Patterico's Pontifications

7/22/2009

Was Henry Louis Gates Arrested Because of Racism? A Response to Scott Eric Kaufman

Filed under: General,Race — Patterico @ 7:25 am

Scott Eric Kaufman asserts that the recent arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was motivated by racism:

Racism in America is truly dead.

(Except for the insignificant bit of it that motivated the arrest in the first place.)

I contend that the motivation was likely something else: the volatile combination of a Harvard professor overly eager to accuse cops of racism, and a cop high on his own authority and sense of outrage.

Let’s review the competing versions of events, which are rather similar but for a curious omission by Professor Gates. According to Professor Gates, he was returning home after a trip to China when he had trouble getting into his home:

Professor Gates attempted to enter his front door, but the door was damaged. Professor Gates then entered his rear door with his key, turned off his alarm, and again attempted to open the front door. With the help of his driver they were able to force the front door open, and then the driver carried Professor Gates’ luggage into his home.

A neighbor apparently saw the two men throwing themselves into the door, and got suspicious. According to the police report (.pdf), a woman saw Gates seemingly trying to break into the home, and called police. The responding officer spoke with the witness and wrote that she

went on to tell me that she observed what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the porch of [redacted] Ware Street. She told me 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.

Obvious racism on her part, right? Everyone enters their own home by trying to wedge their shoulder onto the door.

Back to Gates’s version. According to Gates, he was on the phone to the Harvard Real Estate office to report the damage to his door when the officer appeared and asked him to step outside:

When Professor Gates opened the door, the officer immediately asked him to step outside. Professor Gates remained inside his home and asked the officer why he was there. The officer indicated that he was responding to a 911 call about a breaking and entering in progress at this address. Professor Gates informed the officer that he lived there and was a faculty member at Harvard University. The officer then asked Professor Gates whether he could prove that he lived there and taught at Harvard. Professor Gates said that he could, and turned to walk into his kitchen, where he had left his wallet. The officer followed him. Professor Gates handed both his Harvard University identification and his valid Massachusetts driver’s license to the officer. Both include Professor Gates’ photograph, and the license includes his address.

Professor Gates then asked the police officer if he would give him his name and his badge number. He made this request several times. The officer did not produce any identification nor did he respond to Professor Gates’ request for this information. After an additional request by Professor Gates for the officer’s name and badge number, the officer then turned and left the kitchen of Professor Gates’ home without ever acknowledging who he was or if there were charges against Professor Gates. As Professor Gates followed the officer to his own front door, he was astonished to see several police officers gathered on his front porch. Professor Gates asked the officer’s colleagues for his name and badge number. As Professor Gates stepped onto his front porch, the officer who had been inside and who had examined his identification, said to him, “Thank you for accommodating my earlier request,” and then placed Professor Gates under arrest. He was handcuffed on his own front porch.

How very odd! Professor Gates was nothing but polite, and yet officers showed up en masse and arrested him for no reason. I guess it really is racism!

The police report tells a slightly different story:

As I turned and faced the door, I could see an older black male standing in the foyer of [redacted] Ware Street. I made this observation through the glass paned front door. As I stood in plain view of this man, later identified as Gates, I asked if he would step out onto the porch and speak with me. He replied “no I will not”. He then demanded to know who I was. I told him that I was “Sgt. Crowley from the Cambridge Police” and that I was “investigating a report of a break in progress” at the residence. While I was making this statement, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed “why, because I’m a black man in America?”. I then asked Gates if there was anyone else in the residence. While yelling, he told me that it was none of my business and accused me of being a racist police officer. I assured Gates that I was responding to a citizen’s call to the Cambridge Police and that the caller was outside as we spoke.

According to the police report, Gates then got on his phone and told the person on the other end of the line to “get the chief” because he was “dealing with a racist police officer in his home.”

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.

According to the report, the officer asked Gates for identification, and after initially refusing, Gates gave him a Harvard identification card. The officer started radioing Harvard police as Gates screamed at him, demanding to know his name. The officer claims he provided it but that Gates was so busy yelling that he didn’t hear it. The officer said he would be going outside, at which point Gates allegedly said: “ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside.”

As I descended the stairs to the sidewalk, 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. Due to the tumultuous manner Gates had exhibited in his residence as well as his continued tumultuous behavior outside the residence, in view of the public, I warned Gates that he was becoming disorderly. Gates ignored my warning and continued to yell, which drew the attention of both the police officers and citizens, who appeared surprised and alarmed by Gates’s outburst. For a second time I warned Gates to calm down while I withdrew my department issued handcuffs from their carrying case. Gates again ignored my warning and continued to yell at me. It was at this time that I informed Gates that he was under arrest.

This version seems much more credible than Gates’s version, in which he is unfailingly polite but ends up getting arrested for seemingly no reason. While the police officer no doubt wrote his own report in a self-serving manner, it explains everyone’s behavior in a much more credible way.

Two observations.

Gates should not have been screaming “racism” from the beginning. He should have realized that it looked like he was breaking into his home. He should have canned the accusations of racism. They were inappropriate.

Also, the officer should not have arrested Gates. Gates appeared to have failed the “attitude test.” This gets a lot of people arrested, but that doesn’t make it right. If this report had crossed my desk, I wouldn’t have filed the case. Indeed, the City of Cambridge and the Police Department issued a statement indicating that they recommended that charges be dropped, and that has happened. This is appropriate. You can’t arrest someone for being an obnoxious jerk.

Viewed with the aid of this information, this does not appear to be a case of a racist police officer, as claimed by Scott Eric Kaufman. It appears to be a high-on-himself Harvard professor inappropriately screaming “RACISM!!” combined with an offended cop who got high on his own authority and sense of outrage, and made an inappropriate arrest.

Kaufman needs to rethink this.

314 Responses to “Was Henry Louis Gates Arrested Because of Racism? A Response to Scott Eric Kaufman”

  1. Did race play a part? Yeah, a little. The police report was about two black men breaking into Gates’ home so the officer had a legitimate reson to inquire. Boston is a notoriously hypocritical place when it comes to race relations–perhaps one of the worse cities in the country for that.

    But having mouthed off to a few cops in my youth, I can tell you that it generally is counter productive. Gates just returned from a long trip, had a cold, has a chip on his shoulder about race, and is generally a pompous asshole anyway. But it was his house. So once he showed his ID that should have been the end of it. Good cops understand people get emotional and it is really not personal, it is water off a ducks back. Better to deescalate the situation. Instead Gates got some of this.

    Joe (17aeff)

  2. oh. There’s a cop. Yes sir. No sir. This is what you say. Even if they look sort of like they might could be stupid or provincial. That’s what my dad taught me anyways and it’s been very good advice.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  3. oh. What I think personally apart from what dad told me is that allowing that sometimes cops might make mistakes or act in ways that are kind of off-putting is part of being a gracious person. Cops can be arbitrary.

    Deal.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  4. Something about this whole thing does not add up. Did Gates possibly lock himself out of his home and had to break the door to get in? That might explain why he was hostile to the cop. Embarassment. No reason to arrest Gates, but it might explain why he was acting like an asshole (sorry I know the cop’s version on that is far more likely than Gates’ version).

    Still some cops have their Cartman complexes.

    Joe (17aeff)

  5. He was arrested for DC… which is a common charge for somebody acting like a moron. By his own report, the officer warned Gates, and tried to de-escalate the situation, but Big-Shot-Hahvahd-guy wouldn’t let it go, and he got the bracelets.

    He asked for it, he got it.

    I’m really not too upset about this. I wouldn’t call the officer a power-tripping goon… I’d rather think he got fed up, and taught a pompous race-card-throwing professor a very valuable lesson. Judging by Gate’s behavior, there was clearly SOME sort of lesson that needed to be learned, because apparently they don’t teach the “be polite to cops” course at Harvard.

    But even that aside, and assuming the officer’s report is more representative of what happened (and I think that it is…) what’s Gate’s excuse for acting like such a windbag?

    TheNewGuy (114368)

  6. This is a lot like when you get in trouble at school and you’re all like but it wasn’t me and the teacher gives you detentions anyway and it’s so unfair you write I hate you I hate you like a million times in your Trapper Keeper and think about how you’re going to cut yourself when you get home but then you get home and play some Xbox and you’re not near as traumatized as you’d thought.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  7. Clearly, y’all are racists.

    JD (4217af)

  8. “While the police officer no doubt wrote his own report in a self-serving manner…”

    I don’t think I’d concede that so quickly. Certainly he wrote it from his own point of view. As to showing a Harvard ID, I doubt that a school identification card includes a home address. And I also doubt that it would be considered a legal document, or one that would be difficult to imitate. I know my bank would never take my employee ID in lieu of my driver’s license for cashing a check. And I’d be grateful to them!

    Then again, I probably just go to a whitey bank.

    Gesundheit (47b0b8)

  9. Happyfeet – speaking as a person who just got the last of 4 teenagers out of the house, that was a riot. So true… a little xBox can cure a lot of things. Too bad, Mr. Harvard is probably too sophisticated to take out his aggression in Halo.

    Gesundheit (47b0b8)

  10. Kaufman sees racism, I see an idiot. The professor should have used his head, realized his interests were being served, politely produced his ID, thanked the cops for responding so quickly, and thanked the observant neighbor.

    But, instead, he was tired and cranky from his long trip, reacted like an idiot and got himself arrested. Now he’s trying to cover by blaming the guys who were there to protect his property.

    Poor show professor, no brains, no class. Put the dunce cap on your head and go sit in the corner.

    Ropelight (bb3af5)

  11. I went to college in New Orleans during the late 70′s and early 80′s. One of the first things we were told at orientation was not to f#ck with NOPD, regardless of whether we thought we were “within the law.”
    During Mardi Gras, the city would deputize “citizen patrols”, allowing the “yats” to carry billy clubs. Being extra polite was the best way to handle any confrontation, and we’d constantly have to make sure some drunken student we were with didn’t mouth off. Central Lockup was not a particularly great place to spend an evening.

    mossberg500 (064c5b)

  12. Gates is an asshole and the cop is thin-skinned. Cops deal with assholes all the time and if they can’t grow a little tough hide, they have no place in LE. THIS is a cop with thick skin.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OgeMNVFpIg&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo%2Egoogle%2Ecom%2Fvideosearch%3Fq%3Dpolice%2Bticket%2Bfunny%26www%5Fgoogle%5Fdomain%3Dwww%2Egoogle%2Ecom%26hl%3Den%26emb%3D0%26aq%3D1%26oq%3Dpolice%2Bticket%2B&feature=player_embedded

    tmac (f9e092)

  13. You know the saying: to a carpenter, every problem is solved with a hammer and nails. Thus it is with Professor Gates: everyone is racist. Even when they don’t know it. Years ago, he responded very angrily to someone at a talk of his calling him racist, and suggesting that maybe he didn’t know it, either.

