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    Organ donations (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:56:56 PM EST
    Here is something they can put in the HC bill.  Make people register to NOT donate their organs when they get their drivers license.

    We have the reverse in Illinois and with the shortage of organ donors in this country it seems to me that a Euro approach to this would give hope and life to hundreds of thousands...

    if it isn't clear (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:58:01 PM EST
    make it an "opt-out" program.  When you get your license you have to say and check "No, I want my dead body to keep its organs".

    Sounds Great (none / 0) (#146)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:29:11 PM EST
    Phil Lesh would enthusiastically back that idea. But this guy would fight it, tooth, nail, and kidney..

    You have to be kidding! (none / 0) (#202)
    by Cards In 4 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 08:48:52 PM EST
    Since when do my body parts belong to the state when I die unless I make a decision otherwise?  I have always signed my donor card  but to use people's ignorance or indifference in this area is wrong.  And that is what advocates are relying on.

    The best thing about Illinois is they don't have a helmet law for motorcycles.  If you want to increase organ donors repeal all helmet laws.  Or allow people to sell their organs and watch the supply increase.  

    Governments have too many controls on people's freedom when they are alive.  Giving them your body parts when you die and putting the burden on you to decide otherwise is too much.


    jbindc (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:58:03 PM EST
      We know the home is leased by Gates and he broke no laws in entering his own property. We know a man standing in his own home is not required to provide identification just because a cop wants to see it. We know the cops did not have a warrant and Gates was withing his rights to thell the cops to leave. we know the cops refused to leave and instead brought more cops to further exacerbate the situation. We know it is not illegal to yell at cops; it's not a crime to be rude to cops.

       We know the cops arrested him by claiming he was causing a breacjh of the peace when all he did was yell at cops oon his proprty where he had every right to be and they had none.

      I'm not saying Gates handled the situation well (full disclosure-- I know him a little bit and he can be a cantankerous guy under any cicumstances and being tired from a long trip might have made him even crankier) but it's not a crime to yell at cops or even to accuse them of bad motives when it's not true.

       Perhaps, if the cops hadn't acted stupidly and arrested hom on a BS charge the story would be Harvard Prof acts likie jerk to cops just doing their job. But, that's not what happened-- and we know that much and so does Obama.

    If the sgt. remained suspicious (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:04:19 PM EST
    Gates had entered a residence (not his own) with intent to steal (residential burglary), the sgt. could have entered the residence under the circumstances--felony in progress.  But that wasn't the situation.  

    I would argue (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:08:53 PM EST
    That when a cop is called on a potential B&E, then that cop has every right to ask the person who broke into the house for identification to prove that person lives there.  Otherwise, are police to believe every shmo who gets caught? ("Oh, ok, you live here.  I believe you.")  No. This was not a case of the cop just driving by and deciding to cause trouble - he was there on a specific call.

    All Gates had to do was show him an ID with his address on it (not his Harvard ID - who cares if he has a Harvard ID?) and that would have been that.  Then he made matters worse by following the cop out of the door (no, he was not tricked) because he kept demanding the cop's badge number.

    Should the cop have arrested him?  Probably not, but then again, I don't deal with crazy lunatic people screaming and hollering at me and talking about my momma.  Free speech?  Absoutely - but that doesn't give you a right to accuse people of racism for doing their job.

    As I have said before, I think both parties acted inappropriately here, but instead of letting this go away as a couple of hot heads, Gates is now ratcheting things up. He got help from his friend, the President, last night, who should not have commented on it - the appropriate comment would have been, "I'm not going to comment on it.")  

    Even Bill Cosby thinks POTUS was wrong.


    no (4.66 / 3) (#12)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:21:14 PM EST
      just because a cop receives a radio call relaying a report of a possible B&E does not give hime every right to demand a person prove he lives in the house by providing whatever proof the cop demands. Once the cop determined there had been no crime the cop's duty and authority ceased.

       If the issue were the failure to convince the cop he lived there and had committed no crime then the question would be why wasn't he arrested for B&E or at least trespassing? Obviously, the cop knew the B&E call was a false report and still persisted in demanding information after that.

       The idea that Gates was creating a  breach of peace because people were stopped in front of a house on a quiet residential street with cops and cop cars is silly. The cops are the ones who created the commotion. They were justified in responding to check out the complaint but that doesn't justify arresting someone who takes offense to the response.

    Gates probably should have remained calm and not blown his top but that is not a crime and I sure don't want to live somewhere it is a crime.  

       If cops can't take being yelled at by a  5'4" guy who looks closer to 70 then they are in the wrong line of work because they are going to run into far more stressful and/or annoying situations all the time and it will never be an acceptable course to arrest the annoyance if that is the full extent of the person's sin.


    Huh? (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:23:45 PM EST
    Obviously, the cop knew the B&E call was a false report and still persisted in demanding information after that.

    As i said (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:26:29 PM EST
     if the cops were not convinced Gates was the lawful resident of the house, then why didn't they arrest him for that? The fact they arrested him for yelling at them and not for another crime precludes reasonable claims they thought he was an intruder.

    The cop got two forms of ID, then (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:27:42 PM EST
    coaxed Gates outside and arrested him.

    The cop should have gone home....Instead, according to his own report, he called the Harvard University police to the scene after he determined Gates was a Harvard Professor.  Huh?

    Go home already.  No burglary.  Just a guy in his house.


    And (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:29:09 PM EST
    please carefully describe how Gates acted during this scene.

    Gates said mean things to the cop (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:50:21 PM EST
    I so stipulate.  So what?  He was in his own home and had committed no crime.

    The cop's duty was to go home.

    That's some power a cop has-- to arrest someone who insults you.  Wouldn't it be cool to have that kind of power?  Some days standing line in the supermarket..."heh, jerk, shut up, or I'll arrest you?"


    Yep. That's some power a cop has (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by esmense on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:03:54 PM EST
    As a practical matter, getting into a angry, personal-insult-laced power struggle with "the man" with a gun and the power to arrest is a less-than-smart idea. "Rights" don't matter. Fairness doesn't matter. What's at issue is flawed human nature. And human nature suggests that one's self interest is best served if you keep any harsh and insulting critique of an officers performance of his duties in check until after he's left the premises. (Then complain to the appropriate authorities). The simple fact is, no matter what rights we may or may not have, in the moment of confrontation, the power balance between citizen and legal authority isn't equal.

    What Gates did wasn't wise. Which, of course, doesn't mean that what the officer did in response was anything other than wrong.


    Gates (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:29:56 PM EST
    followed him out the door and was screaming for his badge number.

    Don't see how that's "coaxing" or "tricking".  Gates isn't a stupid man - he willingly went outside.

    The cope called the Harvard police because eventually all Gates would produce is a Harvard ID - which would not prove the house was his, get it?  


    Come out side to continue the conversation, (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:53:33 PM EST
    said the cop--where Gates's words could be used  as a basis to assert a breach of the peace....

    The cop made no pretense of arresting Gates for trespass--he knew by that time it was Gates's house.  He even called the Harvard police to come out.


    How many police officers are killed by (5.00 / 0) (#181)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:21:36 PM EST
    letting their guard down? If Gates was agitated and accusing Crowley of racial profiling, I wonder how police are trained to walk away from that...leaving the agitated person in their house where their could easily be a gun. Do they train them to casually walk away, back to the house so they won't see the gun when the person shoots them?

    Officers will handcuff men who are very large, or very muscular just for questioning because they have no idea what to expect.

