Gates-Gate Officer Crowley Considering Defamation Suit


Cambridge Police Sergeant James M. Crowley is considering a defamation lawsuit, according to his lawyer.

Who would he sue exactly? Gates presumably. I wonder which statement was "defamatory" in the legal sense. Some thoughts from Turley:

A defamation lawsuit would raise some novel issues. There is no question that the suggestion that Crowley acted with racial prejudice is injurious to his professional standing, particularly given his status as an expert on combating profiling. Impugning the professional integrity of another is a per se category of defamation for slander.

This is bad legal analysis in my view. The opinion protection to defamation is what is in play here. BTW, I hope this ends the notion expressed by some commenters here that Crowley is not doing anything to forward the story. Just heard Crowley is going to have a press conference. Incredible. Great visual at the press conference - a bunch of white men defending Crowley. But Crowley has been advised not to speak. A day late obviously. This is hilarious. Now ripping Obama. Hilarious. That'll help race relations in Cambridge. My gawd, what a clown show. Demanding an apology from Obama. WHITE COPS of the world UNITE! they object to the charges being dropped! Excellent! Gates fires back:

Ogletree said Gates might sue the department and would bring forward witnesses who say they've had similar experiences with Crowley. When asked for examples, Ogletree said only that they may come out in time depending on how the police department handles the situation moving forward.

"I think you will be hearing much more complex and different perspective on him [Crowley] in the coming days and weeks," Ogletree said, alleging that Crowley "is well-known among people, particularly young people, for some of his police practices."

Speaking for me only

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    Hey, can you blame him? (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:01:55 AM EST
    This is his meal ticket. He's going to get his 15 minutes!

    But I thought he was (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:08:24 AM EST
    just as "good cop."

    Looking like a white cop grandstanding Sharpton now.


    Didn't I say yesterday (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:10:09 AM EST
    that his comments on the radio immediately proved Obama's point?

    They do now (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:10:44 AM EST
    The Sharpton here... (none / 0) (#23)
    by ChiTownMike on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:46:11 AM EST
    or Jessie Jackson if you prefer, was Obama making this a national race issue. He was the first clown out of the box and created this whole circus by his own ill spoken and ill timed words. Had Obama not said what he did there would be no circus.

    My jaw dropped when I saw what Obama said and then embellished it. He made Sharpton and Jackson proud. I expect then to join the fray any minute now.

    I predict that after that happens Crowley will get his apology as Obama goes into damage control. Bye bye health care message for the next week or so.

    In short: Powerful mans shoots himself in the foot with his mouth. News at 11.


    nonsense (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:49:27 PM EST
    He used so many disclaimers about not knowing enough AND stated what everyone knows...racial profiling exists. It was a fair and frank assessment of the situation. Do we really want people tiptoing around these issues?

    You may (none / 0) (#124)
    by ChiTownMike on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:29:09 PM EST
    be right, you may be wrong.

    Bur one thing is certain - it was a political blunder on Obama's part.

    Do you really think if he had it to do over again he would say the same things?

    Damage control to come.


    the only blunder, is that he stepped on (none / 0) (#132)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:32:57 PM EST
    his own healthcare message.

    Through (none / 0) (#160)
    by ChiTownMike on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:53:38 PM EST
    your filters that is true. To those without biased filters in play Obama inflamed racism in America. His words out racism on the front page. His words mad it him vs. White cops. That is what is being written about. You just refuse to see what everyone else sees.

    How am I more biased than anyone else? (none / 0) (#163)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:55:01 PM EST
    Please enlighten me.

    You can not even claim that now (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:22:01 PM EST
    CROWLEY is the new Joe/Frank of the white race card. And he assumed that role willingly.

    One good cop my a**.


    I'm not sure (none / 0) (#112)
    by ChiTownMike on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:18:22 PM EST
    how your response addresses the fact that Obama started this circus vis-a-vi his Sharpton like comment.

    Your comment seems to intensify this issue of Black President vs. White Cops. Politely I don't see that as a winner at all. I doubt Obama does either. Do you really want that because that is what you are feeding?

    Now the Sharpton's and Jackson's and the racist GOP is just loving this. Are you throwing in with their circus?

    Obama shot himself in the foot here. Damage control to follow.

    Health care presser? What health care presser? Read the headlines. The presser was ALL ABOUT Obama slamming White cops while admitting he knew nothing about the details of the arrest. What a blunder. An astute pol would have responded to the question with a 'that's an issue for the local authority's, now back to the importance of health care'. Instead he out Sharpton'd Sharpton.

    Congressional Black Caucus, White Cops, and Racist Gop'ers = 50

    Obama = minus 100

    Obama unilaterally took health care right off the table for a week or so and brought White America vs. Black America back into the spotlight.

    In a few words he totally took 'No Red States, No Blue States and turned it into Black vs White. As Canonball Aderly would say: Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.


    The circus started before that (none / 0) (#142)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:37:43 PM EST
    And I do not see how you can continue to defend Crowley at this point.

    I never defended Crowley (none / 0) (#154)
    by ChiTownMike on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:49:38 PM EST
    Not once. My issue is with what Obama started - or restarted if you prefer. Either way the headlines the last few days and health care fading to the darkness is all on Obama. You know that. Just don't want to admit it although your diaries have said he was stupid for even addressing Gates, which he was. But you don't want to admit that it was Obama who introduced race onto the national scene. What Crowley is responding to is what Obama said plain and simple. Everyone here realizes that. I'll say it again, had Obama not said what he did there would be no circus. We would not even know who Crowley was because it would have been a local issue had Obama just swept it aside at the presser as I suggested. Instead he inflamed racism in America. And did it against White Cops to boot. Stupidity.

    I think many here believe that begs the (none / 0) (#168)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:00:00 PM EST

    The real issue (for many) is the arrest of man in his own home by the police.  BTD has already agreed with you that Obama raising the issue was not astute politically.  But, the real issue is, was Obama right?  Did the cop abuse his authority?



    Obama admitted (none / 0) (#208)
    by ChiTownMike on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:26:14 PM EST
    prior to his comments that he had no details as to what went on during the arrest. So his comments were not based on facts. Therefore he should have kept his mouth shut as the chief law enforcement officer in the land.

    But instead of keeping his mouth shut he implied that the arrest could have been racially motovated and that the cops acted "stupidly'. And he said those things while having no facts about the arrest.

    Now if you and others think that suggesting that white cops were racially motivated in the arrest and that calling their actions stupid on national TV is presidential and a smart thing to do then just come on and say it - that it was a presidential and smart to do.

    BTW I see no where where BTD says that Obama bringing up race issue was not astute politically. But if I missed that, which I don't think I did, them please link to that post.


    Interesting (none / 0) (#156)
    by SomewhatChunky on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:50:46 PM EST
    I see ChiTownMike criticizing Obama and his involving himself into this dispute.   I don't see ChiTownMike defending Crowley at all.

    Yet BTD does.   It's interesting how one's perspectives and background color one's perception of things.

    This is not a judgement on anyone.  Just an observation.  I've learned something reading the comments on this issue over the last few days.


    I've learned something too (none / 0) (#177)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:05:24 PM EST
    Can you guess what I have learned, friend?

    ask yourself this (none / 0) (#76)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:50:51 PM EST
    who is playing the victim and who actually is the victim?

    In a conflict between two parties, (none / 0) (#82)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:55:13 PM EST
    must one be only the victim and the other only the oppressor?

    It seems pretty clear who was the victim (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:58:32 PM EST
    Who went to jail?  It's pretty clear who won that "conflict."

    Don't minimize the terror and humiliation of being carted off to jail.....

    Crowley has tremendous public support and is milking it.  


    They both have tremendous support, (none / 0) (#91)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:02:52 PM EST
    as they both should. They've both been wronged.

    You may wish to argue to what degree they've been wronged, and who was more wronged, but that is of little interest to me.


    that assumes facts not in evidence. (5.00 / 0) (#107)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:11:04 PM EST
    Was Crowley's power -trip race related? Or just an abuse of power.

    Either way, he in not sufficiently ashamed.


    I think putting someone in jail is a big deal (none / 0) (#94)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:05:24 PM EST
    A bigger deal than a war of words that the cop may well win.

    As is said, (2.00 / 0) (#103)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:08:32 PM EST
    You may wish to argue to what degree they've been wronged, and who was more wronged, but that is of little interest to me.