    A few years ago, there was a function for new faculty members for my university. So we all drove (separately) to a conference area quite a distance from campus. When I got to the conference area, there were many roads and it wasn’t clear which direction to go. So as I paused, trying to figure it out, three or four guys doing maintenance ran up to me, asking what I was doing, that it was private property. I told them about the university function, and they said, “oh, sure,” and told me which road to take. So I followed their directions, and was soon at the conference center.

    Another faculty member, who happens to be African-American and teaches several courses on “Racism in America,” had the same thing happen: drive to the conference site, have three or four guys run up to find out what he wanted, etc.

    That faculty member, as he was sitting down, angrily related to us all that he had been racially profiled. I didn’t say a word, that the same thing had happened to me. It wouldn’t have done any good. He actually tried to file a complaint.

    It reminds me of that bit in “Annie Hall,” where Woody Allen was telling his friend how everyone in Hollywood was anti-Semitic. His evidence: people would come up to him and say “I haven’t had lunch yet. D’you?”

    Of course racism still exists (and it does exist in Professor Gates, as well). But given the nature of the citizen complaint (and notice how Professor Gates shaded his own situation more than a little), it wasn’t quite as bad as suggested.

    As for SEK, why, this kind of thing is part of his belief-set in academia (and I don’t say that with any disrespect or snark). People who don’t agree with Professor Gates openly don’t do well in academia these days. And for people who think I am overstating things, I recommend that they try the experiment.

    Not really. Jobs are hard to get these days.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  14. P.: Good post. I think you’ve about got it. I would add the following points from Joe:

    Did race play a part? Yeah, a little. The police report was about two black men breaking into Gates’ home so the officer had a legitimate reson to inquire. Boston is a notoriously hypocritical place when it comes to race relations–perhaps one of the worse cities in the country for that.

    But having mouthed off to a few cops in my youth, I can tell you that it generally is counter productive.

    And that gets us the rest of the way there. I remember Jerry Jones, the Cowboys owner, thought he was just going to ignore a cop writing him a speeding ticket. He got arrested, too.

    Police officers may be beaten in court, but they are kings of the streets.

    There were any number of points where this incident could have been dialed down, by either party.

    Myron (98529a)

  15. Dear Ropelight:

    “Poor show professor, no brains, no class. Put the dunce cap on your head and go sit in the corner.”

    Um. You are correct in principle, but that isn’t how it works in academia. Nope. Professor Gates has had lots of interviews on this topic, and I am sure that Harvard will have a couple of consciousness raising sessions with law enforcement.

    Professor Gates needs this kind of thing.

    I also like the irony about his being treated badly while having his driver carry his bags.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  16. Gates failed the Attitude Test, and got bracelets.
    He is fortunate that his attitude didn’t cloud his judgement to a more severe degree, or the consequences that his attitude could trigger could have been more serious, and more permanent.

    “Don’t let your mouth write a check that your a$$ can’t cash!”

    AD - RtR/OS! (94ba46)

  17. What about using all that Harvard intellect to realize that the situation of yourself and a companion forcing your way into the front door probably looked like a bit of an anomaly to whomever called 911… so you show ID and saying thank you to the cop for showing up to protect your property in case it was some sort of illegal forced entry?

    That said, the cop gets paid to take this type of shit. As much as it hurts to be called racist when you showed up to help, and compounded when this angry reverse racist knucklehead refuses to show ID simply for visual confirmation for the paperwork this is all a misunderstanding. You have to walk away.
    The officers character was defamed inside the house,and the douche racist professor took it out into the street to escalate.
    The cop should have got in the car and gone to write the report somewhere peaceful and then taken a few days off.

    People who abuse their staion in life to belittle and deride those less powerful than them are assholes.
    Gates earns the moniker here.
    He is in a new class of racist black aristocracy that lack any grace at all toward unsubservient minded whites.
    *Bleep* Gates
    As I said before, the gracious thing to do is show ID and thank the officer for his concern.

    Bear in mind that I have a streak of extreme distaste for the way some police escalate force because they are frustrated personally by stubborness and attitude of the public. How some see the world as “us vs. them”. How quick they are to shoot your dog…. Hiding behind “Officer safety dictated” to tase an old lady.
    Some are punks hiding behind a badge.
    When the luck of the 911 draw sends you one of these idiots, it can be hard not to yell or be abusive in return.
    “You probably want to make detective someday, so why don’t you learn figure this simple shit out for yourself… hard questions come later”

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  18. At his post on the subject, Steve Sailer brings up a couple of points.

    1. An enraged man had just broken into his own house. Could the cop have wondered if his wife might have locked him out? Was this a domestic disturbance call?

    2. Gates was arriving home from a trip to China to find his front door damaged in an attempted break-in. Reasons to be jet-lagged and angry.

    3. It’s clear that Gates was shouting at the cop, etc., but he denies it. “Auditory exclusion,” a part of fight-or-flight, could explain an honest failure on Gates’ part to correctly recollect what happened.

    4. Cops are trained to “control the situation.” Gates was trying to dominate the cop(s) and be the one in charge. Recipe for conflict.

    It’s also worth reading the report by the Cambridge cop. He comes across as a thoughtful person, and he writes a coherent account. Not as the dumb racist cop in Gates’ narrative.

    AMac (c822c9)

  19. If you unquestionably believ all police reports then the incident had no racial component to it.

    If your experience with the police has been less than copasetic your impression is likely to be otherwise.

    My long-story-short: Skippy was an “uppity” negro. And the cops can’t abide that.

    David Ehrenstein (2550d9)

  20. Why wouldn’t the front door open? Super glued shut or what? He should be happy that somebody called about a possible break in.
    It’s still “Yes sir, No sir” to an officer until you prove your innocence.

    harleycowboy (066362)

  21. Nobody has yet mentioned the fact that this sort of thing must reduce the enthusiasm of police officers for enforcing the law in black neighborhoods or in integrated neighborhoods at the homes of blacks. Cops know neighborhoods. Why ask for this sort of treatment ? Let them break in and catch them later.

    Once again, I’ve seen some cops be bullies in safe suburban towns but big city (and Cambridge qualifies) cops have my sympathy.

    Mike K (db3eb5)

  22. To write that the sergeant should not have arrested the Harvard professor is short-sided. It is understandable that reading reports is the primary way one attempts to gain an understanding of the situation and all its nuances, but to pass judgment on a well written, legal arrest report and opine the Harvard professor should not have been arrested is taking the middle ground –the easy way out – in this debate.

    Most arrests are lawful and proper, but the District Attorney (DA) declines to file. Does that mean the arrest was illegal or wrong? Does that mean a crime was not committed? Does that mean the officer was wrong? No, no. no! What this means is simple – the DA rejected the case (for whatever reason).

    Without going into the specific missions and functions of each public organization, it’s clear the police and the District Attorney have respective jobs to do – and they are quite different. However, only public safety employees – police and fire particularly – risk personal injury, maiming, death, and/or financial ruin with the execution of their daily duties.

    This inherent risk is not a reason to be a racist or to arrest people without probable cause. But one must understand that when someone commits a crime – however minor – sometimes the only rational choice left may be to arrest him/her for violating the law. If police officers involved in a situation are going to be called racists and then sued while simultaneously being drug through the mud in the liberal press and have their family’s financial well-being threatened, why not arrest the Harvard professor?

    This professor’s continued illegal actions provided ample and legal justification for the police to arrest. Better to have an eloquent arrest report that clearly, and I mean clearly (like here), articulates the totality of the circumstances leading up to the arrest of the professor.

    Patterico knows this and I am certain his stellar legal education and current profession may serve to remind him that sitting behind a computer thousands of miles away judging the actions of a seemingly competent police sergeant may not have been one-hundred percent correct.

    Also, it is likely this arrest was the only way to protect the interests of all (Commonwealth, professor, officers) that day. If the Harvard professor was not arrested, he likely would have claimed the police illegally handcuffed him, illegally detained him, and committed other heinous civil rights violations. He may still do this. Most tenured police officers – and their legal representatives – likely would elect to take make the lawful arrest, get a possible DA reject, and go forward from there.

    I.M. Copper (aa3f50)

  23. which point Gates allegedly said: “ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside.
    If he truly said that, it says more about this professor than anything else when coupled with the almost obligatory
    I had no idea who I was “messing” with
    What an ultra!

    Gazzer (a0836f)

  24. I would also be willing to bet that the officer’s version of events is closest to the truth. Why would a man as intelligent as Gates be so insistent on getting the officer’s name and badge number? Surely he could very easily call Cambridge police and find out which squad car was sent in response to the call, or he could have looked outside and noted the squad car number. It’s not as if the officer was somehow going to be able to pretend that he hadn’t been there.

    JVW (b1db51)

  25. Mr. gates better pray that some thieves don’t decide to pay a visit sometime in the late evening any time soon.

    Somehow, I have a feeling that the police won’t be in any hurry to answer a call at his address for some time. Not as retribution so much as because of the delay I’m sure will be required to wait for back up.

    Any police officer (that goes for black cops as well as sometimes they’re actually treated worse in black neighborhoods) policing any of the enclaves that seem to have a high call rate has my admiration and concern for their sanity.

    As to a white cop in a black neighborhood; there should be awards just for performing this service.

    jcw46 (a0c012)

  26. 21/IM Cooper:

    I’m with Patterico all the way. I hate these arrests. It might be a crime in the jurisdiction (delaying the police in California) but…. just don’t. Let him yell. He got burglarized, he’s a hothead, and he’s upset. He’s not a risk to anything but the officer’s feelings. Let it go.

    I’ve seen enough of these to conclude, as Patterico has, that there’s no particular reason to expect a racial component. Cop got tired of taking grief from a hothead, and arrested the hothead. In some cases, an arrest is necessary even when charges aren’t filed. In this case, it doesn’t seem to me that it was from the account given by the officer (which I tend to believe.)

    –JRM

    JRM (2a44bf)

  27. Is the “attitude test” graded on a race-based curve? Just asking.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (694b7e)

  28. Gates is no different than Jesse Jackson. They both draw sustenance from a racial spoils system. Keeping racism (or the appearance of it) alive is simply job security.

    Now Gates will get to revel in this new fame. Good thing he has a cushy job. Think of all the interviews he’ll need to do and all the angry screeds that will need to be written. Oh, and he’ll obviously need to be on the newly formed police oversight commission.

    Of course some form of reparation consideration will be in order. Expect a masterful display of white-guilt judo.

    TakeFive (7c6fd5)

  29. My take on the incident can be found here, at the Corner on NRO.

    Jack Dunphy (38fbdf)

  30. #26 – AJL:

    > Is the “attitude test” graded on a race-based curve?

