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BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling

Stilly River Sage 21 Jul 09 - 11:58 AM
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Subject: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 11:58 AM

Amazing how the police can shoot themselves in the foot without even drawing their weapons.

I think he's entitled to be indignant, and once he has provided his ID, that should be the end of it. What in hell were they thinking of to charge him with anything once they knew he belonged in that house?

Henry Louis Gates is a wise, witty, lucid voice of Black history and scholarship. A prolific writer. He's been doing this long enough, he's entitled to think that people might know who he is.

SRS


Black scholar's arrest raises profiling questions

BOSTON — Supporters of a prominent Harvard University black scholar who was arrested at his own home by police responding to a report of a break-in say he is the victim of racial profiling.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. had forced his way through the front door of his home because it was jammed, his lawyer said Monday.

Cambridge police say they responded to the well-maintained two-story home near campus after a woman reported seeing "two black males with backpacks on the porch," with one "wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry."

The woman, Lucia Whalen, is the circulation and fundraising manager at Harvard Magazine, a news and alumni magazine affiliated with the school. The magazine's offices are down the street from Gates' home.

By the time police arrived, Gates was already inside. Police say he refused to come outside to speak with an officer, who told him he was investigating a report of a break-in.

"Why, because I'm a black man in America?" Gates said, according to a police report written by Sgt. James Crowley. The Cambridge police refused to comment on the arrest Monday.

Gates — the director of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research — initially refused to show the officer his identification, but then gave him a Harvard University ID card, according to police.

"Gates continued to yell at me, accusing me of racial bias and continued to tell me that I had not heard the last of him," the officer wrote.

Gates said he turned over his driver's license and Harvard ID — both with his photos — and repeatedly asked for the name and badge number of the officer, who refused. He said he then followed the officer as he left his house onto his front porch, where he was handcuffed in front of other officers, Gates said in a statement released by his attorney, fellow Harvard scholar Charles Ogletree, on a Web site Gates oversees, TheRoot.com

He was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after police said he "exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior." He was released later that day on his own recognizance. An arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 26.

Gates, 58, also refused to speak publicly Monday, referring calls to Ogletree.

"He was shocked to find himself being questioned and shocked that the conversation continued after he showed his identification," Ogletree said.

Ogletree declined to say whether he believed the incident was racially motivated, saying "I think the incident speaks for itself."

Some of Gates' African-American colleagues say the arrest is part of a pattern of racial profiling in Cambridge.

Allen Counter, who has taught neuroscience at Harvard for 25 years, said he was stopped on campus by two Harvard police officers in 2004 after being mistaken for a robbery suspect. They threatened to arrest him when he could not produce identification.

"We do not believe that this arrest would have happened if professor Gates was white," Counter said. "It really has been very unsettling for African-Americans throughout Harvard and throughout Cambridge that this happened."

The Rev. Al Sharpton said he will attend Gates' arraignment.

"This arrest is indicative of at best police abuse of power or at worst the highest example of racial profiling I have seen," Sharpton said. "I have heard of driving while black and even shopping while black but now even going to your own home while black is a new low in police community affairs."

Ogletree said Gates had returned from a trip to China on Thursday with a driver, when he found his front door jammed. He went through the back door into the home — which he leases from Harvard — shut off an alarm and worked with the driver to get the door open. The driver left, and Gates was on the phone with the property's management company when police first arrived.

Ogletree also disputed the claim that Gates, who was wearing slacks and a polo shirt and carrying a cane, was yelling at the officer.

"He has an infection that has impacted his breathing since he came back from China, so he's been in a very delicate physical state," Ogletree said.

Lawrence D. Bobo, the W.E.B Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard, said he met with Gates at the police station and described his colleague as feeling humiliated and "emotionally devastated."

"It's just deeply disappointing but also a pointed reminder that there are serious problems that we have to wrestle with," he said.

Bobo said he hoped Cambridge police would drop the charges and called on the department to use the incident to review training and screening procedures it has in place.

The Middlesex district attorney's office said it could not do so until after Gates' arraignment. Whalen, the woman who reported the apparent break-in, did not return a message Tuesday.

Gates joined the Harvard faculty in 1991 and holds one of 20 prestigious "university professors" positions at the school. He also was host of "African American Lives," a PBS show about the family histories of prominent U.S. blacks, and was named by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential Americans in 1997.

"I was obviously very concerned when I learned on Thursday about the incident," Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust said in a statement. "He and I spoke directly and I have asked him to keep me apprised."


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 12:05 PM

L.A. Times article.

I didn't put a link to that other A.P. story because it wasn't a stable URL.

The Boston Herald reports that "Police who arrested prominent Harvard University black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home after a reported break-in have recommended that the charge against him be dropped.

A person with knowledge of the case said Cambridge police are expected to announce their decision later Tuesday."

I hope I'm not the only one at Mudcat who a) knows who Gates is and b) finds in incredibly insulting and at the same time ironic that this would happen to him, of all people.

Links to these breaking stories are rarely stable, but a Google search on Henry Louis Gates will bring up the stories as they settle into archives.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: SINSULL
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 12:12 PM

I have read several accounts of the arrest and have to admit it looks like racial profiling to me. Had he been a white home owner, there would have been no confrontation and no arrest.

I hope Al Sharpton doesn't turn this into a Tawana Brawley circus.

A man who identified himself with an ID and a driver's license was angry at being treated like a criminal IN HIS OWN HOME. Had the police shown even the least common courtesy, this whole mess could have been avoided.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 12:22 PM

I'll bet they recommend dropping charges - Gates would be within his rights to slap them with a massive lawsuit. I remember Henry Louis Gates ("Skip" to his friends, "the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University" to the rest of us) from my graduate school days, though I never had the chance to take one of his classes. He is about the most non-threatening person you could imagine.

Now I don't doubt that he was angry - most of us would be. He was also tired, having just returned from China, only to find his door jammed, and to have the neighbors call the cops when managed to get his own front door open. But as SRS says, he showed his ID. Now matter how angry he seemed, that should have been the end of it. It's understandable that the police officer would want to see that much, but after that, Gates could have shouted at him six ways from Tuesday and the officer should have apologized and left. He was in his own home, and it was up the officer, not Gates, to deal with it and leave.

I suspect that the officer was inexperienced, and that Gates, being tired and already in a rotten mood, was less than diplomatic. But arresting the man? On his own front porch? For nothing more than being upset at being accused unfairly? Good grief!

Can you just imagine the call to his lawyer? "Chuck - you're not going to believe this...."

Dan


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 12:26 PM

Is he rich enough to sue the idiots?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: robomatic
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 12:30 PM

This should never have got this far. It sounds to me as if there is some blame to go around. Nosy neighbor calls in something without thinking it through, i.e. doesn't she know what her neighbors look like? If she doesn't then maybe SHE'S doing the profiling.

Boston cops are known as aggressive, take-charge sorts. I can speak to this from experience. And possibly not all of 'em but a goodly number, will escalate upon any sort of challenge, including no challenge whatsoever. It wasn't that long ago that they killed a young woman during street celebrations when the Boston Red Sox won their league (the young woman was an onlooker and for reasons unknown an officer tried out a non-lethal weapon on HER FACE). The Boston cops have a strong union, are numerous and will bring attitude. I suspect that most of the locals like it, because this has gone on for generations.

Therefore, the homeowner, of whatever color, COULD have simply brought his ID to the door, and thanked them for their concern for his private property and personal safety.

There is no profit for anyone in this, so I expect it's gonna get dismissed and played down shortly, unless there's a dollar for REV Sharpton in the mix.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 12:42 PM

From the Boston Globe:

Charges to be dropped against Harvard professor
July 21, 2009 11:58

By Tracy Jan and Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff

The Middlesex District Attorney's office plans to drop criminal charges against Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who was accused of disorderly conduct on Thursday and arrested at his Cambridge home.

The City of Cambridge and the police department recommended today that prosecutors not pursue the criminal charge against Gates, one of the nation's foremost African-American scholars. His arrest sparked outrage and charges of racism.

"The City of Cambridge, the Cambridge Police Department, and Professor Gates acknowledge that the incident of July 16, 2009 was regrettable and unfortunate," the statement said. "This incident should not be viewed as one that demeans the character and reputation of Professor Gates or the character of the Cambridge Police Department. All parties agree that this is a just resolution to an unfortunate set of circumstances."

Prosecutors plan to enter a nolle prosequi, which will drop the charges, according to the statement.

The confrontation between Gates, 58, and a police sergeant occurred on Thursday when the professor returned home from a trip to China filming a PBS documentary. Gates set his luggage down and beckoned his driver for help because his front door refused to budge.

The scene -- two black men on the porch of a stately home on a tree-lined Cambridge street in the middle of the day -- prompted a passerby to call police to report a break-in.

A Cambridge police report described what followed as the police sergeant stood at Gates's door, demanded identification, and radioed for assistance from Harvard University police when Gates presented him with a Harvard ID. A visibly upset Gates responded to the officer's assertion that he was responding to a report of a break-in with, "Why, because I'm a black man in America?''

"Gates then turned to me and told me that I had no idea who I was 'messing' with and that I had not heard the last of it,'' the report said. "While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me.''

When the officer repeatedly told Gates he would speak with him outside, the normally mild-mannered professor shouted, "Ya, I'll speak with your mama outside,'' according to the report.
Gates was arrested after "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior'' toward the officer who questioned him, the report said. He was led away in handcuffs.


--

I actually don't blame the woman who called the police - particularly if she knew Gates had been out of the country. Two people - whatever their race - trying to open a front door with a crowbar at 9 O'Clock at night is genuinely suspicious. And despite the police reports, it may not be true that she call about "two black men." She may have called about "Two men" and then been asked for a physical description. Nevertheless, if I were her, I'd give Gates a couple days to get his sense of humor back, and then show up on his doorstep with a large cake - with a file inside it.

I do blame the officer. If it is true that he believed Gates to be lawful resident, he had no business sticking around at all, no matter how much he was being shouted at.

Dan


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 12:52 PM

MOST police officers get an attitude of not wanting their 'authority' questioned, even when they are over-using it.

Take one officer who demanded one too many actions, once he knew who Gates was....add one tired, grumpy guy who already had a 'chip on his shoulder', and you have one stupid incident.

75% blame to the officer, 15% to Gates for not staying cool once he knew he was in the right, and 10% to noisy neighbor.

EVERYONE should apologize....the police dept. first!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: SINSULL
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 01:06 PM

He got the ID. He knew Gates was within his rights. He still insisted he step outside to speak with him.
Sounds like a case of "Respect ma orthority!" courtesy of Cartman.

I can picture me at 9PM returning from China (did it once and was exhausted) on a ho wevening to find the $%^$##@*ing door stuck. Then up steps a cop demanding I prove that I belong in my own house. Yeah -I might be a bit cranky.
I would probably take a deep breath, give him the ID and get him out of my life with a "Thanks for doing your job" but that's me - a white woman in Maine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: SINSULL
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 01:06 PM

He got the ID. He knew Gates was within his rights. He still insisted he step outside to speak with him.
Sounds like a case of "Respect ma orthority!" courtesy of Cartman.

I can picture me at 9PM returning from China (did it once and was exhausted) on a ho wevening to find the $%^$##@*ing door stuck. Then up steps a cop demanding I prove that I belong in my own house. Yeah -I might be a bit cranky.
I would probably take a deep breath, give him the ID and get him out of my life with a "Thanks for doing your job" but that's me - a white woman in Maine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 01:08 PM

Well, I don't blame you SINS. Hell, you went through it TWICE!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 01:15 PM

I'm not sure where I got the 9:00 pm part. Apparently it happened last Thursday afternoon, in broad daylight.

I also find it interesting that this is only hitting the papers now, a week later - and that it is only after it hit the papers that the police have dropped the charges. I'm back to the lawsuit. And yes, Henry Louis Gates is plenty wealthy, and can afford to sue whoever he likes.

Dan


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 01:51 PM

The police are clearly pillocks, but it's a bit much to blame the lady who phoned them up. Presumably she didn't know her neighbour by sight, which is common enough.

If you see two men you don't recognise breaking into a neighbour's house, the right thing to do surely is to phone the cops. Wouldn't exactly be a neighbourly thing to do to shrug, and say "Well, for all I know it might be the man who lives there. Nothing to do with me."


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 02:01 PM

If it is true that he believed Gates to be lawful resident, he had no business sticking around at all (Dan Schatz)

Well, he didn't, if you read Gates's own account in the first post:

He said he then followed the officer as he left his house onto his front porch

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 02:24 PM

Gates seems to have become confrontational- a bad choice. The officer was within his rights asking the unknown to come outside.

As a member of my neighborhood watch, if I saw two men trying to force the door of a house, I would certainly call the police (and following police advice, I would never approach a stranger whom I suspected of possible felony).


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 03:12 PM

He wasn't an unknown, he was in his home with 2 pieces of photo ID that showed he belonged there. I'd be pretty pissed off by then also, if I had a cop in my face insisting on more than that. The officer was out of line. At what point did he decide that ID wasn't enough and he had to invite the homeowner outside? Sounds like he was being provocative.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Midchuck
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 03:22 PM

I'm totally missing the idea of why the neighbor did anything wrong in the least.

I've seen in many places, including this very forum, loud condemnations of neighbors who observed crime being committed and didn't call the police because they didn't want to get involved.

MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MINDS!

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 03:28 PM

from the CNN report ( noticed no-one bothered with this part:

"The police report offers a different account of the incident.

Gates refused to step outside to speak with the officer, the police report said, and when Crowley told Gates that he was investigating a possible break-in, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed, "Why, because I'm a black man in America?" the report said.

"While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me," he said, according to the report.

The report said Gates initially refused to show the officer identification, but eventually produced a Harvard identification card, prompting Crowley to radio for Harvard University Police.

Gates followed the officer outside and continued to accuse him of racial bias, the report said. After Crowley warned the professor twice that he was becoming disorderly, the officer wrote he arrested Gates for "loud and tumultuous behavior in a public space.""

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/07/21/massachusetts.harvard.professor.arrested/index.html



But hell, all cops are racist pigs and should be assumed guilty, right?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 04:16 PM

Peter,

What the neighbor did was fine. No problems with calling in a suspected break in. But when the party answers the door, provides photo ID and says "this is my house" that is where the police officer turns around, gets back in his car, and drives away.

How difficult is that to figure out?

The police didn't do that; he torqued things up and decided to show the black guy who was in charge. Oops. Wrong black guy to mess with, when you pick on a highly admired African American scholar. Which "signifies" everything (especially if you've read some of his most famous works).

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 04:17 PM

Nope, I work with too many RCs to ever think that. But the cops sure pooched it on this one.

Also, the officer should have given his badge number. He's tryin' to ID the guy, and the guy's tryin' to ID him. Sounds fair to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 04:17 PM

Nope, I work with too many RCs to ever think that. But the cops sure pooched it on this one.

Also, the officer should have given his badge number. He's tryin' to ID the guy, and the guy's tryin' to ID him. Sounds fair to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 04:18 PM

And it wasn't a "public space," it was his own front porch.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Sorcha
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 04:24 PM

Mrs. 'Law' checking in here....the cops were WRONG. Period. Mr says that 'being yelled at' comes with the territory. A cop IS going to get yelled at, and if he/she can't handle that, find another job.

Can't do squat with just words. Have to be 'actions'. Threating actions. Period.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 04:35 PM

"According to the initial police report Gates accused police officers at the scene of being racist and said repeatedly, "This is what happens to black men in America."

Police came to Gates's home to investigate a possible break-in about 12:40 p.m. on Thursday. The department's report said Gates was arrested "after exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior" at his home. Officers said they tried to calm Gates, who responded, "You don't know who you're messing with."

....

"After handing the officer both his Harvard and Massachusetts state identification, which included his address, Gates said he began to ask the officer this question, repeatedly. "I said 'Who are you? I want your name and badge number.' I got angry."

According to Gates's account, the officer refused to give it. The police report says, however, that the officer identified himself.

"I weigh 150 lbs and I'm 5' 7''. I'm going to give flack to a big white guy with a gun. I might wolf later, but I won't wolf then."

But Gates did keep asking for the officer's name and said he began to feel humiliated when his question was ignored. He then said: "This is what happens to black men in America."

The officer left and Gates followed him outside. There were about a half-dozen police officers standing in his front yard.

"I stepped out on the porch to ask them his name," Gates said. "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/21/AR2009072101771.html?hpid=topnews



Since, unlike so many here, I was not present to see what happened, I would try to find out if there were witnesses before making judgements on either party.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 04:42 PM

"Wolf"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 04:42 PM

Yes, Bruce, you are correct. But why would the cop not give his badge number?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 04:44 PM

"The police report says, however, that the officer identified himself."

Hi. I am a police officer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 04:44 PM

Who said he did not? Only one side heard from...

"According to Gates's account, the officer refused to give it. The police report says, however, that the officer identified himself. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 05:11 PM

Hmm. Was I modded?

As I said, on this thread a man gets arrested for "tumultuous behaviour".

Bobert's neighbour can't get arrested for shooting at his neighbours.

Funny place the USA.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Bill H //\\
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 05:41 PM

Like the old saw goes "...vas you there charlie?" I am sure there are a lot of shades of gray in this incident that could have come out at a judicial hearing. This will not happen since the charges have been dropped.

Think about this though:
1) The neighbor did the right thing---saw someone who "appeared" to be breaking into a home and she called the police.

2) The police arrived---everyone agrees on that.

3) They ask HL Gates to step outside and he refuses and shows ID.
    a) Now suppose that he had broken in and got some ID together or, worse, had committed murder and got hold of the ID. No way for the police to know that in advance.

4) The police demur and leave---all agree that at this point Gates went outside and was loud and verbally abusive. The police then, apparantely, started taking things personally and everything escalated into a confrontation and arrest.