    I think there were enough officers on the scene to have evaluated Gates and diffused the situation to avoid the arrest, but I don't believe officers are trained to leave an agitated person behind.


    Coaxed?! (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:34:04 PM EST
    The cop (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by eric on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:41:44 PM EST
    ADMITS he confirmed the ID.  Yes, he knew that there was no crim.

    yes (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:52:35 PM EST
    people should read Crowley's narrative in the police report. He makes it clear that he believed withing seconds of encountering Gates that he was the lawful resident-- but he was "shocked" at how uncooperative he was being.

      that's the whole point the law does not require people to cooperate witht he police. you can't batter or assualt (threaten with imminent harm) cops but if a cop who does not have reasonable suspicion you have committed a crime asks you to do something it's not against the law to refuse or to comply but with a bad attitude.


    Interesting (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:08:30 PM EST
    Believing  Gates is the legal resident and confirming it are 2 different things. I'd actually don't see what the big deal for Gates confirming it was? After all, this could have happened the day before when he was out of town and it could have been a couple of people looking to lighten his possession load . . .

    Maybe my mindset is different than Gates as I've been robbed a couple times and also had to call the cops when some man was trying to break in my 3rd floor window . . . I'd be thankful if someone was following up.


    First, there are ways of confirming it (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:14:18 PM EST
    other than demanding the resident provide an ID acceptable to the cop. Second, you fdon't get arrest someone because you haven't confirmed he hasn't committed a crime. Third, Crowley's own report makes it abundantly clear that he immediately was angered by his attitude despite the fact he he was not an intruder.

      The cops arrested the man for being acting like jerk toward them. They may well have a strong case on that count. The problem is that isn't a crime. If it was then both Gates and Crowley should probably be in the dock.


    Acceptable ID...... (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by vml68 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:20:37 PM EST
    when I get pulled over for speeding I always have to show my driver's licensce as ID, the cops refuse to accept my Costco membership card... :-)

    A DRIVER'S license (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:45:05 PM EST
     is required to show you have the privilege of DRIVING a vehicle on public roadways. I don't think the cops are claiming they had reasonable suspicion Gates was operating a motor vehicle  and he could drive to his heart's content in his own house witout needing a driver's license (although there might be a city ordinance making it illegal to drive in a house  for reasons other than non-possession of a driver;s license)

    That's silly. State driver license is (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:47:56 PM EST
    an accepted form of id.  

    accepted is not the same as required (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:56:21 PM EST
    Many people don't have driver's licenses. Are they to be arrested for not having one if they aren't driving just because a cop asks for one and they can't produce one?



    You get a state ID card (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:59:04 PM EST
    if you don't drive. I use either that or my passport.

    Driver's licensce/ State id/Military id/ (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by vml68 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:12:56 PM EST

    I can't drive on an airplane but I have to show my ID to fly on one. I can't drive in a grocery/department store but sometimes have to show ID if the back of my credit card is not signed. I can't drive in the bank but.....you get the picture.
    In this day and age there are very few people without some form of official ID. And I guarantee anyone living in an upscale neighborhood like Gates' has official ID.


    Legal ID vs Uni ID (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:20:49 PM EST
    My faculty ID never had my address on it. It would prove nothing more than I was associated with with the school. I could still be robbing the home I was standing in . . .

    Second, you fdon't get arrest someone because you haven't confirmed he hasn't committed a crime.

    I thought that was not why he was arrested.

    Interesting, Crowley gets angered by some guy acting like an a-hole to him for doing his job, which happens to be protecting that citizen and his property . . . .


    You're going down the wrong path (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:33:59 PM EST
    No one, not even the cop, says there was any doubt at the time of the arrest that it was Gates's house.  Gates gave him two forms of ID....

    It sounds as if you have not read the cop's own report.  It was very clear that the cop figured out the situation very quickly--and well before the arrest.


    My experience is different (5.00 / 0) (#88)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:20:47 PM EST
    I think the damage done by cops is very significant and usually overlooked...

    Damage? (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:22:54 PM EST
    Asking to show ID and confirm you are the resident when cop is responding to a B&E call?

    With respect to Gates, (5.00 / 0) (#102)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:27:41 PM EST
    he was arrested--that is very damaging....

    I was not speaking of Gates when I said what the cops do can be very damaging.  I have a personal experience I have written about here in passing,  Yes, very, very damaging.  I think you would agree.


    And (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:30:16 PM EST
    I'm sorry that you had your experience. No, unless it happens to one of us, we can't possibly imagine what it must be like.  But don't you think that maybe your experience is coloring your judgment a bit with respect to all police officers?  Every comment you make on the subject (not just this case) is about how you can't trust cops, their crooked, and evil and are out to $crew you.  You know that can't be the case - so (and I understand if you can't) could you step back a bit and see the bigger picture sometimes?

    Sure (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:18:51 PM EST
    But police misconduct is much more prevalent than I had thought from my previously protected perch in suburbia.

    Apart from the experience to which I have alluded, I have had other, brief encounters with the cops--and have seen them strutting about all puffed and buffed out, barking orders at scared people--and loving it.  And, they have not been all that bright.  

    It is quite an awakening to those who have lived protected lives and only seen cops on television to see the real thing in operation.  

    NY Stray uses her own personal experience to fuel her support of cops here.  In that vein, I think it is important to balance out the scales with a view that actual police misconduct occurs--criminal misconduct.  


    I have had a variety of (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:42:30 PM EST
     "cop experiences". In regards to my home being robbed, I would be thankful they followed up on a call and verified whoever they found belonged there. And I always appreciate a quick response if someone is breaking in while I'm home!

    I also have positive experiences with them when they see me out with the dog at 4AM. They watch out for me by driving very slowly until we've gone back in. One night when I had my hoodie on and my dog was behind a parked car out of sight, they had a slightly more suspicious response to me until they saw the spotty monster and then they went back into protect mode. All perfectly reasonable.

    And then there were the sexist East Village cops . . . . yes I lost it, thank goodness I had a friend who pulled me away! And the LA cops that pulled their guns on me . . .

    My general take with cops is to just keep a friendly distance. I'm not overly trusting and they do have guns. They also have a job to do.


    But you have not been arrested (5.00 / 0) (#175)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:04:57 PM EST
    and assaulted by the cops--that would change your view, I think.

    The guns in my face was enough for me . . . (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 08:33:26 PM EST
    TYVM. Terrified doesn't even come close to how I felt.

    I've avoided arrest (and pretty well I might add!) I have been in many situations where I could have been arrested back in my more wild days. I was blessed with a very youthful/innocent look and used it to my advantage. I happen to be the only offspring in my family that hasn't been arrested . . oy.

    I'm not a huge fan of all cops, but I do recognize when they have a job to do. And I also recognize they have a gun on their hip and more power than I do. Yes, I now have a decent relationship with some cops in my 'hood (non conversational mostly), but it's just because I've been here for so long. I do interact with them on occasion, especially if they are bringing strays to the shelter or checking on abuse situations etc. But for the most part, I know there are bad cops and there are decent cops. And that can be in the same cop.

    I'm sorry you were arrested and assaulted by cops. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.


    Said well by TPM (none / 0) (#184)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:31:33 PM EST
    Let me try again (none / 0) (#189)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:36:59 PM EST
    to link to the TPM story.

    Yes, but what happened to Gates (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:35:09 PM EST
    could very well have been avoided by Gates. I really doubt if he hadn't gone all a-hole on the cops we would not even be discussing this.

    No damage should have been done when a cop was responding to a B&E call and found that it was in fact the resident. All that would have taken was for Gates to produce his Id in a timely manner and hold his tongue.