    Should Prof. Gates’ grade be race conscious? As to whether his conduct was viewed in that light, we have only his say-so, however emphatic. Justice Alito is silent.

    Should Fireman Ricci’s grade have been race conscious? As to whether it was, we can start with the events as outlined in Alito’s concurring opinion. (It would be interesting to hear Mayor DeStefano or Rev. Boise Kimber contest the facts in this portrayal–but they haven’t, to my knowledge.)

    How quickly we come to conclusions in some cases, and how slowly in others.

    AMac (c822c9)

  31. This is pretty much my assesment as well. Gates wasn’t arrested because he was “a black man in America” but because he was acting like an ass. Still, being an ass is not a crime and since the police were at this point convinced that he was lawfully on the property, they should have left well enough alone. A couple of other points:

    Personal note, about a month ago, I found myself locked out of my garage (it was built without a man-door, I had left the main opener in the car by mistake and the backup opener wasn’t working). When I found out it would be quicker (and cheaper) to simply break a window go get into the garage than it would be to get a repairman out, I did it. However, I also called the police and told them what I was about to do and that my father would be on the premises after I left, to prevent this type of incident occurring. Gates really should have thought about doing something similar.

    Also, how does Gates’s neighbor not know who she lives next door to? I’m really having a hard time wrapping my mind around this part of the story. This sounds like a residential single family subdivision. In my own neighborhood, I am and have always been on a first name basis with all of my adjoining neighbors. I would certainly call the cops if I witnessed something suspicious, but I would also notice if the person in question was my neighbor — even if it was late at night.

    Sean P (e57269)

  32. tmac, this is hilarious. Now this guy probably should have been arrested for grabbing things out of the officer’s hand (one thing you can never do is touch an officer). And this guy is too upset to be allowed to drive. I think the officer is just amused by this this guy’s rant.

    His voice reminds me of a very pissed off version of this guy.

    Joe (a32cff)

  33. Can I just ask one thing that kind of been bothering me about this, aside from the rest of it? Don’t you know what your neighbors look like, even if you don’t know them? I do. So didn’t this woman who reported it know what Gates looked like?

    JEA (cfcb76)

  34. I agree wth #21, It’s easy for the DA to turtle and take the easy way out and drop charges, but don’t pretend that it’s the cop’s fault by being a bully. He tried to deescalate the stuation, Gates wouldn’t let him. I would be outraged as a Joe citizen to see a cop get PUNK’d out ths this. The police have to maintain law and order, Gates was breaking the law. I have no doubt if this case crossed your desk as a DA you would take the expedient “self serving” route and fail to back up the police on the street. BTW I,m not a cop and have been arrested and cited for minor infractions over the years, maybe I should have cried racism. Your kneejerk insinuaton that the cop is somehow at fault reveals something of an elitist outlook. The law isn’t all about the SCOTUS, chief.

    disappointed reader (666cf4)

  35. Yelling ‘Racism’ is Gates profession.
    It’s what he teaches at Harvard. That makes him about as believable as a professional UFOlogist who claims to have been abducted and penetrated by alien police.

    georgeh (e4c2a7)

  36. He was arrested for behaving like a punk, not a Harvard professor. There is a way to talk to the police which makes them think that you’re the Alderman’s cousin, their Captain’s brother-in-law, also of their pensions, and he did not know how to do it. Dumbass!

    nk (5357a4)

  37. Are there no countervailing opinions? Not even from the Random Troll?

    What does the loyal opposition think?

    quasimodo (4af144)

  38. This professor’s continued illegal actions

    I don’t see any illegal actions on the part of the professor. Ill-advised, yes. But badmouthing a cop, however dumb it is, is not a crime.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  39. JEA, at night it is tough to distinguish a person unless you are very close or get to observe them long enough to figure it out. I am not surprised she did not recognize him.

    Then again, as Gates would say, she might be racist!

    Joe (a32cff)

  40. I think Gates behaved like a prick, and just like any person trying to be a prick with a cop, got himself arrested.

    JEA (1eb0e1)

  41. Scott Eric Kaufman asserts

    Who the heck is he? Just some rather obscure blogger, apparently employed in that citadel of common sense (aka academia), which merely shows the reach and influence of the Internet over the print media.

    For some of these “lefty” loudmouths, including Gates, not only does their ideology thrive on racism (or “racism”), but the phrase of the day they embrace to give their life meaning is “love me or hate me, but please don’t ignore me!”

    Mark (411533)

  42. Joe, I don’t disagree with you, it was just something I thought about.

    BTW, the cop was a bit of a prick too.

    JEA (1eb0e1)

  43. Who the heck is he? Just some rather obscure blogger, apparently employed in that citadel of common sense (aka academia), which merely shows the reach and influence of the Internet over the print media.

    Mark, he comments here from time to time, hence Patterico’s interest in his opinions.

    JVW (b1db51)

  44. If any of us were in the same position, we would be scrambling to pull out our I.D.’s as quickly as possible to 1) prove that we were the lawful residents; and 2) to prevent the situation from becoming messy.

    The power to end the situation immediately was completely in the hands of Professor Gates. Just show I.D., be compliant. Instead he freely chose to make it a *cause* and to unload his vitriol onto an officer doing his job. That was his choice and what he considered the priority.

    Not too smart a decision for a professor at Harvard to make. I would have expected more.

    Dana (a3e680)

  45. at night it is tough to distinguish a person unless you are very close or get to observe them long enough to figure it out. I am not surprised she did not recognize him.

    Somewhere in the above links, it mentions that Professor Gates house had previously been broken into so perhaps the neighbors were a bit on high alert – and actually, perhaps the neighbor was seeking to be extra vigilant for the sake of Professor Gates because of the previous break-in, and that’s why she opted to call the police right away.

    (Although it does seem a bit strange to assume it’s burglars breaking into a house via the front door…unless they were not too smart burglars…)

    Dana (a3e680)

  46. From a nice Salon article on the same point and revealing once again the supposition, especially by the nice “no, sir/yes, sir” denizens of this site.

    The conflicting statements of Gates and arresting officer J.P. Crowley also measure exactly the gap between, well, to be as accurate as possible, officers of the law and people they perceive to be black. Though they describe the same event, the two accounts are so substantially different that we can only pray for the leak of a YouTube video to set the record straight. Gates depicts himself calmly requesting the name and badge number of officers who had already entered his home and reveals gradually his realization that profiling might have occurred.

    If we’re to believe Crowley’s police report (which I am disinclined to do, frankly), a Harvard scholar, faced with arrest in his own home, suddenly switches codes and begins to talk like George Jefferson — “Ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside!” This cry doesn’t sound so much to me like the gent who edited “The Norton Anthology of African American Literature.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if there’s one thing a successful academic knows how to respect, it’s authority…

    Pretty much describes the Gates I have seen on TV and listened to on the radio. Doesn’t exactly seem to me like the kind of the guy who just starts screaming the second a cop approaches him.

    Interesting, isn’t it, in the battle of he said/he said, so many of you are inclined to side with the authority figure? Well, it was interesting to me

    timb (4013b0)

  47. I have a question for the experts here. From the police report the officer writing the report seems to believe that Professor Gates was escalating the confrontation with the police. If, indeed, Gates was escalating the confrontation, then it’s fair to wonder how far things would have gone before the police finally arrested him.

    Given this impression, at what point was it reasonable for the police to arrest Gates to stop the escalation?

    W Krebs (c59aee)

  48. While it would be a waste of time and petty to actually try this guy, if he was screaming outside in the middle of the night, and told to stop several times, he was disorderly and the arrest is perfectly valid.

    I’m not sure that this was a police officer being high and mighty… certainly could have been, but if the guy is waking up the entire neighborhood that’s at least a tiny crime.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  49. timb, you think THIS website is the one jumping to conclusions?

    Wow… you really are completely twisted politically. It’s the left that is worshiping authority (in the form of the ivy league) and the right who is giving both sides the benefit of the doubt.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  50. Cambridge PD should think about investing in Digital Video Recorders in their patrol units, with each officer wired with a discreet, wireless camera to record citizen interactions (they could be built into the buckle of their duty-belt).
    A video of this confrontation would be priceless.

    AD - RtR/OS! (94ba46)

  51. When I was 16 I was walking down a private driveway to a party when an LA County Sheriff drove up behind me and honked. I refused to move, thinking “I’m on private property, they can’t tell me to move”.

    So one of the sheriffs gets on the speaker and says “you want to excavate your body from the road?”

    “Excavate your body?!” What a couple of uneducated dumbasses I thought.

    Well they jump out of the car put me against the hood, cuff me and throw me in the back seat. Then one of them says I assualted him be cause I put my hands on him. This guy was about 6′ 250 lbs vs. my 5’10″ 130 lbs!

    Then we drove to a bar, where they picked up this huge black guy, slammed his face into the back window while cuffing him, and threw him in the back seat with me.

    Spent a couple hours in the cooler until my folks picked me up.

    Ten years later while living in Arcadia and suffering from insomnia one night, I went for a walk at 2 am. Got really irritated when cornered by 3 cops asking questions, but kept my cool, answered the questions, showed my ID and was on my way. Different outcome.

    Me and all the cops involved are pale-faces, in mostly white to very white areas. So was it the cops, or something I did?

    TakeFive (7c6fd5)

  52. timb just proved yet again that he does not read english.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  53. Mark, he comments here from time to time

    I do recall the blogger posting here not long ago, but my description of him really related to the familiarity that people have of him beyond the confines of patterico.com.

    Interesting, isn’t it, in the battle of he said/he said, so many of you are inclined to side with the authority figure?

    Not so much even a matter of having more confidence in those Gates was dealing with, but because of Gates himself. I don’t trust the often ass-backwards mindset of people of the left.

    Of course, there’s a possibility the main cop involved in the ruckus acted like one of those SOB clerks or managers most of us have encountered on certain occasions. But if I had to wager on who is more accurate and truly honest in describing what happened, I wouldn’t put my money on Gates, since his ideology has a knack of making things upside down, rightside up—eg, leftwing Obama tearing up for Zelayo instead of the good, constitution-observing people of Honduras, liberals bleeding over a murderer sentenced to capital punishment instead of for that murderer’s victims, “leftys” believing DNA evidence was somehow less convincing or reliable than OJ Simpson himself, etc.

    And when a supposedly sophisticated, supposedly civil-mannered academician can make absurdly inflammatory, if not outright idiotic, comments like the following, I really wouldn’t put it past him to on occasion start talking and acting like George Jefferson:

    prelectur.stanford.edu:

    Henry Louis Gates Jr.: Affirmative action to me is reparations for sexism, reparations for racism. But it’s being dismantled. That’s scary, and it’s depressing. And the most depressing aspect is that a black man is the swing vote on these issues often–that’s Clarence Thomas. It really pisses me off, and you can quote me. His attitude [toward the liberals, feminists, and black intellectuals who opposed his nomination] is, “You messed with me, and you didn’t kill me. You should have killed me. Now I’m going to kick your ass forever.”