On a personal note I do have to say that I usually don't agree with the police---especially suburban ones who think (as a general rule) they own the streets. I have found NYC police to --as a rule--to be professional and courteous. I speak from personal experience there. YET--just last week I was pulled over on Long Island for changing lanes without signalling---it was a pre-text to see if I had been drinking. In fact I was lost and was trying to find my way but the officer used to stop to subtly find out if I had been drinking (he thought I was weaving---actually I was looking for a road sign) and the stop was a legit one. He spoke with me and made conversation to satisfy himself that I was sober (I was) at which point he just gave me a warning about signalling and directions to my destination.

SO--would the same have occurred had I been of a different skin color? I don't know. I have seen police in that area of all shades and, frankly, do not believe---as a general rule--they profile.

As to Gates---an escalation of misunderstandings after a legit call from a neighbor. Plenty of blame to go around---but do not blame the good samaritan neighbor.


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 05:56 PM

BB and Bill, read the stories. Gates was within his rights all the way along. He isn't guilty of something just because he's indignant or angry about the way he is treated. And Henry Louis Gates is fully capable, in fact, uniquely positioned for understanding just how insulting this event was. That's part of the irony of it. But you may need to be familiar with Gates' broad and gifted scholarship to really get it.

NPR did a story this afternoon on All Things Considered. One of the professors who is a former cop summed it up as a "Contempt of Cop" case, where the cop escalated the event and arrested the person simply because the person found the cop contemptible. This is a way to get even.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: SINSULL
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 06:19 PM

If I saw someone forcing in a neighbor's door, I would call the police. The neighbor did the right thing. And no - I don't know many of my neighbors by sight or name. It happens when you work all day and sell on Ebay at night trying to make ends meet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 09:05 PM

The facts are all over the place as BB points out.

But this reminds me of when I was harassed by a (short) cop a while back. Gates is seeking special privileges. He thinks cops shouldn't be assholes because he's black.

White or black, educated or not, - a big show is not the wise path. You walk softly, investigate, then strike. (Turns out the cop picking on me was only pretending he had authority to write a smoking tickets, and he didn't even have authority to be driving that black and white to show off at his kid's school function.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 09:13 PM

heric, that's nuts. The facts are clear, they're not all over the place, though you and BB might like them to be. Gates is not expecting special treatment, he expects fair treatment, and he recognizes that his ID would have been enough if he'd been white. What about that is so complicated that you must say the facts are unclear?

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 09:21 PM

Did he show his legal driver's ID instead of his impressive Harvard ID? -two versions

Was his first response to will you step outside ""Why, because I'm a black man in America?" or was it after a lot of other nonsense from the cop first? - two versions

Did the cop refuse to identify himself? -two versions

I don't grovel before cops (which can make them mad enough - you'd be surprised), but neither would I start it up with them. If he's so intelligent, can STILL acknowledge taking the wrong tact while standing up for his rights.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 09:25 PM

(I'm *guessing* he was in the right - seems like a lot of cops there - i.e. He was in the right place, but he must have said the wrong thing.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 09:28 PM

or he said the right thing, but it must have been the wrong time lol


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 10:31 PM

A Harvard ID is a photo ID - and it's well recognized by Cambridge police. Since Dr. Gates's house is actually Harvard University property (it's leased from the university), it's a logical form of ID to show.

Even the officer admitted in his report that he believed that Gates was the legal resident. After that, it should have been all over.

Professor Gates was short of breath (he'd been ill), wearing a suit, and walking with a cane. (They took away his cane when they handcuffed him on his front porch.) How tumultuous could he have been?

In any case, the charges have been dropped, and as expected, Dr. Gates is thinking about a lawsuit. More than that, he's thinking about a documentary on racial profiling!

Dan


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 10:31 PM

I have high regard for the scholarship of this man. However, he would not have been arrested if he had not stepped outside onto his porch. The police can not come in without being invited and you are always safe from arrest until you step outside the house if you haven't done anything. Since he was yelling at them, I think anyone would have been arrested once they stepped outside.

If you want to yell at them, don't go out on the porch!
My two cents


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Bill H //\\
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 11:57 PM

GUEST hg---Exactly!!!   

Bottom line to the incident (and I was not there--obviously) ---two people with issues. Gates may be bright as all get out but is loaded with either arrogance or a sense of entitlement because of racial issues---the cop--I don't know about how bright he is but the arrogance/entitlement (for other reasons) describe him as well. Though, in his defense (the policeman) was answering a call and has to assume it is a legitimate call for assistance.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 12:10 AM

"I regret stepping out on that porch! To my amazement, all these police officers had shown up."

"I asked the officer there, 'Would you give me this man's name and badge number?'" Gates said. "Sgt. Crowley, tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'Thank you for accommodating my earlier request. You are under arrest.'

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/20136545/detail.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 10:34 AM

Gates may be "loaded with arrogance" or maybe mostly tired from his trip and disgusted at his treatment.   He did have photo ID.   Did the officer try to compare the ID with the angry man in front of him? Did he ask Gates to step into the light so he could do so? He should have--and that should have been an end to it.

Sounds to me Gates has none of the blame in this one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 10:54 AM

He said/She said. The end result is a very ugly event highlighting the discrimination that still exists in American society. This is not going away quickly. Nor should it.
This is not the first incident with police and a black Harvard professor. It is racial profiling. And at the very least this officer needs some "re-education". Cop or not, he does not have the right to arrest a man white or black who was legally in his own home even if he does raise his voice at a police officer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 11:48 AM

I could be way off base but I would guess that this is not a racial incident but a class clash. On the one hand you have a guy sitting in his own home, who is used to receiving respect and deference, while at the same time, as he says, he is a guy who has problems hailing a cab. On the other you have a probably young-ish, probably middle or working class guy, all dressed up in his repect uniform, now in charge of a minor incident, with his buddies coming to watch. When this latter guy is right in the middle of his act-like-a-cop performance it is exactly the wrong time for him to receive a verbal lashing from *anyone,* much less an older egghead professor.

Pick your battles sure, and Gates probably has a righteous claim, but you also pick the timing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: olddude
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 12:10 PM

I wish I knew if this police officer had any complaints against him before. I have to think right now with the facts that I heard is the police officer was out of line. I don't know if racial profiling had anything at all to do with it or not. I suspect, they investigated a possible break in. An ID was produced, some words were exchanged and both over reacted. Most officers I know would simply have said, very sorry to bother you, just doing my job, have a good evening once the ID was produced and even if the guy was upset would just wave and drive off. However that is small town cops, city can't say, never lived in one except college.

But for some officers I guess they want to prove that you can't get upset with them or something when you already shown there was no robbery going on here. I suspect that officer would have done it to anyone cause he wanted to show he could arrest you if you spoke out at him. I am not sure that race played a part. We all know too well that many times it does but I can't see it here unless there is something I am missing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: olddude
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 12:21 PM

I think that racial profiling is an aberration to society in any country. God knows we have had and still have our share here in the states of it. I am just concerned that when that issue is raised, it is raised by a just cause and not just simply raised out of anger. I will be interested to really see all the facts on this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 02:46 PM

Excerpts from today's Wash.Post;;;;sounds like they did pick on the wrong guy.../

"I studied the history of racism. I know every incident in the history of racism from slavery to Jim Crow segregation," Gates told The Washington Post on Tuesday in his first interview about the episode. "I haven't even come close to being arrested. I would have said it was impossible."

-----------------

"The charge against him was dropped Tuesday, but Gates said he plans to use the attention and turn his intellectual heft and stature to the issue of racial profiling. He now wants to create a documentary on the criminal justice system, informed by the experience of being arrested not as a famous academic but as an unrecognized black man."


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 02:49 PM

Yeah, without racial profiling they never would have caught Timothy McVeigh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 03:46 PM

I really think this issue has two sides. In dealing with police it is wise to show some deference to their position whether they are acting correctly or not. When I was falsely accused by an officer investigating a "hit and run" in our neighborhood, I answered his questions to the best of my ability. I did not invite him into my apartment, but I did step out into the hallway to answer his questions. When asked where I had been at a specific time and on a specific night two months prior, I had no idea. I told the police that I would check with family and friends to see if I could piece my whereabouts together.

When I called later to tell them I had no alibi, I was called to the police station where I was again questioned, was photographed, and was fingerprinted. I was then allowed to leave. End of story. I could have been resistant and accusatory throughout, but I suspect it would have only brought me more trouble.

It is not so important to convince police of their wrong behavior as it is to present that in court, if it comes to court.

The Police Officer obviously could benefit from some training on dealing with citizens who are upset. Refusing to give a badge number is provocative. Since Mr. Gates produced ID and was not carrying a bag of burglary tools or suspected theft items, he should have warrented more respect from the officers.

When disagreement arises between a black person and a white person it is mind reading to call it a racial incident on it's face. It might be, but I can picture the same confrontation occurring between two white people if one suggests the other is wrong and is acting based on unfair assumptions.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 04:09 PM

Evidently Dr. Gates' vast storehouse of knowledge does not include the following ten things everyone should know in dealing with the police:
ten things to do or not do to level the playing field with cops


He has a bully pulpit on the issue of racial profiling but upon reflection I think he lacks street smarts. I know many, many black men intimately because of the nature of my work. I can confidently say that most of them would not have done anything aggressive such as "demanding badge numbers" and some might even have known not to step outside one's home to avoid arrest. Dr. Gates would teach more individuals something useful by offering up these ten rules, in my opinion.

harpgirl


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 04:25 PM

Elzabeth Gates, a journalist at The Daily Beast, interviewed her father about this.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 04:34 PM

When I read they were going to "Martha's Vineyard" for a few days rest I became convinced this is more an issue of class than of race. But I hope his responses will enlighten the proletariat about their rights because it ain't gonna change the police.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 04:49 PM

I always wondered who Stephen Ambrose fashioned his protagonist after. Now I suspect it was Dr. Gates. His twenty seven page CV on the Harvard website is impressive. But he hardly represents most black men I know who have been victims of racial profiling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 05:02 PM

not Stephen Ambrose! can't rememeber his name damn


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 05:09 PM

Stephen L Carter The Emperor of Ocean Park


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 05:27 PM

Any police officer who fails to provide his number when requested, or who attempts to conceal it if he is wearing it, is out of line, and has a potentially serious attitude problem that urgently needs to be sorted out.

If it can't be sorted out so that it never happens again, dismissal is the only remaining option.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 05:44 PM

" In dealing with police it is wise to show some deference to their position whether they are acting correctly or not."
   Roger in Baltimore

Which reminds ME of the time I was with a group of young, black civil rights workers in Hattiesburg, Miss. in 1964. (voter registration drive) We were walking to a meeting about 8PM...dark outside... when a police car stopped and two officers decided to 'question' us.
One boy said to the group..."Keep walkin', we ain't done nothin'!"...but I had a feeling that was not a good idea. I said, "It's ok...we'll just answer their questions." (Note...I was the only white guy in the group, and had only been in town for 3-4 days, and had NO authority to tell the group to do or not do anything..)...but the cop said, "Yeah...you better talk to us...this heah's an in-ves-ti-gation. We had a lot of Nawthun agitators 'roun heah recently." (I think that's pretty close to an exact quote.)

Well, since we WERE going to a meeting, and were within two blocks of being there, there was not much 'in-ves-ti-gating' they could really do...all they wanted was to hassle us, and look for a reason to do more. After we explained where we were going, they sent us off with a grumpy 'warning' to "stay off the streets".

Now...what I left out was that when the police stopped, a tall, young white guy also got out of the police car, and just stood in the background while we were questioned. When I asked the guys later what he was doing there, they said."You mean you didn't GET that? He's a football player on the high school team! They don't want any more stories about police beating up 'agitators', so this kid tags along, and if there's a need, HE beats you up and the cops explain that 'this helpful citizen came to our aid when these 'trouble-makers' refused to cooperate with the police'."

Of course, that WAS the deep South in a different time...but the point is still there, as Roger points out. Some police are just hoping you'll give them some excuse to 'assert their authority', even if they know it will not come to much.

If Dr. Gates had been alone, and if the cops had not known the neighbor might still be watching, more 'might' have happened.

It all reminds me of the poem used as an epitaph...

"Here lies the body of Henry Gray,
Who died defending his right-of-way.
He was right- dead right- as he sped along,
But he's just as dead as if he'd been dead wrong."


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 06:12 PM

And on a related subject ... how not to get your ass kicked by the police.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Kent Davis
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 10:15 PM

I understand Dr. Gates's grievance, but I don't see where racial profiling comes in.

Isn't racial profiling identifying a person as a suspect on the basis of race? No one even alleges that happened in this case.

However wrong the police may have been, they identified Dr. Gates as a suspect based on the fact that the house had been broken into, and on the fact that he was inside the house. Had he been black, white, green, or purple, that made him a suspect.

Sounds like the policeman over-reacted to Dr. Gates's behavior. If so, it was unprofessional. But where is the racial profiling? Gates was not suspected of disorderly conduct because of his race but because, well, because his conduct was disorderly. (Still sounds like a police over-reaction, but "profiling" is not a word that means "over-reaction")

Do we not have enough real racial profiling without mischaracterizing as racial profiling an incident that, however wrong it may have been, was clearly not that?

Kent


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 10:51 PM

You can read about the incident in Dr. Gates' own words in his webzine The Root


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 11:11 PM

There is also some more detail coming out about the officer's point of view and HIS opinion about the exact sequence of events. He claims that Gates escalated the situation by refusing to answer certain questions and by making claims about 'racism' as soon as the officer asked him to do certain things.
The officer says that he (the Officer) will never apologize for anything he did or said.

(and all this time, the woman who made the call was standing on the sidewalk, pointing at the house and saying "they're in there!")

My, it does get complicated....and 75% everyone seems to have made up their minds about who was at fault in the matter....


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 11:33 PM

Kent, he wouldn't have been hassled at all probably if he was white. That's why it's profiling. They assumed because he was black he must be guilty. And they meted out a little of their "cop justice" when he had the effrontery to find them contemptible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:28 AM

and from the other side:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/07/23/officer_at_eye_of_storm_says_he_wont_apologize/?page=1


It becomes a whole lot harder to make blanket condemnations when you adtually listen to BOTH sides.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:31 AM

You can hear about the incident in Crowley's own words here


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:34 AM

police report


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: pdq
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:48 AM

Officer in Henry Gates flap tried to save Reggie Lewis

Denies he's a racist, won't apologize

                                                                     article here


By Laurel J. Sweet, Marie Szaniszlo, Laura Crimaldi, Jessica Van Sack & Joe Dwinell  |   Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Cambridge cop prominent Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. claims is a racist gave a dying Reggie Lewis mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in a desperate bid to save the Celtics superstar's life 16 years ago Monday.

"I wasn't working on Reggie Lewis the basketball star. I wasn't working on a black man. I was working on another human being," Sgt. James Crowley, in an exclusive interview with the Herald, said of the forward's fatal heart attack July 27, 1993, at age 27 during an off-season practice at Brandeis University, where Crowley was a campus police officer.

It's a date Crowley still can recite by rote - and he still recalls the pain he suffered when people back then questioned whether he had done enough to save the black athlete.

"Some people were saying 'There's the guy who killed Reggie Lewis' afterward. I was broken-hearted. I cried for many nights," he said.

Crowley, 42, said he's not a racist, despite how some have cast his actions in the Gates case. "Those who know me know I'm not," he said.

Yesterday, Lewis' widow, Donna Lewis, was floored to learn the embattled father of three on the thin blue line of a national debate on racism in America was the same man so determined to rescue her husband.

"That's incredible," Lewis, 44, exclaimed. "It's an unfortunate situation. Hopefully, it can resolve itself. The most important thing is peace."

Gates, 58, an acclaimed scholar on black history and a PBS documentarian, went on the attack against Crowley on Tuesday, demanding he apologize for arresting him for disorderly conduct last Thursday while investigating a reported break-in at his home. Gates, returning from a trip, was seen by a Malden woman trying to force his front door open. Police alleged he initially refused to identify himself.

Though he harbors no "ill feelings toward the professor," a calm, resolute Crowley said no mea culpa will be forthcoming.

"I just have nothing to apologize for," he said. "It will never happen."

Attorney Charles Ogletree, Gates' close friend and fellow Harvard savant, told the Herald, "It's regrettable and unfortunate that the officer feels that way, and I do hope that some progress will be made in healing this wound."

Gates, who upon his arrest allegedly bellowed to a gathering crowd on Ware Street, "This is what happens to black men in America!" believes he was targeted by Crowley - whom he called a "rogue" cop - because of his race.

Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas, with Gates attorney Walter Prince's consent, agreed Tuesday to drop the charge of disorderly conduct, calling the incident "an unfortunate set of circumstances."

Crowley, an 11-year veteran of the force, oversees the evidence room, paid details and records unit. He also coaches youth basketball, baseball and softball.

Joseph McDonald, a former director of public safety at Brandeis, said Crowley was "a real pro," calling Gates' racial profiling charge "strange."

"You just do the job as a cop. You don't look at the color of skin. You're just trying to help people," said McDonald, 57.

In a statement expressing its "full and unqualified support" for Crowley, the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association called its brother a "highly respected veteran supervisor with a distinguished record.

"His actions at the scene of this matter were consistent with his training, with the informed policies and practices of the department and with applicable legal standards."


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 02:30 PM

"Gates said he turned over his driver's license and Harvard ID — both with his photos — and repeatedly asked for the name and badge number of the officer, who refused."

Whether he's a racist or not, if it is true that he refused to let Gates have his name and badge number, how can he possibly refuse to apologise?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 02:35 PM

"if it is true that he refused to let Gates have his name and badge number, how can he possibly refuse to apologise? "

IF it was true, which the police reports indicates it is not.

So , no reason TO apologise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 03:02 PM

Well, I think the police should have dropped things once he provided identification.