    But then what would we argue about (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:40:32 PM EST
    all day?  Sarah Palin?

    oculus, if you are going to insist on (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:57:39 PM EST
    being reasonable and rational, it's going to be very frustrating for those demanding that we agree that whatever this was that happened was all the cops' fault.  Sheesh.  :-)

    Honestly, if Gates had been an a$$hole white guy, with a blue collar job, there wouldn't be several hundred comments about the jackbooted thugs who call themselves cops.  And if anyone bothered to remember that Crowley was not alone, but there with a black partner, they might have to back off the whole racism charges.

    Yes, it's true that Gates may have been entirely within his rights to act the way he did, but even actions that are entirely legal have consequences, and just because it is the cops on the other end of the "dialogue" does not automatically make the them the bad guys.


    A comment I read on another site... (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by vml68 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:16:48 PM EST
    "You can mouth off to a Police officer, to your boss, your teacher. You can even mouth off to your mother...but you better be prepared for the consequences!"

    It does happen to white guys (5.00 / 0) (#148)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:29:58 PM EST
    And, the support for cops is amazing.  They can do no wrong.  

    You think the cop arresting Gates did the right thing?

    It amazes me how everyone here gets all worked up over FISA, yet have no problem with arresting someone who was in their own home and who committed no crime.  That's a real loss of liberty.  And, pfft--no big deal....


    "White" guys are often as prone (none / 0) (#179)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:15:36 PM EST
    to call foul as others.  And law enforcement officers sometimes, but not always, do make mistakes in judgment.

    And, oculus, you need to take the next (none / 0) (#180)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:19:16 PM EST
    step, I think, and concede sometimes it goes beyond bad judgment--there are bad apples out there.  And the bad apples have badges and guns....

    That is correct---but not all, and, in fact, (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:31:57 PM EST
    a small proportion.  

    An invisible proportion to most (5.00 / 0) (#188)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:33:58 PM EST
    No excuse for police misconduct (5.00 / 0) (#145)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:25:08 PM EST
    Beign an a-hole is not a crime--and not a basis for being arrested.  

    You want to exonerate the cop because Gates was an a-hole?  Don't you get it?  Cops don't get to arrest people who are rude....That's quite a punishment--arrest and jail for being rude.  You apparently have no idea of what that really means.....

    You don't want to see it.  Just support the cops.   I have know the attitude well.


    MKS, I agree with you on this (none / 0) (#153)
    by vml68 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:38:53 PM EST
    Beign an a-hole is not a crime--and not a basis for being arrested.

    But if a cop is standing in front of you with handcuffs and telling you that if you don't shut-up he is going to arrest you, then you need to shut the f-up. Any sane person knows when to back down.
    Gates is not some powerless, poor black man. He would have had an opportunity to raise a big stink about this incident without getting himself arrested.


    Unequal power (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:42:09 PM EST
    Who gets the blame?  A cop who should exercise retraint.  Or, a man who is accused of wrongdoing in his own home?

    The cop who has the gun and badge and ability to arrest (and thus take away liberty) has the greater responsiblity here.

    Tell me if you think the cop did anything wrong.


    Honestly, from what I have read (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by vml68 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:04:49 PM EST
    I think both men were at fault.
    The cop should definitely have excercised restraint.
    At the same time Gates should have been polite and just shown his ID to the officer. The thing I find the oddest about this is that apparently his door was jammed because there was a previous B&E. You would think he would be happy the cops were there to do their job.
    Instead of being outraged, maybe a little gratitude that he lives in a nice enough neighborhood that the cops show up quickly.
    Had the professor been an ordinary Joe, I probably would have faulted the cop more.

    Ordinary Joe.... (none / 0) (#177)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:08:22 PM EST
    So, a university professor get less consideration than an "ordinary Joe."

    That is not a very comforting way to put that.  I keep picturing Joe the Plumber....


    A regular university professor does not get (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by vml68 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:24:56 PM EST
    less consideration from me....but one who is famous and friends with the POTUS does. This is a man with many avenues to address his grievances unlike most other people.
    The very fact this incident has become such a big deal is not because of who the police officer is or knows but who the professor is and knows. So if we are talking about who has more power, then the professor wins hands down.

    He wasn't accussed of wrong doing in (none / 0) (#165)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:55:36 PM EST
    his own home.

    Do you think Gates could have recognized the cop arrived there because he was doing his job and exercised restraint? Do you think Gates did anything wrong?


    Sure he was (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:03:00 PM EST
    The cop was in Gates's house demanding ID to show that Gates had not broken in.

    And, yes, Gates was rude.  Big deal.

    Now, could you answer my question, did the cop do anything wrong?

    Which is the greater wrong?  


    Was he demanding or just asking (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 08:12:38 PM EST
    to verify what he believed was true, Gates lived there?

    Honestly, I think they were both wrong and I'm not sure which was the greater wrong. Gates going off on a police officer doing his job and calling him a racist etc with all the fallout that goes with that, or the officer for arresting him. I'm not 100% clear on "disorderly conduct" laws, but I do know that except for one time, it's something I avoid! I have a hot temper in certain situations and a mouth that goes with it. I will say I'm more surprised by Gates behavior than the cops . . .


    Indeed (none / 0) (#200)
    by eric on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 08:31:21 PM EST
    reading down this thread, and the others here, I seem that many people are missing the point.  In law school, it is called "issue spotting".  Once the cop established the ID and that Gates was not breaking in, what kind of ID he showed was irrelevant.  It DOESN'T matter.

    The cop arrested Gates for not showing the appropriate respect in the opionion of the cop.  He was arrested for being angry and accusing the cops of profiling him.

    The cop did NOT even by his own statement, feel that he was arresting gates for anything other than not being compliant enough.  Got it folks?


    Obviously? (none / 0) (#31)
    by coast on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:32:17 PM EST
    How could he have know before he obtained his drivers license - not the guys word, Gates' first response to the officer's request - and not some Harvard ID.

    Plus Gates was clearly unarmed (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:24:49 PM EST
    and presented no danger to the police.

    The arrest was unnecessary.  It is a big deal to be handcuffed and taken to jail...


    Again, facts not in evidence (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:25:42 PM EST
    How would the cop know it?  Does he have X-ray vision?

    Nowhere does the cop say (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:30:17 PM EST
    in his report that he thought Gates was armed....And he knew he could pat down Gates to make sure...

    And, the cop was leaving--he should have kept on going....

    And old guy in a polo shirt in his own house....


    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:32:17 PM EST
    a guy with no agenda....

    It doesn't matter if Gates had an agenda (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:57:43 PM EST
    So what?  Having an agenda is not a criminal offense.  

    The cop should have left Gates alone, straight-away--and left the scene after apologizing for the mix-up.  But, no, this cop doesn't do apologies...

    If the cop had apologized for the mistaken identity, think how different this would have been.  But arrogance and cops tend to go together....it's about exercising authority.


    And round and round we go! (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:02:11 PM EST
    And if Gates had just given him his driver's license and explained what happened instead of having the first comments out of his mouth be an accusation of racims against the cop, none of this would have happened.

    Really? (5.00 / 0) (#63)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:03:32 PM EST
    Are you psychic? Or do you just frequently visit parallel universes.

    No (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:07:01 PM EST
    Haven't visited your home planet.  I live in reality.

    But that's just like ... (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:11:03 PM EST
    saying, "If the girl hadn't gone up to his room, she wouldn't have gotten raped."

    I.E. blame the victim.