    Mark (411533)

  54. timb – It was nice of that Salon writer to admit that they were inclined to not believe the police officer, and take the Prof at his word.

    In reading at links through Acephalous, from people that are familiar with this gentleman’s work, it is not only possible, but also likely that he would speak in the manner in which he did. Maybe they are wrong, but people who claim to have experience with this Prof. claim he commonly slips into that type of rhetoric. Salon uses their lack of information to arrive at a conclusion that is not borne out by the actual experience of people with Dr. Gates. Yet, you seem to be incline to believe their view, because you believe in their view. Well, it is interesting to me.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  55. First off, since you quoted nearly the entirety of a post that was, in fact, a joke, it’s odd that you’re making so much out of my position. If I were going to claim that race was involved in a non-trivial way, I’d make the argument at length. My friend Aaron outlines much of what I’d say, but the thrust of my argument would be that, like Henry, I think the central issue would be the abuse of the discretionary authority rightly given to officers.

    That said, there’s obviously a racial component, since the officers were called to investigate two black youths, and when confronted with an elderly black male who provided proper identification, the officer didn’t say, “Thank you sir, sorry for the misunderstanding.” The other racial aspect to this as the officer’s casting of the soft-spoken Gates, who is still recovering from hip replacement surgery, in the role of the angry black man who was endangering the public at large. Even if he was being a belligerent asshole — which it’s his Constitutional right to be — he wasn’t menacing the public.

    If any of us were in the same position, we would be scrambling to pull out our I.D.’s as quickly as possible to 1) prove that we were the lawful residents; and 2) to prevent the situation from becoming messy.

    He told the officer that the ID was in the kitchen, and the officer took that as invitation to follow him there. When you read the police report, there’s no description of how/why the officer entered the house. He’s on the porch, then he’s inside, which we know because he’s inviting Gates to leave. I think Gates was upset when the officer followed him in, because “My wallet’s in the kitchen, let me go get it” isn’t an invitation, and I think most of us would be put out if it were taken as one. Moreover, it’s not just that one officer followed him into the house, but at some point, another one did too, as the police report states. Now he’s dealing with two uninvited officers, which is when Gates started asking for the first officer’s name and badge number. The officer then starts trying to lure Gates out of the house, and when he does, he arrests him. I seriously doubt that the first words out of Gates’ mouth were, “Why, because I’m a black man in America,” but I don’t doubt that he might’ve been saying when the photo was taken, because at that point, he’d been done a grave injustice.

    SEK (072055)

  56. Its always hard to judge a he said, she said situation. But who had something to lose in a high profile confrontation? The Havard prof or the cop?

    Now if there were a crowd of cops in front of the house was this because of a situation where someone was mouthing off and the cop needed someone to see what was actually happening or because someone over reacted?

    Again if I were on the jury I know whose version I believe.

    In Boston do you think Havard professors rank themselves as ordinary mortals?

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  57. While it would be a waste of time and petty to actually try this guy, if he was screaming outside in the middle of the night, and told to stop several times, he was disorderly and the arrest is perfectly valid.

    It was the middle of the afternoon.

    SEK (072055)

  58. SEK,

    Do you really expect the officer to let Gates go to the kitchen alone, before he verified his identity and right to be on the property?

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  59. SEK, at the point that Gates says his ID is in the kitchen, it is not his kitchen yet in the view of the police officer. Of course the officer is going to follow Gates. You act like that was an invasion by the officer.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  60. That said, there’s obviously a racial component, since the officers were called to investigate two black youths

    That does not make it racial, it is simply factual.

    when confronted with an elderly black male who provided proper identification, the officer didn’t say, “Thank you sir, sorry for the misunderstanding.

    Nothing about this is racial, and it is based on you believing everything Dr. Gates said and nothing the police officer said. Convenient.

    The other racial aspect to this as the officer’s casting of the soft-spoken Gates, who is still recovering from hip replacement surgery, in the role of the angry black man

    BS. According to the officer, this was what he encountered. Again, you accept everything Dr. Gates claims in order to arrive at this assumption.

    Even if he was being a belligerent asshole — which it’s his Constitutional right to be

    Finally you acknowledge that there is the possibility of more than your side of the story. Nobody is arguing that he does not have the right to be a jerk, and if you had read Patterico’s post, you would see that he said that he thought the cop had been in the wrong, as well as the Prof.

    The rest of your comment is based on your uncritical acceptance of everything Dr. Gates said. Again, convenient.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  61. RACISTS !!!!!!!!!!!!! ZOMG. WHY DON’T YOU START UP A MODERN KKKLAN !!!!!!!!!!

    JD (f4f0f3)

  62. SEK, my mistake for assuming this was at night.

    you’re also making a ton of assumptions. You also appear to be saying that screaming in the afternoon is not disorderly. I think that’s absurd.

    Gates should disavow this disgusting comments he has been making about Clarence Thomas if he wants good people to give him any credibility. He comes across as a complete nut that only carries weight with complete nuts.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  63. 25/I don’t like these types of arrests either and they should be a last resort.

    I.M. Copper (aa3f50)

  64. Over @ SEK’s site, I made a comment that someone called himself Karl Steel had taken a snippet of a larger quote, and attempted to use that snippet to paint Patterico in a manner different than this post warranted. Karl Steel responded by defending his action, and demanding that I refer to him as Dr. Steel, despite calling himself Karl Steel when signing his comment. I suspect this same kind of pompous arrogance is quite similar to what the police officer encountered.

    Had these cops not shown up quickly, we would still probably have a story, where someone like Dr. Gates accuses the police of not responding in a timely manner because he is black. What would they have had the officers do upon arriving at the scene?

    JD (f4f0f3)

  65. Oh, I so love it when professors who aren’t medical doctors get huffy about being called Dr.

    If you aren’t getting the respect you want, you can’t just pout your way into it.

    Dr. Gates’s remarks are disgusting and I would be shocked if he wasn’t much worse than the police report indicated. He just comes across as someone with absolutely no credibility at all.

    A prior break-in, and some men breaking the door down, and all the cop asked for was ID? Why didn’t Gates say ‘thanks, sir!’?

    Again, Cambridge police officers are not going to be surprised with a successful person is black… they are exposed to a huge percentage of our nation’s successful and brilliant minorities.

    Add in that Gates’s story has obvious omissions, and you’ve got a race baiter who is willing to destroy a public servant’s life… just to up his notoriety for a few months.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  66. Juan – I like it when someone that comments under the name of Karl Steel gets huffy and demands to be called Dr when you call him out on being slightly less than honest.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  67. That’s odd. My comment was up for several minutes and then it vanished. I don’t think it was deleted… I guess it’s some kind of retroactive filter.

    Regardless, it’s so funny when professors get huffy about being called Dr.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  68. Patterico or DRJ – Whenever you get a chance, I am curious if you think I was fair in my responses to the comments @ SEK’s site.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  69. Dr. of what?

    I read above that it’s a free country so I’ll laugh and mock any entitled idiot and question the utility of his chosen academic field if I feel like it.

    What’s he gonna do? Arrest me? Write a nasty email?
    Or, more likely, hide behind the skirts of lady justice?

    I could save the State of CA billions by cutting loose professors of useless, race and gender based majors in the UC, Cal State, and Community College systems. Give ‘em $15HR, a lawnmower, weedeater and a leaf blower and make them go displace an illegal alien.

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  70. I really hate it when the super-cache is chewing comments ;-)

    JD (f4f0f3)

  71. Super-cache is Teh SuxXor !!!!

    JD (f4f0f3)

  72. Nothing about this is racial, and it is based on you believing everything Dr. Gates said and nothing the police officer said.

    You severed my statement and made it meaningless: he was told to look for two black youths with backpacks, and was confronted by an elderly black man. What do those two things have in common? Why would the cops suspect an elderly man with a visible limp for being a kid with a backpack on? He wouldn’t. When Grandpa answered the door — after, as indicated in the report, the officer had watched Grandpa limp to the door through the glass pane — he should’ve had common sense enough to know that Grandpa hadn’t broken into that house.

    According to the officer, this was what he encountered. Again, you accept everything Dr. Gates claims in order to arrive at this assumption.

    Actually, I used logic. I don’t think that soft-spoken — see for yourself — elderly professors answer the door by yelling.

    Finally you acknowledge that there is the possibility of more than your side of the story. Nobody is arguing that he does not have the right to be a jerk, and if you had read Patterico’s post, you would see that he said that he thought the cop had been in the wrong, as well as the Prof.

    That’s an odd “finally” there, since it took me all of three sentences to acknowledge that Gates was complicit in the escalation of the situation.

    The rest of your comment is based on your uncritical acceptance of everything Dr. Gates said.

    No, it isn’t. It’s based entirely on what is/isn’t in the police report, which is why I wrote:

    When you read the police report, there’s no description of how/why the officer entered the house. He’s on the porch, then he’s inside, which we know because he’s inviting Gates to leave.

    How does discussing what the police report says amount to uncritically taking Gates’s side. The answer is, it doesn’t. All I did there, without taking sides, is note that the officer didn’t include his decision to follow Gates into the house in his narrative, then discuss how unnerving it would be to be followed into your home first by one, then by another officer. Especially when the only characteristic you share with the suspects is that you’re also black.

    Do you really expect the officer to let Gates go to the kitchen alone, before he verified his identity and right to be on the property?

    That’s a solid point, but the officer should have known, just by looking at him, that Gates wasn’t a suspect. He should have been in stand-down mode. I’ve had officers come to my door and ask to see my identifications, and when I’ve said, “Hold on a minute,” they’ve stood outside politely waiting for me to retrieve my wallet.

    at the point that Gates says his ID is in the kitchen, it is not his kitchen yet in the view of the police officer.

    This is an interesting comment, because it cuts to the heart of the matter: if someone reported two Jewish kids with backpacks were breaking into a house, and when the cops arrived, there was an elderly Jewish man with a limp at the door, would the cop think that the kids had cleverly disguised themselves as an old man and treat him with suspicion? In other words, when confronted with someone who patently didn’t fit the description but for one factor, how should the cop respond?

    You also appear to be saying that screaming in the afternoon is not disorderly. I think that’s absurd.

    I didn’t say anything of the sort. In fact, I noted that police rightly have this discretionary power, but that in this case, it was abused.

