Patterico's Pontifications

7/22/2009

Obama: I’m Not Taking Sides on the Gates Arrest — But Man, Did the Black Man Get Screwed Yet AGAIN!

Filed under: General,Race — Patterico @ 11:24 pm

Obama spoke out about the Henry Louis Gates arrest tonight. He pretended not to take sides . . . and then proceeded to take sides.

Obama swallows the Gates line whole: Gates just showed his ID and then got arrested for seemingly no reason. If it happened to us, Obama said, “any of us would be pretty angry.”

Oh, really? Gates was “angry” because a police officer had come to investigate a neighbor’s report that two black men appeared to be forcing their way into his home. Having just jimmied his way into the home, Gates should have realized that the neighbor had seen him and his driver — and that the cop was reasonably following up on a reasonable concern.

That would have made anyone angry? No.

According to the police report, which I find more credible than Gates’s account, Gates started screaming about racism right from the get-go. (If he didn’t, then why did he get arrested?) And why? Because a police officer was reasonably following up on a reasonable concern?

No, it’s because Gates assumed he was being profiled. And so does Obama, who gives us a long lecture about the history of racial profiling in this country — as if that had anything to do with this incident.

It didn’t. As Jack Dunphy said at the Corner:

The claim that Gates had been “profiled” is ludicrous. Police responded to a 911 call from a witness who described two black men she believed to be breaking into a home. If contacting a black man then found inside that very home is deemed to be “profiling” then the term itself has been stripped of its meaning.

Welcome to post-racial America — where race hustlers hold sway, and all their paranoid fantasies receive official stamps of approval.

86 Responses to “Obama: I’m Not Taking Sides on the Gates Arrest — But Man, Did the Black Man Get Screwed Yet AGAIN!”

  1. To quote Cosby (or Pryor-can’t remember which) they could have been two psychiatrists making a housecall.

    Pinandpuller (a0bc64)

  2. Why did Barack want that question asked? I think he likes how it juxtaposes with his own victimy Waterloo what the mean old racist Republicans are plotting.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  3. I got pulled over once by cops who had my car on their stolen list. It had been stolen (and returned) several months earlier. They were pretty careful with me are REALLY wanted to see my license, registration and both-hands-at-all-times.

    I guess I could have got angry that they were not treating me with the respect I thought I deserved (“Don’t they know who I am?!”), but I could see their point once they explained what it was about.

    At their suggestion, I exchanged the plates on the car at the DMV the next day, rather than wait for the police to get their data straight.

    I was unhappy at the BS California-stop ticket they issued to cover their probable-cause ass, I guess if I just berated them for 10 minutes that would have fixed it, eh?

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  4. [...] is an update at Patterico.  It is interesting to note how quick the race card was played.  I suspect all sorts of cell phone [...]

    Gazzer’s Gabfest » Race disgrace! (b98ad6)

  5. Racial profiling does not happen in enlightened cities like Cambridge.

    Michael Ejercito (833607)

  6. When I was young, a friend of ours lived with a pot dealer.
    My buddy had his own entrance and bathroom. He shared the kitchen.
    Friday night, we’d been out drinking, whatever and went over to his place to smoke a little weed and then go home.
    We’d smoked weed before we left too and of course he left his keys inside… so we push open the bathroom window that is over his toilet and shove him in with a predictable splashing sound.
    My buddy opens his door and we get out his pipe and are loading it up when there is a banging on the front door.
    I am closest to the door, so I go out and when I look to my left into the kitchen, there is a kilo of weed that was left on the dining table that was in the process of being bagged for sale. The dealer guy and his girlfriend had gone out for pizza and just let it sit there. They had heavy curtains and had taped them closed to hide their work, but then they’d smoked a little too much, got stupid and got the munchies
    There’s more banging and lights and police and I’m yelling hold on…. so I crack the door on it’s chain and sure enough it’s the police who were called by a neighbor who saw us going through the window.