I also think all of us, and I speak as a middle-aged (very) white woman..have to be prepared to deal with the police in a cooperative manner. I know it is hard for young men especially not to escalate things..which is why I think others must also be exposed to police interactions and treated the same..and where I live I was stopped by the police frequently because everyone is when driving...so I consider it my duty as a citizen to be polite etc. Otherwise, in the broader picture, you have police who will just give up, do the minimum, or get out of the business if they know they will be yelled at etc..and in a dangerous situation, they need to have immediate control. So for now I think our choice is do we want police protection or not..because it is very easy for them to not police certain neighborhoods properly, or not provide protection to certain ethnic groups properly if they know they will be yelled at etc...just don't bother...and this house had had a prior break-in.

So the police should have de-escalated the situation but it is up to all of us to decide if we want the other side of police protection, which is cooperative behavior on all of our accounts and not just the young men who are the usual partners in police interactions....a middle-aged scholarly man, an elderly nurse..we all need to cooperate and not get treated differently than the younger men. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 03:30 PM

Okay I'll express an opinion on the facts so far:

Gates' many friends describe him as easy-going, affable and witty. I can understand that Gates was sick and suffering jet lag at the time. I can't understand why he continues to be a drama queen. Now he's even drawn the President of the United States of America into his teacup without expressing remorse.

If the producers allow him to include his own story in his movie, it will certainly be a boring documentary.

If I were a victim of racial profiling I would be silently simmering at this narcissistic display.

When Obama invited open discussions about race relations in America I believe he had something much less trivial than this in mind.

Fact I'm most interested in now is whether witnesses in the front yard heard Sgt. Crowley twice advise Gates, in Chris Rock's vernacular, to shut the fuck up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: olddude
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 03:54 PM

I can only hope this is not the case. Dr. Gates is highly respected. I heard him lecture once and he is amazing to say the least. But he now has non stop national publicity all over the networks ... for free... not a bad thing when you write books and go on the lecture circuit ...

Gosh I sure hope it is not the case. Nothing however surprises me anymore from anyone. I only bring it up because I really do have no idea what really came down. But the officers record doesn't support racism to me at least from his past actions.   

It would be a horrible thing if it was done to get news ... I don't believe in my heart that is the case but one does have to think about it these days. I never thought a respected governor would try to sell a senate seat either ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 03:58 PM

I'd bet that if the officer and HLG were left alone over a beer or two they'd have it straight in ten minutes with no hard feelings either way. imo, ymmv.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 04:01 PM

"IF it was true, which the police reports indicates it is not."

There's a claim by Crowley that he "began to" give his name, and at a later point, when asked again, he refused to give it, on the ground that he had already done so twice. Not very clear at all.

In any case surely the right word is not "indicates" but "asserts" - or strictly speaking "implies".

All in all, even from that report, it sounds like a thoroughly bungled little bit of police work. That's be so even if the question of whether racism was involved is set aside, or if Crowley can demonstrate that he deals with white people in the same way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 04:03 PM

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


http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0723092gates3.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 04:51 PM

"There's a claim by Crowley that he "began to" give his name, and at a later point, when asked again, he refused to give it, on the ground that he had already done so twice. Not very clear at all.
"


"He then demanded to know who I was. I told him I was "Sgt. Crowley from the Cambridge Police" and that I was "investigating a report of a break in progress" at the residence"



Seems clear to me. It sounds like Gates is lying, to me. But that is from one point of view- I'll wait to convict EITHER party when there is more information available. Unlike our president, who can make judgements without knowing the facts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 05:01 PM

Cop who arrested black scholar is profiling expert

Jul 23 03:17 PM US/Eastern
By DENISE LAVOIE
Associated Press Writer

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - The white police sergeant criticized by President Barack Obama for arresting black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his Massachusetts home is a police academy expert on racial profiling.

Cambridge Sgt. James Crowley has taught a class on 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.

"I have nothing but the highest respect for him as a police officer. He is very professional and he is a good role model for the young recruits in the police academy," Fleming told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The course, called "Racial Profiling," teaches about different cultures that officers could encounter in their community "and how you don't want to single people out because of their ethnic background or the culture they come from," Fleming said.

Obama has said the Cambridge officers "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates last week when they responded to his house after a woman reported a suspected break-in.

Crowley, 42, has maintained he did nothing wrong and has refused to apologize, as Gates has demanded.

Crowley responded to Gates' home near Harvard University last week to investigate a report of a burglary and demanded Gates show him identification. Police say Gates at first refused, flew into a rage and accused the officer of racism.

Gates was charged with disorderly conduct. The charge was dropped Tuesday.

Gates' supporters maintain his arrest was a case of racial profiling. Officers were called to the home by a woman who said she saw "two black males with backpacks" trying to break in the front door. Gates has said he arrived home from an overseas trip and the door was jammed.

....

In radio interviews Thursday morning, Crowley maintained he followed procedure.

"I support the president of the United States 110 percent. I think he was way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts as he himself stated before he made that comment," Crowley told WBZ-AM. "I guess a friend of mine would support my position, too."

Crowley did not immediately respond to messages left Thursday by the AP. The Cambridge police department scheduled a news conference for later Thursday.

....

Fellow officers, black and white, say Crowley is well-liked and respected on the force. Crowley was a campus police officer at Brandeis University in July 1993 when he administered CPR trying to save the life of former Boston Celtics player Reggie Lewis. Lewis, who was black, collapsed and died during an off-season workout.

.....

Police supporters charge that Gates, director of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, was responsible for his own arrest by overreacting.




http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D99KBEAO1&show_article=1


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 05:03 PM

Bill Cosby 'shocked' at Obama's statement on Harvard prof's arrest
By Jimmy Orr | 07.23.09

On a Boston radio program this morning, Bill Cosby suggested that President Obama spoke too soon on the controversial arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates.

"I've heard about five different reports [on the details of the arrest]," Cosby said on Boston's WZLX. "If I'm the president of the United States, I don't care how much pressure people want to put on it about race, I'm keeping my mouth shut."

"I was shocked to hear the president making this kind of statement," Cosby said referring to the president's remarks during last night's press conference.

The comedian appeared to have dialed his comments back a bit in a later interview on Boston's FOX 25 television station. Cosby cautioned those from coming up with their own conclusions, but gave the president some leeway.

"People who have not been there, people who don't know are beginning to have their own personal feelings, but they weren't there," Cosby said.

"Does this include the president?" asked the FOX25 reporter.

"It includes everybody," Cosby said. "[But] I would have to take into consideration that he lived in Cambridge for some time so he may know more than he's saying about situations of that sort," Cosby said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 05:26 PM

If a famous, learned, respected black professor becomes upset and asserts racism as the cause of his upset, whether it's true or not, we have a major incident. 'Racism' is an attitude residing within a person, and not something that one usually determines from a couple minutes conversation.
Mr. Gates could have accused the officer of 'just being silly', or 'overdoing' the questioning...or he could have sighed and said,"Ok...here's all my ID...I really do live here. I need to get to bed now."
Instead, for whatever reason, he assumed that any white police officer that went further than he, Gates, thought was 'reasonable', was a stereotypical 'racist'. That officer seems to have quite an exemplary record in NOT behaving that way.
It may well be that the officer 'could' have handled it better, but we do NOT know the exact words, their order and the tone in which they were spoken by either man.

I just saw a TV interview with a black pundit who wrote:"Skip...you mouthed off, man." I suspect he did....for whatever reason....and cops tend to react when someone mouths off, even if the guy IS tired & upset. One other pundit's remark was "you have to respect the badge, if not the man".....that is what *I* referred to in my story about Mississippi.

   *I* think the officer & Gates owe each other an apology for not dealing with the situation as well as they could have.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 05:30 PM

If a society requires that deference be shown to police even if they are doing wrong (that's "IF") then there is a profound sickness at the heart of that society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 05:32 PM

And , if one believes the police report, what WRONG was the policeman doing???


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Midchuck
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 05:32 PM

One thing's for sure.

One of the two principal parties is a racist.

Further deponent sayeth not.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 05:44 PM

"If a society requires that deference be shown to police even if they are doing wrong..."

'Deference' may be the wrong word. How about 'compliance'? It is almost always best to cooperate with police at the time and complain later, once you have thought it over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 05:48 PM

There are a couple of ways of looking at it, and they've been touched on by various posters. One is strictly legalistic: if the cop did not do everything by the book, and if Gates stayed entirely within his legal rights, then only the cop can be criticized. There is, however, a more "human" way of looking at it: if you can see past the uniform and the skin colours, what you get is an all-too-common type of human failure - that of two grown men unable to deal with a minor misunderstanding in a civil manner.

At this point, an exchange of apologies, as per Bill D, would do far more for race relations than continued posturing. (Maybe Obama, now that he has blundered into it, should invite them to the Oval Office for tea, then come out for a photo op with them all grinning and group-hugging.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 08:00 PM

"...that of two grown men unable to deal with a minor misunderstanding in a civil manner."

It may be fair enough to describe shouting as failing to deal with a misunderstanding in a civil manner. If this had turned into a shouting match both parties might reasonably be critiised in that way.

But slapping handcuffs on the other person and dragging them off to be locked up in a cell is something else. Just because you're a policeman doesn't give you the right to do that, unless you're living in a police state.

It is almost always best to cooperate with police at the time and complain later." It may be the safest option, but not necessarily the best. And sometimes it's not even the safest option.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: DougR
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 08:39 PM

As I understand it, a neighbor of the professor called the police and reported there was a "break-in" in progress. A policeman responded to the call, and asked Mr. Gates to come outside. He refused and screamed at the policeman accusing him of racial profiling. He was not arrested for breaking and entering, he had already convinced the Sgt. that he was entering his own house. He was arrested for creating a disturbance.

It seems to me that Mr. Gates over reacted by deciding to play the race card. I think he owes the policeman an apology.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 10:52 PM

"It may be the safest option, but not necessarily the best. And sometimes it's not even the safest option.

I did carefully insert the word 'almost'.....when I was typing, I went back did this for a reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:05 PM

It was Crowley who wanted to get out of there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Kent Davis
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:32 PM

Stilly River Sage,

If I break into my own house and the police are called to investigate, are the police using sexual profiling? Are they assuming that, as a male, I must be guilty? Wouldn't they investigate if the breaker-in was a woman? Wouldn't they ask her for some evidence that it was indeed her house?

If I yell "sexism" at the investigating policewoman, and she charges me with disturbing the peace, she might be guilty of over-reacting, and she might even be guilty of over-reacting due to sexism. One thing of which she would not be guilty is sexual profiling.

Had she suspected me (on the basis of my gender) of something which she did not observe, she would be profiling. In this case, however, she didn't suspect that I was in the house, but rather she observed that I was in the house. She did not suspect that I yelled "sexism", but rather she observed that I yelled "sexism". Depending on how I had yelled, her response might be considered reasonable, or understandable, or lame, or ludicrous, or insane. But she did not suspect me of anything on the basis of my gender and therefore, however wrong-headed or even sexist she may be, she's not guilty of sexual profiling.   

I am not defending or condemning either Gates or the police officer. I don't know either of them and I wasn't there. My point is this: if everything Dr. Gates said was precisely accurate, and everything the policeman said was wrong, what occurred was not racial profiling. I do not doubt that racial profiling occurs.    This was not an example of it.

Kent


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:34 PM

Well - why didn't he just leave, then? Couldn't he have just driven away and left Gates standing on his lawn? Or, for that matter, standing on the road yelling?

I've come around a little bit on this one - for a cop, slapping someone in handcuffs and tossing them in the can is an everyday occurence; for an honest citizen, I imagine it can be traumatic, and not easily sloughed off ....

(Of course, I know no more than anyone else here what actually happened.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:45 PM

(My post was a response to heric's comment).


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:49 PM

"Well - why didn't he just leave, then? Couldn't he have just driven away and left Gates standing on his lawn? Or, for that matter, standing on the road yelling? . . . (Of course, I know no more than anyone else here what actually happened.)"

I agree with you. That's not quite resolved. At least not for us as laypersons.

I still also wonder about Crowley's entry into the house. That doesn't seem to be part of Gates' objections at the time or in his later narrative.



"'Ok...here's all my ID...I really do live here. I need to get to bed now.'"      -Indeed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 11:51 PM

Well - at least you and I know how to get along!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 12:58 AM

Obama would have looked better to have just stayed away from it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 08:10 AM

this from Mother Jones. Michael Mechanic says it all.



Senior Editor at Mother Jones


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 08:37 AM

Bill Cosby' comments are interetsing - he learned his lesson after he jumped into the Tawana Brawley mess with both feet and later regretted it.

A total aside: when I heard the President say that the police acted stupidly I was stunned and actually pleased. When was the last time you heard a politician give his honest opinion?
Of course, he will pay a heavy price for that remark.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 09:39 AM

Cop Who Arrested Gates Not Ruling Out Defamation Lawsuit
Case Heats Up As Police Organizations Criticize Obama For Jumping into the Controversy
By MICHELE MCPHEE, RUSSELL GOLDMAN and HUMA KHAN
July 24, 2009

The police sergeant who arrested Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. last week in his own home may be considering a defamation lawsuit against Gates who has implied his arrest was racially motivated.

Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley said President Obama was "way off" on his comments about the...
Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley said President Obama was "way off" on his comments about the arrest of Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Obama told ABC News' Terry Moran in an exclusive Nightline interview that he thinks "cooler heads should have prevailed" in the case.
(AP Photos/Getty Images)Alan McDonald, who represents Sgt. James Crowley, said the veteran cop who teaches a racial profiling class for rookie police officers has not ruled out filing a defamation of character or libel lawsuit.

"He is exploring all of his options,'' McDonald told ABC News.

Though charges were dropped, Gates has loudly asserted his arrest was a result of racial profiling.

The arrest and subsequent storm of racially charged comments has enveloped the White House after President Obama said on Wednesday the Cambridge police acted "stupidly" in arresting his friend, Gates, who is a prominent black scholar.

Police organizations and others across the country are lashing out at Obama for calling out the Cambridge Police Department.

"It's not a case of racial profiling," said NPR analyst Juan Williams on "Good Morning America."

Williams made clear there are dangers when blacks are confronted by police. "As someone whose been stopped as a black men in America, I have a very deferential approach... It's just that cops can be very prickly, especially with a black guy."

But Williams said the president went "way too far" without seeing the police report and knowing all the specifics of the case, as Obama himself admitted.

"Now what he has to do is to walk it back, say he spoke out of turn here, and I was reacting to in support of a friend," Williams advised.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 09:41 AM

'Disgraceful': Cops Angry After Obama Slams Arrest of Black Scholar
Friday, July 24, 2009

BOSTON — Many police officers across the country have a message for President Barack Obama Get all the facts before criticizing one of our own. Obama's public criticism that Cambridge officers "acted stupidly" when they arrested black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. could make it harder for police to work with people of color, some officers said Thursday.

It could even set back the progress in race relations that helped Obama become the nation's first African-American president, they said.

Click here for photos.

"What we don't need is public safety officials across the country second-guessing themselves," said David Holway, president of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, which represents 15,000 public safety officials around the country. "The president's alienated public safety officers across the country with his comments."

The Cambridge Police Patrol Officer's Association president also strongly criticized the president's remarks in an interview with The Huffington Post.

"That was totally inappropriate. I am disgraced that he is our commander-in-chief," Stephen Killion said. "He smeared the good reputation of the hard-working men and women of the Cambridge Police Department. It was wrong to do. It was disgraceful," the web site quoted him as saying.

Gates was arrested July 16 by Sgt. James Crowley, who was first to respond to the home the renowned black scholar rents from Harvard, after a woman reported seeing two black men trying to force open the front door. Gates said he had to shove the door open because it was jammed.

He was charged with disorderly conduct after police said he yelled at the white officer, accused him of racial bias and refused to calm down after Crowley demanded Gates show him identification to prove he lived in the home. The charge was dropped Tuesday, but Gates has demanded an apology, calling his arrest a case of racial profiling.

Obama was asked about Gates' arrest at the end of a nationally televised news conference on health care Wednesday night and began his response by saying Gates was a friend and he didn't have all the facts.

"But I think it's fair to say, No. 1, any of us would be pretty angry," Obama said. "No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And No. 3 — what I think we know separate and apart from this incident — is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately, and that's just a fact."

On Thursday, the White House tried to calm the hubbub over Obama's comments by saying Obama was not calling the officer stupid. Spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama felt that "at a certain point the situation got far out of hand" at Gates' home.

Crowley said he still supports the president, who attended Harvard Law School in Cambridge and garnered 88 percent of the vote there in last year's presidential election.

"I think he was way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts as he himself stated before he made that comment," Crowley told WBZ-AM.

Cambridge police Commissioner Robert Haas said Obama's comments hurt the agency.

"My reponse is that this department is deeply pained," Haas said at a news conference Thursday. "It takes its professional pride seriously."

Fellow law enforcement officers across the country sided with Crowley.

"To make the remark about 'stupidly' is maybe not the right adverb," said Santa Monica, Calif., police Sgt. Jay Trisler, who has been in law enforcement for 24 years. "When an incident occurs with a police department, we're not quick to judge."

He lamented negative opinions being directed at police.

"It's unfortunate because there are so many other police cases where an elected official has made a comment that wasn't correct, comments that could have been better worded," he said. "Look at Rodney King. It's a high-profile case, and everyone is entitled to an opinion."

Obama's comments could diminish work done by law enforcement to address racial issues, said James Preston, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Florida State Lodge.

"By reducing all contact between law enforcement and the public to the color of their skin or ethnicity is, in fact, counterproductive to improving relationships," Preston said. "To make such an off-handed comment about a subject without benefit of the facts, in such a public forum, hurts police/community relations and is a setback to all of the years of progress."

Other officers credited the president with using Gates' arrest to highlight the ongoing national problem of racial profiling.

"It wouldn't make any difference whether it was Barack Obama or John McCain. It's appropriate that the leader of this country should still recognize there are still issues in this country in regards to race," said Lt. Charles Wilson, chairman of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers Inc. and a 38-year veteran of law enforcement. "This is an issue that occurs in every single place in this country, so it is not a local issue."

Trisler said Obama's remarks ultimately would not affect how police officers do their jobs. Police have weathered problems before — from the King beating to local corruption cases — and still find ways to work with their communities.