    Why not? (5.00 / 0) (#108)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:13:04 PM EST
    It's an important factor. And there is no proof that Crowly was wronged....He abused power. The additional call of racism is a small addition to that charge, IMO.

    I don't understand... (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:34:01 PM EST
    how Crowley was wronged.  Nobody likes anybody talkin' about their momma, but I can't call that a "wrong".  It's just words...trash talk.

    Slapping chains on men who have commited no crime is a "wrong" in every sense of the word, everyday and twice on Sunday.


    My bet is (none / 0) (#157)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:50:46 PM EST
    Crowley feels he was wronged by Gates calling him a racist, and that he felt the arrest was legal and correct but he's being publicly humiliated by not being backed by his PD in a case with national exposure, and now he probably also feels that he's being called a racist by the POTUS.

    I could go on.

    This is, at its core, how arguments, fist-fights and wars get started. The Cycle of Violence. The inability or conscious decision not to see the other guy's POV.


    Feeling wronged and actually being... (5.00 / 0) (#183)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:07:35 PM EST
    wronged are two different things sarc.

    My take is Crowley feels wronged and Gates was wronged...I mean only one guy here was denied his freedom, only one guy here had cold steel on his wrists.  All the rest is trash-talk and d*ck swinging on all sides...the actual physical undisputable wrong was the arrest.


    I think I could probably get over (5.00 / 0) (#199)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:17:17 PM EST
    the B&E follow-up call where I got agitated and verbally abusive landing me in handcuffs and taken to the station much faster than I could being labeled a racist, rogue cop who was abusing my power in front of the entire country.

    Sorry, kdog, I don't agree. (2.00 / 0) (#207)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:22:39 PM EST
    I see both sides, you can't or won't.

    That's why I said I'm not interested in arguing the degree of wrong and who got wronged more - becuase it's of no value to the reality of what did happen and what will happen.

    A waste of time, for me anyway.


    No such thing (none / 0) (#27)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:57:58 AM EST
    White people only have legitimate racial grievances in this country.

    As a thought experiment, try to imagine the black version of the "Hands" ad.  "You were qualified for that job... but the racists gave it to a white guy!"


    Just ask Lindsay Graham (none / 0) (#74)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:49:47 PM EST
    Stating that the police acted stupidly (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by scribe on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:04:41 AM EST
    is about as pure a statement of opinion as can be found.  AS opinion, it is protected from a defamation suit.

    Moving on, I've gotten a kick out of the assertion about this particular officer's being a departmental "instructor" in/on racial profiling, the unstated-by-the-media implication being that his status as such must mean he is incapable of it.  Being the cynic that I am, my initial reaction to the disclosure of his "instructor" status was that he taught his fellow officers how to do it and get away with it.

    But, more seriously, this clown in a blue suit and badge is being used (or seeking to be used) by the same flavor of jack#sses who are circulating the Obama-as-witch-doctor photos.

    He ought to be glad I'm not President.  If I was and he was pulling this sort of crap, he'd find a rather ruthless and not-nearly-as-polite-as-Obama's reaction to him, his ilk, and their shenanigans.

    I can imagine Obama as Bond villain saying (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:09:23 AM EST
    "we kept Guantanamo open for just such an occasion; bwahahahahah!"

    Lol (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:18:29 AM EST
    Yes, obviously if Crowley is responsible for teaching profiling, we have found a kink in the system. Silver lining... lol

    It is hilarious that Crowley would even consider slander or defamation. Although, the police benevolent union may have calculated that the Jury pool will be quite favorable, considering those who listened to Obama on Gates, will be disqualified.

    Poor Crowley, now a victim. lol


    The Stupidity continues (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:20:02 AM EST
    I don't think the threatened suit (none / 0) (#141)
    by Bemused on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:36:11 PM EST
     conceives of Obama as a defendant.

    A first point would be "publication" (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Bemused on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:32:47 AM EST
      presumably Crowley would argue Gates published his statements to third partieds because other people were at the scene of the arrest. It seems unlikely (a) that Gates comments caused any injury to his reputation among the other cops who heard them or (b) that the handful of bystanders would have any idea who Crowley is so that it could damage their opinion of him specifically. It's lso not clear that the bystanders heard anything other than this is what happens to a black man in america as opposed to this specific person is a racist.

       After that, it would seem the further publication of the incident was primarily the result of Crowley's own actions and those of his agency.

       It's at least a partial  defense to show that any injury to reputation was caused by the plaintiff further disseminating the alleged defmatory statements.

       Assuming the statement would be found defamatory can Crowley prove any injury to his reputation not the result of his conduct?

      Has Gates publicly , in the media or otherwise, repeated or elaborated upon the alleged statement that Crowley is a racist cop?

    It's out the window now (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:34:30 AM EST
    as Crowley has ginned up the story.

    Now any case is over.


    well Turley (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Bemused on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:39:30 AM EST
    seems to be suggesting the plausibility of the argument that Crowley's reputation among his fellow cops was damaged. I find it unlikely that calling cops to testify that they had a good or neutral opinion of Crowley but that hearing Gates call him a racist decided he must be one would work very well.

    I found Turley's analysis (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:40:18 AM EST

    And I work in this area of the law.


    Pointless. (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:46:05 AM EST
    I think that's my description of most of this kabuki.

    (Next time, can we just have the men drop their trousers and measure their privates - if they want to prove who has the biggest?)

    I have a feeling that many of the faces (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Anne on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:58:33 AM EST
    that line up behind Crowley at that presser will be black, which is a visual that's going to be hard to push back against.  And for the love of God, the cop on the call with him is black - is Gates claiming that the black cop was just as innocent a bystander as Gates seems to think he himself was?

    But for Obama's sticking his nose in where it really did not belong, Crowley would not now feel compelled to defend his actions now that they are a national story.  Are Crowley and the Cambridge Police Department just supposed to go away and let Gates - with Obama's help - continue to have sole possession of the microphone?

    I had been wondering if there would come a day when I could listen to the news and NOT hear about Michael Freakin' Jackson, or Sarah $#@^*% Palin, but little did I know that they would be replaced by this ginned-up controversy that will now be covered to death.  

    Why do I think it's "ginned up?"  Because I think when you get right down to it, Gates is a hothead with a hair-trigger temper, and rather than take responsibility for his temper and his attitude, it's just easier to make it about race and - oh, look! - there's a white guy he can blame it on.

    You missed it then (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:14:28 PM EST
    A bunch of white faces.

    That's interesting (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:26:11 PM EST
    considering there's certainly plenty of diversity in that police department.

    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:37:25 PM EST
    I found it way interesting.

    Coupled with the snip from Ogletree about Crowley maybe having a past on this sort of thing, it makes me wonder.


    Teaching diversity at the Police Academy (none / 0) (#66)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:43:50 PM EST
    doesn't tell me he's fine on issues of race.  He may know the "rules"....but that doesn't mean much.

    BTD may be very wrong on the facts.

    Comment is wrong (none / 0) (#77)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:50:59 PM EST
    OK (none / 0) (#83)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:55:49 PM EST
    Oh, well... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Anne on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:36:24 PM EST
    I seriously do not understand why my firm won't install flat-screen TVs in all our offices so that I can keep up!  Sheesh.

    O/T--are you Kathy from the primaries? (none / 0) (#100)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:07:10 PM EST
    Anne was here then (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:09:23 PM EST
    No, you missed it (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:37:28 PM EST
    Not sure how, but you missed several Hispanics, at least one African-American and an Asian, and that was just in the one section fo the group that was on my TV when I looked up.  CNN reporter on the scene -- black, btw -- reports quite a few black officers in the group.

    Excuse me (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:50:42 PM EST
    there was ONE A-A and a few others but the faces werwe white 955 of them no doubt after an EXTENDED attempt to make it look different.

    I missed nothing. It was a wall of white men with some tokens.



    Speaking out against racial injustice should (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by samtaylor2 on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:16:33 PM EST
    be a presidents role.  I can't even count the times I have been at a party and a white girl mouths off to the police- how many times have I seemed them arrested, the answer is NONE.  I guess a black man's castle doesn't count for much.  But defend away.

    they arrest white chicks in my 'hood (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:22:09 PM EST
    for mouthing off to police. Happened recently.

    Does that make it right? (none / 0) (#59)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:36:34 PM EST
    The Bill of Rights at its core protects us from the cops.  I would hope you would not accept abuse from the cops in return for a little perceived safety.