    The cops want to come in and I say I can’t let them in because the guy who lives here decides that and he’s on his way. I start yelling to my friend to get his ID and his ass out here, it’s the cops.
    I stood shoulder on the door and refused to let them in. I told them why we’d come in through the window, and my friend is coming, I’m praying they didn’t bail out on me and that the cops don’t kick the door…. so finally my friend shows up with his ID
    Then we walked the cops off the porch and around outside to show them his window and his entrance and I locked the main door behind us.

    They went through a gate behind a hedge and so I ghosted to the side and ditched everyone down to the railroad tracks and I ran four miles to where I was staying.

    My buddy got busted for his pipe and just the weed that was in his room. My other friends walked.
    Somehow the dealer guy got something like only 3 months in county and 5 years probation

    I got picked up, tired and dirty from running at 4AM. I got out on Monday by telling the preliminary judge that when no one had ordered me to stay and since I didn’t live there I figured I’d go home.
    He asked why I left my truck down the street and I told him I’d been drinking and wanted to be safe.
    The cops tore my truck apart, they’d gone through my little house and it was trashed, and they found nothing.

    After that the cops would pull me over almost every week and ask to search the truck, so I started letting them sort through the burger king trash and when they were done I’d drive off and leave the trash at the curb.
    We were on a first name basis and had these great arguments about who had to pick up the trash… I used to offer to bet them I’d pick up the whole neighborhood if they found even a flake but if not they could pick up their own mess and STFU and leave me alone.

    They finally got tired of bugging me about the time I moved to Mammoth Lakes, where for some reason the PD there decided I must be a meth smuggler for the next six months.

    I fit a profile.

    So I sold the camper shell, then the truck, cut my hair, gave up on a few more friends.
    I learned when to draw a line, when to be polite, when to protest and how to push.

    Some cops are genuinely good hearted. There was a cop up in Mammoth who let me go get coffee while he searched my truck and so I bought him one also and set it down about two cars away so he didn’t go all officer safety on me over a coffee.

    We sat there leaning our butts on some truck hoods and had a coffee he told me that his best advice was to cut my hair, lose the camper shell and lose some friends.
    And don’t take my attitude to LA (where he used to work) or I’d be biting a curb.
    I told him that as a juvenile I’d been hit with nearly everything they carry except a gun because I’d run and every once in a while they’d catch me.
    It was a sport. I lived in an area with large fruit orchards and I’d see them driving on a winding road, grab some oranges, cut across the orchard and ambush them and throw oranges at their car. Those guys hated me. I used to bait and hunt them.
    That old Mammoth cop just said something like: “That was then and this is now, son…. time to put all that bullshit down and grow up and be the best God made you”

    Oh yeah

    Obama is a rookie. Presidents don’t comment on petty BS

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  7. Who the hell is Skippy Gates, and why should I care? The news reports keep going on about how I should know and recognize this man instantly.

    Techie (482700)

  8. Maybe I am totally wrong on this approach but to me it seems that a lot of minorities self select to do a lot of crime and then when the cops go after them all you hear is too many actual criminals are being dealt with allegedly because of their minority status.

    But to me the cops are correct if they go after the places and groups where the most crime is concentrated.

    Like the guy said in the past. Why rob banks and replied ‘that’s where the money is’.

    nano (ea6549)

  9. “Maybe I am totally wrong on this approach but to me it seems that a lot of minorities self select to do a lot of crime and then when the cops go after them all you hear is too many actual criminals are being dealt with allegedly because of their minority status.”

    They should self-select to do white collar crimes.

    imdw (699b4b)

  10. They should self-select to do white collar crimes

    Can we put a white person in jail for acting like an asshat? Let’s find out – where do you live, btw?