"I think police officers are going to be professional enough not to be affected by his comments," Trisler said. "Not even getting into the race issues, police officers are professional here in Santa Monica, regardless of when a comment comes from an elected official. We're going to do our job for the community."


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 09:51 AM

(Rest of 09:39 posted article)

Some Question Whether Obama Should Have Strongly Backed Gates

Obama's remarks have stirred national debate over whether Gates' arrest was an issue of racial profiling, as he himself asserted.


President Obama's condemnation of a Cambridge, Mass., police officer who arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. last week, came as a pleasant surprise to some African Americans who have sometimes been critical of the president for not saying enough about race relations in America.

Some say the president was right to bring up this discussion in a primetime speech.

"Have some people wanted him to bring this up sooner?" asked civil rights activist, the Rev. Al Sharpton. "Of course, we have. But the timing had to be right. He had the courage to take a position at a time when he knows some people will disagree."

"If he hadn't addressed it, it would have looked like he was ducking. I was surprised he said what he said, because his words brought the conversation to a new level," Sharpton said.

Although Obama has been vocal on past civil rights issues, he largely avoided race during the presidential campaign except for a singular speech he gave on the issue after his pastor was found to have made anti-American statements.

"No one wants to talk about race," said Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist and ABC News consultant. "He [Obama] does not inject race into the conversation regularly because it clears the room. There are designated times, like Martin Luther King Jr. Day or when we have a large gathering of black folks, like at the NAACP recently, but that's about it."

"In this case, he was asked a question directly, and he answered it honestly," she added.


In addition to his specific comments about Gates' arrest, the president Wednesday also weighed in about the race issue, saying that while he didn't know whether it played a role, "I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That's just a fact."

Some observers questioned whether the president should have so strongly backed Gates, a longtime friend, over the police who arrested him without fully knowing exactly what took place between the professor and Crowley.

"Obama is the president for all American not just black Americans," said Democratic political strategist and ABC News consultant Donna Brazile. "He has enough on his plate as commander in chief – two wars, an economy in the tank – that he should not necessarily become the healer in chief."


http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Story?id=8163051&page=1


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 09:55 AM

This story is more grist for the mill for those who want the American people to focus on other problems than enacting comprehensive and affordable health care and restoring our economic viability, problems that divide us rather than programs that bring us together.

Obama usually demonstrates more political sense than to be drawn into such a potentially divisive dispute, even if it were the case of a respected colleague that he had known for a long time. But shame on the talk-show hosts and political pundits who are exploiting this sad incident.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 10:07 AM

And as long as we get to hear from Gate's friends, like Obama, ...


"Friends defend officer who arrested black scholar
      
Denise Lavoie, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 13 mins ago

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Supporters say the white policeman who arrested renowned black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his home is a principled police officer and family man who is being unfairly described as racist.

Friends and fellow officers — black and white — say Sgt. James Crowley, who was hand-picked by a black police commissioner to teach recruits about avoiding racial profiling, is calm and reliable.

"If people are looking for a guy who's abusive or arrogant, they got the wrong guy," said Andy Meyer of Natick, Mass., who has vacationed with Crowley, coached youth sports with him and is his teammate on a men's softball team. "This is not a racist, rogue cop."

Gates accused the 11-year department veteran of being an unyielding, race-baiting authoritarian after Crowley arrested and charged him with disorderly conduct last week.

Crowley confronted Gates in his home after a woman passing by summoned police for a possible burglary. The sergeant said he arrested Gates after the scholar repeatedly accused him of racism and made derogatory remarks about his mother, allegations the professor challenges. Gates has labeled Crowley a "rogue cop," demanded an apology and said he may sue the police department.

President Barack Obama elevated the dispute when he said Wednesday that Cambridge police "acted stupidly" during the encounter. Obama stepped back on Thursday, telling ABC News, "From what I can tell, the sergeant who was involved is an outstanding police officer, but my suspicion is probably that it would have been better if cooler heads had prevailed."

Crowley told a radio station Thursday that Obama went too far.

"I support the president of the United States 110 percent," he told WBZ-AM. "I think he was way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts, as he himself stated before he made that comment."

Obama noted that he and Gates are friends, and the sergeant said: "I guess a friend of mine would support my position, too."

Crowley didn't immediately return a phone message left by The Associated Press on Thursday.

Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas, in his first public comments on the arrest, said Thursday that Crowley was a decorated officer who followed procedure. The department is putting together an independent panel to review the arrest, but Haas said he did not think the whole story had been told.

"Sgt. Crowley is a stellar member of this department. I rely on his judgment every day," Haas said. "... I think he basically did the best in the situation that was presented to him."

But Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, once the top civil rights official in the Clinton administration and now, like Obama, the first black to hold his job, labeled the arrest "every black man's nightmare."

The governor told reporters: "You ought to be able to raise your voice in your own house without risk of arrest."

Those who know the 42-year-old Crowley say he is committed to everyday interests like playing softball and coaching his children's youth teams.

"I would give him my daughter to coach in a blink of an eye, and I can't say any stronger opinion than that," said Dan Keefe, a town parks official who knows Crowley from his work coaching youth swim, softball, basketball and baseball teams.

Crowley grew up in Cambridge's Fresh Pond neighborhood and attended the city's racially diverse public schools. Two of his brothers also work for the police department and a third is a Middlesex County deputy sheriff.

For five of the past six years, Crowley has volunteered alongside a black colleague in teaching 60 cadets per year about how to avoid targeting suspects merely because of their race, and how to respond to an array of scenarios they might encounter on the beat. Thomas Fleming, director of the Lowell Police Academy, said Crowley was asked by former Cambridge police Commissioner Ronnie Watson, who is black, to be an instructor.

"I have nothing but the highest respect for him as a police officer. He is very professional and he is a good role model for the young recruits in the police academy," Fleming said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: John Hardly
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 10:23 AM

interesting take


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 11:30 AM

In any event, it looks like it's de-railed health care!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 12:10 PM

Well they've taken Peace's have a beer idea and screwed it up. Those two need to be alone in peace (Obama could hang out too) so that Gates can let Crowley know who he is and Crowley can let Gates know who he is. THEN they can become lifelong friends. In a photo-op ceremony with cameras rolling Gates needs to have his points on behalf of Black America made plain and Crowley has to speak on behalf of police officers across the nation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: robomatic
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 12:38 PM

I think Obama showed his fast thinking and touch of class with his personal appearance and statement that he could have "calibrated" his remarks better. (Interesting use of that term, maybe he's creating some new English usage as well).

I used to drive across two state lines to go Winter camping. I remember the difference in being able to control my car when the snow clearing operations on each side of the state line took the trouble to clear the boundry (well, at least one of 'em did). But on days when they each went JUST UP TO THE BORDER, there was a sickening slick spot in the middle.

Taking the trouble to go just a little bit further onto the other guy's turf makes all the difference.

It's pretty clear that a little flexibility on the part of all concerned would have 'un' created this issue.

Neighbor- Do you understand what you're looking at? How you frame the situation frames the cop's expectations.

Cop- Can you display some forbearance when it's clear that all the power is on your side?

Homeowner- The cop is their to protect you and your property, regardless of your color. The cop has obviously been informed of a potential break-in. Respect the other person's point of view and cool it. Try to see more than what you expect to see!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 12:49 PM

You hit the nail on the head, Charley Noble.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 01:31 PM

This is an amazingly many-faceted incident.   There sure is a lot to read on it.   Particularly the police report is instructive--and I don't think it was made up.

However, to say that either Obama or Gates owe Sgt. Crowley an apology is complete drivel.   It is not against the law to mouth off at a policeman.   It's not smart, but it's not against the law. So the job of the police is not easy.   Abuse comes with the territory. They have to accept it--or accept the consequences when they strike back in this sort of situation.

The arrest of Professor Gates was nothing more than the policeman showing his power. That comes under the heading of police abuse.

Having said that, Gates behaved amazingly stupidly. All he had to do was show his ID the first time he was asked, instead of going off on a racial rant--which was also complete drivel.   He acted like he had a chip on his shoulder from the moment he saw Sgt Crowley.   I suppose it's the "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail".   And Gates' stock in trade is racism.

It appears that Crowley did in fact try to give his name--more than once.

It's also distressing that Gates appears now to be lying about what he (Gates) said--alleging that Crowley made up Gates' continuing racial rant.

This was two angry men. And neither had justification for what they did.   But the only unforgivable act was the arrest. The law against "disorderly conduct" is primarily aimed at "unruly behavior likely to set off wider unrest" (Slate) 22 July. It is absurd to think there could have been a riot due to Gates' behavior.

So there was no call for the arrest. And that's the only crucial point.

And President Obama is also right for calling the arrest "stupid", for the reason that it confirms the idea that racism can be alleged for any number of situations where the connection is tenuous at best.   The question is whether Crowley would have arrested a white who ranted and abused him, as Gates did, and came outside the house to continue his tirade.   Obviously a white would not have used the racial angle. But he could have yelled and screamed at the officer.   And then likely have been arrested by Sgt Crowley.

And Sgt. Crowley would have been wrong, just as he was wrong in this case.   "Racial profiling" is unlikely in this case--just an angry cop flexing his muscles. He may have taught classes on dealing with "racial profiling" but he's flunked his own class, since he's played into the hands of those who see racial profiling in anything they don't like.

It was indeed a wrongful arrest--and stupid besides.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 01:52 PM

Are you sure it's not illegal to yell stuff at a cop? I've always wondered this. (Can I just yell profanity at a parking meter monitor if I want to?) Or to keep ranting when he tells you to stop? I see a 7/23 Slate article but it must be the wrong one. I thought we were supposed to understand that arresting a screamer was "within bounds" but no one has explained when it is recommended or disfavored. mg's comment is relevant to this in terms of equal application of the law. If a skinhead were screaming at cops in his yard, his arrest wouldn't raise so many eyebrows (would it?)

In the larger picture it doesn't seem wise to permit unchecked screamfests. Asking cops to face potential weaponry seems enough to ask of them. Verbal implied threats obviously can't be tolerated. But is non-threatening ranting really legal?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 02:07 PM

Here's a quote from an anonymous commenter on a blog:

"Massachusetts courts have limited the definition of disorderly conduct to: fighting or threatening, violent or tumultuous behavior, or creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition for no legitimate purpose other than to cause public annoyance or alarm. (The statute, however, just says "idle and disorderly persons," a formulation that is, on its own, patently unconstitutional.) Violators may be imprisoned for up to six months, fined a maximum of $200, or both.

The stilted language in the Gates police report is intended to mirror the courts' awkward phrasing, but the state could never make the charge stick. The law is aimed not at mere irascibility but rather at unruly behavior likely to set off wider unrest. Accordingly, the behavior must take place in public or on private property where people tend to gather. While the police allege that a crowd had formed outside Gates' property, it is rare to see a disorderly conduct conviction for behavior on the suspect's own front porch. In addition, political speech is excluded from the statute because of the First Amendment. Alleging racial bias, as Gates was doing, and protesting arrest both represent core political speech."


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: mg
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 02:12 PM

It would be a horrible precedent to make it OK to scream and yell at cops. For one thing, police vigor in pursuing crime might go way way down. Can you imagine some of those screaming women (and my mother was one) going off on the police? Some people would rather crime were not pursued and some would rather it would be pursued. Also, if a policewoman has to listen to tirades it means she can not respond quickly to the next incident, greatly reducing efficiency and response times etc. This is not something just the police must take -- it is something endangered citizens, particularly in crime-ridden neighborhoods -- must take if people are allowed to scream at police. And what is the line between that and resisting arrest?

Part of the answer is to have many police officers from both the predominant ethnic groups in the community and the ones with the greatest crime history..viscious circle sometimes because there is not always a great correlation...but anyway, way more represenation of various ethnic and cultural groups. Remove the ethnic and racial components to this overall problem and have a citizenry that expects to be pretty docile around police and of course have recourse if their rights are trampled etc. and hopefully some transparency etc.

I am really a law and order type of Democrat..it is the first and foremost social service we have and from it flows all sorts of economic benefits -- greater business opportunities and employment will flow into safe neighborhoods and out of unsafe ones. Greater health care opportunities. Better schools. It is the foundation of a society and can be either voluntary or unvoluntary and resisted, but without it you have awful scary places to live. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 02:27 PM

There's nothing unusual about cops arresting someone for ranting at them. It happens just about everywhere, and I can recall a couple of incidents in my town recently, one involving an old women who started raising a ruckus over the city snowplow which went by and created a drift that blocked off the end of her driveway (which always happens to everyone when the city plow goes by). She had just finished having someone else clear her driveway before it happened and she went nuts over it, starting yelling at the snowplow driver, then stood in front of his snowplow and wouldn't let him move on. He called the police. When the police arrived, they tried to calm her down and get her to go home, but she started ranting at them, so they arrested her and took her to the station. She was "humiliated" by the incident and decided to sue the police over it...but it was she who provoked the incident. Nevertheless she feels hard done by. Imagine what the media could do with this incident if she had happened to be <>Black. Yeah, just imagine.... ;-)

People get upset. Cops get upset. And when that happens, people often get arrested by the cops. It's a common type of incident, caused by frustration and impatience on both sides. It's not remarkable in any way. And it's a tempest in a teapot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 02:42 PM

If I scream profanities at a parking meter monitor for sheer sport, I guess I have created a "physically offensive condition" for no legitimate purpose since he needs to be there to do his job. (?)

If I scream profanities at Crowley in my yard while he STILL NEEDS TO BE THERE, the same rule would apply?

Gates was within first amendment (bias and identfy yourself - but not protesting arrest) rights and Crowley didn't need to be there, unless he really feared social unrest from those Harvard employees standing around.

The good news, I guess, is that eveybody has room to maneuver into that group hug photo on the White House lawn.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 02:46 PM

Just imagine....while people in the media wrangle over this (and you have on one side those who wish to damage Obama...and on the other side those who wish to protect Obama)...at any rate, while they wrangle uselessly over this utterly trivial incident...

Things that actually matter, like reforming national health care, get pushed out of the public consciousness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 02:47 PM

The bad news is what mg just said: Living in a tony neighborhood gives you more protection.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: pdq
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 03:00 PM

Just a couple of quasi-related items...

In 2008, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. contributed $4600 dollars to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. This is the most a private party can contribute to one candidate in a given election cycle.

From 1989-91 Obama lived in Cambridge, MA.. Cambridge cops gave him 17 parking tickets which he ignored. In 2008, members of Obama's campaign staff payed the delinquent tickets because they thought the tickets looked bad and would be used against Obama.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 03:09 PM

hmmmm... I'd like to know the source of that claim, pdq. IF true, then I'd like to know the details. I can't imagine it BEING 'public knowlege' and not being used against him, as things that weren't true were rumored about him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 03:20 PM

Obama put both feet in his mouth on this one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: pdq
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 03:22 PM

...it's on many blogs, but here is the story from the Boston Globe:


"By David Abel, Globe Staff

Barack Obama is no longer a scofflaw, at least in Cambridge and Somerville.

Two weeks before the US senator from Illinois launched his presidential campaign, he paid parking tickets he received while attending Harvard Law School, officials said yesterday.

Obama received 17 parking tickets in Cambridge between 1988 and 1991, according to the city's Traffic, Parking & Transportation Department.

Of those tickets, he paid only two while he was a student and paid them late, said Susan Clippinger, the office's director.

In January, about when the Globe began asking local officials about Obama's time at Harvard, including any violations of local laws, someone representing the senator called the parking office to inquire about the decades-old tickets.

On Jan. 26, the remaining $375 in fines and fees were paid by credit card using the city's website, Clippinger said. She said she didn't know who paid them.

"I think it's fabulous he finally paid them," Clippinger said by phone yesterday. "I think others who owe us money should pay us, too."

Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, said last night that the senator paid for the tickets out of a personal account.

She would not comment on why it had taken him so long to pay the tickets and fees. "All I can do is confirm that he paid all the tickets and late fees in full," she said.

Clippinger said her records show that Obama received the tickets between Oct. 5, 1988, and Jan. 12, 1990, for violations including parking in a resident-only area, blocking a bus stop, and failing to put money in meters.

He received most of the tickets in fall 1988, in his first year at Harvard Law School, a grueling trial for many of the students. A meter violation then cost only $5; the penalty for not paying promptly tacked on another $15. At times, he received multiple tickets in the same day for exceeding the time limit at a meter.

In total, he incurred $140 in fines and $260 in late fees. In February 1990, he paid two of the tickets, one for $10 and the other for $15.

"He's certainly not our worst ticket scofflaw," Clippinger said. "Unfortunately, it's not that abnormal. It's actually pretty run of the mill."

Obama's payment of the Cambridge tickets was reported yesterday by The Somerville News.

The Globe reported in January that in Somerville, where Obama lived while attending Harvard, the senator still owed the city $73 in excise taxes and $45 in late penalties for parking in a bus stop in 1990 and in a street-sweeping zone in 1991. Both of the tickets had been paid.

Tom Champion, a spokesman for the city of Somerville, said he called Obama's office after receiving a query about the late fees from the Globe in late January.

By the next Monday, Jan. 29, he said, the penalties were paid.

"He had no idea he had outstanding charges," Champion said. "The Globe, by raising the issue, called it to his attention, and then he paid them immediately."

Globe correspondent Khristopher Flack contributed to this story. David Abel can be reached at dabel@globe.com.
© Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company."


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 04:13 PM

Gates seems like one of those people who have been dreaming of an opportunity like this to get his name in the papers, and once the time arrived, he wasn't about to let it go.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 04:14 PM

There's no way around not paying parking tickets in Ontario, because they're all linked into a huge computerized system. If you don't pay them, no matter where you incur them, your driving license eventually gets suspended. This didn't used to be the case, and out of town people usually just ignored parkuing tickets they got in some different town to theirs, because they only applied to local residents. Not any more! ;-) The "happy time" is over for Ontarians who park illegally...or overtime on their meter.