    Hardly (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:13:34 PM EST
    Silly comparison.  For a few brief minutes, Gates was a suspect in a potential B&E.  The cop had every right to question him about his identity.

    Even Crowley's own report ... (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:21:39 PM EST
    says he believed that Gates was the resident from the outset.  Then he confirmed this.  And then it should have all been over.  But Crowley got his feelings hurt, so he attempted to engineer a disorderly conduct charge.

    Let's see Crowley decided to engineer (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:24:39 PM EST
    a disorderly conduct charge after he was angered by Gates is yelling and attitude?

    Have you read anything about ... (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:36:03 PM EST
    this case or are you just making stuff up?

    Crowley got Gates to come out onto the porch so he could create a situation which would fit MA statutes on disorderly conduct.

    As long as Gates remained in his house the charge would not have held up.


    Thanks, Carnac (5.00 / 0) (#155)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:41:26 PM EST
    this case or are you just making stuff up?

    Crowley got Gates to come out onto the porch so he could create a situation which would fit MA statutes on disorderly conduct.

    When you spoke to Crowley about what his thoughts and motives were at those moments, did he sound calm, or agitated?

    As long as Gates remained in his house the charge would not have held up.

    As long as Gates remained in his house, he could not have been arrested.

    So, to put your comment on a springboard, "have you read anything about this case or are you just making stuff up?"


    It Is Painfully Obvious (5.00 / 0) (#111)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:38:17 PM EST
    There was no further reason to speak to Gates, yet he asked him outside because of the acoustics????? Then once outside arrested him. Certainly he was not expecting Gates to calm down.

    You are making it sound like Crowley (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by vml68 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:53:24 PM EST
    arrested Gates as soon as he stepped outside his home. According to the police report Crowley warned Gates twice (I am assuming because this took place outside where there were witnesses, this statement can be verified) that he would arrest him if he kept up the yelling, the second time with the handcuffs in his hand. What part of that did Gates not understand? He could have quit right there. He was either arrogant enough to think the cop would not dare to arrest him or he was too angry to be rational, therefore yelling at the cop....Tumultous!

    nycstray, let me ask you (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:45:10 PM EST
    do you fault the cop in the slightest?  You would, of course, have to read his report first--before defending him.

    And, cops like this one is one reason why abortion should never become a criminal matter.

    I am going to have great difficulty listening to many of you complain about FISA after this defense of a cop who arrested an innocent man.


    I did read his report (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:03:53 PM EST
    the long and short versions along with the other officers (BTW, no mention of 2 Ids)

    I take it you saw absolutely NOTHING wrong with Gates behavior . . . if you read the report that is, the long version  ;)


    It is not an equivalency (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:13:22 PM EST
    Gates went to jail--the cop did not.

    It doesn't matter if one or both were rude and "out of line."  The issue is the arrest.

    And, the cop is a professional, trained to deal with these situations....Gates is not...and was an innocent citizen being surprised and accosted in his own home.

    I don't care if Gates was rude.  The cop had a duty to walk away...That is what a true professional would have done.


    True (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:21:32 PM EST
      but bringing an illegal action on yorself does not make the action legal. If i walk up to a woman standing next to her husband and proposition her right in front of hime I might get punched and some might say I brought it on my self but it doesn't make the punch legal.

    None of this would have happened... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by indy in sc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:22:03 PM EST
    if he had just cooperated.  Yeah right.  That is always what is said when this happens.  The translation is black men (and other minority men) should just expect to be seen as potential suspects and, when it happens they should not get overtly angry about it--just act deferential and apologetic for causing the officer to have to stop and ask (sad to say, but I know several people who teach their sons this for survival purposes).

    My husband was not a famous Harvard professor when he had several police officers pointing guns at he and his friend because they "matched the description" of some carjacking suspects in the area.  I'm sure it wouldn't have happened if they had just cooperated.  Oh yeah, they weren't given the chance--suspects first.


    Seems to me the officer could have (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:04:59 PM EST
    apologized for disturbing Prof. Gates after Gates produced proof he was legal resident of the house.  Kind of doubt that would have calmed Gates at that point though.

    It would not have hurt (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:15:22 PM EST
    and then the cop could have exited without further incident.....

    People accosted in their own homes should be expected to be upset.  The cops need to deal with that--not escalate the situation into a retaliatory arrest.


    I don't think a knock on the front door (5.00 / 3) (#91)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:21:28 PM EST
    equals accosting a person in their own home. I also think Prof. Gates may have a hair-trigger.

    Should be interesting to see (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:27:47 PM EST
    One report I read said the door was jammed in the first place from a break-in a month or two ago (so, it's not entirely out the question that it happens in that neighborhood).  Hope it doesn't happen again, because I can't see the CPD tripping over themselves to get there and help the poor old man when he needs it.

    I don't think they ever would help him (none / 0) (#104)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:30:04 PM EST
    He should be under no illusions.....The cops will most likely blackball him....but hopefully they will not retaliate further than what they already have.

    If having an agenda were ... (5.00 / 0) (#100)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:26:34 PM EST
    a crime every blogger would be doing hard time.



    MKS, you are confusing me. (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by vml68 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:26:55 PM EST
    One moment you say...
    the cop coaxed Gates outside and arrested him.

    and then...

    And, the cop was leaving--he should have kept on going....

    which is it?

    This was basically a "my d*k is bigger than your d*k" moment between the two men and the Prof ended up with the short end of the stick!


    That's right, (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:32:06 PM EST
     because the cop abused his authority Gates got arrested. If the cop had just yelled at him "shut up you godamned arrogant old ___ (insert any non-racial epithet) and Gates complained about that it would be a whole different story. but, the cop chose to trump a bogus charge that only his status as a cop allowed him That's not fighting fair.

    Both really (5.00 / 0) (#163)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:54:01 PM EST
    The cop verified that it was Gates's house.  Gates was repeatedly asking him to tell him his badge number, and the cop said he asked Gates to go outside because the acoustics were better--This is according to the cop's report.

    The cop went outside and so did Gates.  At that point, the cop should have kept on going--no matter what Gates was saying--got in his car and left.  Why is the cop staying on the porch arguing with Gates?  Just go already.

    Sheesh, whatever happened to "sticks and stones ...but words will never hurt me."  Thinned skinned cops....

    And, of course, Gates ended up the loser--and you think that is just fine.  The cop wins because he has a badge and a gun.  It is because he has a badge and a gun that he has the added responsibility of defusing the situation and walking away--not arguing about it.   But you guys just think it is dandy that he got the last word by arresting Gates.


    An "old guy?" (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:00:34 PM EST
    Give me a break...

    Speaking as a 56-yr old woman, I would not regard a 58 yr old man as "old;" my husband is 60, and if he's elderly, that must make me his trophy wife.  Glory be.


    Well, walked with a cane (5.00 / 0) (#164)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:54:53 PM EST
    and the cop was Mr. Buff, but I see your point.

    And was 5'7'' or so. (none / 0) (#166)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:55:46 PM EST
    And how (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:25:10 PM EST
    does a cop determine no B&E had taken place without knowing who entered the house?

    At the time he was arrested (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:28:50 PM EST
     they knew who he was and that he was asserting lawul occupation of the house because he rented it from Harvard. did they have any reason to question that? Obviously not.

    How is the cop to know that there was (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by coast on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:27:28 PM EST
    no crime other than to request the individual show proof that he does in fact live there?

    So you are of the opinion (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:33:18 PM EST
      that the burden is always on the citizen to prove he has not committed a crime and that if he can't or won't do that he should be subject to arrest?