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  11. The fact that Obama is a lawyer terrifies me. The more I watch the product of Ivy League educations (Obama, Gates) in action, the less I would want my daughter to attend such institutions.
    Obama says he’s not taking sides then does so.
    Obama probably never read the police report or interviewed any of the parties or witnesses.
    He proceeds to undermine law enforcement, whom he leads as Commander in CHief, without any information.
    He incorrectly compares profiling to answering a neighbor’s report of a break in.
    There’s a photo of a belligerent Gates being taken from his home with a nonchalant black cop assisting in the foreground (which instead of becoming proof of an arrest properly done will become another affirmative action excuse for having minorities represented in all kids of jobs – to ensure no racism occurred)
    They had to enter Gates’ home to get his ID, he didn’t have it on him I understand, but he was already belligerent.
    And what was the ignorance about being shot if he tried to jimmy the door at the White House? Also undermining law enforcement but in DC this time?
    These police were protecting a citizens’ property rights, which ended up being Gates’ property rights. They didn’t ask if the homeowner was black before they decided to endanger their lives and check out a potential break in. Instead of looking at it this way, Gates was yelling racism from the start. And he teaches our children at Harvard.
    Race relations have suffered and will continue to do so under Obama’s ingnorance. He is completely unqualified and speaks often and incorrectly about many matters, including this one. Another sad day in America.

    courtney (2979ef)

  12. The cop did act stupid. He’s at work. Should be professional. Gates is not. He’s at home, in his castle. Where you can still be a dick to people barging in. Specially when they’re supposed to be doing their jobs.

    [note: fished from spam filter]

    imdw (f02745)

  13. Didn’t he start off the whole exchange by admitting that he is biased, not knowing the facts, and did not want to take sides, then proceeds to take his friend’s words as the gospel twoof, take sides, and call the cops stupid? This is hopeandchangeandunicorns?

    JD (57d75b)

  14. Complain if you want, but in the cultural moment we’re in, the cop simply touched an electic fence. In Cambridge of all places, he should know how the game is played.

    Jack (a9896a)

  15. You know, I lot of things I post are trollish, just trying to get a rise out of you guys, especially on issues of race. But seriously, and with no rancor to people of other races or those who have married people of other races, when will you white guys learn?

    Folks of other races/ethnic groups generally pull for folks like themselves. They vote for them, they demand special treatment for them (Affirmative Action). They insist that their victimization is more important than others’ suffering (hate crime laws and their hugely uneven application). The insist on denigrating the accomplishments on the formerly majority population of the US (the cult of diversity, the multiculti educational curriculum that has more high schoolers knowing about Sojourner Truth than Thomas Edison or the Wright Brothers). Most of all they push for immigration policies which increase their own numbers — whether such high levels of immigration benefit those legally here already or not, and certainly without a care in the world for ‘old stock’ Americans. They know numbers mean power.

    You “colorblind” guys, in an ideological sense, are in the position of the Italian American facing Sean Connery in “The Untouchables”

    Remember the line?

    “Just like a wop, brings a knife to a gun fight”

    Well for you its

    “Just like whitey, brings colorblindness to a racial spoils system.”

    hortense (aka horace) (411ef0)

  16. So hortense establishes that the only racists in the story are Obama and Gates.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. Racism did play a part. If Gates had been white, the charges wouldn’t have been dropped.

    beer 'n pretzels (932ce1)

  18. RE: Comment 12
    JD~ You’re right. You are pretty idiotic.

    Seattle Slew (4dff28)

  19. You’ve all got to admit that racism is alive and well in this country. It’s tough for a black guy to get anywhere.

    Heck, when Obama was running for President did you see what people did to him? Everywhere he went in this country people were throwing money at him.

    Gesundheit (47b0b8)

  20. Gates and Obama has done far worse to Crowley than Crowley did to Gates.

    Obama, you are a disgrace to your office. You are more interested in being the President to black America rather than being the President of America. Both you and your friend Gates are miserable failures.

    John Henry Eden (d3a8ee)

  21. If you want to point the racist finger at someone, let’s point it at the neighbors. I hope the police have learned a lesson and will not to respond to these burglary calls.

    Modern police work is really “community policing.”

    It is best to wait until the dust settles and take a report. There is nothing to be gained by fighting crime.

    Alta Bob (7d5750)

  22. The cop was pretty stupid: arresting someone who has committed no crime, just because he’s mouthing off to you, is an abuse of power at best, and it’s particularly unwise to do it to someone who has basically told you they have a national megaphone.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  23. Black Liberation Theology, it explains what is going on with Obama. Rev Wright’s church taught that weird theology to it’s parishioners including Obama.