I would give the Obama parking tickets thing about as much importance as the Gates thing. That is...just about none at all. That's because I'm not out to get Barack Obama and because I think he's probably grown up a little since he was a student.

If I was out to get him, though, I'd hang onto both those stories like a leech and I'd milk every last drop of scandal out of them that I possibly could.

You betcha. Party politics is the bread and butter of such leeches. They live to do harm and spread bad news.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 04:24 PM

"they thought the tickets looked bad and would be used against Obama"

Which is exactly what is happening on this thread. (What does it have to do with the Gates incident, by the way? Is it supposed to be evidence that Obama hates police?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 04:49 PM

I hadn't noticed anyone turning this into a love or hate Obama thread until Little Hawk deflected it there, professing an interest in health care. It's Gates who says this event is what great movies are made of.

Ah, well. It is mudcat, so I guess it has to end up there. . .

But thanks RD for getting us to the law on disorderly conduct.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 05:13 PM

"I am pleased that [Obama], too, is eager to use my experience as a teaching moment, and if meeting Sgt. Crowley for a beer with the president will further that end, then I would be happy to oblige,' Gates said in a statement on TheRoot.com."


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 05:16 PM

Disorderly conduct? All of us posters at mudcat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: mg
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 05:39 PM

I am glad they arrested snowplow lady. Every snowplow lady that gets arrested makes the playing field more level for people who have more than their share of police interactions and I say look for more snowplow ladies. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 05:42 PM

Look, Gates has a long-time reputation for being abrasive. BUT, I think it's only reasonable to demand higher standards of behavior from a cop than from a private citizen. In any case, I'm not sure that it's possible to be perorm "disorderly conduct" in one's own home.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 06:25 PM

mg - Yeah, she (the snowplow lady) kind of deserved to get arrested, I think. On the other hand, I felt sort of sorry for her too....because she's one of those people who just lost it due to a momentary frustration. Lack of maturity on her part, I'd call it. Mind you, I feel sorry for the snowplow driver and the police officers who had to put up with her tirades too... ;-) (What I mean is, I get what was bugging all of them at the time, but one has to rise above certain brief inconveniences in life...like getting your driveway blocked by a passing snowplow...and one needs to remember when those things happen that one is NOT the only human being in the world whose needs matter!)

heric - My point is that those who wish to cause some political damage to Barack Obama will sieze upon this particular story and Obama's part in it like a dog grabbing a hotdog that just fell to the floor. They will pretend all kinds of noble reasons for doing so, but their real motivation will be their usual motivation: to damage Barack Obama or his party. Sheer political opportunism, in other words.

Now...if it was a similarly trivial story that involved, say, Sarah Palin...then those people I'm alluding to above would not be leaping on it with such alacrity, as it would not suit their political agenda. Instead, a different group of people here would be leaping on it...their motivation: to damage Sarah Palin and her party.

The two groups of people I'm alluding to are normally found firmly positioned on the opposite sides of pretty well any American political controversy. Their rivalry here is as predictable as that of zealous Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.

dick - Well, I think you can be guilty of disorderly conduct in your own home. I've seen people guilty of disorderly conduct in their own homes more than once, and I'm not joking when I say that.

I think Gates got unreasonable. I think the police probably also got unreasonable. It would be best for all concerned now if they shook hands, agreed to put the issue to rest, and got on with the next useful thing in their lives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: John Hardly
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 06:42 PM

The eye witnesses, to a person, say that the police officer acted calmly and like a police officer. There was only one person who was out of control and that was Gates.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: mg
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 06:54 PM

I am sure all sorts of domestic violence incidents involve disorderly conduct toward officers. Likewise drug arrests.

Just think of what it would be like if being cooperative with police was quite optional, as some here believe it is or should be...if you could get people to be police officers you would still have a very big mess with too many saying screw it and either retiring in place or looking the other way etc.

mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: pdq
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 07:11 PM

...from a press conference by Obama:


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

As you know, Lynn, when I was in the state legislature in Illinois, we worked on a racial profiling bill because there was indisputable evidence that blacks and Hispanics were being stopped disproportionately. And that is a sign, an example of how, you know, race remains a factor in the society." ~ Obama


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 07:42 PM

And as you know, Obama backtracked considerably in a subsequent statement. Now, why wouldn't you quote from that statement, with some Christmassy-red highlighting?

What's your point, anyway? Everybody knows what Obama said, and nobody here is saying that this was his finest moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: robomatic
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 07:49 PM

Wait a minute. WHY WOULD WE BE ANGRY? WE'RE THE HOME OWNER. Someone was worried about our house and called it in. The cops are there to protect my house. Why should they know who I am? Why shouldn't they be worried about the possibility that while they were on their way over someone broke into my house and is still there?

Cops go into unknown situations and have to pick up on a host of facts and details that may not all be apparent.

The varied attitudes and assumptions that people bring to this thread only emphasize what a mixed bag this whole incident is. If you've got blinders on you're going to concentrate on one aspect or another, but what was going down was several things:

Report of an apparent crime, partial description of the suspects.

Class division- Harvard don and city cop.

Racial division- Black homeowner, white cop, (white witness?), potential home breaker reported as black

cop attitude not to back down at a challenge

this is more than enough to create a problem out of nothing, which is exactly what happened.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: pdq
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 07:56 PM

Don't forget the fact that two suspects were reported.

The cop must assume that the second suspect is also inside the house.

Cop had no way of knowing that suspect II had gone home already...that would have become known if Gates had cooperated


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 08:06 PM

"Don't forget the fact that two suspects were reported."

            I hadn't heard that. That might explain a lot of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 08:08 PM

Gates was angry at what the cop was thinking, not anything he said or did (except for the failure to identify himself - but he knew and said Crowley was refusing to answer only because Gates is black.) That's set forth very clearly in the interview written up by his daughter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: John Hardly
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 08:42 PM

"If you've got blinders on you're going to concentrate on one aspect or another, "

But one might also have blinders on if one is incapable of deciding that one of the participants was right and the other, wrong. It's an amazing thing, this notion that conflict resolution need be nothing more than coming into a situation and declaring both sides equally wrong. Not every conflict is the result of both sides being wrong. This is one of them.

I can't get my mind around any possible explanation wherein I could put myself in Gates' shoes and be angry at the police. Had he handled it like every other person I know and merely cooperated, the police would have been gone in a matter of short minutes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: John Hardly
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 08:44 PM

"Gates was angry at what the cop was thinking"

No, he wasn't. He couldn't have KNOWN what the police officer was thinking. How could he? He might have been angry at what he thought the police officer was thinking. But he was wrong in the assumption -- the witnesses and records illustrate this quite satisfactorily.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 08:47 PM

PDQ-

That statement above you cited was from Obama's initial press conference on health insurance.

You might in the public interest include a quote or two from his subsequent press statement where he has invited both Officer Crowley and Professor Gates to "share a beer" at the White House and resolve this disagreement like (ALERT: my phrasing) "mature people" rather than "flaming assholes." You might give some consideration to doing the same on this thread, or not!

And what is your sudden interest in the subject of "parking tickets"?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 08:51 PM

"He couldn't have KNOWN what the police officer was thinking. How could he?"

A re-read of the article is worthwhile. Gates is not only a narcissist and a drama queen, he has the ability to read minds. Crowley really didn't know who he was messing with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: John Hardly
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 09:01 PM

"include a quote or two from his subsequent press statement"

In which he still maintained that the situation was one of two people equally at fault -- he merely called them "Two good men", but that still doesn't change the fact that he blamed the officer when there was no blame there to be had. And he also still maintained that the situation was about race. It only became about race because of Gates and Obama. It was NEVER about race to the police officer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: pdq
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 09:51 PM

Yes, the initial call to police stated that two men with backpacks were forcing open the door of the house:


"According to a police report ...a neighbor saw the two men "wedging" their shoulders into the door "to force entry" and phoned police.

This is where the two accounts of the incident diverge. Gates maintains he was discriminated against from the outset, but Crowley reports that he initially asked Gates to come and speak with him, to which Gates responded, "No, I will not."

Despite Gates' attitude and later accusations, Crowley reported that he was quickly satisfied that Gates was the homeowner. His next step was to determine whether there were, in fact, actual burglars who might still be in the residence. For all Crowley knew, Gates had arrived after the phone call had been made and might be walking in on a burglary.

After asking Gates whether there were other people inside, Crowley said the professor yelled to him that it was "none of my business and accused me of being a racist police officer." Gates also had picked up a phone and, while warning Crowley that he had no idea who he was "messing with," telephoned the police department. Undeterred, Crowley asked Gates for identification. After initially refusing, Gates presented his Harvard credentials.

Ironically, it wasn't during their exchange that Gates wound up being arrested. After the officer had exited the residence and was preparing to leave, Gates continued to hurl epithets. Crowley warned him twice that he was becoming disorderly and would be placed under arrest if he didn't calm down. Gates ignored the warnings and the officer arrested him. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 10:13 PM

I think if we all spent more time drinking beer together, we'd have a lot fewer misunderstandings. It was the cop who suggested the three-way beer break to Obama, and Obama and Gates agreed. But hey, it was Bruce Murdoch who posted it here first, long before the cop's proposal.
Have a beer on me, Bruce!
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 10:16 PM

Who says Mudcat can't change the world?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 10:30 PM

I would agree that Gates is probably the person primarily to blame. He may even be the person entirely to blame. Okay, fine. He overreacted and created an unnecessary scene, but no one got killed, nothing got damaged, and everybody's basically okay now. So wouldn't it be nice if he, the media, the cops, the political parties, and everybody else here could all just get over it?

This would require calming down a bit, of course, letting bygones be bygones, resisting the temptation to score some cheap shots on old enemies, and swallowing a wee bit of pride. Hmm?

Or is it more satisfying to stay upset?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 10:32 PM

Puts me to mind of the time in the early 50s when I was working in a poor section of Newark. Most of the cops were lower-class Italians; most of the other citizens were lower-class blacks. It didn't take long to realize that one sure way to push an Italian's buttons was to call him a motherfucker. And that phrase, at the time, constituted about 25% of the street's vocabulary. There was a lot of head busting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 10:39 PM

I bet there was. It sure is something how a lot of people will insist on waving the red flag right in the bull's face, so to speak.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 11:51 PM

I'd have a beer with you anytime, Joe. That's a fer sure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 12:11 AM

According to the police report the officer made, Mr. Gates never touched him and officer was never in physical danger. Nor was he inciting a riot or other neighborhood uprising.

Did he arrest him in order to save face? If he objected to Mr. Gates' "loud and tumultuous voice", all he had to do was leave.

"It is not against the law to mouth off at a policeman.   It's not smart, but it's not against the law. So the job of the police is not easy." Ron Davies

"The law is aimed not at mere irascibility but rather at unruly behavior likely to set off wider unrest. Accordingly, the behavior must take place in public or on private property where people tend to gather. While the police allege that a crowd had formed outside Gates' property, it is rare to see a disorderly conduct conviction for behavior on the suspect's own front porch." heric

Being a jerk - even a loud one - is not illegal. I suspect that a white person has no concept of what it is like to be confronted by a White police officer while being Black.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 12:26 AM

Well, here's a thing to ponder. Recognizing that we STILL don't know the facts but have collected a few more, and that we will never know what is inside a man's mind - his experiences and whatever else drives him - doesn't it look so far as if Gates, for his own self-aggrandizement, was willing to destroy a man's career and turn him into a national pariah? Any man will do to serve his agenda, it seems he does not care. And only by the luck of the draw was it not a man with lesser credentials and skills than Crowley.

His latest statement says "this is not about me." So he learns, but he seems to be a very slow learner.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 09:08 AM

Bet I'd have to buy my own beer/diet coke. ;0)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 09:33 AM

Not a chance, Liz. OK, maybe the Diet Coke--that stuff always tasted like warm piss to me,


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 09:36 AM

"...Gates, for his own self-aggrandizement, was willing to destroy a man's career and turn him into a national pariah? "

And the President of the United States joined him in the attempted destruction and has yet to apologize for that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 11:23 AM

No, he was just drawn to the puff of smoke as we all were.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 11:52 AM

. . and he can't apologize for his comment yet, other than its prematurity, because it may have been correct. If he comes down on Crowley's side now he would be making the same mistake twice. He'll finesse this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 12:08 PM

Politicians do not apologize. They clarify previous remarks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 12:13 PM

Hey Bruce, I'll have a beer by myself anytime, so here's a toast to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 12:25 PM

And to you.

I seldom drink beer, so you'll have to have another for me, OK? Not that I never HAVE had any beer. Au contraire. I don't mind a glass or two when I wake up, and another with breakfast is ok. Then one or two afterwards to settle the food. Perhaps a few pints before lunch and the maybe a quart to settle the old tummy. Mid-afternoon seems like a good time for a few leading to the pre-dinner (what I call supper) sampling of various brews. A nice cool lager or stout with dinner and perhaps some room-temperature ale before sunset. With the downing of the sun one might enjoy some ice-cold Kokanee with maybe some lime or lemon. Then a six-pack before watching the stars at night. BUT, this damned sip-sip-sipping all the time has GOT to stop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 12:34 PM

OKAY then here's a toast to Professor Gates and "teaching moments"! ~braaAP~


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 01:09 PM

Indeed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 01:16 PM

"Politicians do not apologize. They clarify previous remarks."

Ha! Ain't it the truth, Peace? ;-) Obama's a bit unusual though, because he actually does apologize for things he has said or done now and then. It's extraordinary that he would, but he does.

I think the same thing though as heric, who said: "No, he was just drawn to the puff of smoke as we all were."

Anyone's first reaction to a man being arrested by cops at his own house on a house-breaking check would be: "Geez! What idiots those cops must have been!"

It was the kind of story where you will immediately form that conclusion on the first hearing. Obama got caught, in my opinion, the same way any of us would have been...including John Hardly. ;-) You betcha! (to quote Sarah Palin)

Now you add to that, that Gates is a personal friend of Obama's and a man whom Obama knows and respects...and hey, is it at all surprising that Obama would have figured the cops were in the wrong?

Is it? Ask yourself that, for heaven's sake. Anyone in Obama's position would have intially figured that the cops must have been in the wrong.

It's a tempest in a teapot. Tempest in a teapot. Tempest in a teapot. You'd have made the same mistake, John, if you'd been Obama. Forget about it and get on with something that actually matters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 01:34 PM

Obama's mistake was not what he thought; it was running off his mouth about it. That struck me as an uncharacteristic slip-up on his part, and I imagine it will be a long while before he makes a blunder like that again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 01:53 PM

Yeah, he jumped to an incorrect conclusion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 01:56 PM

Well, whether his conlusion was correct or incorrect, my point is that he should have kept quiet about it; it wasn't for him to jump into the matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 01:58 PM

Absolutely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 04:03 PM

I might be Obama. It's a complicated physics project I've been working on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: mg
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 04:34 PM

I wouldn't necessarily think the cops were stupid. They have been around a long enough time to see various people impersonating others and being afraid to talk etc.

I had a phone that malfunctioned and somehow the police were summoned. We called them right back and said there was no problem -- that some button had been pushed on a phone that someone else had preset and there was no disturbance.

Well, several minutes later they came anyway. They took both me and my roommate aside and asked both of us separately if there was any problem. Nope. We showed them the phone.

At another place I lived recently, where there is a huge amount of meth, the police banged on my door...I opened the door because I could see flashing lights etc..lots and lots of police on my doorstep. They asked if they could look for someone I had never heard of and I let them in...I can see how it would be scary to many people, and I realize I am of an age and gender and yes, ethnicity, that makes me a low target of police suspicion, but I do believe I should take my turn with police interactions.

For some reason, mostly when I was younger, I hit some profile with Canadian immigration. I would be pulled off buses, once I was not allowed to enter on my way to Newfoundland because I had too much money with me...no..I think I had to cancel the trip to Newfoundland which is why I hadt he money and decided to just have a nice long weekend in BC...everyone else in line could be dressed like a gangster might perhaps dress and I dressed like Anne of Green Gables and would still get hauled off the bus, out of cars etc...who knows...mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Maryrrf
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 06:11 PM

Tempest in a teapot sums it up nicely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 06:38 PM

Well, John, if you are Obama, I think you need to sit down, have a beer with yourself, shake your own hand with your other hand, and forgive yourself for those various little past errors in judgement. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 06:40 PM

Oh I'm sorry I thought it was Gates who first called the drink-up a "teaching moment." I see that it was Obama.

"My hope is that as a consequence of this event, this ends up being what's called a teachable moment, where all of us, instead of pumping up the volume, spend a little more time listening to each other ... and that instead of flinging accusations, we can all be a little more reflective in terms of what we can do to contribute to more unity."


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 06:52 PM

Sounds like a good plan. (smile) If they all took a little time to find out exactly what the other guy was thinking, and feeling...and why...then they might find they got along better. Obama is on the right track to say what he did. And he also, of course, has to somehow bring this thing to a positive resolution so he can get on with something that actually matters. I wish him the best of luck in that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Bill H //\\
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 07:13 PM

why o why is profiling the first thing on everyone's mind---especially Gates. Police called to a possible break-in and question the person there---not profiling in my book. Only Prof. Gates.

Cop stops you while walking in the "wrong" neighborhood--that's profiling. Answering a call for a possible burglary is protecting people---and, as I said, earlier, how is the officer to know that there is not someone else in the house or that the ID was not stolen from a victim.   Step outside--explain the situation---best way to go. But, according to reports that was not the intelluctual's reaction---frankly, sounds more like a confrontation that the prof. resented due to economic and intellectual differences and now hangs his hat on "racism" or "profiling"---we await the arrival of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to add some more kindling to the event.

It is, however, sad that the Pres. got himself involved when all he had to say to the reporter's legitimate question is that he needs to ascertain the facts of what happened and that it is not a critical world situation for me to deal with.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 07:26 PM

Looking at the repeat posts. Too many to count. How many ways can the same thing be said?