    Mouthing off to authority--that is what Americans do.  It is the epitome of an American.  

    Putting people in jail for mouthing off to those in authority is not American....That is a different type of society.....(Except of course that has been the American experience for some Americans.)


    Did I say that it did? (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:42:23 PM EST
    All I said was they arrest white chicks here for mouthing off to cops.

    That is the broader point--is it right? (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:53:08 PM EST
    Can cops legitimately do that?  

    I understand the politics of it....

    And, yes, of course it happens to white people too.  But, I am under no illusions that it happens to them at the same rate as Latinos or African Americans....Unfortunately, and generalizing a little, I think whites are astonished and outraged when it happens to them, but Latinos and African Americans are not so surprised when they are the ones who are victimized.


    Gates was (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:57:48 PM EST
    I think that is why this all happened in a way.

    Gates thought "who he was" insulated him from it.


    Similar point (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:15:09 PM EST
    Ta-Nehisi Coates:

    I would say that this is the sort of thing that angers upper middle-class black people even more than it angers anyone else, because they tend to be individuals who, by society's lights, are very accomplished. They deeply resent being lumped in with the mass. And more than anyone they resent the whole "when you're black, you talk to the police like this" routine. Obama has lived as a member of that class for a large portion of his adult life, or he's had some concentrated exposure to it--the black strivers roll deep on the South Side. It's not shocking that he was pissed.

    and today:

    I don't think I've ever seen Harold Ford this animated, and I think I know why. I want to go back to something I said yesterday--There are a class of black people who understand that this sort of thing happens, and believe race is an aggravating factor. They get pissed off about this sort of thing, but at the same time, position it within their expectations of cops.

    And then there are a class of black people, who like other highly accomplished people, have higher expectations, for how the police treat all people, but specifically for how cops treat them. I think it's important to remember, when you hear Barack Obama doubling down on this, exactly what world of black people he's rolling with. It's worth understanding, specifically, the world of Valarie Jarrett. It's worth understanding that Harold Ford isn't just a black guy, he's the scion of a southern political dynasty. This isn't Good Times. Or the Coates family.

    I wasn't trying to make a broader point (none / 0) (#98)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:06:36 PM EST
    just saying that white people get arrested also which ST didn't seem to know.

    Police (5.00 / 0) (#89)
    by daring grace on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:00:35 PM EST
    arrest and harass people even when they're not being mouthed off at. I've experienced and witnessed that kind of chip-on-the-shoulder hair-trigger "You messin' with me?" attitude enough to know that firsthand.

    So, yeah, we all get a chance to taste this. But it's pretty well documented that racial and ethnic minorities are most often victimized/targeted this way.


    Things like that DO happen, but was this (none / 0) (#158)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:50:54 PM EST
    one of them?

    The man who took the photo of Gates in handcuffs has made a statement.

    Bill Carter, the man who snapped a photograph of Gates being led away in handcuffs, said police officers were calm and that Gates was "slightly out of control" and "agitated" when he was arrested.

    "The officers around kind of calmed him down," Carter said. "I heard him yelling -- Mr. Gates yelling. I didn't hear anything that he was saying so I couldn't say that he was belligerent."

    Also seems the Cambridge police department is preparing to release the 911 call and audio of the radio communications while the encounter was underway.


    I have always assumed that (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:04:00 PM EST
    Gates mouthed off, or was rude.  So what?

    Gates was in his own house--he gets to have an attitude in his own house.


    How Embarassing (3.00 / 2) (#169)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:00:09 PM EST
    Stir a black man up and then claim that you are justified because the negro is out of control.

    That trick is as old as emancipation. Disgusting, imo.


    Weeeel, (none / 0) (#52)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:28:58 PM EST
    speaking as a white man who, in my misspent youth, has been arrested 2X for "mouthing off" to cops (and one of those cops was not "white"), and who has seen white friends handcuffed and thrown in the cruiser for the same thing, and let's not forget the white "Don't tase me bro!" guy at UCLA, I'm pretty sure us "whites" get jackbooted as well...

    white male adolescents do. (none / 0) (#164)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:56:46 PM EST
    I remember that about my friends when I was a kid (I am a female and was always treated very well)

    Although you make an excellent point, (none / 0) (#180)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:06:01 PM EST
    that younger people may tend to be in situations that lead to confrontations with the police - and younger people may have worse outcomes with the police - more often than older people, that does not speak to my particular situation.

    I was in my late 20's early 30's both times I was arrested. Clean-cut, comfortably-employed, engineer-salesman.

    Didn't seem to impress the PO's one bit.


    can I ask.....? (none / 0) (#188)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:09:02 PM EST
    Don't Tase Me Bro...that was (none / 0) (#198)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:17:05 PM EST
    U of Florida, the John Kerry event.

    Obama extrapolated it (none / 0) (#90)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:01:03 PM EST
    to problems that remain with race relations in America. That is entirely appropriate (if politically not astute)

    Speaking for me... (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:04:14 PM EST
    race is not the main issue here, only a component.

    The main issue is tyranny.  The chaining and captivity of a human being.  

    An arrest is not and never will be "no big deal"...bigger deals are hard to find.

    My question regarding police procedure (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:44:05 PM EST
    is: what is the SOP when a cop is confronted by someone throwing a perfectly legal but abusive hissy fit - in their own home?

    Is it SOP to call for backup and continue to be involved in the situation?

    My guess is that it's not.

    If not, the question is then why did Crowley continue to be involved in the situation.

    Was it racism, or was it something else.

    I think it was probably something else.

    No excuse for being an illegal authoritarian a-hole, of course.

    It was certainly a power-trip (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:08:02 PM EST
    and racism may have made him think he could get away with it.

    Good comment (none / 0) (#68)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:46:50 PM EST
    It depends on whether the responding (none / 0) (#117)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:24:40 PM EST
    officer believes he/she is in danger or believes others are in danger or believes the person contacted is a danger to self.

    Excellent. Thank you. (none / 0) (#162)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:54:48 PM EST
    SOP seems to rely a little heavily on (none / 0) (#205)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:20:56 PM EST
    calling in a lot of back-up for fairly trivial matters.

    A couple of months ago, I saw three cruisers responding to an issue at the beach about a dog.  The dog was old dude, tired, lying down panting, so he clearly was not a danger to anyone....

    There are too many crimes and too many cops....


    uniformity of support (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:48:07 PM EST
    any officers come out yet and say maybe this was a bad collar?

    On this liberal leftie wingnut site, I see many lefties defending the officer, I got no prob wit dat.

    But how come we see nary a single officer on record as saying maybe the officer might have overreacted?  Goes to the argument of brotherhood of the badge, no?

    All the more reason Obama needed to comment on this.  Some police use intimidation and over step the boundaries, why are we as a people so afraid to admit that?

    I thought the police union lawyer's hedge (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:54:46 PM EST
    was pretty telling.

    If the department has already decided (none / 0) (#167)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:58:57 PM EST
    not to refer the arrest report to the prosecutor's office, what else could the union attorney say?

    Nothing (none / 0) (#170)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:00:15 PM EST
    Which is what he should have said. Nothing was the right response period.

    Sort of been my point for a few days.


    Totally agree. (none / 0) (#172)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:02:26 PM EST
    Ego, respective notions of offended authority, (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by esmense on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:59:25 PM EST
    maybe issues of class and elitism, are fueling this conflict, but not race.

    Gates was offended at not being recognized as the privileged and noted personage he is, Crowley was offended at being perceived as ignorant and racist and having his authority challenged.

    Gates says he'll write a book, make a documentary to further publicize, defend and justify his personal outrage. Crowley is indulging in a lawsuit for the same reason.

    A pox on both of them. Especially a pox on them and their respective supporters for pretending real issues of racial injustice or police authority are animating this petty fight.

    Nonsense: prejudice was involved from the start (none / 0) (#209)
    by Verdigris56 on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:27:05 PM EST
    I'd be upset if I were in Gates' shoes, because the idea that a burglary was going on, or even likely, was pretty ridiculous, both subjectively (if you're Gates) and objectively (if you actually took took time to see the entire sequence of events). It's not just the fact that Professor Gates owned the home-- hey, people think, Officer Crowley didn't know that when he got the call and then rolled up to the address. But I've lived in several big cities and small towns all over the country and never experienced or heard of a burglary that went like this:

    In broad daylight slightly after noon-time in a well-off urban neighborhood a short (5ft 7inches tall) somewhat small (150 lbs) somewhat elderly-looking gray-haired person arrives in a taxi transport from the airport, gets out of the cab and uses a cane to help himself walk to the front door of the house, followed by the taxi driver who is carrying luggage, then attempts to open the door, initially with a key but then with physical force after the key does not work. After several unsuccessful attempts, the elderly-looking person walks around the house to the back door and lets themselves into the house without incident. Shortly thereafter the front door is opened from the inside, the taxi driver moves the luggage inside the house, gets a tip from the elderly person and drives away.