    Whitey is the essence of all the evil in their world, according to Black Liberation Theology.

    It’s standard procedure in our area if you are unruly to the cops they cuff you and then try to sort it out.

    Pretty dumb to comment about something you admittedly say you don’t know the details. why would you do that?

    Think Black Liberation Theology and then Obama’s plans all makes sense.

    bill-tb (365bd9)

  24. Obambi made a big mistake. Crowley is straight-talking (without a teleprompter), photogenic, and projects the kind of image most people want of their police.

    nk (989c26)

  25. Gates was not arrested for being black, but being an asshole.

    But I do not see how being an asshole, in your own home, justifies getting arrested. Was he violent? Completely out of control? Or was he just challenging the officer’s integrity and the officer reacted by arresting him? Gates has a chip on his shoulder about race. Cops have chips on their shoulders too.

    Joe (17aeff)

  26. Aphrael, the cop’s stupidity aside, it wasn’t racism. Gates calling the officer racist in public is wrong. Even worse, though is the President playing the race card on this issue. Why does this minor event rise to the level of being worthy of Presidential commentary?

    Steverino (69d941)

  27. Just remember, Steverino: the President is postracial.

    Right?

    Eric Blair (204104)

  28. The Failure will apologize to Officer Crowley when he sees the internal poll numbers. This was a huge mistake by Obama.

    John Henry Eden (d3a8ee)

  29. I don’t think so, JHE. Obama should be hurt by this in a fair world, but he won’t be.

    Steverino (69d941)

  30. Seattle Slew @ #17 – Lie often?

    JD (4277eb)

  31. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this incident. Obama is on a declining curve about now. Siding with your race baiting buddies, like Gates, may not be the best strategy but the teleprompter didn’t have that answer programmed in, I suspect. Blacks are 13% of the population and self hating white lefties may be another 15%. That’s a minority.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  32. What else could you expect from someone who is accomodating to Iamanutjob, is all palsy-walsy with Hugo, and demands that an incipient dictator be placed back into office.
    The One doesn’t know enough to just shut-up and gather data, but relexively has to put himself out front…since it (everything) is, after all, all about him!

    AD - RtR/OS! (73fe8f)

  33. aphrael–
    arresting someone who has committed no crime, just because he’s mouthing off to you, is an abuse of power at best, and it’s particularly unwise to do it to someone who has basically told you they have a national megaphone.

    Put like that, I’d say that it is integrity “at best” on the cop’s part. Someone telling a cop that they have powerful connections — and therefore should be immune from normal procedure — is abuse of power. I think you have it upside down.

    I am pretty sure that if I acted as Gates did, I’d be facing a misdemeanor.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  34. There was racism demonstrated in this incident. Justice would be served if Mr. Professor Gates would be suspended from teaching for an appropriate period of time that could be shortened with an apology for his racist outburst.

    Thomas (acd353)

  35. [...] Patterico hits the nail on the head: According to the police report, which I find more credible than Gates’s account, Gates started screaming about racism right from the get-go. (If he didn’t, then why did he get arrested?) And why? Because a police officer was reasonably following up on a reasonable concern? [...]

    Flopping Aces » Blog Archive » Obama – I Don’t Know All The Facts But The Cops Acted Stupidly…Oh, BTW, Doctors Are Greedy SOB’s Also (e7cd22)

  36. If I were the neighbor witness to the attempted break-in, there’s no way I would be calling to report for this man’s house again. Let it burn to the ground and then call the fire department, but that’s about it. And then only if my own house was at risk.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  37. If you’re black (or latino! Obama can’t get any more black voters), owning the property you commit crimes on is now proof that you are innocent, even if people see you commit the crimes.

    It isn’t a serious crime to disturb the peace, but it is indeed a crime to scream and shout on your lawn as police tell you to stop, repeatedly.