Waltz me around again, Willie,
Around, around, and around.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 11:59 PM

Hillary is blaming the whole thing on testosterone!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 12:19 AM

Are you implying that she's incorrect?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 12:39 AM

That sounds about right to me. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: fretless
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 01:52 PM

Just off the ticker. And if one part of the police report is being questioned, where does that leave the rest of it?

.............
(CNN) -- The woman who made the 911 call that led to the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. never referred to race when she contacted authorities for what she thought was a potential break-in, her attorney told CNN on Monday.
Attorney Wendy Murphy also categorically rejected part of the police report that said her client, Lucia Whalen, talked with Sgt. James Crowley, the arresting officer, at the scene.
"Let me be clear: She never had a conversation with Sgt. Crowley at the scene," Murphy said. "And she never said to any police officer or to anybody 'two black men.' She never used the word 'black.' Period."
She added, "I'm not sure what the police explanation will be. Frankly, I don't care. Her only goal is to make it clear she never described them as black. She never saw their race. ... All she reported was behavior, not skin color."
Calls to the Cambridge Police Department about the issue have not been returned. In the police report, filed by Crowley, he says he spoke with Whalen outside the home before he approached Gates' house.
"She went on to tell me that she observed what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the porch of Ware Street," the report says. "She told me that her suspicions were aroused when she observed one of the men wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry."
Murphy's comments add yet another layer of intrigue to the July 16 arrest that has prompted heated discussion across the nation on race relations in America.
Murphy also disputed accounts of her client as a white woman in the traditional sense. "The fact is she's olive-skinned and of Portuguese descent. You wouldn't look at her and say necessarily, 'Oh, there's a white woman.' You might think she was Hispanic," Murphy said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Maryrrf
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 04:37 PM

Why does the neighbor who called the police need a lawyer??? She did nothing wrong. Even if she had mentioned the race of the people she saw trying to enter the house, it would have been a natural thing to do to describe the suspects. And what does her race, whether she was olive skinned or not, etc. have to do with anything ????


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 06:11 PM

Yes, when you are making a report to the police it's natural (and also expected) that you should describe any observable features of the suspects...including their skin color. It is not a racist action to describe a "Black man" as a "Black man", for heaven's sake, nor should it be taken so, and it's not "profiling" either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 06:21 PM

Gates said that the description given to Gates of "two large black men" is "the worst case of racial profiling [he] has ever seen in [his] life," even after decades of studying the subject. He says that he is not large. Furthermore, even though his chauffer is black, you wouldn't be able so see that from down the street – just that he had black hair.

Strange, though, that Crowley recalls and describes a ~very~ specific conversation with the neighbor and she says she never spoke with him at all. (Wrong neighbor . . ?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 06:23 PM

. . . description given to Crowley . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 06:39 PM

"Large" is a relative term...and it depends upon the (visual) viewpoint of the person using it. You say she was too far away to say that the chauffer was black??? Say what? How far away do you have to be for that, and will it also then impair your ability to determine the relative size of someone who is attempting to force open a door? ;-)

Sounds to me more like Gates was expecting what he was expecting...to be treated in a racist manner by some white people...regardless of whether that was really the case or not. Those who are determined to be deeply offended in some fashion are seldom disappointed in their negative expectations.

The smart thing to do, in any case, is remain calm and cooperative with investigating police officers, not start yelling at them and getting all high-handed about how you are someone "important" who is going to get them into a shitload of trouble for daring to question you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 06:43 PM

(I don't say. Gates says.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: GUEST,fretless
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 06:47 PM

Gates, by the way, is quite short -- under stress people of course will describe what they think they see, but it is still hard to imagine him being accurately described as a "large" man, black or otherwise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 07:04 PM

The needle has just moved from "Overblown" to "Utterly Ridiculous".


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 08:48 PM

What next???

A constitutional ammendment??? Impeachment???

When will all the petty politics end???

I mean, here you have a Republican Congressamn introducing a bill into Congress that would force Obama to apologize??? Is this a joke, 'er what???

Come on, ya'll... This shit is way out of hand...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: olddude
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:04 PM

Only in America can such stupid leaders exist to the extent that we have


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:25 PM

"Gates, by the way, is quite short..."

          Suffers from "Little Man Syndrome," I suspect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:33 PM

The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: meself
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:39 PM

What I want to know is - why haven't we been informed as to the body-type of the 911 dispatcher? I suspect a cover-up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:43 PM

The tape could be requested by the court. All calls are recorded.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:53 PM

The first question the officer asked was for "the suspect" to step outside of the house. You see he needs a warrant to go in or drag him out. But unless "the supsect" steps outside the house, the officer can not go in unless invited (sorta like the vampire lore)

Police do this to motorists as well. Without a warrant they try to gaod people into searching their trunk. If you agree they can put whatever they want in your trunk.

The disturbing the peace charge can be whatever the police want it to be.

Gates should know by now that no one REALISTICLY have Constitutional rights until after the fact. To have them in retrospect you must first survive police encounters and comply with their demand for respect and authority. If you don't suck up to their ego - you fucked up.

Don't forget...

There is a reason why these guys wanted to be cops.



BTW Obama said both sides acted stupidly, but that has been lost in the rasist media bloosport that passes for journalism these days.

Chronkite used to say that people should get the news they need, not the news they want.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: robomatic
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:59 PM

In my first post to this thread I believe I came down on the neighbor even used a medium non-nice adjective. I wish to backpedal HARD on that. I read in the NYT they released the call she made and she couldn't have been more precise. She said clearly that the people gaining entry could be homeowners, she wasn't sure. She did not refer to race of her own volition, the dispatcher asked her for more information.
I now am inclined to believe the caller was an ideal neighbor and did absolutely nothing to be critical of. I retract anything in the least critical about her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 10:06 PM

old dude, only in America...?

Well to be fair there are militia crooks all over Africa and drug cartel militias all over South America.
Their leaders survive on the corrupt status quo.


Pretty much all wars have a foundation of racism and ethnic superiority ideology.

Check out the documentary "War of the Worlds - a view of WW1 WW2 and the Cold War.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 10:07 PM

You always did have lots of class, Robomatic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 10:10 PM

In my first I spoke in an extremely biased and prejudicial fashion against the police. I'll probably be apologizing. We'll see.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: robomatic
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 10:14 PM

Ah, Bruce, many wouldn't agree with you, but thanks!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 12:02 AM

I think you make several very good points in your post, Donuel. Yes, cops are in a very powerful position vis-a-vis anyone they decide to question, and they have their ways of taking advantage, as you suggest....and, yes, you DO have to suck up to them and be a "nice guy" or you're giving them a golden opportunity to give you a whole lot of trouble...specially if they already don't like you for some reason.

So you need to stay cool.

It's certainly something that was always on my mind when encountering police officers who stopped me for any reason whatsoever. (sometimes they stopped me just because I apparently fit their profile of a "long-haired young guy who might be...hell, probably is...a drug user") Was I scared? Yeah. Definitely. But I stayed cool.

Gates didn't stay cool. That may have been for a number of fairly obvious reasons since he was already tired and frustrated, but that was the mistake he made.

As to what Obama said...yesh...both sides probably did act stupidly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 12:33 AM

One of uncounted numbers of ironies in this situation is that Sgt. Crowley's behavior was absolutely perfect, in contrast to that of Prof. Gates--until the arrest.

But no matter how you slice it, Gates' bad behavior--I heard he was auditioning for a new reality show "Professors Behaving Badly"---did not rise to the level of a criminal offense.   There was no justification for the arrest.

And it does therefore support those who like to read racism into any clash between a white policeman and a black person--though in this case it's unlikely.   Therefore it was stupid, as President Obama says.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 01:51 AM

Isn't it bizarre, Ron, with 10,000+ articles showing this Gates thing at any given time on google, that the experts aren't telling us how this works. For all I know, the standard of proof might be different in Gates' wrongful arrest case than it would be in an administrative proceeding to determine whether Crowley can be punished. It could be that Gates has to prove he had a legitimate purpose other than causing annoyance or alarm. It could be that someone has to establish that Crowley did not reasonably believe that Gates had any purpose other than to cause annoyance or alarm. The standard might even be that no reasonable officer could have believed that Gates was without legitimate purpose and only wanted to cause annoyance or alarm. And with a close reading of the statute (if the anonymous commenter gave us the right one), it doesn't even require that there be any actual risk of public alarm - only the "purpose" underlying the tumultuous behavior is the question.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 08:32 AM

It's a matter of interpretation.   And of free speech.   And as the quote pointed out--I got mine from Slate, and the anonymous blogger seems to have used the same quote but not given attribution--that there is absolutely no question that accusations of racism, which was --- and is, and ever shall be, world without end--the main theme of Professor Gates--are protected free speech.

It would be interesting to know for sure whether cursing out a policeman would be covered free speech--but that is totally immaterial to this case, since Gates did nothing of the kind.

I also found out something else I didn't know about Professor Gates:   it's unlikely he will ever have any financial problems again--he sold for $10 million a a web-based company he started. (Source:   WSJ 25 July 2009).

I wonder if "Professors Behaving Badly"   would get good ratings.   I might even watch it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 08:49 AM

200


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 08:54 AM

Of course another irony is that both men have the reputation for trying to bridge racial gaps.

Maybe Jeri, or whoever it was, has it right to just diagnose testosterone poisoning--in both of the main figures in this drama.

201


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 11:27 AM

Two strong-will guys with different takes on the issue. In the words of Forrest Gump, "S--" well, you KNOW what happens. Maybe Gates was tired and pissed off with the airline. Maybe the cop just came off a domestic and was in no mood.

But unfortunately America has the example of LA and four cops kicking the crap out of a Black man. And enjoying it. How Obama got into it is beyond me. But then I dream lots and avoid the news as much as possible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 03:37 PM

The 911 transcript of the original call is now on-line and the person calling did not identify the two "intruders" as Black men. She also said that they had suitcases and might not be intruders.

Interesting! What was the original news story based on?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 03:43 PM

To be fair, the 911 transcript and the recordings at the ECC ( of the police radio calls, with whatever can be heard of the background) should all be released and examined. The witnesses ( per the police report) should give testimony, and the truth should be determined beyond a reasonable doubt. Both sides should present their versions, and a jury of their peers should determine who is lying.

I think that's called a trial.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 04:00 PM

Or we could just forget about it and all get on with something that actually matters?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 04:18 PM

LH,

Hey, even this vital news item was upstaged by M. Jackson death info alerts.

You really need to understand what is important.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 04:23 PM

fuggetaboutit? no can do. World Beer Summit on Thursday. The entire world will be watching to take the measure of Obama and whether he has the abilities to ratchet down world regional tensions and conflicts. (Glad Gates isn't my friend. . . )

"As Crowley enters the premises of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., he should be careful. I hope he doesn't find himself cast as racially insensitive or on the wrong end of a lecture about how to do police work by those who have never had to do it.

After all, nothing ruins a good beer like the taste of condescension."

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/615/story/1006144.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 05:33 PM

BB - Yeah...I guess. (smile)

Say, what is up with Paris Hilton lately anyway?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 05:38 PM

Paris, Ann and Sarah arr forming a singing trio. Their promo shots will involve the play, "Macbeth" and then they'll do a world tour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 10:31 AM

sorry to bring this back up but here's a concise summary stating that contempt of cop can not be punished as disorderly conduct



(I still find it hard to believe I could torment a parking meter monitor just for fun, but whatever.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:02 AM

HERIC,

RE THE ARTICLE-

"Gates being arrested in his own home for questioning a police officer, an act that was neither seen nor heard by a member of the ''general public'' outside Gates' home – is as close to a certain illegal arrest as it gets.
"

False on two points.

1. Gates was arrested after following the policeman out of the house.
2. There was a (small) crowd of the general public there, which the police claim were shocked at Gate's words. So, it was obviously heard and seen.

In any case, the person making the claim ( in the article ) was not there. It should have gone to trial, and the guilty party, be it Gates OR the policeman, held responsible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:16 AM

yeah you're right that was not objectively written. Home for yard might be a fair synonym, but there were public witnesses. Also: The Mass. case it cites does not say that a risk of social unrest is required, just that the display might have "an impact" (see "annoyance," above) on the public. It also doesn't exclude cops from "the public" entirely - it says they are "different." hmm


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 12:27 PM

Here is what I meant when I postulated that virtually NO White person can know what it is like:

Leonard Pitts, Jr., Columnist


"The second argument is naive. One white guy I know recounts his own experience - cop barged into his home at 3 a.m., rousting him from bed, demanding I.D. - and says: "This (expletive) happens all over the place and it has nothing to do with race."

"And I say: I'll see your 3 a.m. roust and raise you Tony, jacked up on a street in Harlem, Bill, with a cop's gun to his head, Bryan, pulled over for an air freshener on his rear-view mirror, James, ordered to pull down his pants and lie on the curb, Robert, threatened with injury for drinking beer in the parking lot with friends after work. And that's just among guys I know, including three preachers.

"Now, broaden it to include the bridegroom shot to death on his wedding day, the African immigrant killed while reaching for his wallet, the Maryland man beaten senseless as he lay in bed, the Miami man beaten to death for speeding, the dozens of men jailed on manufactured evidence in Los Angeles and manufactured police testimony in Tulia, Texas, the man sodomized with a broomstick in New York.

"And if this expletive has nothing to do with race, then where are the stories of white men sodomized with brooms or shot while reaching for wallets? Are we supposed to believe it coincidence that the men this happens to always happen to be black?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 12:35 PM

"contempt of cop can not be punished"

Oh yeah? ;-) Try being openly contemptuous of cops in any town or city in Ontario, Canada, heric. Chances are very, very good that they will find some way of arresting you and/or charging you with something. They're extremely creative when put to that test, I assure you, and they can virtually always come up with something.

Showing contempt to a cop is exactly like showing contempt to a bull in a pasture or waving your hands wildly at a nest of hornets. The bull will usually charge. The hornets will sting. You can complain all you want that there is no specific law giving the bull the right to trample you as you run around trying not to get trampled and gored, but it won't do you any good at all. Only fools who can't manage their own hasty emotional impulses openly show contempt to cops, bulls, and hornets.

It's a game. Never forget that. You must play the game wisely or you will lose.

Gates figured he was somebody "important" AND somebody being discriminated against solely because of his skin color, and he reacted from those assumptions. He was not playing the game wisely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 01:01 PM

Here's the statute:
M.G.L.A. c. 272, § 53:

"Common night walkers, common street walkers, both male and female, common railers and brawlers, persons who with offensive and disorderly acts or language accost or annoy persons of the opposite sex, lewd, wanton and lascivious persons in speech or behavior, idle and disorderly persons, disturbers of the peace, keepers of noisy and disorderly houses, and persons guilty of indecent exposure may be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than six months, or by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment."

Disorderly conduct is punished by this (which can be called the "disturbers of the peace statute"), but is derived from the common law:

A person commits the offense of being a disorderly person if, "with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof," he or she (1) "engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior" or (2) "creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor." See Alegata v. Commonwealth, 353 Mass. 287, 303-304 (1967); Commonwealth v. A Juvenile, 368 Mass. 580, 587-597 (1975).
----------------------------

The phrase "disturbers of the peace," as used in the disturbing the peace statute, is construed in accordance with the common-law definition of the offense, making it a crime to disturb the peace of the public, or some segment of the public, by actions, conduct or utterances, the combination of which constitutes a common nuisance.

A two-part test is used to determine whether a defendant's conduct constitutes disturbing the peace, the first asking whether most people would find the conduct to be unreasonably disruptive, and second asking whether it did in fact infringe on someone's right to be undisturbed; the first prong is normative and protects potential defendants from prosecutions based on individual sensitivities, while the second prong requires that the crime have a victim, and thus subjects potential defendants to criminal prosecution only when their activities have detrimental impact.

Time and place are factors to be considered in determining whether activities are "unreasonably disruptive" for purposes of a disturbing the peace charge.

----------------------------------------------

While acknowledging the constitutional protections that surround speech, the Commonwealth asserts that the defendant's loud and angry verbal tirade rose to the criminal level of tumultuous disorderly conduct under subsection (a) quoted above. The Commonwealth argues that tumultuous behavior, "while perhaps not physically violent, may nevertheless be characterized as involving riotous commotion and excessively unreasonable noise so as to constitute a public nuisance." Commonwealth v. A Juvenile, 368 Mass. at 597, 334 N.E.2d 617. We conclude, however, that on the evidence presented, the defendant's loud tirade could not be prosecuted as tumultuous behavior under this definition.

The Commonwealth concedes that "there was absolutely no evidentiary support for the hazardous or physically offensive condition prong of the statute. There was essentially no live issue at trial concerning a hazardous or physically offensive condition." (Com. Br. at 21) Instead, the evidence (including the testimony of the two arresting officers) showed only that the defendant verbally protested his arrest, taunted the officers with possible legal action, and railed about the officers' hurting his neck. Words alone are not sufficient to establish tumultuous conduct. The only exception for a word-predicated offense under G.L. c. 272, § 53, is for "fighting words," that is, words, "which by their very utterance inflict injury or intend to incite an immediate breach of the peace." Commonwealth v. A Juvenile, supra at 591, 334 N.E.2d 617, quoting from Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568, 572, 62 S.Ct. 766, 86 L.Ed. 1031 (1942). The Commonwealth does not contend, nor could it, that the defendant's speech in this case constitutes fighting words. That the defendant's language was vulgar and unpleasant did not translate the speech into tumultuous, disorderly conduct. "To be disorderly, within the sense of the statute, the conduct must disturb through acts other than speech; neither a provocative nor a foul mouth transgresses the statute." Commonwealth v. LePore, 40 Mass.App.Ct. 543, 546, 666 N.E.2d 152 (1996). "[T]he mere use of obscenities in public does not make out the crime of disorderly conduct...." Commonwealth v. Johnson, 36 Mass.App.Ct. 336, 338, 631 N.E.2d 71 (1994).