    SEK (072055)

  73. He told the officer that the ID was in the kitchen, and the officer took that as invitation to follow him there. Comment by SEK — 7/22/2009 @ 1:24 pm

    That’s not an unreasonable assumption of the officer to make. If Professor Gates did not specifically say, “Wait here and I’ll get it” or something similar, why wouldn’t the officer follow him in? It would also seem reasonable that the officer himself would want to wrap things up as quickly as possible, too, no, and therefore just go in and verify the i.d. and be on his way?

    When you read the police report, there’s no description of how/why the officer entered the house. He’s on the porch, then he’s inside, which we know because he’s inviting Gates to leave.

    Perhaps there’s nothing specific in the police report because it would stand to reason that the police officer simply did what would be the natural course of action for a responding officer in that situation – follow the person into the house to verify i.d. Standard Operating Procedure?

    I think Gates was upset when the officer followed him in, because “My wallet’s in the kitchen, let me go get it” isn’t an invitation, and I think most of us would be put out if it were taken as one.

    First, you are assuming he would respond like you, and you are assuming that most of us would respond like you as well.

    If I were completely innocent – as was Professor Gates – and wanted to clear this up asap, I don’t believe (assuming on my part) I would be upset that a police officer followed in after me. If, however, I had already determined that this was race motivated, I would then be looking for anything to validate and substantiate my belief. Even perhaps, a police officer entering my home.

    Dana (57e332)

  74. Juan,

    Here or at my place? If the latter, unless you commented as “tramadol in dogs,” I didn’t delete it. Feel free to post it again.

    just to up his notoriety for a few months.

    Gates doesn’t need this to become more notable. He’s as big as it gets, which is why I thought the comment that “[t]he only way they could have messed up worse would be to arrest Deval Patrick in the Governor’s Mansion” was amusing.

    SEK (072055)

  75. Anyone else think our officer got played? Over-reaction is today’s version of going limp at a protest. The purpose is to get arrested.

    I’m surprised that police officers don’t carry little recorders that capture this sort of exchange as it happens…

    Lawrence Kramer (5cb881)

  76. That’s a solid point, but the officer should have known, just by looking at him, that Gates wasn’t a suspect. He should have been in stand-down mode. I’ve had officers come to my door and ask to see my identifications, and when I’ve said, “Hold on a minute,” they’ve stood outside politely waiting for me to retrieve my wallet.

    When the officers came to your door, requesting i.d., was it the result of suspecting you of breaking in, because it would seem that whatever it was that preceded the request would be critical to the point you are trying to make?

    Dana (57e332)

  77. Nobody said anything about “youths”. You’re making that up.

    Phil Smith (1cf25d)

  78. SEK – Do you agree with your commenters that Patterico and I are racists?

    Thanks for putting my responses up.

    JD (ff5612)

  79. I wonder if any cops would share SEK’s view of how this should have been handled.

    JD (ff5612)

  80. Not too smart a decision for a professor at Harvard to make. I would have expected more

    Considering that this is the same university who employed the infamous racial grievance – monger Cornel West, not really. I’m still amazed that Larry Summers had the gonads to get rid of that abomination of a professor, even though he’d given him ample reasons for his dismissal.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  81. Would Gates have behaved in the manner he did if the police officer was black?

    Ray (3c46ca)

  82. If Professor Gates did not specifically say, “Wait here and I’ll get it” or something similar, why wouldn’t the officer follow him in?

    Because legally, he can’t unless he believes he’s confronting the subject. Maybe I’m mistaken, but I think that police can enter with a warrant, but without one, they need the owner’s permission, believe the owner is in jeopardy (having a heart attack), or they believe they’re confronting a suspect. As none of those situations obtain here, it stands to reason that the officer should not have followed him into the house. And if you believe that the officer thought Gates was a suspect, i.e. that he couldn’t tell the difference between two youths with backpacks and an elderly man with a limp, you’re calling the officer an idiot, a racist, or both.

    SEK (072055)

  83. JD, when someone goes off about how a prominent black academic is high on himself and therefore is half responsible for being arrested out of his home in this way, that’s code for “the uppity black guy deserved it.” You know it, Patterico knows it, I know it. It’s the kind of thing I’d expect from Patterico, who is a Bush dead-ender who supported the whole conservative regime — which means, of course, that he had no problem with its reliance on racial appeals, no matter how much he may say he’s not a racist.

    And I see to reason to be polite to you about it, given how you write. You’re a racist, and so is Patterico, and your reflexive defense of a bad arrest under coded racism disguised as populism is just par for the course. You are both part of what’s wrong with this country, but luckily the movement you serve is out of power now, so really you should just be ignored.

    I love it when the Leftists are so utterly predictable. They are like parodies of caricatures.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  84. SEK/#54, here’s an anecdote I’ve mentioned before.

    A couple of years ago, I rolled through a Stop sign in a dodgy part of the rust-belt city where I worked. Lights and siren behind me–pulled over. In my mirror, I saw the scowling, buff, buzz-cutted blond run my tags–nothing to find there. He exited the patrol car, unsnapped his holster, laid his hand on his gun and warily approached me.

    2 mph through an empty intersection, mind.

    A very tense, very hostile call-and-response followed between the Officer and the Suspect/Perpetrator. Thanks to the super-politeness of the perp, no harm done and we went our separate ways.

    Suppose it had been Prof. Gates rather than me with the starring role in this little vignette. How would his account have run?

    Racism: the non-falsifiable all-purpose explanation.

    Gates deserves some sympathy. He was returning from China, probably jet-lagged, and had just found his front door damaged by a break-in attempt. Arguably not at his best. And, per SEK #71, he could have been rattled by the cop following him inside. Plus, the subject of race relations is how he makes a living (carpenter, hammer, problem, nail).

    It’s more dispiriting to follow the link to your friend ZunguZungu. He appears to presume the truth of Gates’ racism explanation. Like many commenters on the left, he seems unable to imagine any alternatives.

    AMac (c822c9)

  85. Because legally, he can’t unless he believes he’s confronting the subject.

    I call asspull on that one. He does not know at this point who he is talking to. Unless you think the standard should be that cops should just accept the words of everyone they come in contact with after a 911 call of a break-in.

    Where did “youths” enter into this?

    JD (f4f0f3)

  86. Nobody said anything about “youths”. You’re making that up.

    You see a lot of middle-aged men with backpacks?

    Do you agree with your commenters that Patterico and I are racists?

    No, because his argument relies on the idea that you and Patrick are reacting reflexively, and I don’t believe you are. If you were, then yes, you would be racist. That said, I don’t “own” my commenters, who are as free as you to make and defend their arguments.

    SEK (072055)

  87. So, now backpacks is a codeword for youths? I want a list of all of the codewords.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  88. I call asspull on that one. He does not know at this point who he is talking to. Unless you think the standard should be that cops should just accept the words of everyone they come in contact with after a 911 call of a break-in.

    The cop confronted one man, not two; the man was elderly and had a limp; the man was not wearing a backpack, nor does he look like he could. What reason did the cop have to think that this might be one of the suspects? There’s only one, isn’t there?

    SEK (072055)

  89. He was returning from China, probably jet-lagged, and had just found his front door damaged by a break-in attempt

    Actually, this has gotten confused in the accounts: my understanding is that there wasn’t a previous break-in, but that the door was damaged by Gates’s limo driver when he unjammed it. Gates had arrived home, turned the keys on the door, but old houses and hot summers lead to jammed doors, so he entered from the back while the driver got the front door open.

    SEK (072055)

  90. the man was not wearing a backpack, nor does he look like he could

    Is he a humpback? What about him suggests that he could not wear a backpack?

    There’s only one, isn’t there?

    Not unless you expect cops to take everyone at the scene of a reported crime at their word. Actually, it just suggests a failure of imagination on your part, that you cannot think of any reason except racism.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  91. What if we threw a bunch of tasty beverages in an ice chest and made some iced tea also but sun tea not how stupid Californians do it and then a couple briskets what we could smoke and invited Dr. Gates and some of his friends and also the officer person and his family and made a day of it? I bet there wouldn’t be no racisms all day just tasty brisket and ice cold tasty beverages and someone could bring a digital camera and we could take pictures for so everyone could see what a great day everybody had.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  92. Hi Dr. Gates would you like a diet Pepsi? It’s ice cold!

    Smell that brisket wouldja smells good huh?

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  93. SEK,

    You are assuming the police officer had all the information from the original call (a somewhat reasonable assumption) and that he knew everything he had been told was completely reliable (not a reasonable assumption). In other words, if the original call implicated 2 black youths in backpacks and if the dispatcher relayed that information to the police officer, that doesn’t mean the officer can only look for or investigate suspects that fit that description.

    Furthermore, the crux of the original call was that a break-in might be happening at a specific address. The police officer’s job is to investigate that address and make sure everything is okay.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  94. Is he a humpback? What about him suggests that he could not wear a backpack?

    The pronounced limp with which he walks — which alone should have alerted the officer to the fact that he wasn’t a suspect.

    Not unless you expect cops to take everyone at the scene of a reported crime at their word. Actually, it just suggests a failure of imagination on your part, that you cannot think of any reason except racism.

    Based on the officer’s own report, he was informed that two people with backpacks were trying to bust down a door, an activity that requires quite a bit of strength. When he saw Gates, he should have realized that there’s no chance that this man could be throwing himself into doors and scurrying around other people’s houses. If I tell you that I saw two men with backpacks breaking down a door with their shoulders, you’re telling me that you’d entertain the thought that the elderly man with the limp and the cane might be one of them? I don’t think so.

    SEK (072055)

  95. SEK, your belief that if an officer finds someone on a potential crime scene who does not match the reporting person’s description, that he then knows that that person is not a suspect is just flat out nonsense.

    There’s no other word for it. It appears that a large amount of your reaction to this incident is based on that.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  96. I’m not doing nothing Saturday and I can do evites.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  97. And if you believe that the officer thought Gates was a suspect, i.e. that he couldn’t tell the difference between two youths with backpacks and an elderly man with a limp, you’re calling the officer an idiot, a racist, or both.

    I don’t know what the officer thought but it would seem reasonable that the officer just wanted to see the i.d., thus followed him into the kitchen.

    Why can you not assume that it was this simple? What are you inclined to assume there was something more sinister to it?

    Dana (57e332)

  98. I would be curious if Mr. Dunphy shared SEK’s views of how to investigate a crime.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  99. Basically, it boils down to this: the officer’s account of him entering the house is highly suspect; he glosses over it because the only reason he’d be allowed to enter without Gates’s permission would be if there were exigent circumstances, and if there were, he would’ve mentioned them. That he didn’t taints everything else.

    He didn’t have a warrant and didn’t ask permission and didn’t claim exigent circumstances, he just followed Gates into the kitchen. If an officer of the law violated my 4th Amendment rights, I’d be irate too.