    I'm pretty sure that's an accurate description of what happened before Officer Crowley arrived. Sure, there are a lot of dumb criminals, but only an absolute idiot would attempt a home burglary like that. Doesn't matter if maybe someone tried to break in a few days or weeks ago-- the elderly man and his taxi-driver accomplice are probably not burglars.

    So why would the bystander who called, and the police officer who responded, think that this is likely to be a burglary? Because the two people were black? Of course. A small gray-haired elderly-looking white woman trying to get into the house elicits the same call, the same police response? No way.

    I think Professor Gates was `racially profiled' in a sense, a very personal sense when you're just back from a long, probably very tiring trip and when you finally manage to get into your house and have to call someone about the messed-up door, a policeman walks in and accuses you of being a burglar in your own home. I'd be pissed off, too.

    Officer Crowley may be a great policeman in other respects, but he should have been aware of what was most likely happening (i.e., not a burglary), and how Professor Gates-- or any other black man-- would feel, and should have taken that into consideration from the beginning. I think he was stupid not to have done so, and to have allowed the incident to escalate to an arrest. Police are ethically and practically bound to be respectful and polite to law-abiding citizens, no matter whether those citizens are pissed off and complaining and questioning them or not. Officer Crowley was never in any danger from Professor Gates, and neither were Gates' neighbors. Crowley never had any legal or other proper reason to make an arrest, and he should have known that `race' was part of the reason he arrived at Professor Gates doorway that day.


    I think it's more about class, less about race. (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Mitch Guthman on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:35:53 PM EST
    I wish the whole clown show would just go away. Still, it strikes me as more about class than race. You've got one basically working class white guy who drives around in his police car, eating junk food, living paycheck-to-paycheck, spends his days and nights hanging out with the dregs of humanity.   And you've got a black guy who is a millionaire, lives in a fancy house, teaches at Harvard and travels the world hanging out with other rich, powerful and famous people.  The white guy has a hair trigger temper and shockingly little common sense.  The black guy is a jerk with a hair trigger temper, absolutely no class and the immense sense of privilege that comes with teaching at Harvard.  

    The end result: The jerk with the badge foolishly arrested the jerk with the Harvard faculty card.  Who cares?  

    Having said that, I think Obama should have ducked the question (like he did with actual substantive questions about important issue like governmental transparency and civil rights).  The preening Gates would have been a two-day story, at most.  Now, he's stepped all over the health care debate.

    I agree KeysDan that it's just like "Joe the Plumber" who was created as much by Obama as by the media.  Sure, he's a good foil for Obama---just as "Policeman Jim" is sure to be but really Obama doesn't need a new foil.  He needs to focus the nation's attention on policy issues like health care.  And he needs to start delivering on his promises---and not fueling the clown show. 2010 is right around the corner and the people will be judging Obama and the Democrats on their accomplishments.

    Who cares? (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:03:25 PM EST
    Anybody who cares about basic human rights...thats who.

    It is clear to me we've all seen too many cop shows and movies and have become grossly desensitized to the violent act of one human being placing chains on another.

    Clear your mind and think about it...cold steel on your wrists, hands bound, freedom of movement denied, a prisoner on the way to a cage.  Clear your mind and think about it.


    hard to separate the two in this case. (none / 0) (#145)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:40:33 PM EST
    AN HONEST LOOK (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by American Cop on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:20:08 PM EST
    It is an unfortunate situation whenever a law enforcement officer (LEO) has to force an arrest on a vocal individual just to prove a point. After reading the report, there is no doubt in my mind that this was an 'attitude arrest'. This is how law enforcement officers (LEOs) refer to arrests made because the accused was being disrespectful to them. But LEOs in America (especially Sgt Crowley) need to grow thick skin if they want to be a LEO in America. The public has no constitutional duty or legal obligation to respect the government even those that wear a uniform (which the police are a part of). The police in turn do have an obligation to be impartial and fair in their contact with the public. The nonsensical explanation of 'tumultuous' behavior is hardly an excuse for arresting someone. There is no evidence (witness affidavits) that explain how their sense of public decency was violated or disturbed by Mr. Gates conduct or vocal volume. The complainant was at the scene at the request of the police and so was the campus police. In his report Sgt Crowley did not provide the name of any individual who came out of their residence after being disturbed by Mr. Gates behavior. The allegation that people passed by and looked in the direction of Mr. Gates' house is more than likely the result of curiosity due to several police cars congregated in front of his house. Sgt Crowley obviously failed to make or articulate a case of disorderly conduct, not to mention that Mr. Gates was in the porch of his house where he can exercise his constitutional right to be a jerk. From the onset of the police presence we can tell there was no serious belief in Sgt Crowley's mind that a burglary occurred. Had Crowley (a Sgt with some years of experience) honestly believed that a burglary was in progress he would not have approached the front door without having back up. That is basic LEO officer safety. He even stated in his report that he believed the person inside was the homeowner. Clearly another officer safety issue was when he stepped inside without back up even though Mr. Gates was allegedly belligerent by this time. After believing that the person inside may more than likely be the homeowner, what he (Sgt Crowley) should have done was have the dispatcher do a reverse directory look up and telephone the person inside the house and ask him to step outside and meet with the officer. More proof that Crowley continued to aggravate the situation is the fact that after his fear of a break-in was dispelled he decided to hold Mr. Gates identification while he summoned the campus police. The need for having to contact the campus police was never explained or justified by Crowley in his report. Crowley should have beat feet after his fear was dispelled, plain and simple. His actions from that point on served no legitimate law enforcement or investigatory purpose. The only purpose it served was to aggravate an already volatile situation. This unprofessional conduct and the fact that Crowley knowingly disregarded his officer safety twice just to confront Mr. Gates, raises the valid issue as to whether or not Mr. Gates' race may have played a part in Crowley's handling of the situation.

    You guys don't get it (1.00 / 1) (#11)
    by SomewhatChunky on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:27:10 AM EST
    Who cares about Crowley?  He's a local cop.  I could care less what he does.  The only reason this is getting huge coverage is because of Obama's remarks.

    Obama made a huge mistake sticking his nose into this.  He has nothing to gain and a lot to lose.

    The comments are about 50/50 on this very liberal blog.

    It doesn't matter what you or I think.  I just glanced through the hundreds of comments  on the Boston Globe and the New York Times (neither is exactly Fox News) and most people think Gates was a jerk (he was) and therefore deserved what he got.  I understand the arguments made here that the arrest was wrong and agree with them.   But this is not a court room.  In the court of public opinion, you rant and rave at a cop and verbally abuse him, you might get arrested.  Most people are fine with that.

    Obama says he doesn't know the facts, sides with his friend, ties the arrest into racist behavior while carefully saying that those comments don't apply to this case (yeah, right) and to many appears to be coming off as an anti-cop "black" president.

    Can someone explain to me the political upside here?

    Don't get it? (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:28:18 AM EST
    Did you read my posts on the matter?

    I hate stupidity.


    I did read your posts (none / 0) (#21)
    by SomewhatChunky on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:44:09 AM EST
    Well.. maybe not all of them.  That's quite a task......

    You said that you that Obama shouldn't have tackled the Gates issue in his health care press conference but "that does not mean he was wrong in characterizing the behavior of Officer Crowley and the Cambridge Police Department as stupid."

    Disagree with you on that one.  Calling a police department "stupid" in a televised press conference or any other time is beneath the office of the President.  "Stupid" is a strong word and anyone calling anybody stupid in a public way will evoke strong negative emotions.   We all know that.  Many little kids are tough never to use the word.

    Obama versus the cops on this case is not one he's going to win.  There is no political upside here and lots of downside.


    Ah (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:48:22 AM EST
    Well, I do not agree.

    There is huge upside here (none / 0) (#41)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:21:00 PM EST
    Race is a trump card in the media.

    "Most people are fine with that"... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:38:47 AM EST
    you're probably right...I feel like crying for my species right now, people suck.