The Commonwealth further argues that the defendant's nighttime eruption outside the apartment complex was noisy enough to cause people to gather and neighbors to look out their apartment windows and, as such, was extreme enough to constitute disorderly conduct. However, the mere fact that persons may be drawn to a scene because of noise and "verbal cacophony" does not mean that a defendant has engaged in criminally tumultuous disorderly conduct. See Commonwealth v. A Juvenile, supra at 593, 334 N.E.2d 617, quoting from Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15, 25, 91 S.Ct. 1780, 29 L.Ed.2d 284 (1971). On this issue, we note that in Commonwealth v. A Juvenile, supra at 582, 334 N.E.2d 617, "a crowd of approximately 100 shoppers gathered" to watch the episode. That level of crowd gathering did not qualify the juvenile's verbal tirade as tumultuous, disorderly conduct under that prong of the definition; nor did the lesser assemblage of the estimated ten or so persons who gathered outside the apartments in the instant case. (Moreover, in this case the evidence was mixed concerning the timing of onlookers gathering because certain of the onlookers came outside during the originating domestic violence incident and with the arrival of the cruisers-both of which events preceded the defendant's arrest and loud verbal protest.)

*3 Finally, the Commonwealth's depiction of an extreme, tumultuous event is not persuasive. In this respect, Commonwealth v. Lopiano, 60 Mass.App.Ct. 723, 805 N.E.2d 522 (2004), is instructive. In that case, the police came upon Lopiano fighting with his girlfriend in a car and ordered him to exit. Lopiano approached the police officer yelling and flailing his arms, protesting that the police were violating his civil rights. The court held this episode did not "support a reasonable inference that 'the noise and commotion caused by the [defendant's] behavior was ... extreme.' " Id. at 726, 805 N.E.2d 522, quoting from Commonwealth v. Sholley, 432 Mass. at 729, 739 N.E.2d 236. Accord Norwell v. Cincinnati, 414 U.S. 14, 16, 94 S.Ct. 187, 38 L.Ed.2d 170 (1973) (reversing a conviction for disorderly conduct where the defendant's protestations to the arresting officers were protected speech).

The judgment is reversed and the verdict is set aside. Judgment shall enter for the defendant.

So ordered.

Mass.App.Ct.,2008.
Com. v. Mallahan
72 Mass.App.Ct. 1103, 889 N.E.2d 77 Unpublished Disposition

(Following his arrest for assault and battery arising out of a domestic violence incident, the defendant launched a screaming tirade at the arresting police officers. The defendant's loud yelling continued for some ten minutes, as the officers walked the defendant, in handcuffs, from an apartment toward the police cruiser. The defendant's rantings included warnings that he would sue the officers, as well as loud protestations interlaced with profanities that he had done nothing wrong, including that he never "fucking touched that bitch." When they reached the cruiser, the defendant stiffened his body upright. One officer placed his hand on the defendant's head in order to move the defendant into the cruiser. The defendant sat on the cruiser's seat but left his feet outside. The defendant, who recently had neck surgery, yelled that the police had hurt his neck. The officers removed the handcuffs and called the fire department. An ambulance transported the defendant to South Shore Hospital and then to Massachusetts General Hospital.

During the originating domestic violence incident, approximately six people in the housing complex had emerged from their apartments and gathered outside. As the cruisers arrived with sirens on, additional residents emerged or peered out their apartment windows. At one point, it was estimated ten persons were outside.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 01:05 PM

(My prior guess that verbal abuse could create a "physically offensive condition" was all wrong.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 01:18 PM

If you think NO White person can know what profiling is like, you would maybe not hold that view had you been a long-haired hippie in Montreal before it became the rage. I was braced frequently by cops, and certainly I received my share of comments: "Hey, queer!" "Faggot!" "Ni##er lover!"

And what of gals who dress as they wish only to be looked at as whores or street-walkers? That's also profiling. Profiling existed long before Bush's regeime gave it a name, but it DID exist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 01:51 PM

Darn right, Peace! I experienced extremely prejudiced profiling by police and other prejudiced people from the moment I started growing my hair long in 1969-70 and generally looking like a musician of the time. And I'm White.

Also, I've heard that it's quite dangerous for a White person to go walking around in certain inner-city neighborhoods in various large North American cities. Why? Profiling, that's why.

Being White (or female) (or male) (or in fact anything at all) can definitely subject you to negative profiling...it depends on where you are, who's doing the profiling, and what's happening at the time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 02:02 PM

Come on it matters when then profiler has a gun and when he has the authority of the government and when he works for you. We have to work to stop it even if it can never be stopped.

(Gates, however, should go sit on a popsicle stick.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 02:04 PM

Yeah. Even back in the very early 1960s, the cops in Montreal had guns.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 02:09 PM

I find nothing to argue with in that last post of yours, heric. Agreed on every point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 02:16 PM

heric


re 2:02

Agreed on all points!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 02:19 PM

If profiling took place, indeed it has to be stopped. NO question.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 02:26 PM

Those girls dressed provocatively don't deserve any trouble, to be sure, but they do, in my opinion, deserve a very good scolding and an appreciation for the harm they cause society, the discomfort they cause men, their contribution to social unpleasantness. It is legally but not morally right to dress that way...there, I said it, so shoot me. And even news anchors etc. going around half dressed...sometimes in a most unattractive manner. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 03:02 PM

...the discomfort they cause men...   I think that is one aspect of this behaviour that can be greatly exaggerated. Aside from when the men in question might walk into lampposts while distracted, and that sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 03:53 PM

I'm NOT talking of profiling. I'm talking about the perception of profiling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 03:55 PM

I came within a hair of walking into a lamppost once because I was looking at an attractive woman. ;-) I hold no grudges against her over the incident, but I have remained a bit nervous of lampposts to this day...


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 04:33 PM

The 911 call that started it was placed by this woman, and they've replayed it enough now to know that she didn't assign race or blame, and even suggested that the men may be the homeowners. That was lost in the police report. In fact, when I first read about it, the story was already leaning to what inflammatory "facts" the 911 caller had inserted into the conversation. She didn't. So it looks like the police did.

Caller in Gates Case Says She Didn't Mention Race

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Lucia Whalen, whose 911 call led to the arrest of the Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home, made her first public comments Wednesday, saying at no time did she ever mention race to the responding police officer.

Ms. Whalen's statements contradict the police report filed by Sgt. James Crowley, who said Ms. Whalen told him outside Mr. Gates's home that she had seen "what appeared to be two black males with backpacks" on the porch of the yellow single-family house.

Ms. Whalen said that the only words she exchanged with Sergeant Crowley in person were, "I was the 911 caller." She said that he responded, "Stay right there."

Ms. Whalen, 40, her voice cracking, said she was deeply hurt by the reaction to the incident on July 16. She said she and her family had been the target of threats, which led her to speak out.

"When I was called a racist, I was the target of scorn and ridicule because of things I never said," she told the reporters gathered in a park here at midday. She added, "The criticism hurt me as a person but also hurt the community of Cambridge."

On Monday, the Cambridge police released the tape of Ms. Whalen's 911 call in which she told the dispatcher she had "no idea" if two men — who turned out to be Professor Gates and his driver — were breaking into the house, repeatedly mentioning that they might live there. She said that the two men pushed a door in with their shoulders, and that she was unsure "if they live there and just had a hard time with their key."

Ms. Whalen did not mention the men's race until a dispatcher asked her if they were black, white or Hispanic.

"There were two larger men," she said in the audio released Monday. "One looked kind of Hispanic, but I'm not really sure," she said, adding that she did not see what the second man "looked like at all."

Ms. Whalen also told the dispatcher that she called 911 on behalf of an elderly neighbor who saw the men trying to get into the house.

On Wednesday, she said she hoped that with the tapes out, "people can see that I tried to be careful," adding that she never thought that her words "would be analyzed by an entire nation."

She said that she had been the target of threats but that, after reflection, she would make the same call again.

"I respect the Cambridge police as well as Professor Gates and I hope my decision to speak out does not add any controversy to what has been a difficult situation," she said.

The Cambridge police have stood by their report and could not be immediately reached for comment.

The disorderly conduct charge against Professor Gates was dropped, and he and Sergeant Crowley plan to meet with President Obama for a beer at the White House on Thursday.

Ms. Whalen, who works at Harvard Magazine, said she was not asked to join the men at the meeting. Her lawyer, Wendy Murphy, who accompanied her to the news conference, said her client should go if asked.

"The three highly trained guys who acted badly are getting together for a beer tomorrow at the White House, and that's a good thing," Ms. Murphy said. "The one person whose actions were exemplary will be at work tomorrow here in Cambridge."


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 04:41 PM

"She didn't. So it looks like the police did."

                   Or Gates did!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 05:08 PM

Rig, read Sgt. Crowley's police report.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 05:39 PM

Sorry, Eb. I misunderstood.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 05:44 PM

So she said large(r) men?

So she did speak to Crowley at the scene?

Facts are like ghosts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 07:08 PM

So we now have another way to split the players here up..and that is elderly vs. middle-aged. And believe me, many many elderly of all races and persuasions live in terror, some with good reason, some with unnecessary fear. But it is something that needs to be addressed in this teaching moment. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 08:50 PM

"Or Gates did it!".

Perhaps the magnificent thinker who favored us with that bit of wisdom can tell us just how Gates can write the police report. Or maybe the poster can just start thinking before hitting "send". Which would be a pleasant change.






The truth of the question on the police report, will, I'm afraid, disappoint conspiracy theorists all over the spectrum, despite some Mudcatters' delight in such things.

Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas has said " the report is merely a summary of events." (AP 27 July 2009)





Those of us actually interested in the legal aspects of this--and there don't seem to be many Mudcatters aside from heric, Ebbie and I who are---owe a huge debt to heric for his sleuthing in the actual case history of the law.

"It should have gone to trial".   Only if Massachusetts was in a mood to throw away a lot of money--since the state would never have won.

Consider the results of the trials cited by heric. A case is cited in which "approximately 100 shoppers gathered" to watch. The state lost the case. In another case, the defendant's language was vulgar.   The state lost again. The mere use of obscenities does not make out the crime of disorderly conduct, as was noted there.

Interestingly, there is such a thing a "word-predicated offense" for "fighting words" which "by their very utterance inflict injury or intend to incite an immediate breach of the peace".
"Let's go burn down the fucking cop building", I suspect, would qualify. It's not clear what else would. But "To be disorderly, within the sense of the statute, the conduct must disturb through acts other than speech; neither a provocative nor a foul mouth transgresses the statute".   That's a clue. It takes quite a bit.

And nothing Gates said or did comes remotely close.

Face it:   Sgt Crowley was dead wrong to arrest Prof Gates, despite Gates' star turn in "Professors Behaving Badly". And it's disheartening to see the Cambridge police department stand behind Sgt Crowley.   Just as it's disheartening to see how Gates denies much of what he said.

But the arrest does not prove "racial profiling" by a long shot. And the police support is police solidarity with an angry policeman.

As a WSJ column by Thomas Frank points out, Gates himself, in a 1992 book, said something that fits perfectly the reaction to this incident--across the political spectrum:   "...the routinized production of righteous indignation is allowed to substitute for critical rigor".


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 09:00 PM

Also: From MSNBC 29 July 2009:   "NYT:   Cops 'don't get paid to be abused'."

That may be the crux of it.

And in fact that's wrong:   cops do get paid to take abuse.

As a Los Angeles officer, with the force 25 years, is quoted:   "....if you don't have a tough skin, you shouldn't be a cop".


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 09:10 PM

Like I said way back in this thread, Gates was arrested for contempt. Contempt of Cop. It's how they get even with the parties who don't hold the cop or his activities in high regard. Even if it doesn't go anywhere, i.e., charges dropped, it is still damned annoying to be subjected to that process. And cops know it. That's why they do it. It's an abuse of power, just to get even.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 09:15 PM

Ron - Haven't you noticed how Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton fall all over themselves for the chance to get arrested? Gate just simply didn't want to feel left out. That's why he pushed things to the breaking point. All of the evidence supports that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: fumblefingers
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:01 PM

Perhaps the Cambridge police should be given a course on who the big shots and untouchables are in the area. The course might also teach the officers how to bow properly and doff their hats to their betters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:06 PM

Good point, fumble!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Azizi
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 12:55 AM

I told myself that I wasn't going to post to this thread. But Riginslinger's and fumblefinger's exchange caused me to change my mind.

Let me first make this editorial comment-I had decided not to post to this thread because I am sick & tired of being the only African American (who publicly acknowledges her/his race) posting to Mudcat threads about race.

And for those who might ask "Does the racial identity of persons discussing racial topics matter?" I say sometimes, and maybe most times-most definitely. This doesn't mean that all persons who have the same racial identity will agree on racial topics. And it doesn't mean that people who have different racial identities will not reach the same conclusions about this topic. But in my opinion, there's a lot to be said about posting from one's experiences. And with regard to this particular subject, I feel very strongly that if there were more Black people who post on this forum and on this thread, this discussion would likely be far different than it has been.

So since no one else has posted this related news yet, I will. And then (regardless of any postings that I might agree with, or I might consider to be waay out to lunch, I won't post any other comments to this thread for the reason I've already stated...

**

"Boston cop suspended after racist outburst: (AFP) – 2 hours ago

BOSTON — Boston police said they had suspended an officer for a racist email likely to renew tensions over the recent arrest of black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates.

"Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis placed Officer Justin Barrett, 36, on administrative leave pending the outcome of a termination hearing," a spokesman for the force told AFP in a statement.

"Commissioner Davis was made aware of a correspondence with racist remarks and yesterday removed the officer of his gun and badge."

The email describes Gates, who was arrested and briefly detained earlier this month at Harvard, near Boston, as a "banana-eating jungle monkey," according to a copy published by news site MyFoxBoston.com.

The city's mayor, Tom Menino, was quoted referring to Barrett as a "cancer in the department" and calling on him to be fired."...

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g4pbTC14vyFkwQwh_uu8j5BTMmTA

**


Here's an excerpt from another article about that particular incident:

-snip-

"A Boston police officer was placed on administrative leave after he allegedly used a racial slur when referring to Henry Louis Gates Jr.

In a mass e-mail, Officer Justin Barrett, 36, called Gates a "jungle monkey," according to Elaine Driscoll, a spokeswoman for the Boston Police Department.

Gates, a black Harvard scholar, was arrested at his home earlier this month on a disorderly conduct charge after he tried to budge open the door of his Cambridge home.

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis found out about the e-mail on Tuesday and immediately stripped Barrett of his gun and badge, Driscoll said. The e-mail was sent anonymously to his Barrett's fellow guard members and the Boston Globe.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino called Barrett a "cancer in the department."

"He should be fired. He should be gone," Menino said.

Barrett, who is also a member of the National Guard, is assigned to District B-3. He was placed on administrative leave pending a termination hearing.

Gates became the center of a national debate on racism when he was charged with disorderly conduct after arguing with police sent to investigate a suspected burglary at his home near Harvard University.

President Barack Obama became embroiled in the uproar when he said police acted "stupidly." On Thursday, Obama is due to host both Gates and the arresting officer at the White House for what officials say will be a friendly beer.

But the email has reignited the controversy and dealt Boston's police a severe image blow just when they and the White House were hoping to calm tensions.

The email allegedly written by Barrett lambasts Gates for getting into an altercation with police.

"I am not a racist, but I am prejudice towards people who are stupid," reads the alleged diatribe -- containing frequent grammatical and spelling errors -- against Gates and local newspaper the Boston Globe.

"He has indeed transcended back to a bumbling jungle monkey."


http://www.officer.com/online/article.jsp?siteSection=5&id=47735

-snip-

If that particular Boston police officer took a course in cultural competency or in racial profiling, he flunked those courses in real life.

It's a shame because-in the main-this officer might be a pretty decent person and he might otherwise have been a good police officer. But he definitely made the wrong choice by sending out that mass email containing a racial slur. Hopefully, that former officer and others will learn from this situation since such opinions and such attitudes that were (are) held by police officers in Boston and elsewhere in the USA have resulted in death and other physical, mental, and emotional harm to persons that police officers were sworn to protect and defend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 02:07 AM

Have I ever told you, Azizi, that I'm glad you are here? I am.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Janie
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 06:48 AM

Steve Inskeep and Juan Williams    had a thoughtful conversation regarding this on Morning Addition yesterday that if you didn't hear, is worth reading.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Peace
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 01:54 PM

Well said, Azizi. I have been off the i'net for a bit--just returned from Montreal. I'm glad you're here, too. Always have been.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: fumblefingers
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 11:31 PM

Azizi,

I think this entire episode was caused by the hyper-inflated ego of a feller who is far too proud of himself--his race notwithstanding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 11:57 PM

Gates wanted not to "feel left out" so he wanted to be arrested.   Well, at least we can depend on something.   The brilliant poster who came up with that gem is indeed close to the perfect negative indicator-- though he may well not even know what that means.

"All the evidence supports that" only in that poster's head--which is certainly good for comic relief, but unfortunately not much else.   He shows no signs of even entertaining the possibility of actually thinking before hitting "send".

Ah well, we can hope.

It is certainly interesting that that poster loses virtually no opportunity to smear any prominent black or Hispanic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 12:05 AM

And it doesn't matter who "caused" the incident.   The only crucial point is the arrest. And I have not seen one post from anyone which justifies the arrest, and it's rather obvious who carried out the arrest. And it was not Professor Gates.

But please feel free to tell us why the arrest was justified. Please be sure of course to put your argument in the framework of Massachusetts law, since if you were Sgt Crowley, that's where you would have to defend it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 12:53 AM

"Gates wanted not to "feel left out" so he wanted to be arrested."

                  And look where it got him. That's what he wanted. Imagine all of his black associates who envy him because they haven't figured out some way to get arrested.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 01:04 AM

An awful lot of excuses are being made here for (or against) two guys (one White and one Black) who couldn't swallow a little of their macho pride and be half reasonable to each other in a stressful situation....

How about they both accuse each other of racism and see who can squeeze the most milk out of that cow? Or has the media already taken care of that angle? Well, yeah, I guess they have. Never mind. The cow is absolutely bone dry by now.