    Then again, arresting a powerful democrat who isn’t white is clearly a bad idea these days if you don’t want to be slimed. But stupid? I think the people are getting the right message about this cop and about Obama. I’m happy this incident occurred.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  38. Steverino: please note that I have not said anything about racism. My point was entirely that the cop was stupid. Stupidity and racism may overlap but they are not coterminous. :)

    Kevin, at 33: I think there’s an underlying asumption there that being arrested for being rude to a cop is normal procedure. It shouldn’t be.

    The cop did his job in responding to the call. He verified Gates’ identify. Gates then proceeded to be an *****e. That’s not an arrestable offense … and if it is, the law ought to be changed.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  39. Steverino: please note that I have not said anything about racism. My point was entirely that the cop was stupid. Stupidity and racism may overlap but they are not coterminous.

    I understand that, aphrael, but the point of the post was that Obama was playing the race card here. Again, the cop may have been dumb (though not as dumb as the professor), but he doesn’t deserve to be called racist over it.

    Steverino (69d941)

  40. I think he was very smart. And cool. And calm. And collected. He did not slap the nasty little loudmouth upside the head like any normal man would have done. He followed the law.

    nk (989c26)

  41. NK: the law allows you to be arrested for badmouthing a cop who is on your property?

    I’m not convinced this is true.

    And if it is true, then the existence of that law is an independent outrage.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  42. Fair enough, Steverino. I was doing a poor job fof responding to JD at #13 by pointing out that, whatever else you may believe about President Obama’s position on this, calling the cop stupid was by itself reasonable.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  43. aphrael, I appreciate your reasonable conclusion that the law should be changed. I disagree, but that makes more sense than bashing the cop for arresting someone who was obviously interfering to the point where Gates couldn’t even hear questions and was asked to be quiet when screaming in his front yard.

    Perhaps the laws should be changed to permit this… that’s up to the legislators up there. But until they do, the cop is within his rights, and perhaps obligated by duty, to arrest people who disturb the peace and interfere with investigations. That cop needed to know who Gates was and who that driver was. Gates was getting in the way to some extent and being unpeaceful to great extent. If it wasn’t a crime here in Texas, I would want that to be.

    It’s one thing to refuse to cooperate with a cop, and an entirely different thing to scream to the point where the cop can’t do his job.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  44. I still don’t see how the cop was ‘stupid’. Either he was a power abusing monster or a public servant arresting a criminal for disturbing the neighborhood and an investigation, but stupid?

    There’s absolutely no evidence at all that this cop didn’t mean to do what he did. I see no errors.. just a careful deliberate path by the officer in dealing with a lunatic.

    Obama admitted he didn’t have the facts: that makes his name calling completely out of line.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  45. aphrael–
    As I understand it, there was a long rash of rather nasty invective coming from Gates, including sexual references to the officer’s mother and many four-letter words.

    The totality of the behavior made the officer’s job of investigating the reported crime impossible. Interfering with an officer is a misdemeanor nearly everywhere.

    Even if Gates proved he lived there, there was a breaking and entering reported, and other people who lived there might be involved, perhaps as victims. Given the nature of Gate’s conduct, I’d want to be sure that, for example, there was not a battered wife in a bedroom someplace, bleeding out.

    This isn’t so simple, and Gates was WAY THE F&*^ out of line and if I did that I’d be arrested.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  46. Also, aphrael, you seem to accept (now) that the officer was correct not to cower when told how important and well-connected Gates was. Or do I have this wrong?

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  47. Kevin, either way, Obama has certainly sent out a message not to investigate anyone with the right connections.

    Man says ‘you have no idea who you’re messing with!’ to a cop! and Obama’s first comment is ‘I’m friends with him, so I’m biased! And while I don’t know the facts, the cops were stupid! Racism is a big problem with cops!’

    Most cops out there will justifiably pause to consider the pressure this cop is now under. The president will happily involve himself in any matter that affects his friends. Some people are above the law.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  48. It appears the behavior of this academic was insulting and involved a great deal of thrash talking which has been support by not only the police involved but by the man’s neighbors. He deserved his trip to the pokey.

    As for Obama, what else should we expect from a man who was mentored by Rev. Wright?