    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:41:00 AM EST
    kdog (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:55:49 AM EST
    The authoritarian streak around here is quite depressing.  

    To be horrified by FISA and yet blithely accept a cop arresting someone in their own home for "Contempt of Cop" is very disappointing.  I expect that most people will support a cop arresting someone for having a bad attitude.  But, here on a blog of the Left on legal issues, to see the same opinion is astonishing.  At first, I thought it might be some proxy for re-fighting the primary.  But, no, there are too many here who will accept a loss of liberty for the perceived protection they get from the cops....

    And, there is a lot of resentment against a black elitist professor who cries racism....Lots of anger there....


    Talk to me (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:10:07 PM EST
    when you've been falsely accused of racism at work, had to go through an investigation, and then finally be cleared.  Talk to me when you know the anguish and stress false claims of racism on you personally and professionally. Talk about horrifying - knowing you did nothing wrong, yet your professional future may still be in doubt - all because of one person who throws out false allegations.

    Until then - don't judge because not everyone hates cops and all they stand for like you and few others on here.


    This explains a lot (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:17:37 PM EST
    I am sorry you went through that.

    Politics is personal isn't it? You and Gates share that trait. Hell, so do I.

    I mean this comment with all respect. We did not walk in your shoes. But you have not walked in ours either.


    talk to me when you are sent to jail (5.00 / 0) (#84)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:56:25 PM EST
    strip searched, etc. for such a thing as this. Seriously, there is no defense.

    Poor Baby (2.00 / 4) (#35)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:15:37 PM EST
    Well at least we now know why your take on this is less than intelligent. You obviously have an ax to grind.

    Uncalled for (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:18:28 PM EST
    Obviously that would be traumatic. I understand better JB's attitude now. I do not agree with it but it is not right to belittle it.

    OK (1.00 / 1) (#138)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:34:59 PM EST
    You are a better person than I, which of course comes as no surprise to me. Personally, I see no reason not to feign sympathy for jbindc. Considering his or her comments I do not see that commenter as an honest broker, despite having had a traumatic experience.

    Sounds a bit like Crowley to me, imo.


    Think about it (none / 0) (#144)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:39:47 PM EST
    The dirty word - EMPATHIZE and consider what that experience would mean to you.

    I wish JB would consider that when discussing Gates.

    As for Crowley, I was prepared to leave it at stupid acts, and not judge the man but what I have seen since makes me think there is something else going on.


    Yes (1.00 / 0) (#161)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:54:40 PM EST
    Not my strongest point, sometimes. I have learned a lot about empathy from TL, you and TChris et al.

    I just have my limits, which is why I admire people more evolved than I am.

    Also, I guess the story doesn't seem complete to me, especially when delivered as a poor me, pissing contest, type of comment.

    I do respond better when there is a bit of humility and humor (self effacement) involved. But I do appreciate your point of view, and will continue to digest and ponder it and the word EMPATHY, in the next days.


    GIve it up. (none / 0) (#151)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:46:21 PM EST
    Once again (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:21:58 PM EST
    you show your ignorance and meanness. Not surprising.

    you should not project your situation (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:58:54 PM EST
    to this one. I assume you were not in a position that allowed you to legally draw a firearm on a person and send them to jsil.

    That is a HUGE responsibility and it was abused here...for whatever reason. Even if there was no racism involved it is horrendous.


    And those (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:27:43 PM EST
    who had a bad experience with a cop should not project their feelings towards either this particular cop or all cops in general, right?

    I have never had a bad experience with a cop (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:30:36 PM EST
    they have always given me almost reverential respect and acted like they were public servants.

    That is why this behavior  is so "out there" to me. He abused his power. Every citizen deserves the respect I have enjoyed from the police.


    Are you sure that was a real cop, not a (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by tigercourse on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:34:14 PM EST
    stripper dressed as one?

    If they were strippers, they sucked at it (none / 0) (#143)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:38:42 PM EST
    1/2 the time they let me off with a warning.

    This kids of respect for their own power and position (and public funding) is probably the norm. But the ones who abouse that power should be flushed out and fired...zero tolerance.


    I agree MKS... (5.00 / 0) (#109)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:13:58 PM EST
    I think part of it too is the mistaken impression that it won't/can't happen to them.

    It's one of things you really can't appreciate or understand until the chains are slapped on you.


    Well (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:06:11 PM EST
    The crowd that you are talking about is relatively new. They did not get involved with the blog because it is  a blog of the Left on legal issues but because TL was for a time a refuge for Hillary fans.

    Most of them seemed pretty conservative on issues that have been discussed over the years here at TL. Most of them left, but some have remained.


    Honestly (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:20:56 PM EST
    I am surprised by some of the views expressed but I doubt these folks are more conservative than I am on say, Afghanistan, preventive detention or free trade.

    It surprises me because I thought it was fairly common sensical - the guy got arrested in his residence because he yelled at a cop (ACCORDING TO THE COP!!!) and people think that is reasonable.

    It baffles me.


    I think (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:24:46 PM EST
    it's not the arrest, but the instant cries of racism on Mr. Gates' part without ever knowing the cop's intentions or what was in his mind.

    And what I find astounding is how many people here on this blog who instantly believe it MUST be racism because as we all know, any time a white cop arrests a black man it MUST be a racist act.  It couldn't have just been a mistake or two egos clashing.  Nope - he's a cop, so he must be dirty.


    It is the arrest (5.00 / 4) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:40:00 PM EST
    imo. That was the abuse of power.

    I certainly understand no one likes to be called anything but not liking it does not mean you get to abuse your power.

    Crowley chose to do that.


    encounter way too far. I'm not willing, though, to pass judgment on the character of either man. When you describe the event in the simplistic terms you do, you don't do service to either side.

    Officer responded to report of "two men wearing backpacks attempting forceable entry to home". He arrived to find one older, slight statured man. So, where are the two men? Hiding inside the home, putting this older man in jeopardy?

    He handled the call properly, all the way up to the point where he, and several other officers decided to take him in. Juan Williams made some very logical comments on GMA this morning.


    Especially (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:26:46 PM EST
    as nobody - not Gates, not Obama, and certainly not anyone on this blog - can know what was in Crowley's mind and for anyone to definitively say this was because he's a racist cop is completely ignorant and ludicrous.

    One does not have to (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Bemused on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:34:12 PM EST
     impugn the character of Crowley or defend the behavior of Gates to conclude that the ACTION of Crowly in arresting Gates was wrong, abusive, stupid ....

       Perhaps it was an aberrant act by an otherwise fine fellow but, he did what he did.


    I, for one... (none / 0) (#152)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:46:35 PM EST
    have never accused this cop of racism...only of tyranny and abuse of power.

    It appears Gates called the cop a racist in so many words, but that ain't a crime either.


    Crowley was not the ONLY police officer (none / 0) (#178)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:05:36 PM EST
    there, so why aren't the others being named and berated?

    It was only days ago my son had 8 LAPD officers enter his home early in the morning, and roust him out of bed hollaring "LAPD, come out with your hands up!" from the other side of his door. He wasted no time, all 8 had their guns pointing at him, and they cuffed him instantly. He was released from the cuffs within minutes, but they needed to be sure that the 6'6" large young man was not a danger to them, or hiding the set of twins on parole they were actually looking for.

    I'm guessing his decision not to hassel those cops, accuse them of profiling, and demand their names and badge numbers was to his advantage in keeping the situation short. The officers apologized to him, visited for a short while to make sure they hadn't completely traumatized him, and left. There are good cops, too.


    Those are good cops? (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:15:50 PM EST
    Breaking down an innocent mans door, rousting him from bed at gunpoint, chaining him..these are good cops?  I'd hate to meet bad ones....

    Your son did the right thing in a self-preservation survival sense...but he was tyrannized, one of far too many in this nation.  Our cowering in the face of authoritarian law only enables it too continue...and I'm as guilty of it as the next guy, I'm a self-preservating cowerer...an enabler.  Because I'm afraid and I know I can't win.


    If you start from the premise (none / 0) (#146)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:41:32 PM EST
    that the arrest is wrong, you'll have to conclude that either the cop would abuse his power and arrest anyone who would mouth off to him, white or black (a distinct possibility); or, he was particulary irked by Gates because of "who he was."  In either case, the cop doesn't come off very well.