    SEK (072055)

  100. No, it is not highly suspect. Stating that over and over and over again does not make it so. I cannot imagine any police officer in the country simply taking everyone’s word for it at the scene of a crime. A violation of 4th Amendment rights? You are well and truly hysterical today.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  101. Again, anyone in law enforcement care to weigh in on SEK’s view of how a police officer should act when arriving at the scene of a reported break-in in progress? Take everyone’s word for it that they are who they say? Assume old people could never wear backpacks? Ignore the people that you actually find at the scene of a reported break-in?

    JD (f4f0f3)

  102. SEK,

    You have a scenario that, in hindsight, you are sure happened but creative license works both ways. What if there had been a break-in by 2 boys/men and they were holding someone hostage or had threatened Gates? I’m not sure who overreacted here – maybe both did – but I think you’ve let hindsight affect your view of how the police officer should treat Dr. Gates when the actual circumstances were not as clear.

    JD,

    I don’t think it’s fair that some commenters are calling you and Patterico racists at SEK’s blog.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  103. I don’t know what the officer thought but it would seem reasonable that the officer just wanted to see the i.d., thus followed him into the kitchen. Why can you not assume that it was this simple? What are you inclined to assume there was something more sinister to it?

    I’m not trying to make it into something sinister. You’ll note, above, that I agreed with the idea that both of them were complicit. That said, an officer can’t follow you into your home without your permission unless there’s an emergency or exigency. IANAL, but this seems relevant.

    your belief that if an officer finds someone on a potential crime scene who does not match the reporting person’s description, that he then knows that that person is not a suspect is just flat out nonsense.

    No, that right there is the nonsense. If someone doesn’t match the description, you’d don’t assume they’re a suspect. You know, because they don’t match the description.

    SEK (072055)

  104. Gates could have thanked the officer for promptly responding to what looked like a break-in at his home. It was Gates’ property the officer was trying to protect, after all.

    Or would Gates rather the police not respond to a reported crime at his home?

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  105. I cannot imagine any police officer in the country simply taking everyone’s word for it at the scene of a crime.

    “Everyone” is a bit of an overstatement, isn’t it? It’s “someone who doesn’t fit the description, isn’t acting suspiciously, and is going to get his identification to prove that the house is his.”

    A violation of 4th Amendment rights? You are well and truly hysterical today.

    How is pointing out that an officer who enters a house without a warrant, without permission, and without probable cause of exigency or emergency not a 4th Amendment issue? I’m not being hysterical in the least: I’m merely pointing out that the reason officers can’t enter your home willy-nilly.

    SEK (072055)

  106. Maybe someone with a law degree could explain the difference to SEK between confirming ID of a person found at a reported crime scene, and a search under exigent circumstances.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  107. Brother Bradley, he answered that question already:

    I think the actions of Sgt. Crowley aren’t the actions of everyone on the Cambridge police force or all white people in Cambridge or Boston or in the United States. I mean, there are bad white people and bad black people. There are good police officers and bad police offers. We depend on the police—I’m glad that this lady called 911. I hope right now if someone is breaking into my house she’s calling 911 and the police will come! I just don’t want to be arrested for being black at home! I think this was a bit of an extreme reaction.

    SEK (072055)

  108. SEK, again, your comment is nonsense. It would be idiotic for a police officer to sort out anyone at a potential crime scene based on whether or not they matched a description phoned into 911.

    A responding officer to a scene treats everyone at the scene as suspect until he’s finished verifying identity.

    Your basic assumption is so plain silly, that if police acted as you assume, it would get cops killed. It would be simply dangerous for the police officer to allow an unidentified person – regardless of description – to enter the house unescorted.

    I am astonished at this basic lack of common sense on your part.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  109. Maybe someone with a law degree could explain the difference to SEK between confirming ID of a person found at a reported crime scene, and a search under exigent circumstances.

    As I said, IANAL. But I still don’t think that the officer had the right to follow Gates in, and that his omission of how exactly that happened suggests that the officer agrees with me.

    SEK (072055)

  110. SEK,
    Brother Bradley, he answered that question already:

    He called the officer a racist. Not the “thanks” I was talking about.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  111. He did not enter a home all willy-nilly. He was attempting to confirm the identification of a person found at what was reported to 911 to be the scene of a crime.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  112. SEK,

    I think the police officer could reasonably argue he had implied consent to enter when Gates said he had ID but it was in the kitchen and then he turned to go to the kitchen.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  113. I also think he might have probable cause to observe Gates until he produced his ID.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  114. and that his omission of how exactly that happened suggests that the officer agrees with me.

    No, it does not. That is not even the least bit honest. Maybe, just maybe, it is common to confirm the identity of the people found at a reported scene of a crime, and as such, he did not go into detail about why he was confirming identifications, as any rational person would understand why that is done.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  115. I also think he might have probable cause to observe Gates until he produced his ID.

    Being at home when someone reports a break-in is probable cause? That’s an honest question, as I don’t see what the standards for probable cause are here.

    SEK (072055)

  116. The 911 call can be probable cause [to follow the suspect, not search the house].

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  117. I just don’t want to be arrested for being black at home!

    This stands in stark contrast to the officer’s account of the events, and if this is any indication of how he was treating the officer …

    JD (f4f0f3)

  118. He entered the home because he would have been an idiot to have let a suspect out of his sight.

    nk (2ab789)

  119. That said, there’s obviously a racial component, since the officers were called to investigate two black youths,

    And don’t forget the equally, if not far more important, component of how you’re filtering things through your liberal mindsent, and, for that matter, how I’m processing things through my conservative mindset. And from that point onward, common sense and logic can quickly become sidetracked or thrown out the window.

    So call the case of Henry Gates vs the police another instance of socio-political Rashomon, in which, on one hand, there’s a leftwing professor whose very livelihood is dependent on studying racism — and the existence of racism — and, on the other hand, cops who may (or may not) be rightwing but who very likely affected by the same dynamics that make even truly liberal, truly non-bigoted whites (and limousine-liberal blacks) avoid looking for apartments or housing in most, if not all, predominantly black neighborhoods of their metropolitan area.

    Also, keep in mind the notorious case of socio-political Rashomon involving OJ Simpson vs the LAPD, where, again, reality (including DNA evidence) was filtered and, in some cases, severely distorted by people’s philosophy and personal ideological agenda. And in that instance, most of the people who were rather defective and corrupt when it came to common sense and logic were of the left.

    Mark (411533)

  120. I’m still puzzled by a few things:

    1) the limo driver was on site as he helped to try to open the door. Wouldn’t there have been a limo at the curb? Was he questioned and asked for i.d. and to verify Professor Gates’s statement?

    2) According to Professort Gates’s account, as he stepped onto his front porch, the officer who had been inside and who had examined his identification, said to him, “Thank you for accommodating my earlier request,” and then placed Professor Gates under arrest. He was handcuffed on his own front porch. If this were true, then that would make the “several other police officers on his front porch” complicit, no? Did they stand idly by and watch a calm, compliant citizen be randomly arrested?

    Dana (57e332)

  121. Dana – It does not even stand up to basic scrutiny.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  122. Probable cause is not necessary. Articulable suspicion is the standard for questioning a suspicious person, confirming his identity, and even patting him down for weapons.

    nk (2ab789)

  123. SEK

    It was not established that the Professor was the legal resident or had a legal right to be on the property until he produced an ID that was examined and was satisfactory.

    There was an 911 call.

    Yes the professor deserves to be arrested and to be charged with disorderly conduct.

    EricPWJohnson (a7d970)

  124. Could you imagine all of the horrific scenarios that would most certainly occur were law enforcement to adopt the SEK Rule where people whose ID has yet to be confirmed are free to walk all over the reported scene of a crime, even out of the officer’s sight?

    JD (f4f0f3)

  125. SEK, I have never visited or written anything on whatever websites you have. I was simply laughing at the occasional hiccups this site occasionally experiences.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  126. I’m ready to start the healing process you guys just say when.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  127. Comment by JD — 7/22/2009 @ 4:30 pm

    Some dumbass Milwaukee cop did that with Dahmer and one of his victims who ran out of the house yelling for help.

    nk (2ab789)

  128. happyfeet – I will be ready to start the healing process when Rich Puchalsky apologizes for calling me a racist. I suspect that Patterico will not be pleased with that charge either, but he is a big boy, and will respond if he thinks appropriate. Until then, I will continue to think not nice things about that not nice douchenozzle Rich Puchalsky.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  129. How in the hell can we, as a nation, heal? Every damn bill the democrats pass have another ‘race preferences’ provision. Every election comes with greater racial division.

    Whenever this Harvard jackass professor sees a cop, or anyone else, the first thing that comes into his head is whether he’s one of the good race or one of the other races. It’s obvious from his commentary, and many actually see him as an educated intellectual leader.

    We have an entire political party that has a deep legacy of dividing us by race, and just happened to flip which race they preferred in the 60s. It’s ridiculous, and we’re not even close to healing.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  130. RACISTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This really is remarkable. There is a perfectly reasonable explanation as to how this incident came to be. Occam’s Razor suggests that the simplest most rational version is the one told by the police officer. Yet, because the Leftists are hell-bent on making everything a race issue, this becomes an instance that evil racist wingnuts are responsible for. The only way to arrive at SEK’s and Gates’ conclusion are to assume racism every step of the way, and ignore all that refutes that.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  131. If Rich Puchalsky didn’t exist, we’d have to make him up.

    Racists

    Patterico (cad379)

  132. SEK, at 114: I think that when someone has reported a break-in to a particular house, and the police show up to investigate, they have probable cause to ask anyone they find in the house for ID.

    This doesn’t seem like it should be in the least controversial. “We have a report that someone broke into this very building. Prove to us that you have a right to be here.”

    Probable cause to arrest, or even to search the guy, I don’t see on these facts. But probable cause to detain him and question him? Absolutely.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  133. LOL

    JD (f4f0f3)

  134. I’m ready to start the healing process you guys just say when.

    In the famous words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all get along?”

    BTW, the incident with Gates took place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a hotbed of ultra-rightism and racial bigotry. I’m surprised Gates wasn’t beaten and shot by a mob of angry whites.

    And in honor of Henry Louis Gates, and as a sign of how things really haven’t gotten much better in imperialistic, racist, xenophobic, sexist, class-ist, global-warming-inducing America, I hereby post the following…

    March 3, 1991: After being seen speeding on the 210 freeway by CHP officers, [Rodney] King led them on a chase at speeds estimated at up to 110 to 115 mph. When finally stopped, King refused requests to get into the prone position and appeared to charge one of the officers. He was beaten and arrested. King was charged with felony evading. Charges were later dropped.

    King’s Trouble with the Law After March 3, 1991

    May 11, 1991: King was pulled over for having an excessively tinted windshield. Although King was driving without a license and his car registration had expired, King was not charged.
    May 28, 1991: King picked up a transvestite prostitute in Hollywood who happened to be under surveillance by LAPD officers. King and the prostitute were observed in an alley engaging in sexual activity. When the prostitute spotted the officers, King sped away, nearly hitting one of them. King later explained that he thought the vice officers were robbers trying to kill him. No charges were filed.