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  49. aphrael,

    The Cambridge MA City Code defines the offense of disorderly conduct as follows:

    9.08.010 Disorderly conduct — Profanity and insulting language.

    No person shall behave himself in a rude or disorderly manner, or use any indecent, profane or insulting language in any street or public place. No person shall make or cause to be made, any unnecessary noise or noises in any public street, private way or park, so as to cause any inconvenience or discomfort for the inhabitants of the City.

    You may disagree with this law but if the police report is accurate (and we don’t know that yet), I don’t think you can deny Gates’ behavior met this criteria.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  50. I linked the disorderly conduct law because it’s my understanding that is what Gates was arrested for. I know the charges have been dropped but I wonder if it was because he was in his house or on his front porch — not on a street or public place — when he allegedly used offensive language.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  51. DRJ, thanks for that! Very helpful.

    A cop’s sworn job is to enforce laws, even if he doesn’t like those laws. I know if I were a cop I would hate to protect a traitor from assault, or ask for a license to carry a gun, but I’d have sworn to.

    Obama says this cop was stupid to enforce laws against a friend of his. Of course, if Palin’s daughter were screaming and cussing and calling a cop a sexist, he would call the cops stupid for NOT enforcing this simple and excellent law.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  52. That ordinance should will not survive First Amendment scrutiny. I don’t know whether my whistling, my laughing, my conversation with my wife and daughter, are unnecessary noises which may cause discomfort to some inhabitant of the City.

    nk (35ba30)

  53. And, BTW, you cannot commit the crime of disturbing the peace of a police officer. They are not allowed to allow their peace to be disturbed.

    nk (35ba30)

  54. Manbearpig had a post that argued that the cop violated the 4th Amendment, and various Federal and State laws, and should be brought up on civil rights charges. MSNBC practically put a bedsheet and a pillowcase on the guy. Well played, Barcky. Does he still think he is a rabble-rousing community organizer?

    JD (c3a7b7)

  55. “Manbearpig had a post that argued that the cop violated the 4th Amendment, and various Federal and State laws, and should be brought up on civil rights charges.”

    DRJ now thinks this is about ‘offensive language.’ So add the first amendment in there too.

    imdw (fd1fb7)

  56. That would be good. Not for Sergeant Crowley, but for all the rest of us. Let us see the real face of the little bastard spawn of a Kenyan bigamist and an underage Kansan hippie. Let the poison show.

    nk (32c481)

  57. DRJ: thank you for the link. It’s quite helpful and informative.

    NK: I think it fails under a ‘void for vagueness’ argument, as well. It’s impossible to tell what conduct is or is not prohibited by that law, so the law itself violates due process of law.

    Juan: there is no way that the Cambridge police could possibly arrest everyone who violates that law, or even everyone whom they notice violating it. It is clearly selectively enforced; the question then becomes, what criteria were the police using in deciding when to enforce, and were those criteria permissible?

    My contention is that if the criteria used to selectively enforce the law was “he was being a jerk to me”, it’s impermissible.

    That said, Kevin has a very good point about the necessity to investigate to see if other occupants of the house were ok with what was going on.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  58. Butt out, imdw. You would not make a pimple on DRJ’s cat’s ass.

    nk (32c481)

  59. imdw,

    Weren’t the charges for disorderly conduct? If so, I linked the relevant ordinance. It’s not my charges or laws, it’s Cambridge’s.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  60. “Weren’t the charges for disorderly conduct? If so, I linked the relevant ordinance. It’s not my charges or laws, it’s Cambridge’s.”

    I know. I read the charge. But you highlighted the use of ‘offensive language.’ Whichever. Serious first amendment problem. Anyone else concerned?

    imdw (490521)

  61. No, it’s not a first amendment problem.

    Why would it be? that’s ridiculous. The first amendment certainly isn’t absolute. disturbing the peace is an age old exception. One of the most obvious exceptions is obscenity. Good grief.