    Gates thought "who he was" insulated him (BTD makes a very good point there and I amend my comments accordingly.)  Perhaps "who he was" is what sent the cop over the edge.  Was it that he was black?  An elitist?  A liberal Professor? From Harvard?  Or, all of the above?

    And, some have commented on Gates' hair trigger attitude.  But there does also appear to be a hair trigger of crying "reverse racism," of being unwilling to acknowledge that racism still exists today.  


    I think human behavior (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by Bemused on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:08:06 PM EST
     ia a bit more complex than your either/or choice posits.  I don't think we have to conclude Crowley would arrest anyone who mouths off to him or that he arrested Gates only because of "who he was."

       The guy might have been having a bad day. Maybe he had a spat with his wife. Maybe he had some problem with superiors or coworkers. Maybe he had handled a stressful call earlier in the day.

       Maybe he felt he was being "shown up" in front of colleagues. Maybe he decided "a good offense is the best defense" and anticipating trouble from Gates he thought arresting him would undermine Gates credibility.

       It could be any, some combination,  or all of these things, plus possibly others.


    Are you fine with that? (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:04:29 PM EST
    I agree with BTD 100% on this--including his view of both the correctness and inappropriateness of Obama's comments.

    But, beyond politics--and this is a blog of the left on legal issues and crime--do you think the cop was right to arrest Gates?  If we worry about a fascist society when it comes to FISA, it seems to me we should be very concerned about cops who have free reign to arrest people who say things they don't like.  

    It is about liberty.  And cops can be a great danger to liberty.  More so than some criminals.  Cops have the immense power of the state behind them.  We have the Bill of Rights to protect against abuse by the cops.  Too many here seem to forget that.


    God forbid (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:52:58 PM EST
    anyone in power admit racism exists.

    Joe The "Plumber", meet Jim The Cop! (none / 0) (#8)
    by AX10 on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:19:37 AM EST
    Race or not, Officer Crowley's actions were improper.  I sent a note of support to Obama regarding this matter.  It is about time that the President of all people came out in support of the civilian in some capacity.

    Abuse of power must always be dealt with seriously.

    The lawyer wishy washy (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:22:15 AM EST
    on whether Crowley's arrest was correct.

    that's not great for Crowley.

    IANAL (none / 0) (#18)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:40:28 AM EST
    But it seems to me that the initial statement by the Cambridge police, and the fact that all charges were dropped, makes Crowley's defamation case rather weak, if not frivolous.

    Beyond frivolous (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:41:33 AM EST
    Turley's knowledge of the law here is well, meager.

    the only good outcome (none / 0) (#26)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 11:56:01 AM EST
    is that we may get an opinion of the events in question from a jury of their peers who do hear and know all the facts.

    if will be interesting to see how it goes.  IMO.

    In a defmation suit? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:15:21 PM EST
    There will be no trial. The case would be lost on the pleadings imo.

    But I doubt he will sue.


    i'm well aware that cops (none / 0) (#36)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:15:50 PM EST
    sometimes have control issues, and I would separate the issues.

    If gates could take back his words bringing race into this issue, i could support any effort to punish any wrongdoing committed by crowely, if such wrongdoing did occur.

    but because race was brought into this, i feel some sympathy for Crowely, and I do not think this situation is hilarious at all.

    and as i pointed out yesterday if someone here was called a racist by another blogger without providing any evidence, it would be considered a very serious breach of conduct.

    The same mistake (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:23:52 PM EST
    race is ALWAYS with us. Always.

    To pretend otherwise is to be as blind (or dishonest) as John Roberts.


    Of course it is (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:28:56 PM EST
    but if i called you a racist and you censured me and then all i said was "race is always with us. to pretend otherwise is blind."

    that's hardly a valid response or defense of me accusing you of something.

    it's ok, right and moral to be sensitive of the issue, but there's a difference between that and then accusing individual people of being racist, and while i don't like hotheaded cops, i also don't like that there seems to be an ability to toss about accusations of racism without any consequence when it is proven that the person in question has no history of being such a thing ever.

    but you are right.  race is always with us.  all the more reason to treat accusations seriously.


    Not my point (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:36:20 PM EST
    You wrote what you wrote. I say it was there long before. Before these 2 men even met.

    Time to face up to that.

    Crowley says he teaches on racial profiling. Given his reaction and lack of understanding, it must be an awful course.


    and i doubt i'd learn about race (none / 0) (#65)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:43:11 PM EST
    from a professor who calls individual people racist without first figuring out if there's any evidence to support that claim.

    That's your choice (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:49:25 PM EST
    You ignore history. No reason for us to have any more discussion about it.

    Obviously the WHY Gates may have behaved as alleged does not interest you.

    Very John Robertsish of you.


    that's the problem (5.00 / 0) (#99)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:06:40 PM EST
    i don't believe history is relevant when it comes to an individual accusation of racism.

    it's one thing to talk about the historeical and systemic racism that clearly infects our society today but i do not get to call you a racist simply because you exist in that system and are a byproduct of that history..


    Absolutely the problem (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:08:51 PM EST
    White men stand on second and think they hit a double.

    You nailed the problem.


    e'en so (none / 0) (#153)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:47:00 PM EST
    that doesn't make one of them racist.  so i don't get to call someone a racist only because they are beneficiaries of a racist system.

    and as i made clear i agree with you 100% on the systemic issues.


    Is there any evidence Prof. Gates (none / 0) (#147)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:43:05 PM EST
    has been mistreated by law enforcement in the past?  If he hasn't, does he get a pass for speaking on behalf of minorities in general by calling the sgt. racist?  

    (Of course what Prof. Gates sd. to the sgt. does not justify the arrest.)


    why do you assume (none / 0) (#93)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    he has no evidence? He was there, you were not.

    i assume that (none / 0) (#149)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:43:45 PM EST
    because no one has presented any as of yet.

    but i also want to make clear, i don't believe context and history ALONE, is sufficient evidence.


    come on... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Dadler on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:27:46 PM EST
    ...the notion that had the neighbor/witness/whomever seen two neatly dressed white men of Gates's age that this whole thing would've come to this is absurd.  That this officer cannot even play devil's advocate with his own mind (the hallmark of a good critical thinker) is plenty of proof that he has, like many of us, ingrained paradigms and prejudices we act on, often without having a clue that we are.

    Not to mention the guy set up the arrest by asking Gates to step outide, so a disturbance could be created in public that gave the officer an "excuse" to arrest Gates.  That's pitiful, tyrannical, hypocritical in retrospect with all his bellyaching now.

    Again, do you honestly think a white guy in his 60's wearing a nice polo shirt gets this treatment?  If the call is even made in the first place, the cop splits the second ID is shown.  But a black man giving some attitude, we better put that in its place spit-spot.


    Honestly (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:34:53 PM EST
    even if we assume the passerby was flat-out racist (which I don't agree with) that has very little to do with the salient point, which is the interaction between Gates and Crowley and the subsequent arrest.

    For the record, here's what Prof. Gates had to say about this "racist" passerby:

    O'BRIEN: A neighbor called 911. I mean, it was a neighbor of yours who said that description, two black men breaking into your house. Are you angry with your neighbor?

    GATES: No. In fact I hope right now that if someone is breaking into my house this nice lady is calling the police. I have a lot of valuable art and books in that house. And in fact, I think I'm going to send this person some flowers. I hope she is watching. I know that she must be intimidated and she must think that I'm very angry.

    It wasn't her fault. It was the fault of the policeman who couldn't understand a black man standing up for his rights right in his space. And that's what I did. And I would do the same thing exactly again.

    So let's maybe cut this woman a little slack.


    Good for Gates (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:48:06 PM EST
    And nice framing of the issue - which is Crowley's behavior towards Gates.

    The Cambridge police (none / 0) (#148)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:43:37 PM EST
    are contemplating releasing the 911 tape and the radio transmission, which was heard by all the officers on the scene and elsewhere, so we will see (or rather, hear) hopefully what really went down.

    I read the report (none / 0) (#185)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:07:41 PM EST
    I doubt it will make me think any differently about the arrest.

    Why on earth would you go (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Anne on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:23:38 PM EST
    on national TV and tell the world that you have valuable art and books in your house?

    And when the people doing the TV interview don't know that this was not a neighbor who called the cops, but a passerby, and Gates himself doesn't correct the misinformation, it makes me wonder just how interested anyone is in knowing the truth.