    June 26, 1992: King’s second wife reported to police that King had hit her and she feared for her life. King was handcuffed and taken to a police station, but his wife then decided against pressing charges.

    July 16, 1992: King was arrested at 1:40 A.M. for driving while intoxicated. No charges were filed.

    August 21, 1993: King crashed into a wall near a downtown Los Angeles nightclub. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.19. King was charged with violating his parole and sent for sixty day to an alcohol treatment center. He was also convicted on the DUI charge and ordered to perform twenty days of community service.

    May 21, 1995: King was arrested for DUI while on a trip to Pennsylvania. King failed field sobriety tests, but refused to submit to a blood test. He was tried and acquitted.

    July 14, 1995: King got into an argument with his wife while he was driving, pulled off the freeway and ordered her out of the car. When she started to get out, King sped off, leaving her on the highway with a bruised arm. King was charged with assault with a deadly weapon (his car), reckless driving, spousal abuse, and hit-and-run. King was tried on all four charges, but found guilty only of hit-and-run driving.

    March 3, 1999: King allegedly injured the sixteen-year-old girl that he had fathered out of wedlock when he was seventeen, as well as the girl’s mother. King was arrested for injuring the woman, the girl, and for vandalizing property. King claimed that the incident was simply “a family misunderstanding.”

    September 29, 2001: King was arrested for indecent exposure and use of the hallucinogenic drug PCP.

    Mark (411533)

  135. There is a way a prominent Harvard professor comports himself and there is a way trash — black, white, or in-between — which tends to get itself arrested, comports itself. That’s my take on the subject, and I have no respect or sympathy for the prominent Harvard professor.

    nk (2ab789)

  136. Sonia Sotomayor would have ordered the police to suspend those officers.

    ‘Cause that’s the way she rolls.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  137. Mark – I really do not see how any of that is relevant.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  138. There might have been “probable cause” in this 911 call. Neighbor, who identified herself, gave sufficient information, exigent circumstances ….

    nk (2ab789)

  139. JD – Rich Blutarsky has always been a foul-mouthed twatwaffle. You can look it up.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  140. I do not mind foul-mouthed, as anyone around here could easily tell. I mind vile baseless accusations based on some asshats believing the eternal Leftist conceit, and from some faux-moral high ground.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  141. “So, officer, you say the burglar at Skip’s house escaped. How did that happen?”

    “Well, he told me he lived there, so I let him go to the kitchen alone to get his ID, and he went out the back door. It seemed like the sensitive thing to do, what with him being black and all.”

    Skip’s on TV now saying that he applauds the woman who called 911, as he wants his home protected by vigilant neighbors. But he’s mad as hell at the cop who wouldn’t let a possible burglar wander his house alone. Yeah, right.

    No, folks, Skip saw the cops and had a Paula Jones moment: “I don’t know what this is, but it smells like money.” Lawsuit (“It’s not about me, but this incident made me realize – duh!- that black men in America are at risk of harrassment” or some such tripe. F’n Jackpot.

    I had a good opinion of Gates before this event, and I was prepared to believe his account until I actually heard it. But his outrage at the cop accompanying him to his kitchen can only be fake, and the whole thing unravels from there.

    Lawrence Kramer (5cb881)

  142. Let me add: I have defended Scott Eric Kaufman on this blog many times against what I believed to be unfair attacks on his character in my comment threads. I am now sorry I ever defended him.

    Someone on his blog has leveled ridiculous accusations of racism against myself and JD. SEK’s response? A virtual shrug of the shoulders.

    Yes, the accusation is so comical that it parodies itself. I don’t care: I’m still sorry I ever defended Kaufman here.

    I won’t make that mistake again.

    Patterico (5db6af)

  143. July is such a weird month.

    nk (06f5d0)

  144. Rich is probably a lot beloved in the African-American community. He is Making A Difference. If whitey ever get me down I’m glad Richie P is in my hood.

    hf (9bda9c)

  145. I really do not see how any of that is relevant.

    Ah, but it is. For Gates is the type who likely sees himself as some kind of martyr — pure as snow in the fight for truth and justice (and ACLU-ized and NAACP-ized civil rights) — right up there with Rodney King. A figure whose actions triggered an ensuing court case that placed cops on trial, and which certainly in Gates’ mind couldn’t have contained enough of even a tiny bit of ambiguity to justify 12 people on a jury in Simi Valley, Calif, voting the way they did.

    Time.com: Says Henry Louis Gates, chairman of Afro-American studies at Harvard: “That [Rodney King] jury was more afraid of the potential of being mugged by some hypothetical black male than it was of the abuse of the Constitution, of civil rights.”

    Mark (411533)

  146. I think Richie would get along well with that douchenozzle from Detroit who threatened to shoot Michelle Malkin.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  147. What reason did the cop have to think that this might be one of the suspects? There’s only one, isn’t there?

    You’d make a fine cop, SEK. Right up until you got shot. Which would take about five minutes.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  148. My sweet America, this is what happens when you favor one race over another. The sad thing is, in Gate’s crazed mind, he actually thinks the police officer was being racist.

    John Henry Eden (d3a8ee)

  149. Rich is probably a lot beloved in the African-American community. He is Making A Difference. If whitey ever get me down I’m glad Richie P is in my hood.

    I’d be shocked if Rich Puchalsky has ever set foot in a place with more than 1-2 black people. He has that whole Guilty White Man thing down pat. Most guys like that have barely met black people.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  150. So, Teh One just completely distorted this incident beyond all recognition, claimed racial profiling, and called the police stupid. This is Teh One’s post-racial world.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  151. Someone on his blog has leveled ridiculous accusations of racism against myself and JD. SEK’s response? A virtual shrug of the shoulders.

    Stop being so melodramatic. You’ll notice I’ve contributed nothing to that conversation, but said I disagree with the remarks here . . . because NetNanny likes your site and hates mine, so I can’t comment there yet. Once I can, I’ll do what I always do when I disagree with Rich (which is pretty regularly): I’ll call him on it. There’s no need to make grand pronouncements about the matter.

    For the record: I’ve been attacked much more harshly here in this very prominent place — and by hoards of commenters, and simultaneously no less — than Rich has attacked you at my low-traffic place. So if I made declarations every time you didn’t immediately come to my defense, I’d have stopped commenting here ages ago. Hell, I’ve even defended you at other people’s places, at length, and caused myself great grief because of it.

    But if you want to take this NetNanny limitation as a personal slight of utmost importance, there’s nothing I can do about it. (And I might not be able to comment at my place later either, as I’m not sure what state the apartment I’m vacating in two days will be in when I get back, so getting on the computer might not be an option. Don’t think you should hold that against me either, but again, that’s up to you.)

    SEK (072055)

  152. I’m pretty sure NetNanny limitation is code for something.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  153. I salute you for your comments at SEK’s place, JD, since you asked. You ran into predictable knee-jerk liberalism that I suspect, in some cases, may be rooted in latent racism on the part of some of SEK’s commenters. What is disappointing is that SEK acknowledges the slander against you and me, but does not lift a finger to type out even the mildest rebuke. I can’t believe I ever bothered defending him in my own comments section.

    Again, if Rich Puchalskys didn’t exist you’d have to invent them. I think all these people are college-teacher types who have no clue about the real world, police work, or common sense.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  154. The codewords are just flying off of the page now.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  155. I’d abort my grandchildren if they even mentioned attending the sh** hole called Harvard. Once a proud institution, now the home of dummies. As they say, too stupid to get out and do, stay and teach.

    Scrapiron (4e0dda)

  156. Thanks, Patterico. They really are caricatures of parodies, kind of like International Man of Parody, but wrapped in the eternal Leftist conceit that due to their “caring”, they are just better people than those that disagree with them.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  157. However, should you be put-out by my not having responded yet, I will be forced to you of this.

    SEK (072055)

  158. Cambridge Police are stupid racists. Teh One said so, so it must be true.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  159. SEK – That clown still has not responded to Patterico.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  160. “Gates should not have been screaming “racism” from the beginning”

    He also shouldn’t have let the cop into his house or gone outside. But he doesn’t teach the 4th amendment.

    [note: fished from spam filter]

    imdw (4df137)

  161. SEK:

    You say:

    Stop being so melodramatic. You’ll notice I’ve contributed nothing to that conversation, but said I disagree with the remarks here . . . because NetNanny likes your site and hates mine, so I can’t comment there yet. Once I can, I’ll do what I always do when I disagree with Rich (which is pretty regularly): I’ll call him on it. There’s no need to make grand pronouncements about the matter.

    Sure there is. I had no idea that you couldn’t comment there, but you already signaled your shoulder-shrugging attitude with your comments here.

    I’m comparing a comment appearing on your site that says:

    You’re a racist, and so is Patterico, and your reflexive defense of a bad arrest under coded racism disguised as populism is just par for the course.

    With this shoulder-shrugging:

    No, because his argument relies on the idea that you and Patrick are reacting reflexively, and I don’t believe you are. If you were, then yes, you would be racist. I don’t “own” my commenters, who are as free as you to make and defend their arguments.

    Had that crap appeared on my site, and I couldn’t comment there (but could comment elsewhere) I would have said something like this: “No, I don’t agree, and furthermore that is a ridiculous accusation. I don’t appreciate my comments section being used for such nonsense and I am going to let Rich know that.” Suffice it to say I saw no such thing. As to your future comments, I guess we’ll have to wait to see whether you truly whack Rich for inappropriate comments, or just express milquetoast disagreement.

    You also say:

    For the record: I’ve been attacked much more harshly here in this very prominent place — and by hoards of commenters, and simultaneously no less — than Rich has attacked you at my low-traffic place. So if I made declarations every time you didn’t immediately come to my defense, I’d have stopped commenting here ages ago.

    You’re welcome to submit examples where commenters have accused you of something as vile as racism, on evidence as non-existent as in today’s thread, where I made a comment that showed I knew of the comment — yet I expressed a shrug of the shoulders at the idea of my comments section being used to slander you.

    I doubt you’ll come up with any such examples, but feel free to try.

    Not a particularly melodramatic complaint, just a factual one. It doesn’t mean I hate you for all time; it just means that I have extended to you a courtesy (in policing slanders against you) that I am not seeing reciprocated. Now you’re suggesting that you will; fine. I’ll look for it. And I’ll try my best not to judge the likely content of your future comments by the ones I have already read — tempting as it is to do so.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  162. Who’s “that,” nk? Me? I think I made it pretty clear why I haven’t responded yet, but this is rather silly. If Patrick’s upset because I didn’t immediately rush to his defense even though I patiently explained why I couldn’t, I can’t do anything about that. I’ll still respect him, but I’ll be more than a little disappointed that he turned technical limitations into personal slights. (And for the record, you said some awful things about me recently, and I didn’t get annoyed when Patrick didn’t immediately come to my defense. Life happens.)