    The only kind of exception that would concern me is political expression. Gates was threatening to @#$@ a cop’s mother and screaming in the middle of an otherwise peaceful neighborhood street. Yeah, that’s not protected by the constitution, and must not be.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  62. This alphie wannabe would not know a good-faithed discussion if it bit him in the pee-pee.

    JD (410197)

  63. Aphrael,

    Do be sure to write what your professors want you to write but there is no substantive due process any more — except for First Amendment, death penalty, abortion, and Lawrence v. Texas. But just don’t say Fifth Amendment substantive due process unless you are very, very sure that’s what your professor wants to hear.

    nk (32c481)

  64. I do not have time to investigate this, but I know that similarly vague laws in California have been rescued from their vagueness by the courts construing them to apply only to certain behaviors. I would not be surprised if MA has done something similar.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  65. aphrael, you’re 100% right that cops can’t get all the criminals. But they are still sworn to arrest people who commit crimes in their presense.

    Of course, the legislature is passing the buck to the cops. The laws are selectively enforced, as you note, but if the law was broken, it’s just not fair to complain that the cop enforced it. even if he disliked (as anyone would) the jerk breaking the law.

    I think there are many examples of disturbing the peace that shouldn’t be prosecuted. But this example of pretty extreme. The guy intended to make a scene. He was warned to stop. Maybe the law should be refined in some way, but I can’t think of a good refinement that would exclude this, because this guy really was disturbing the hell out of the peace.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  66. Comment by Juan — 7/23/2009 @ 4:31 pm

    I intimate that you are not a lawyer, Juan.

    nk (32c481)

  67. NK: that’s a bit cynical, isn’t it? :) As far as I know, Papachristou and its progeny are still good law, at least in the sense that they haven’t been officially repudiated.

    Are you saying that in practice they’re pretty much a dead letter, at least in your jurisdiction?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  68. “Gates was threatening to @#$@ a cop’s mother and screaming in the middle of an otherwise peaceful neighborhood street. Yeah, that’s not protected by the constitution, and must not be.”

    If you say so. I think people have the right to cuss out cops that barge into their houses and don’t ID themselves.

    imdwi (bb6bc2)

  69. This was not some random person walking down the sidewalk, or relaxing in his living room. He was a person found at the scene of a crime, as reported to 911.

    JD (410197)

  70. imdw,

    I don’t know if Gates was arrested for having a “rude or disorderly manner” or for using “indecent, profane or insulting language” (probably both) but I was using offensive language to refer to the first sentence of the ordinance. Based on what I’ve seen, I don’t think the second sentence (prohibiting “unnecessary noise or noises in any public street, private way or park”) would be as applicable.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  71. Imdw – That is a distortion of what happened that is so dishonest that it is best characterized as a lie.

    JD (410197)

  72. “He was a person found at the scene of a crime, as reported to 911.”

    And not as it actually was at the time of the arrest. You think the cop still thought it was a crime ?

    [note: fished from spam filter]

    imdw (758828)

  73. Comment by aphrael — 7/23/2009 @ 4:38 pm

    No! We agree as long as it’s about the First Amendment. I thought you were taking it to the Fifth Amendment. Sorry.

    nk (32c481)

  74. OK, no matter how distinguished a professor of African American studies he is—and no matter how belligerant he was or wasn’t– can we at least all agree that it’s just plain weird for guy frequently photographed in a dashiki to go by the nickname of “Skip”?

    elizabeth (752167)

  75. Here is a First Circuit case that discusses Massachusetts’ law on disorderly conduct, the First Amendment, and vague and overbroad laws. I don’t know if this case summarizes the current state of Massachusetts law but it provides good background and specifically notes that “[u]nder Massachusetts law, speech alone does not constitute ‘disorderly’ conduct.”

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  76. “Here is a First Circuit case that discusses Massachusetts’ law on disorderly conduct, the First Amendment, and vague and overbroad laws. I don’t know if this case summarizes the current state of Massachusetts law but it provides good background and specifically notes that “[u]nder Massachusetts law, speech alone does not constitute ‘disorderly’ conduct.””

    Yup. So JD, add the first amendment to the list of classes this cop needs. Maybe his union can help him out with that?