      I still hold to the quant notion that the cops should pnly be able to arrest people if they have probable cause or witness a crime. I don't think receiving a radio call that someone saw two black men trying to force open a door gives the cops probable cause to arrest any black men they happen to encounter when they arrive. that would be true even if the person was not in his own home.  


    So if 2 men are forcing open (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:38:08 PM EST
    your front door, you would not want the cops to check it out? Cool! Got any good stuff and what's your address?!

    I have no problem with the cops responding to the (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:41:19 PM EST
    call or with them asking for ID. The problem is with arresting the man because he they felt he was being belligerent or arrgoant toward them. cops can ask people to do things they arte note legally required to do but they can't arrest them for not fully cooperating by voluntarily doing things they are not required to do.

    I'm not sure that was the case here (none / 0) (#49)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:49:40 PM EST
    what did Gates not do that he was arrested for? What was he not cooperating on? You say he was arrested for his actions (belligerent/yelling at them etc) Hadn't he already cooperated with his ID?

    cops can ask people to do things they arte note legally required to do but they can't arrest them for not fully cooperating by voluntarily doing things they are not required to do.

    I was actually under the impression they could arrest you if you got too far out of line with them. And was Gates asking for their badge # before or after he was arrested?


    depends what you mean by out of line (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:55:21 PM EST
     It's illegal to assault an officer or to provide false information but it's not a crime to cop an attitude. People do get arrested for it every day though and those who aren't Harvard profs or similarly well situated often don't the same quick favorable resolution.



    Not a crime to cop an attitude> (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by coast on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:23:43 PM EST
    That is very true, but how does it help you.  Not one bit so why do it.

    I'm amazed that some on this blog feel that it is perfectly ok to be defiant and belligerent towards others just because it not against the law.  I was raised a little differently.  I was taught to respect those older than myself and those in authority (teachers, police, ect.).  That was ingrained in me by my parents early on.  Being respectful has never turned any encounter that I have had with any authority figure into something more serious than it was.

    If a policeman is at more door and requests me to step outside, I'm going to do it.  Why?  Because I know I've done nothing wrong and by simply doing as they say it usually puts them more at ease.  When I get stopped by a traffic cop.  I roll my window down and put my hands at 10 and 2.  When the officer approaches, I am polite.  Why?  Because I have no idea what is going thru his head and I want to make him as relaxed as possible.

    One should not be belligerent just because its not against the law.  One should be respectful because its the right thing to do and you would want same done to you.


    but........ (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:35:33 PM EST
      one should only be ARRESTED for things that are against the law. People (even myself on occasion)  do all sorts of things that aren't nice,polite  or even  civil. But unless it involves conduct that legitimately violates a criminal statute there should be no arrest whether you get in argument with your neighbor or with a cop.



    I'm sure there is (none / 0) (#116)
    by coast on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:42:22 PM EST
    a disorderly conduct statute in Mass.  Whether this incident met that level is a judgement call.  Obviously, they believed it did not after reviewing the facts.  But people get arrested all the time only to have the charges dropped or reduced after review.

    And (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:43:55 PM EST
    you CAN be arrested for disorderly conduct (or nuisance or whatever) - even in front of your own house.

    Yes they do (none / 0) (#126)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:53:35 PM EST
     Sometimes for justifiable ot at least understandable  reasons. People can make mistakes and cops will make their share just as will everyone elese. There is a difference between making an honest  mistake and acting with malicious intent to punish someone for displaying a bad attitude.

    And (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:15:32 PM EST
    There's a difference between writing a book about systemic racism that very much does exist in our society and accusing one cop of racism with the intent to make it impossible for that one cop to continue to do his job in the community where he is assigned.

    Gates said he was asking for the badge (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:08:03 PM EST
    number when he was arrested--that is what he was saying in a raised voice....Even the cop admits Gates was repeatedly asking him for his badge number.

    Knowing the identity of the cops is important--it takes away the power of anonymity and suggests some accountability--illusory as that might be.  I don't think the cop ever gave Gates his badge number.

    Being arrested for "being out of line."  That is a police state crime.  Gates was in his own home.  Assault, battery, threats....yes, that is criminal.  Being mouthy in your own home--no, never.



    Don't you get it? (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:29:35 PM EST
    When a person, of any persuasion, is approached by a cop, the first thing the "officer" looks for is the requisite show of respect, deference, and submission. If the person happens to also be a minority, you must add averted eyes, demonstrative subservience, and an appropriate amount of fear.

    Then, and only then, will the cop inquire, "What's going on?"

    Surprised that a professor didn't know the rules.


    Sweeping generality. (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:31:54 PM EST
    There are some things (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:38:15 PM EST
    that those with no experience simply shouldn't comment on.

    My mantra: be polite, keep your hands (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:45:58 PM EST
    in full view, and give no info except id if asked. Then call lawyer.

    I agree (none / 0) (#47)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:48:08 PM EST
    with your comment.  it makes the same point the writer I posted downthread makes.

    Surely, you would concede (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:46:15 PM EST
    California prosecutors often fail to dismiss cases they should....

    Junior level Assistant DAs go to Pretrial after Pretrial and admit they have no case, but say their hands are tied.....So, they bury their head in the sand, causing the innocent to pay thousands in dollars of fees to defense counsel, only to dismiss the case, or cut a very belated deal, on the eve of trial.

    Tell me that never happens.

    And, there is no accountability.... As a civil litigator, if I were to pursue a meritless case, I would be held to account--if not by the client, then by the judge in the form of sanctions, or by the opposing party in a malicious prosecution case.  Not so with prosecutors and their immunity.  They have tremendous power and no accountabilty.  For government actors, that is a tremendous recipe for abuse.

    Too many ambitious Assistant DAs thinking they will be Governor someday.  


    Can't generalize as to all prosecutor's offices in (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:55:34 PM EST
    CA.  Of course some cases make it past issuing and readiness conference but should have been disposed of or never issued.  Sometimes this is because civilian witnesses lie to the reporting officer.  Not always.  Partly due to large case load--more details later than earlier.  Often a privately-retained attorney hires an investigator early, asseses the case, and sets up a mtg. with a prosecutor who has discretion to dispose of the case at an early stage.

    About the press cherry picking Obama's remarks... (5.00 / 0) (#97)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:24:13 PM EST
    Here's an HuffPo article, wherein the author (Eric Deggans) complains that the press is diverting attention away from Obama's speech about health care by cherry-picking, and focusing on, Obama's remarks about police stupidity in the Gates affair. Deggans says this reminds him of Obama's NAACP speech, and how Obama's remarks abut personal responsibility were cherry-picked and used to divert attention away from Obama's other remarks about government responsibility. Deggans assumes the press is playing a "game of gotcha" with the poor, unwitting President.

    Puhleeze, Obama and the press are both in on this gambit, and it's not a gotcha game, it's a mutually self-serving shell game. Obama bloody well knows that if he puts out big juicy cherries, the press will be more than happy to cherry-pick and thereby take the heat off Obama and the substantive issues.

    *Commonsense advice to the big guy: if you really, truly, honestly don't want the press to cherry-pick your statements, just don't put the GD cherries out there in the first place. Then the press might be compelled to talk about the issues. Question is, does Obama want that to happen.


    I don't know about that (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:44:29 PM EST
    Or at least if it's true there would have to be some limitations.