    We're all looking at this through lenses of our own experiences, whether those experiences are personal or professional, and while it certainly has been interesting and enlightening to see how and what people think, and debate with the help of our crystal balls (not those kind, the fortune teller kind!) and powers of telepathy, it really doesn't matter.  If anything, it just gives the talking heads more opportunity to showcase the limits of their intelligence, which means I will be staying away from TV.



    Hmm (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:34:20 PM EST
    You actually complaining because Gates defended the 911 caller? Really?

    Uh, no - does failing to praise Gates (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by Anne on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:01:11 PM EST
    for saying the woman did the right thing in calling the cops count as complaining that he defended her?  

    I was:

    (1) remarking on the stupidity of telling a national audience that you have items - art and books - of great value in your home,


    (2) remarking on the stupidity of the media which can't be bothered to learn the basic facts - that it was a passerby and not a neighbor who called the cops,


    (3) wondering why Gates didn't correct the reporter.

    Oh, and bemoaning the fact that The Professor and The Policeman (alternate title: Ivy League v. Bush League), will be the endless topic on the TV, with more stupid from the media.  As if we don't have more than enough of it already.


    Meh (none / 0) (#181)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:06:59 PM EST
    That is rather silly imo. Advertising that a Harvard Professor has nice stuff is pretty obvious I think.

    BTD, I would love your take on (none / 0) (#201)
    by Anne on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:19:11 PM EST
    an article posted on Salon today: Skip Gates, please sit down

    First, the Editor's Note:

    Editor's note: This column originally appeared on the Web site "This Week in Blackness," which is maintained by Brooklyn, N.Y., comedian Elon James White. The person who submitted it to "This Week in Blackness" published it under the pseudonym "a Phantom Negro" because "Dr. Henry Louis Gates has reach and influence in the academy."

    And from the article itself:

    Which brings me to Skip Gates. He isn't outraged because he feels he was the victim of racial profiling by the police (that dubious honor goes to his foolish neighbor) [in fact, the woman who called the police is not a neighbor, but works nearby]. He's outraged because he was the victim of class profiling. He didn't resent being identified as black; he resented being identified as that kind of black, the kind of black that can be hassled and pushed around by simpleton cops. How dare you hassle me? I'm Skip Gates: Harvard professor!

    Skip has fallen victim to the Ivy League Effect. Check out his articles -- you can definitely go to the Root -- the Web site he is editor in chief of -- if you want to see a repository for the whole masturbatory display. He all but says, "Do I look like that type of (black) person? I was wearing a blazer and a polo shirt!" Gates is Ivy League pissed with a dash of black anger. Not the other way around. Is this to say the police weren't in the wrong? Hardly. As a person who is familiar with the Cambridge/Boston P.D., I can say that the prospect of some procedural malfeasance on their part is entirely believable, if not an abject certainty.

    Class v. race?  


    Well Yeah (none / 0) (#210)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:28:00 PM EST
    Ta-Nehisi Coates makes the same argument. Even though Gates did go to the police station when he moved into his mostly white upscale Cambridge neighborhood, in order to alert the police that his black face lived there now, and alerted them to the fact that he should not be mistaken for a criminal, he more than likely could not imagine that he would get the same treatment poorer people of color get on a daily basis from the police.

    It is good that he saw up front and close that he is not immune. Evidentially it is inspiring him to do some work in this area in his academic field, having been recently enlightened.


    Absurd (none / 0) (#184)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:07:36 PM EST
    Does anyone think that Gates would not have valuable objects in his home?

    Gates is a public figure. He drives a mercedes and lives in an upscale neighborhood. One must assume that he has a teevee and a computer. Much more attractive to a burglar than art or valuable books.

    Not sure if you followed the case where a Henry Moore sculpture was stolen. Years later the case was broken, it turned out that the thieves sold the piece for scrap metal and made $2000.


    I find it rather unusual he is advertising (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:44:37 PM EST
    the valuables in his residence.  

    His pride is hurt (none / 0) (#176)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:04:18 PM EST
    and he may be trying to show the class he is in. Or he just isn't thinking.

    Seriously (none / 0) (#173)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:02:47 PM EST
    I don't understand how Gates thinks the police should have handled the situation given that he thinks calling them was valid.

    If you operate from the premise that they are investigating a possible burglary, what are they supposed to do when they get to the house?

    It's not like they game through with a battering ram and knocked him to the floor.  He went to the door and asked for ID.  What should have happened, according to Gates?  Very unclear to me.


    Um (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:05:56 PM EST
    by not arresting him maybe?

    Before that (5.00 / 0) (#195)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:14:54 PM EST
    Gates did not call him racist because he was arrested.  Nor did he refuse to immediately provide ID because he was arrested.  That happened first.

    I'm not going to get into whether the arrest was warranted (it was not, although further information may shed light on that.)  

    what I don't get is that Gates sees nothing wrong in someone reporting a possible break-in but does see something wrong in the police following up on that report.  

    If it was reasonable, why didn't he just cooperate from the get go?


    they are supposed to find out if it is a burglary (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:07:17 PM EST
    and act accordingly. There are many possibilities for misunderstanding, and it is their job to attempt to figure out the truth.

    They knew he lived there, yet arrested him.



    However (none / 0) (#197)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:16:55 PM EST
    See my comment to BTD above.  If you are (as Gates is) operating under the assumption the original tip is legitimate and ok, then why would Gates fail to take small steps to cooperate with the resulting follow-up.  How does he think the police should have behaved prior to the arrest?  He clearly though the officer was out of line from almost the moment he arrived.

    i do know (none / 0) (#54)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:30:44 PM EST
    a white guy in a polo shirt would not have been inclined to call crowely a racist.

    it's not just that he yelled at the cop, it's what he yelled and how imflammatory i believe that is.


    You do not know (none / 0) (#63)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:41:18 PM EST
    the age of Gates's driver, who is the one clearly who was trying to shoulder open the door.  You do not know what he was wearing.  You do not know what Gates was wearing over his neat polo shirt.  You do not know how that scene looked at all.

    Two men seen from behind as they try to force open the door of a house, white, black or purple... man, I sure hope somebody would call the police.


    Driver (none / 0) (#127)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:30:11 PM EST
    Was wearing a suit. Larger, and younger man than Gates.

    Gyrfalcon, yesterday you made a (none / 0) (#128)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:30:15 PM EST
    comment which included the following:
    White House reporters have been saying today the White House had told them ahead of time they expected a question or two on Gates.

    Do you recall where you saw that info, maybe a link? I suspect the info is accurate. But, I've been hacking around, unsuccessfully, trying to find something on it.


    what was up with the neighbor, anyhow? (none / 0) (#95)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:05:39 PM EST
    Doesn't he know who lives in his neighborhood?

    You must have missed the many times (1.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:25:43 PM EST
    it has been published that it was not a neighbor. It was a passerby on her way to work at Harvard. But, yet, you confidently tell other people they are assuming things when they weren't there.

    why do you assume (none / 0) (#93)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:04:45 PM EST

    he has no evidence? He was there, you were not.

    [ Parent | Reply to This | 1 2 3 4 5  ]

    Every single person here is assuming the scenario that fits into what they've read and heard. You also were not there.

    Or, were you? If you were, we'd all be most interested in hearing what it was you saw, heard, and did.


    I'm surprised nobody caught it on (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:28:35 PM EST
    their cell phone . . .

    WTF is up with your snotty attitude? (3.66 / 3) (#120)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:26:52 PM EST
    Tipster walks past Gates's house on the (none / 0) (#114)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:22:18 PM EST
    way to and from work nearby.  Doesn't live in the neighborhood.

    thanks for this info (none / 0) (#121)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:27:42 PM EST
    I heard somewhere it was a neighbor.

    The other piece of misinformation is (none / 0) (#125)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:29:36 PM EST
    Gates was arrested in his house.  He was arrested outside his house.

    on his property? (none / 0) (#130)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:31:34 PM EST
    after or before he showed ID?

    In front of his house, on his property, (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:50:13 PM EST
    After Sgt. Crowley confirmed Gates was the resident of the house.

    what was up with the neighbor, anyhow? (none / 0) (#96)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:06:08 PM EST
    Doesn't he know who lives in his neighborhood?

    good cop/bad cop? (none / 0) (#49)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:26:58 PM EST
    let's see where this takes us, from cnn....

    "Ogletree said Gates might sue the department and would bring forward witnesses who say they've had similar experiences with Crowley.