    [note: fished from spam filter]

    imdw (8be8bf)

  77. The DA dropped the charges which proves that the cop is racist. It is impossible to be disorderly on your own property and those racist racist racisty cops should know better than to violate his basic rights under the Constitution, while trampling all over several State and Federal laws, specifically Duran and Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Officer Crowley is so screwed.

    JD (cc3aa7)

  78. I intimate that you are not a lawyer, Juan.

    Comment by nk — 7/23/2009 @ 4:36 pm

    Oh ok. I’m really a circus midget. Don’t tell the state bar, or they’ll have me on a UPL.

    Seriously, though… you could have substantively addressed whatever opinion I expressed that you find sooooooo awful that anyone saying could not be a lawyer. I don’t bite. Even though you’re probably completely wrong on the law and I would defend my position, and it might take more effort, I bet you’d enjoy that a lot more than just spitting at me like an animal.

    My legal views in this thread were that the arrest were legal, that cops obviously can’t enforce all law violations but I think this was a good way to diffuse the situation, that the first amendment has exceptions and this speech is not protected, and I think that’s it. I still like those views. If you think I’m not a lawyer because of my stilted speech, well, I’m just a lawyer who isn’t a great writer (which I realize is a problem). Of course, you’re no prize either.

    What’s sad is that you have a lot of funny comments and a lot of views I share. you just ruin it because substance isn’t your style.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  79. JD, there’s no surprise that the charges were dropped. I mean, those black panthers with clubs at polling places had charges dropped after the case was basically won.

    Beyond the fact that the DA probably has much better cases to pursue and that this situation was dealt with effectively by the arrest alone, the fact is that people Obama doesn’t want prosecuted do not get prosecuted. He’s shown several examples of canceling prosecutions, firing investigators and IGs.

    I guess I’m exaggerating my case, because I wouldn’t have pressed the case at all either for anyone just mouthing off to a cop. But (as I realize you agree), Gates did break the law, and you can’t complain about being arrested when you break the law.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  80. [...] Patterico hits the nail on the head: According to the police report, which I find more credible than Gates’s account, Gates started screaming about racism right from the get-go. (If he didn’t, then why did he get arrested?) And why? Because a police officer was reasonably following up on a reasonable concern? [...]

    The Baltimore Reporter (5ef58e)

  81. Comment by Juan — 7/24/2009 @ 2:55 am

    Thank God, finally someone who thinks being called not a lawyer is an insult. ;) Ok, ok, if you told us you were a lawyer, I missed it or forgot it. I would have said, “You are not a criminal lawyer”, otherwise. Because DRJ, aphrael, and I, basically stated the prevailing law on disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.

    P.S. I took to heart your accusation that I am picking on you, and I have been careful to avoid doing so. But I am of Spartan descent on my mother’s side and maybe there’s a 2,400-year old racial memory that makes me subconsciously antagonistic against Persians. ;)

    nk (834afc)

  82. The cop was definitely stupid, and hopefully his fellow cops have learned: Only enforce the law against white people.

    SDN (9e17b6)

  83. nk, we’re cool. I appreciate your graceful attitude. You’re obviously a better man that I gave you credit for.

    I kinda dislike persians too, thanks to some ridiculous family. Even though I love the food. I never accuse anyone of self loathing because I think it’s a very complicated little issue.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  84. Well, actually, classical history is one of my hobbies, and although Cyrus the Great was half Mede and half Persian, the Medes were the dominant ruling class by the time of the Greek invasions.

    But … you know … one man’s Mede is another man’s Persian. ;)

    nk (caf4a2)

  85. They need a song to set the tone for the beer-drinking evening. How about…

    White Lies about White Guys
    Dr BLT and Rockwell
    words and music by Dr BLT copyright 2009
    http://www.drblt.net/music/whiteDemom.mp3

    This is not from the CD, Right-wingers Need Love Too, it’s from a forthcoming CD of mine called From Buck Owens Blvd to Merle Haggard Drive:
    http://www.drblt.net

    Dr BLT (713663)


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