    If there was a cop outside an african american church giving someone a parking ticket, and i was an african american community leader and went into that church and, without any evidence whatsoever, told everyone there's a racist cop outside waiting to arrest one of them because they're african american or worse, then i think that has to fall under some category of shouting fire in a crowded theater, or something.  i don't think that's free speech.  I think that's wanting harm to come to a white cop.

    besides.  getting rid of the real racist cops that do exist might be hurt by false accusations of racism elsewhere.

    as for the legality, i'm all for free speech but unfortunately a cop isn't a politician running for office.  a cop is out in the community and his safety can be impacted by such false accusations.

    I'm not a lawyer but i will stand up and say an accusation of racism about a cop who has no history thereof should be considered illegal.  it's too inflammatory of an accusation for it to be made without providing evidence.


    Illegal? That's taking it way too far. There's a (5.00 / 0) (#129)
    by tigercourse on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:57:23 PM EST
    big difference between insulting someone and shouting fire in a crowded theater.

    he didn't call him a poopy pants (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:23:10 PM EST
    he called him a racist.

    i make a difference here.  calling someone a racist isn't just an insult.


    Who knows ... (5.00 / 0) (#147)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:29:31 PM EST
    Crowley might have taken "poopy pants" to heart.

    He clearly has some control issues, maybe they extend to his digestive system.



    I'd have LOL "control issues" too (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:31:16 PM EST
    If someone called me a racist.

    I bet everyone here would too.


    Well Then (none / 0) (#178)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:12:37 PM EST
    Let's make sure you are never issued a gun and a badge..

    I couldn't do it (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:41:43 PM EST
    but i already know what would happen if i called you a racist and then hid behind the banner of free speech and said "sheese, can't take a little insult, i guess."

    so i won't do it.

    it's not free speech and it's not just an insult.  if i don't have proof or some evidence, it's slander, an attack on your credibility and reputation and to do that would be deemed unacceptable.

    so why is it ok for gates to call this cop a racist?  to undermine this cop's authority and stature in the community without evidence?  does crowely have a history of racism?


    Jiberish, imo (5.00 / 0) (#192)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:45:36 PM EST
    What about calling a cop a racist MF pig... lol.

    All those sterling reputations instantly down the drain.


    from some kid on the street (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:57:27 PM EST

    From a professor on racial issues.  different story.

    next thing you know the president himself might be choosing sides.

    do you think crowely is a racist?  how did you come to that conclusion?


    Well (5.00 / 0) (#151)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:32:14 PM EST
    It is clear that Gates was not trying to ruin anyones career. Now that this is a media blitz, your argument gains some traction. But unfortunately you loose all credibility because you are adding to the problem, by repeating the allegations.

    I think being called a racist when you (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by vml68 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:45:59 PM EST
    are actually teaching a course on racial profiling has got to sting. It affects your credibility.
    Still not reason enough for the arrest.

    Nah (5.00 / 0) (#167)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:58:20 PM EST
    If he were an expert on the subject, he would have been able to expect charges of racism in the heat of the moment.

    Any expert, would know that blacks are profiled and have to live on a daily basis with the crime of "being black".

    He is a hotheaded officer, vengeful and a disgrace to honest cops everywhere. All his tactics and motives for arresting Gates are transparent to anyone familiar with the law, and profiling/racism.

    As many lawyers, and the occasional prosecutor, Crowley should have left Gates house once he realized that he was not breaking and entering.  


    edit (5.00 / 0) (#169)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:59:45 PM EST
    As many lawyers and the occasional prosecutor here at TL have already said: Crowley should have left Gates house once he realized that he lived there.  End of story.

    repeating allegations (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:58:33 PM EST
    That are not backed up with evidence in an effort to point out that it's wrong to do that does not add to the problem.  it's an attempt to resolve the problem.

    There's no need to attack my credibility.  i'm just stating an opinion on a blog.

    if you think my opinion is not credible, then fine.  i honestly don't know what gates's intent was, that is for sure.  

    but i think i've seen some comments about what the cop's intent was. and i took it that that was just a way to make a valid argument and carry on discussion.


    OK (none / 0) (#171)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:03:36 PM EST
    I will put it in a less poetical way. IMO, your charge that Crowley's reputation is in danger is a crock, and rather thin gruel. And the fire in the movie theater is absurd, imo. Quite a stretch,  B plus, imo, for creativity.

    If Crowley was concerned about his reputation, he should have left Gates house as soon as he came to know that there was no crime.


    it's been my experience (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:25:08 PM EST
    that when a person is called a racist, their reputation is being attacked.

    i don't believe it is absurd because, well, let's put it this way.  if there really was a fire in a theater then it would be right to yell fire and get people out of there.

    if crowley really is a racist, then it is right to call him racist.

    the point is there is no fire in the theater and shouting fire creates an unsage situation of panic for the people inside the theater.

    so the question is if crowley is not a racist, and was motivated to do what he did by something else, then calling him racist ... does that create an unsafe situation for crowley, so much so that he has to be taken off the beat and put behind a desk?

    you know what?  maybe not in a university setting, but perhaps in a more urban setting?

    is this so hard to fathom?  it makes complete sense to me.

    sorry if we disagree.

    i just get this sense that it's no big deal at all to call someone a racist.

    i don't agree with that.


    Thin (5.00 / 0) (#187)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:33:08 PM EST
    People say all sorts of things under duress, that only show someone is upset or angry. Your argument is absurd.

    The only thing that can possibly harm CRowley's reputation is than now the whole world knows what a hot head he is. And more than likely should not have the privilege of being able to arrest people, just because they piss him off.

    Really, your argument is quite nutty, imo.


    as i state elsewhere (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:54:36 PM EST
    if i called you a racist and then said i guess i was under duress and people say all sorts of things under duress and then called you a hothead cause you didn't like it, well....

    you know.  i would not have arrested someone cause they called me a racist.  but i would have still considered it slander and i would have to consider how it would impact my ability to do my job if, in the court of public opinion.

    i stand by that.


    lol (none / 0) (#196)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 08:10:20 PM EST
    OK, well you can consider anything you want. Doesn't make it so.

    I would love to see Crowley or you try to sue Gates for slander.

    Crowley's standing in the community is only besmirched by his own stupid actions. In fact his community, far from ever thinking he may be racist, has published article showing that some of Crowley's best friends are black, heck he even teaches the course on racial profiling.



    there is no forum to sue for slander (none / 0) (#199)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 08:28:27 PM EST
    when someone calls you racist, that is true.

    Pelosi Gets Tough (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:59:56 PM EST
    Asked at a press conference whether she'd support keeping the House of Representatives in session into the August recess to complete work on health care reform, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was fairly adamant.

    "I think 70 percent of the American people would want that," she said. "I want a bill."


    Do you know where she (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by dk on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:11:49 PM EST
    gets the 70% figure?

    My thought is has to do with the NYT/CBS News Poll from June.  But that poll showed 72% favoring "the government's offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan like Medicare that would compete with private health insurance plans".

    Since her bill doesn't offer that to everyone, I'm curious what she has to back up her claim.


    Not sure it even offers that ... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:40:46 PM EST
    to anyone.

    No Idea (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:00:00 PM EST
    Sounds good to me though.

    Congrats to Buehrle! (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:22:16 PM EST
    Buehrle pitches first MLB perfect game in 5 years this afternoon!!

    Lukewarm? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by TheRealFrank on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:22:21 PM EST
    I don't give a crap about what pundits and bloggers say about a press conference.

    The healthcare issue is about people facing a choice between bankruptcy and dying because they got dropped by their insurance and can't afford new one.

    It's not about some political scoring game.

    Go examine the proposed legislation (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:27:45 PM EST
    and see if it deals with that issue.