    When asked for examples, Ogletree said only that they may come out in time depending on how the police department handles the situation moving forward.

    "I think you will be hearing much more complex and different perspective on him [Crowley] in the coming days and weeks," Ogletree said, alleging that Crowley "is well-known among people, particularly young people, for some of his police practices."

    This is what happens (none / 0) (#55)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:34:34 PM EST
    Crowley should have known this.

    Blackmail. You better put a lid (none / 0) (#115)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:23:30 PM EST
    on it, Sgt. Crowley.

    He asked for it (none / 0) (#133)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:33:17 PM EST
    did he not?

    now why does it have to be blackmail? (none / 0) (#140)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:36:06 PM EST
    just kidding.

    It is on now.  Both sides have hedged and the snippet says to me "anyone who has ever had a problem with Mr. Crowley, please contact our office immediately"

    And there is no way of telling who was at fault if and when people come forward.  

    I am glad Obama said what he said, dialogue is usually the first step toward change.

    I for one would like to see police officers who are unfit (not that Crowley falls into that group) or unprofessional moved from the "above reproach" category.  

    Any time you give a group of peoples the benefit of doubt without reproach, abuse will follow.  John Yoo might think otherwise and he got a gig with Cal Berkeley so I am probably wrong.....


    Call 1-800-we-tip. (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:51:46 PM EST
    Every law enforcement agency has a procedure (none / 0) (#166)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:57:45 PM EST
    for investigating citizen's complaints.  Some officers are terminated or resign when such investigations are concluded.  Well--except in Alaska.

    Are you suggesting (none / 0) (#187)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:08:45 PM EST
    that Alaska is the only state where the police have a union contract that provides for an unreviewable disciplinary process?  Honestly, you know better.

    he was making a humorous example (none / 0) (#191)
    by coigue on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:10:36 PM EST
    (remember the Palin kerfuffle with the cop?)

    The departments I have (none / 0) (#193)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:13:09 PM EST
    represented do not make termination subject to union veto.  The employee has the right to notice, hrg., appeal, and writ.  

    It's not a "union veto" (none / 0) (#202)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:19:29 PM EST
    but rather a disciplinary process that is negotiated and made part of the union contract.  In other words, cops have protections from being fired merely because a political appointee - like that guy Palin fired - decides they need to go.

    Mystifying, the number of people who thought the Director of Public Safety should have fired that trooper because he did a bad thing, even though it would have been a violation of the union contract and the trooper would have been immediately entitled to sue for reinstatement and possibly damages.


    really (none / 0) (#190)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:09:53 PM EST
    when did that start?  

    Seriously, you think for one minute benefit of the doubt ever, and I mean ever, drifts from blue?

    Benefit of doubt is not absolute power, but a fine substitute for all practicality.


    I think it is not a good idea to idealize or (5.00 / 3) (#194)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:14:07 PM EST
    trash all law enforcement.  

    nor do i (none / 0) (#204)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:20:45 PM EST
    but I am also aware that B.O.D. and a blue wall of silence is as detrimental (in fact worse) than the boy who cried wolf.  (sorry for the boy use there, no evil intended)

    When people are above reproach some will take advantage, and there is limited or no recourse. Policing the few amongst the ranks who cross lines would go a long way with relations.  Unfortunately the surface has not so much as been smudged....


    Ogletree is Gates' attorney, right? (none / 0) (#126)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:29:36 PM EST
    And, yet, the sentiments expressed by many are that Crowley is the creep.

    Shouldn't both parties involved shut up right now?


    A few days ago (none / 0) (#131)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:32:53 PM EST
    Who had the big press conference today? HINT - was not Gates.

    Crowley the Cop (none / 0) (#81)
    by bob h on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 12:54:48 PM EST
    will be the new working class Republican hero, now that Joe the Plumber is passe?  Frank the Firefighter didn't seem to catch on.

    I'd like to see Gates get his Harvard Law buddies to file a major wrongful arrest suit against the troglodytes in the Cambridge police dept.

    Oh, he'll file. (none / 0) (#102)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:08:11 PM EST
    When Crowley v. POTUS comes before the (none / 0) (#92)
    by steviez314 on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:02:56 PM EST
    Supreme Court, how do you think Sotomayor will rule?


    well, gates plans to (none / 0) (#97)
    by sancho on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:06:21 PM EST
    do his own documentary. . . so maybe the police officer should do his own documentary. seriously, what should have happened is that the situation work out so that neither party wanted to forward the story except as instance of the other person's goodwill. why that did not happen none of can truly know but if both of them (and maybe only one of them) handled it well, then the misunderstanding would have ended with gates and the cop shakng hands at gates' house (or harvard's house) and wishing each other well.

    at this point i cant blame either party for getting mad. both feel shamed and they have become media spectacles. of course gates traffics in that venue more than the cop does but the cop perhaps knew how to shame gates once he lost his self-control during the "break-in."


    Has anyone ever represented any (none / 0) (#106)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:09:49 PM EST
    law enforcement officer who didn't say:  how do I sue the guy/gal who is suing me?  But they don't do it.  

    9ll call from passerby, (none / 0) (#113)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:19:54 PM EST
    possible crime in progress. "False alarm" eventually established, but resident seems out-of-sorts and the police officer's response is sensed as inglorious.  The resident feels treated wrongly, the police officer feels he has done right.  So far, not pretty but manageable. Then, however, the situation goes completely off the rails with the egregious disproportion of arrest--apparently to be quickly recognized as such by saner heads at  police headquarters with the dropping of charges.  Racial overtones and profiling are weaved throughout the story, with, probably, less at the arrest stage than before-- being supplanted with a show of police authority.  A sad tale and one that can join the many stories of minorities. However,  President Obama wading in on this story even before all the facts were set forth, was ill-advised--it distracted from the purpose of that day, health care (after all, we have been told that causes such as DADT, DOMA, as worthy as they are, must wait years, so as not to impede domestic issue number one: health care). Moreover, we will now have just what we do not need in this cause: "Jim the Poor Policeman"; recall it was Candidate Obama who spawned "Joe the Plumber" through the attention given to him.

    Especially when the administration has (none / 0) (#165)
    by iceblinkjm on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 01:57:06 PM EST
    been such a study in failure and backing down on issues of importance to everyday working people.

    Copy of Police Report (none / 0) (#189)
    by JayHub on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:09:38 PM EST
    FYI, here's a link to a copy of the police report on the arrest:

    Oops, here's the link I mentioned (none / 0) (#192)
    by JayHub on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:11:55 PM EST
    Comments closed (none / 0) (#200)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:18:50 PM EST
    NEW Gates-gate post to fight in above.

    BTD: (none / 0) (#206)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:22:27 PM EST
    responding to my question on the other thread, about how prof. gates ended up out on his porch, you said the following:

    there is a picture of Gates walking out his front door handcuffed.

    do you (or anyone else) have a link for that pic? this makes this whole scenario that officer crowley portrays even fishier smelling; if prof. gates was on his front porch when arrested, why bring him back inside the house first, prior to taking him to the station for booking?

    i begin to suspect that part of the reason the case was dropped is because, upon reading officer crowley's official statement, the prosecutor didn't think it made sense either.

    officer crowley is taking stupid to a whole new level, possibly an art form.

    yes, prof. gates was apparently a jerk, this is not at issue. that said, nowhere in the criminal code is it an actionable offense to be simply a jerk.

    the police are supposedly the vigorously trained, licensed professionals, well equipped to handle what is probably a common occurance: an upset person. that officer crowley handled this incident so poorly reflects both on him and the police dept.

    There's a picture (none / 0) (#211)
    by rdandrea on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 02:45:20 PM EST

    Sure looks like he's on the front porch to me.

    There are a lot of white people here who seem (none / 0) (#212)
    by esmense on Fri Jul 24, 2009 at 03:48:46 PM EST
    absurdly assured that their skin color protects them from police abuse. That is a personally dangerous assumption to make. And, frankly, one that minimizes the problem of police abuse by conceptualizing it as a problem that is of concern for some but not for all.  

    I perfectly understand the outrage of being treated like a criminal in one's own home, because I've had such an experience. And just like Professor Gates, I reacted with anger and an outraged verbal tirade (even, I believe, uttering the word "gestapo"). I criticize him for his reaction not because I don't believe such a reaction is understandably human -- but because I know it can be dangerous. Whether you are a 95 pound middle class white woman or a 5'7" elderly and renowned black man.