What a sad waste of people's time and energy this tawdry little incident has become. And meanwhile...there's a health care problem that needs to be solved in the USA, isn't there? And it affects at least 40 million people, if not a good many more than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: mg
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 02:13 AM

Public safety is a health care problem..probably the biggest one we have. Everything good flows from public safety -- good health, good nutrition, jobs, college, less stress, more happiness. Life itself. Liberty itself..which you don't have if you are terrified of going outside.

So this is not a trivial or tawdry incident. It is of massive importance because racial profiling is a huge problem, I am sure we would admit. Impertinence to the police is a huge problem because it makes their lives worse, them less able to respond quickly, and will grow and grow and grow exponentially and virally if it is not stopped. Snow plow lady and her ilk must not get deferential treatment from the police and minority youth must not get increased police interaction when they are not doing anything.

Fix this problem and health care will fall into place. There will purely and simply be fewer sick people because probably the two biggest sources of stress in their lives -- personal safety and financial woes due to underemployment -- will greatly improve. When a grocer or a laundress or a chiropractor is afraid to move into certain neighborhoods, when fire departments are afraid to answer calls, when taxis are afraid to venture -- are these all not health problems? Employment problems? Yes, they are. Can we fix things? Yes we can, if we would rather fix than agitate. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 06:54 AM

Anybody who thinks Prof Gates "wanted" to be arrested for any reason needs his own head examined.   And we certainly hope the poster gets professional help soon.

It certainly is, as I noted earlier, remarkable that that poster constantly attacks prominent blacks and Hispanics. Sounds amazingly like blatant racism---which we don't need on Mudcat.



Also:   "sad waste of people's time and energy".   Actually, this bit of fatuous pontification is off base for several reasons:

1)    Mary and some other posters have it right.   The incident actually brought up some burning issues:

the continuing problem of racism,

the "victim culture"--on all sides-- which complicates dealing with it,

the disgraceful state of law in the US, with the result that huge numbers of people, including some law enforcers, either have no way to know how to negotiate it or are willing to exploit the murky nature of it to play power games.


2) Also, it is not at all a " sad waste of people's time and energy" for anyone who intends to stop President Obama's health care reform.   Chances for health care reform depend to a large extent on his personal popularity, which as a result of this incident and his role in the aftermath has taken a hit. And the more prominence this incident receives the greater the damage to President Obama.   The fact this story has amazing "legs" is not good for health care reform--or anything else which depends heavily on President Obama's personal political capital.


And all this should be obvious to anyone who actually thinks about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 07:16 AM

'"Also, it is not at all a " sad waste of people's time and energy" for anyone who intends to stop President Obama's health care reform."'

                That's true, Ron. The incident certainly stopped health care reform in it tracks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 07:25 AM

What about the pattern of almost constantly attacking prominent blacks and Hispanics?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 09:11 AM

Yes, racial profiling is a huge problem! es! It is sickening. Yes!

However, if ANYONE wants to reduce their chances of getting arrested by police ( all together now in chorus:)

"Be as polite as you can be to the police and DON'T STEP OUTSIDE YOUR HOME AND DON'T INVITE THEM IN."

As assinine as it is, your porch is not considered by the police to be part of your protected domicile.

And I still believe that if Skip Gates lived in the world most of the rest of us live in, he would not have yelled at the police.

more of the same 2 cents
harpgirl


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 09:18 AM

What I mean when I say it's a tawdry problem, mg, is that it was just another situation with two prickly men who got ticked off at each other and got unreasonable with each other. Gates was clearly unreasonable with the cop, and the cop was probably unreasonable with him too (in that he should probably not have arrested him). That problem of two men being unreasonable with each other because of their own pride has been happening ever since the first cave men or Pithecanthropus or whatever walked this Earth. It's an eternal problem.

It's one of the things that creates a lot of unnecessary strife on this forum too...(and women are not immune to falling into that same error, but I'd have to say that men commit that error a bit more often than women do). Most of the strife and backbiting on this forum results from pride-based confrontations between people which escalate and get nastier and nastier...and that's what happened between Gates and the police officer.

It happens in every society, it always has, and it probably always will, and no set of laws or media debates about racism will ever make it stop happening.

That's why I say this incident was, in itself, a tawdry problem. If Gates was not a high profile guy and a friend of Obama we wouldn't even be hearing about it.

Can you use the incident to discuss issues like racism or disrespect toward police officers? Yeah, sure, you can. But you are never going to change the basic fact that a lot of people are still going to get their backs up and get unreasonable with one another in various situations regardless of what the heck race they are or what is going on. They do it basically because they are too insecure and too self-centered to give much thought to how the other person might be affected by their aggressive behaviour. They don't care about the other person's feelings. The only thing they give a damn about is their own sense of pride and entitlement...their own self-image.

And that is a completely individual issue that transcends race, economic level, creed, job description, nationality, or any other group definition you can come up with.

Ron - You are absolutely right when you say: "it is not at all a " sad waste of people's time and energy" for anyone who intends to stop President Obama's health care reform.   Chances for health care reform depend to a large extent on his personal popularity, which as a result of this incident and his role in the aftermath has taken a hit. And the more prominence this incident receives the greater the damage to President Obama.   The fact this story has amazing "legs" is not good for health care reform--or anything else which depends heavily on President Obama's personal political capital.

I couldn't agree more with you on that. I bet that's one key reason WHY we are hearing so much about this incident and why it will not go away. I do regard it as a sad waste of time for people to be doing that, mind you...but that doesn't mean that it's a sad waste of time for them...not from their point of view, because it yields exactly the political result they desire. It's just a sad waste of time from the point of view of someone who doesn't want to see damage done to Obama's credibility and his administration and his attempts to reform health coverage in the USA.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 11:52 AM

"What about the pattern of almost constantly attacking prominent blacks and Hispanics?"

                  Ron - I'm not sure that has any affect on health care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 07:45 PM

Rig-
well, it certainly shifts attention from any discussion of healthcare.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 09:23 PM

Rig-- My question, as if it's a big mystery to you, is exactly why your posts, when they mention a prominent black or Hispanic, virtually always cite them in a negative light.

It is amazingly similar to a pervasive and continuing racism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 09:30 PM

Ron - Sometimes I make mention of a prominent figure who is casting himself or herself in a negative light. I have nothing to do with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 09:15 AM

"...it was just another situation with two prickly men who got ticked off at each other and got unreasonable with each other."

Probably true enough - but there is a big big difference between what they did. Gettig angry and shouting a bit is in no way equivalent to arresting someone, handcuffing them and taking off to be locked in a cell when they have not done anyting that warrants that. Police officers are given special power, and they have a duty not to misuse that power which they exercise on behalf of the wider community.

Suggesting that both parties are equally responsible just because boity are at fault is analogous to saying that in a domestic dispute the one who uses violence is no more responsible than the one who said something that provoked that violence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 09:49 AM

Rig--

That won't wash.   Your attacks are lopsidedly against black and Hispanic figures.   I find it hard to believe that blacks and Hispanics virtually never do anything right.   The second part of it is you make excuses for figures who are not black or Hispanic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 10:51 AM

Well, Ron, maybe I should launch an attack against you. If you'll just let me know what color you are, I'll know how to proceed and...


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 01:16 PM

(chuckle)

Never mind, Rig. There's no way out now that you've been accused of racism. There is No escape. You are forever branded now, just like a "witch" in Salem or a heretic in medieval Spain. Yessiree, Rig, the jig is up now that Ron has you all figured out. You can squirm, twist, and turn, but you will never escape his righteous hand of justice!

The only effective way I can imagine that you might fight back...(other than simply not giving a damn what Ron Davies thinks about you)...is to accuse him of something similarly heinous and hound him endlessly about it on this forum. Sexism is always a fun accusation. Search through Ron's many posts and see if you can find some marginal evidence of that somewhere. Then there's anti-semitism...always a good possibility of finding that if you look hard enough and with malice aforethought. It's a real killer. Then there's just general snottiness and what could be termed a "pissy" attitude toward others, but it's not nearly as controversial as te accusation of sexism, racism or antisemitism, and you can't destroy someone's reputation with it, so I'd only fall back on that as a last resort. My advice? Go for the BIG character assassination guns. You know, the popular ones.

***

McGrath - I'm not suggesting that they're equally to blame. I'm just suggesting that they're both to blame to some extent or another for what happened. Agreed? I think they both got unreasonable.

I don't know if they're equally to blame, because I'd have to have been there and witnessed the entire incident myself to make that judgement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 01:19 PM

Here is what I think I take away from this: You cannot get to justice by bullying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 01:35 PM

That's right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 03:48 PM

As you say Little Hawk, it seems very likely they were both to blame, and both "got unreasonable" - but in the case of Gates "getting unreeasonable" may have amounted to mouthing off, and perhaps making some unfair comments, while in the case of Crowley it amounted to (mis)using police powers to slap handcuffs on Gates and cart him off to be incarcerated. A different order of "unreasonable".


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 04:55 PM

"You are forever branded now, just like a "witch" in Salem..."

             That's it LH. Ron is profiling us withces. Wait till Eric Holder hears about this!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 07:03 PM

McGrath saith thusly:

but in the case of Gates "getting unreeasonable" may have amounted to mouthing off,

Exactly. "May have".

and perhaps making some unfair comments,

Right. "And perhaps".

Both right so far.

while in the case of Crowley it amounted to (mis)using police powers

Here's where the statements are wrong. McGrath states as a fact that "it amounted to (mis)using police powers".   No "perhaps"; no "may have".   Just the bald assertion of misuse of police powers, only partly shriven by the parentheses.   Not even "in my opinion, based on what filtered through the media."

Were you there, McGrath? Did you personally have the opportunity to hear and to see what went on? The police officer did. Do you have the depth of police training and experience that Officer Crowley does?

A little less assertiveness in laying unknowledgeable accusations would be indicated, methinks.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 07:05 PM

There was a brilliant bit of journalism about this in today's Guardian by Pamela Merritt. Read it here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ron Davies
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 10:21 PM

"branding" Rig.   Uh, not exactly. More like actually reading what Rig says--over a considerable period.   Rather than favoring us with facile inanities.   But don't worry, you'll have a chance to observe in the future what Rig says about both black and Hispanic figures on one hand, and those who are not on the other. If you are actually willing to read.

However, anyone who thinks the Guardian article is "brilliant" is rather credulous and/or lazy.

It is quite easy to find out that in fact the officer did not refuse to accept Gates' ID. And that Gates was not arrested for "taking issue" but for allegedly creating a disturbance by loud and
"disorderly" conduct. You can "take issue" quietly. Gates did not.

The fact that the arrest was entirely unjustified does not mean the rest of us should accept sloppy journalism like the Guardian article.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 01:40 AM

Okay only because you brought the thread back to the top: Driving along I envisioned Gates appearing in heaven, allowed to visit Rosa Parks in her room, then watching her eyes as she tries for some glimmer of understanding what he's talking about, as he tells the glorious story and how he honoured her legacy and carried it forward. It works with almost anyone - Jackie Robinson, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Cesar Chavez, the uprisers on Flight 93, Dred Scott, Lena Horne, Sade. . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 01:17 PM

As I said before, disorderly conduct is permitted within the bounds of your own home, if the general public isn't exposed to it. May not be bright when there's a cop there, but it's certainly not illegal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 01:21 PM

dick,

"disorderly conduct is permitted within the bounds of your own home, if the general public isn't exposed to it."

and outside of the house, where a crowd is gathered to experience it? That is what was reported, Gates was warned twice OUTSIDE the house before the arrest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 02:32 PM


As I said before, disorderly conduct is permitted within the bounds of your own home,


But this was NOT within the bounds of his own home. It started there, but he brought it out into public.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 09:37 PM

Some further context:

Bob Herbert in the NY Times: Innocence Is No Defense


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: heric
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 10:15 PM

Thanks DD

more:

http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2009/04/25/harvard_advised_to_name_ombudsman/

http://blackpoliticalthought.blogspot.com/2008/08/harvard-university-to-scrutinize-campus.html

http://www.president.harvard.edu/speeches/faust/080826_hupd.php

(Not to imply anything, just as a point about reading the news: "youngster attempting to remove a lock from a bicycle tried to explain" might have been phrased "youth using boltcutters on a bike lock." I can't find any results on the promised review of that gun-waving policeman. - sounds like he'd fit in well in San Diego.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:43 AM

My own opinion (and that's all it is - an opinion) is that Henry Gates was sick and also very tired and jet lagged. I don't think it was his position of privilege that caused him to snap. I think it was his being tired, jet lagged, and sick, combined with the accumulated weight of a lifetime of living in a country that does practice racial profiling against Black people in a way that is profoundly upsetting when experienced over the course of a lifetime.

I think his behavior was perfectly understandable under the circumstances. Not smart, but who among us is smart under fire when we are tired, sick, and jet lagged?

I think the officer probably presented a demeanor that was easy to read as being motivated by racial profiling, regardless of whether or not it was his intention to racially profile Dr. Gates. And I think there is an excellent chance that he did treat Dr. Gates differently than he would have treated a White person. I say this because I don't see any other reason why the Police would lie in their report about what was said in the 911 call.

All of this put together would explain for me why Obama chose to try to resolve it in the way he did. Everyone probably has some amount of egg on their face, and what better way to clean it off than with a little beer among gentlemen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 12:23 PM

"However, anyone who thinks the Guardian article is "brilliant" is rather credulous and/or lazy."

Brilliant journalism - funny, well written and engaging. Does that explain what I mean any more clearly? And enough already with the snide personal stuff, Mr Davies. Ok? You can make your point without tipping over.

I shall now take a deep breath and rise above...


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: fretless
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 10:07 AM

And just to add a new dimension to the story, another African-American Harvard professor has come forward with a somewhat similar tale of being arrested in 2006 when the Cambridge cops asked him to step outside of the protection of his home. There are complicating issues here (read the story below from today's Boston Globe), but one has to wonder about the comparative police records of Harvard's AfAm and Caucasian faculty members.

...........
Second professor accuses police of bias
Harvard official asserts racism in 2006 arrest
By Tracy Jan, Globe Staff | August 6, 2009

A second black Harvard professor accused the Cambridge police of racism yesterday in wrongfully arresting him outside his home nearly three years ago.

S. Allen Counter, a prominent Harvard Medical School professor and head of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, spoke about his arrest on assault and battery charges in an editorial published yesterday with The Bay State Banner. The disclosure follows last month's high-profile arrest of renowned African-American scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Counter's attorney, Ozell Hudson Jr., told the Globe yesterday that Counter is considering his legal options over the manner he says he was treated after he complied with a request to step outside his house in December 2006 when police arrived to investigate a call by his former wife. She reported to police that Counter had tried to push their teenage daughter out of a moving car during an argument.

Counter said he had not previously publicized the arrest because he feared that police would harass him and his family. But he told Harvard colleagues about the incident and said he felt he had been mistreated because he is black. Counter said he was not told why police were at his home nor why he was being arrested.

In recent years, he said, it has become a common belief among the black community at Harvard that they should stay put when police come to the door.

"The word around Harvard is never step outside your house with these guys,'' Counter said in a phone interview. "We advise people not to step out. You call an attorney and stay in your house.''

Cambridge police would not comment on Counter's arrest yesterday. But a spokesman said that police have a right to enter homes without a warrant if there is probable cause.

"We don't bait people to come outside,'' said Officer Frank Pasquarello, the police spokesman. "All across America, people step outside their houses and meet us on the porch. We don't go in if they come out. But once we're in there, we don't have to take you outside to lock you up.''

Gates has said in previous interviews with the Globe that he was hesitant to cross the safety of his doorway when Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley asked him to step outside while investigating a possible burglary.

Neither Gates nor his attorney - Harvard law school professor Charles Ogletree, who Counter said has assisted in his case - responded to requests for comment yesterday.

It is unclear whether Counter's experience factored into Gates' decision to initially remain inside his home during his run-in with Crowley.

"I was polite, and yet police lied and said I was loud, just as they did with Professor Gates,'' Counter said yesterday.

Counter collapsed at the police station because of a heart condition and was transported to Cambridge Hospital, where he said he was handcuffed to a hospital bed all night while a police officer stood guard in his room. He was ultimately acquitted of the assault and battery charges during an October 2007 trial.

"I feel this is a case of racial and criminal harassment on the part of police,'' Counter said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 10:12 AM

How many black professors does Harvard have? Once we know that, we'll know when we're going to get to the end of this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: fretless
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 10:30 AM

Yeah, I suppose. But then there's always Yale and Princeton.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 10:38 AM

"She reported to police that Counter had tried to push their teenage daughter out of a moving car during an argument."


I can see why this arrest was improper- THAT is obviously acceptable behaviour amoung Harvard professors.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: fretless
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 10:56 AM

Yup, that's why I wrote "complicating issues." A he said/she said dispute in the midst of a troubled marriage. And, of course, he was acquitted of the charges. There's no way of knowing what actually went on in either of these cases, so we bring our predispositions to our determinations of whether we are dealing with arrogant, improperly behaving minority faculty members or racist officers of the law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 11:22 AM

" arrogant, improperly behaving minority faculty members "

Please strike "minority"


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 02:01 AM

Why, bb? Isn't that what this is about? Surely you are not implying that Black faculty members are in the majority?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: beardedbruce
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 09:28 AM

No, I think the problem is "arrogant, improperly behaving faculty members " Regardless of race- to single out only the minority ones seems a bit bigoted.

I will bet the police could give examples ( that will never make the news) about faculty members who are NOT minorities, acting as if they had special priviledges and different rights than others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: fretless
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 03:18 PM

I will happily and readily concede that "arrogant' and "Harvard faculty members" are noun-adjective clusters that go together like white on rice, but in this instance being black was central to the issue, perhaps in reality, certainly in the case of Gates' perception of the incident, and possibly in the case of Officer Crowley's response to Gates as a potential burglary suspect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry Louis Gates arrested - profiling
From: Riginslinger
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 09:34 PM

It's not hard to see why he'd be pissed. The whole thing was just a bad scene. Hopefully the Beer-Fest will help.


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