    (hint:  It doesn't)


    White Sox Buehle pitches a perfect game. (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:23:14 PM EST
    This is great: (5.00 / 5) (#42)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:45:09 PM EST
    Rather has vowed to never settle the case out of court.

    The officer who arrested Gates is an expert (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by esmense on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:47:51 PM EST
    on racial profiling. He has taught a class about it at the Academy for the last 5 years. Here's a link to the story:


    My personal opinion in that this case is about two arrogant, liberal men in a power struggle, no racism involved. Just big offended egos and ill-considered displays of power. It's been reported that Gates immediately responded to the officer's request for ID by calling the Police Chief to report that the officer's actions were "racist." An act that was likely very offensive to a man who teaches a class on racial profiling. Arrogant (probably classist) Harvard professor presumes cop is a racist idiot and demonstrates his connections and power by reporting this ungrounded assumption to the man's superior. Insulted liberal cop expresses personal pique and salves ego with inappropiate arrest as payback.

    There's nothing more embarassing to watch than two liberals demonstrating the limits to their political correctness.

    stop trying (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:49:14 PM EST
    to muddle the conversation with facts.

    The best analysis of ... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:55:30 PM EST
    the incident is here.  It makes the officer's misconduct clear.

    I have no dog (none / 0) (#61)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:00:12 PM EST
    in this fight.  I find it completely believable that the officer acted unfairly.
    also, having lived in Boston for several years I find it completely believable that the Prof was a total a-hole and may well have done stuff that would have gotten any one of us arrested.

    That's a dog ... (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:04:22 PM EST
    I'm afraid.

    You do not (5.00 / 6) (#72)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:08:17 PM EST
    have to believe that Gates was arrested only because he was black, or even in part because he was black, in order to believe there was something wrong about the arrest.

    so true (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Bemused on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:25:32 PM EST
    I've represented white people similarly treated by white cops and black people similarly treated by black cops. Many cops abuse their authority to "teach a lesson" to disrepectfule people. I actually love these cases because if the cop is foolish enough to show up for court I get to "teach a lesson to him" and win an easy case.

    precisely because Gates is black.

    Obviously if Gates were white he wouldn't have gotten angry because he felt he was being treated the way he was because he was black.

    And I wonder how Gates would have responded had Crowley been a black man...

    It sounds to me, at first anyway, like Gates' a-hole comments and actions were racially motivated, in part anyway, while Crowley's were not.

    Then, as things heated up, it sounds like Crowley got offended by Gates' a-holeness so Crowley displayed his own a-holeness by misussing his authority to arrest Gates.

    Had Gates been white and was being just as big an a-hole I would not be surprised if Crowley would have arrested him as well.

    I don't think it's "sizeist" to wonder if Gates' rather short physical stature may have contributed to his personality and been in part, anyway, of the source of his a-holeness to the cop.

    And I think Crowley really ought to get a thicker skin or maybe consider finding another line of work.

    Although I do have to ask, isn't the "yo momma" comment too funny for words? So dated, so childish, so cartoonish...


    Cartoonish indeed (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:20:01 PM EST
    one of the reasons I find the police report so suspicious is because much of it reminds one of a bad movie script.

    Too many people seem to have read that police report and, even if they don't believe every word, appear far too willing to assume Gates must be some Sharpton-style grievance artist...

    Overall, I'm going to disagree with the Commander-in-Chief in that I really don't think there are any deep lessons here.  This single incident tells us little about the state of race relations in America (although the discussion about the incident is mildly revealing).  It is way past time for everyone to move on.  For heaven's sake, we've even let this thing drown out last night's Susan Boyle interview!!


    At least that's how Time Mag described him:
    Henry Louis Gates Jr. PROFESSOR

    Combine the braininess of the legendary black scholar W.E.B. DuBois and the chutzpah of P.T. Barnum, and the result is Henry Louis Gates Jr.

    Also (none / 0) (#161)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:49:36 PM EST
    Barnum was significantly involved in the politics surrounding race, slavery, and sectionalism in the period leading up the American Civil War. As mentioned above, he had some of his first success as an impresario through his slave Joice Heth. Around 1850, he was involved in a hoax about a weed that would turn black people white.

    Barnum was a performer and promoter in blackface minstrelsy. According to Eric Lott, Barnum's minstrel shows were more double-edged in their humor than most. While still replete with racist stereotypes, Barnum's shows satirized white racial attitudes, as in a stump speech in which a black phrenologist (like all performers, a white man in blackface) made a dialect speech parodying lectures given at the time to "prove" the superiority of the white race: "You see den, dat clebber man and dam rascal means de same in Dutch, when dey boph white; but when one white and de udder's black, dat's a grey hoss ob anoder color." (Lott, 1993, 78).


    By 1860, Barnum had become a Republican. He had evolved from a man of common prejudices in the 1840s to a leader for emancipation by the Civil War.



    Of course the officer acted "unfairly" (none / 0) (#70)
    by esmense on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:07:50 PM EST
    That doesn't mean his actions were racially motivated. They seem to have been motivated by a very common reason for such behavior -- an emotional reaction to a challenge to his power and authority.

    The person I wonder about is the "neighbor" who reported the "break in." Why didn't she recognize Gates?



    She was a passerby (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:09:58 PM EST
    Even if she lived in the neighborhood, it's certainly feasible she didn't recognize him, especially when he had a backpack and was with another man trying to force open a door.

    I know I wouldn't recognize any of my neighbors (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by tigercourse on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:16:37 PM EST
    who aren't directly adjacent to my property.

    He should send his class outline to (5.00 / 0) (#51)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:51:46 PM EST
    Gates and see if he has anything he'd like to add to it. Since Gates so generously offered to teach Crowley everything he knows about racial profiling in this country.

    Hand picked, eh? (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:56:36 PM EST
    Cambridge Sgt. James Crowley has taught a class about racial profiling for five years at the Lowell Police Academy after being hand-picked for the job by former police Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is black, said Academy Director Thomas Fleming.

    Yes (none / 0) (#59)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:59:28 PM EST
    As emptywheel points out the blue line is solidifying.

    across racial lines (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:03:33 PM EST

    Really? (5.00 / 0) (#69)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:07:10 PM EST
    What do you mean? If you are suggesting that black police will line up with white police, well that is a given.

    Lot's of racism and sexism within depts, from what I have seen. But guess who has the upper hand?

    Anyone who strays, may as well quit because their life will be more miserable than just the day to day racism and or sexism.


    I swear if I have to read any more about (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:06:45 PM EST
    the Gates incident today I am going to scream!

    you have probably been talking (none / 0) (#76)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:10:23 PM EST
    about it nonstop here.  I been to busy to talk about it until this afternoon.

    I have not (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:12:47 PM EST
    but 7/8 of the comments have been about it.

    So I guess I'm just telling everybody to STFU!



    Im with you (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:13:21 PM EST
    bored with it.

    Cap, what do you think ... (none / 0) (#127)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:54:03 PM EST
    of Sam Raimi signing to direct the Warcraft movie?

    We could talk more ... (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:39:19 PM EST
    about the President's bomb of a presser yesterday.

    But I'm rather sick of that too.


    heh (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:41:10 PM EST
    I'm still with BTD: it was good.

    I'm glad to see that the DNC is going on TV. Why not use campaign mode?


    Maybe (5.00 / 3) (#117)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:42:55 PM EST
    becaue people are still recovering from the last campaign? And we'll be in starting the 2010 races soon?

    If we're going to have a perpetual campaign, (none / 0) (#120)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:44:50 PM EST
    let's do it right.

    I still think any argument ... (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:50:15 PM EST
    using a phrase like "what is the cost of not" is not the strongest argument in world.  And it's a negative argument.

    The Democratic Party never ceases to amaze me how they can lose an argument they've already won.


    Anything exciting at Tour de France? (none / 0) (#123)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:49:33 PM EST
    Other than the perfect game by Buehrle (no small feat), what else is going on in sports today?

    Is anyone having really great or really bad weather?

    What impact if any will Reid delaying action until after the August recess have on health insurance legislation?

    Any new sex scandals or Michael Jackson stories (I'm getting desperate here) that I missed?

    These or other topics are open to all comers.


    Will the media play this (none / 0) (#195)
    by ding7777 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 08:03:28 PM EST
    like Kobe Bryant?  

    Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger broke his silence today, strongly denying allegations in a civil lawsuit that he raped a woman at a Lake Tahoe, Nev., resort where he stayed for a celebrity golf tournament last July.

    Unlikely (none / 0) (#198)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 08:21:10 PM EST
    Kobe Bryant was charged with rape. There is no criminal charge in this case.

    As I have never been one to question (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:20:54 PM EST
    our current President, I decided I would sit on last night's press conference for a bit and let it percolate. 95% of it went wonderfully well and then, I would have to say, he stepped in it.

    Two days ago I had this to say here concerning the Gates incident:

    I find it rather shameful that so many educated individuals here can assume they know exactly what happened, and what everyone was thinking, based on whether someone was white or black.

    I still stand by that and add President Obama to the foolish list. He started off very well mentioning he wasn't there...and then dove in hook, line, and sinker.

    It's a shame such an important topic as health care has managed to be relegated to the backseat in favor of two men acting poorly.

    Ha. Jeralyn and BTD both made it (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:52:11 PM EST
    into Jeralyn's blogger link.  On opposite sides though.

    wouldn't be the first time! (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:54:14 PM EST
    It's one of the things that makes TL interesting, we're not completely in sync.

    Agree. Never boring here. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:59:05 PM EST
    Mansfield Frazier (none / 0) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:14:31 PM EST

    Skip, You Mouthed Off

     . . I think our opprobrium should be reserved for those folks (black or white) situated further down the class pecking order who are less insulated, less financially privileged, and lack resources of redress. They are at risk of a lot more than spending a few uncomfortable hours in jail if they decide to stand up to a police officer. In the end, this still is America and Dr. Gates actually got off light. There are some police officers -- perhaps not in Cambridge -- who would have had him wearing his ass for a hat.

    No need to talk to officer at all. Except (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:33:54 PM EST
    what may result in a cite and release (due to failure to identify self on request and produce id) may then become an arrest and detention (under CA law).  

    Got off light??? (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:37:27 PM EST
    Said like someone who has not spent a night in jail after being arrested.  It is a traumatic event for most....

    Very terrifying and humiliating.  And, most of the time, the cops can do whatever they want after an arrest without any fear of accountability.  Beatings, rape, murder--all look reasonable, or unprovable, to the general public....

    Everyone believes the cops....If you get arrested, it is always your own fault and you deserved what you get....You prove the point.

    Wait until that day you are arrested, or someone you love is arrested....And it does happen to those who are innocent.


    like I have never (5.00 / 0) (#44)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 04:46:06 PM EST
    been arrested.
    you make the same points the writer makes.  if he had not been a harvard professor things might have gone much much worse for "mouthing off"

    one other reason (none / 0) (#74)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:09:10 PM EST
    it was stupid for Obama to wade into this - IMO - is that by siding so completely with Gates in a situation which seems to have two sides he only stokes the race haters.  I dont see how that helps anything.

    I think this is more about testosterone (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:13:40 PM EST
    than anything else  ;)

    How's the ankle doing?


    almost (none / 0) (#85)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:16:17 PM EST
    completely back to normal.  just a little weak.
    thanks for asking.
    got the boot a few days ago.

    Very cool! (none / 0) (#112)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:38:20 PM EST
    Get some swimming in if ya can :)

    One does forget that blacks (none / 0) (#191)
    by samtaylor2 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:44:51 PM EST
    are an important political demographic.  It is nice to be pondered to sometimes.

    Foreign Policy Analysis via Rap (none / 0) (#130)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 05:57:29 PM EST
    After Jay-Z released "D.O.A. ('Death of Auto-Tune')" The Game saw an opportunity to peel off Jay-Z's key alliance partners to form a coalition and undermine Jay-Z's hegemony. Even if he loses the fight with Jay-Z, The Game's stock goes up because he's "in" with the big guy. All The Game has to do, Lynch says, is survive.
    Lynch says that, like the United States, a hegemon like Jay-Z can't afford to get into little battles all the time.

    NPR via laura rozen

    Rand???? (none / 0) (#134)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:01:09 PM EST
    In a first-of-its-kind study, the non-profit Rand Corp linked the rapid growth in U.S. health care costs to job losses and lower output. The study, published online by the journal Health Services Research, gives weight to President Barack Obama's dire warnings about the impact of rising costs if Congress does not enact health care reform.


    The screams were reported as deafening (none / 0) (#135)
    by Sumner on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:10:51 PM EST
    coming from the fans at San Diego's annual Comic Con International sci fi festival, for Twilight saga New Moon actors Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner.

    Even Google's logo today, celebrates the Comic Con.

    Yeah, I noticed that ... (none / 0) (#137)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:14:09 PM EST
    quite cool.

    And a few weeks back the logo celebrated Nikola Tesla's birthday.

    Google is letting their geek flag fly!


    Though I did ... (none / 0) (#141)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:17:39 PM EST
    notice the logo done by comic artist Jim Lee only features DC superheroes.

    Jim Lee's own company Wildstorm is a subsidiary of DC.  


    Ah, yes, Mr. Nikola Tesla (none / 0) (#149)
    by Sumner on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:30:49 PM EST
    There are those that believe that the chemtrails and HAARP are not so much for weather control, as for Nikola Tesla's wireless power transmission, bouncing off of the ionosphere.

    Ah, the Comic Con (none / 0) (#176)
    by otherlisa on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 07:05:10 PM EST
    I went to it back when I was a kid and it was a tiny thing at the El Cortez Hotel...those were the days!

    Another GOP Twist Case (none / 0) (#154)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:40:23 PM EST
    Oh the consistency of these GOPer... must be something about the lifestyle that attracts hypocritical perverts who beat their wives, have affairs with their interns, produce porn, and are associated with financial scammers:

    Meet Tennessee state senator Paul Stanley. He's a solid conservative Republican and married father of two, who according to his website is "a member of Christ United Methodist Church, where he serves as a Sunday school teacher and board member of their day school." (Check out the religious imagery on the site -- the sun poking through clouds, as if manifesting God's presence -- which of course shows Stanley's deeply pious nature.)

    Stanley recently sponsored a bill designed to prevent gay couples from adopting children. And when a Planned Parenthood official recently sought his support for family planning services for Memphis teens, Stanley told her, according to the official, that he "didn't believe young people should have sex before marriage anyway, that his faith and church are important to him, and he wants to promote abstinence."

    read on.... tpm

    Maybe Stanley should take a trip (none / 0) (#162)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:51:21 PM EST
    to D.C. and preach abstinence outside of marriage to members of Congress. Maybe a trip to S.C?

    Thomas Alva Edison (none / 0) (#158)
    by Sumner on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 06:43:22 PM EST
    should have gone to jail for all of the unconscionable wrongs he committed against Nikola Testa.