    SEK (072055)

  163. Whoops, looks like JD said that, not nk. So never you mind about the rest of that bit.

    SEK (072055)

  164. However, should you be put-out by my not having responded yet, I will be forced to you of this.

    As I say, you already did respond, here, and appeared to signal nothing more than mildly expressed disagreement coupled with a complete lack of outrage at the way your comments section was being used.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  165. It does not matter what he says, Patterico. It will be some off-hand remark that you and I are not really racist, and his clowns will continue to make baseless claims.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  166. It does not matter what he says, Patterico. It will be some off-hand remark that you and I are not really racist, and his clowns will continue to make baseless claims.

    I’m really trying not to make assumptions about what he will say.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  167. Fair enough. You are a bigger person than I.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  168. Patterico, you wrote:

    “…I have extended to you a courtesy (in policing slanders against you) that I am not seeing reciprocated. Now you’re suggesting that you will; fine. I’ll look for it….”

    Don’t hold your breath. Sorry to be so direct. But this is all academic dogma. I find that my left of center academic friends who are all about climbing the ramparts in defense of freedom of ideas seem pretty lukewarm about defending people with different ideas than their own.

    I would love to be wrong on this subject.

    You have always defended people who disagreed with you when they are unfairly slandered. It’s rare, and deserves recognition.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  169. Actually, to any of you that are interested, the folks at SEK’s site are living breathing examples of why I jokingly call everyone racists so routinely. I have explained it before, but it is so much better to simply see in action. Kind of like going to the zoo. The spitting cobra is cool, as long as there is a pane of glass between you and it. This was soooooooooo full of codewords, I need to go take a bath and cleanse myself. First, I have to starch my pillowcase and bedsheets.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  170. #150: shorter version…

    That’s different™!

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  171. There are parallels between the use of “Commie!” by red-baiters of the early Fifties and “Racist!” by today’s leftist bloggers.

    Yeah, there really were Russian agents then, and there really are black-hating whites today.

    But evidence didn’t concern Joe McCarthy, any more than it matters in the current instance.

    In the eyes of the Right Sort of People, the one sounding the alarum has the moral high ground. Where there’s smoke, there’s sure to be fire!

    And the magic of the slur is that it only travels one way. Right-to-left back then, left-to-right today. Same feature, for the folks doing the name-calling: PLU are immune.

    Perhaps if people had been more willing to challenge McCarthy et. al, the Red Scare wouldn’t have done so much damage. And the real agents of the GRU and NKVD might have had a more difficult time of it.

    AMac (c822c9)

  172. AMac – It is such a serious charge, yet it is made over things like differences of opinions, not substance, not action. In favor of tax cuts? Racists! Think a SC Judge should not take race or sex into consideration? Racist and sexist !!!!! It is practically endless. It is a debate stopper. It is Godwin. And it should be called out every time.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  173. Teh One said the cops are stupid. End of story.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  174. Exhibit 1: SEK accuses caricature artist Genn of racism in his depiction of Sonia Sotomayor.

    Exhibit 2: I point out that cartoonist Pedro X. Molina’s depiction isn’t all that different.

    Exhibit 3: Silence.

    SEK likes to throw around accusations of racism but it’s really all style, no substance. I think it’s probably more emotive than intellectual. Calling something or someone racist is like saying that you really, really hate them.

    Of course, silence isn’t all bad. You should give him credit, he didn’t respond with all that “coded racism” nonsense.

    It should also be noted that with regards to Rich Puchalsky, this is the substance of an e-mail sent to me by SEK:

    Just wanted to say that while I disagree with you, it’s nice to have someone to disagree with again. Pat tried it for a while, but didn’t like how my regular commenter Rich responded to him. So I’ll tell you what I told him: ignore Rich. You know what he’s going to say, but because he’s such a valuable contributer to non-political threads — there aren’t two people in the world who know more about science fiction-type texts written circa 1900 — I’m not about to ban him. But Pat being Pat, he can’t let an argument go unchallenged, so now he emails me responses to what I write. You may choose to do that soon too, but I’m telling you, if you just let Rich’s words flow like water off a duck’s back, everything’ll be cool.

    If you can’t — and in all honesty, I’m like Pat in this respect, which is why I used to guest-post at a very prominent conservative blog (which shall remain nameless) just so I could engage people I disagreed with — you’re more than welcome to respond, as Pat does, by email. As a teacher, I’m more interested in fostering productive debate than hammering home some point I’d take issue with if someone had flattened me with it. But the internet being the internet, some otherwise constructive debates can’t happen constructively because, well, the internet’s the internet.

    How does accusing someone of racism in such a way that there is no possible response foster debate?

    Fritz (09dc28)

  175. How’s that hope and change working out for you?

    Fritz (09dc28)

  176. That is one hell of a way to foster debate.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  177. Funny enough, President Obama mentions the Gates incident during his speech tonight. I’m a bit appalled at his statement and certainly if I were a member of the Cambridge Police Dept., I would be discouraged by the President’s inability to remain neutral yet concerned. But at least they know where they stand.

    While the session was dominated by health care, Obama said in response to one question that Cambridge, Mass., police “acted stupidly” last week in arresting Henry Louis Gates Jr., a black scholar at Harvard, in his house. Police were called to the house to investigate a possible break-in. Gates produced identification but was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct after protesting the police conduct.

    “Now I don’t know, not having been there, what role race played in that,” the president said. But he added that blacks and Latinos often are stopped by authorities in disproportionate numbers. Police have dropped charges initially lodged against Gates.

    Dana (57e332)

  178. Fritz/#172 — SEK seems to be correct in his judgment of his regular contributor Rich. A couple of years ago, some of my remarks on the Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax/Frame inspired him to label me a pimp and note,

    I’m not going to say what you really are, since this is Scott’s blog, but I invite you to imagine whatever bad, bad word would most cause you to sniff in disapproval and then go off to support some racist somewhere.

    Presumably Rich’s intention is to reserve Acephalous for the proper sort of commenters and the proper sort of debate. This bug–or feature–seems to have worked, and not only in my case.

    AMac (c822c9)

  179. There are so many codewords in that Fritz, that I do not even know where to start.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  180. I went over to Patterico’s site and, scanning down to find the comments JD cited, I noticed something very interesting. In the post itself, the phrase “high-on-himself” has been removed from the sentence which, according to JD, originally read: “It appears to be a high-on-himself Harvard professor inappropriately screaming “RACISM!!” combined with an offended cop who got high on his own authority and sense of outrage, and made an inappropriate arrest.”

    So, going back to our earlier points, I suggest that this is evidence that Patterico believes there’s something wrong with his phrasing, and has — silently — corrected it. JD, on the other hand, has been hung out to dry, valiantly defending the honor of someone who edits posts without noting changes or acknowledging error.

    Patterico – I thought you would enjoy the new accusation of dishonesty that they are throwing at you.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  181. Oh. He retracted.

    JD (f4f0f3)

  182. Dana, I was amazed at how unpresidential that was.

    Obama admits he doesn’t know what happened, but calls cops stupid. Why? For arresting someone but not pressing charges? That’s often a great solution.

    He just isn’t ready to lead, basically. He can complain about minorities being pulled over too often, but the cops were asked to help by a concerned neighbor. And probably most of the 8 people who watched Obama think he should have let someone at a different level handle this kind of thing.

    Juan (d39d73)

  183. Y’know, if I were responding and saw evidence of a forced door (which I can’t determine from from the only scene photo I’ve yet seen, but likely from the report) and ran across a belligerent fellow who fit the description (not a “youth” as falsely asserted by SEK, merely a guy who could fit the description) who told me he wanted to go out of my sight-line to procure ID, I’d probably follow him as well.

    SEK, I think you are arguing in bad faith here. You have repeatedly claimed the description was of “youths” when no such claim has been made. You have repeatedly asserted that the good Prof. had a noticeable limp, without offering evidence. His pelvic presentation in the associated photo shows no direct evidence of that.

    Let us posit. The man had a bad plane ride, got lit up (otherwise why force the front door, he had opened the back and the bags could have been brought in that way) and acted like an ass. Later, he went through “drunk situational revisionism” and retro-fitted his recollection to make himself the hero.

    Just as likely, if not more, than your scenario of Cambridge cops acting racially and maliciously, even though there were black cops present.

    Don’t be blindly loyal to academics, just because you hope to be one.

    Uncle Pinky (e4d7c2)

  184. I think it’s probably more emotive than intellectual.

    Of, course. You’re dealing with a liberal, a person who believes that because his or her compassion and tolerance are at such a high level of wonder and beauty — so beyond reproach — they can make any claim, any accusation, any observation no matter what, because, after all, their shit don’t stink.

    “Now I don’t know, not having been there, what role race played in that,” the president said.

    Yea, and we can really trust your judgment of people and situations. For instance, your handling of former close advisor and friend Jeremiah Wright. That was a sign of great perception and honesty on your part. Yep, uh-huh. Better yet, your much more recent handling of Honduras’ former president Zelayo. Again, another indication of great discernment emanating from your mind, Barry Obama.

    Mark (411533)

  185. The bottom line remains that SEK’s conclusion is based on one of the most naive views of how police handle a potential crime scene that I’ve ever seen.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  186. Rich’s latent douchebaggery is deficit neutral.

    JD (593b0c)

  187. Patterico – I thought you would enjoy the new accusation of dishonesty that they are throwing at you.

    Can you link it, JD? I can’t find what you’re talking about.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  188. Uncle Pinky, you know, it is really strange that he got into the back and couldn’t get in the front.

    Why bust down a door when a locksmith could fix the problem more easily?

    That the white cop is called ‘stupid’ and ‘racist’ just for doing basic work is obviously quite racist itself.

    Juan (d39d73)

  189. The comment JD mentioned is here (page 2 of the comments) and it was retracted here (page 3 of the comments).

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  190. Juan 7:38 p.m.,

    I think it’s outrageous that President Obama weighed in with such an obvious endorsement of Professor Gates’ statement and a clear insinuation of the police officer’s faulty behavior. He was absolutely without neutrality and/or a brief, we’ll have to wait and see what the facts are before making a judgement company line. Nope, in a few short words, he tried them and found them guilty.

    How does this not incriminate the police officers? How do the police officers begin to defend themselves against this? This was not an advocate, or a senator, or a random public figure – the was the President of the United States passing judgment.

    Why, it’s as if POTUS has thrown the Cambridge P.D. under the bus.

    Dana (57e332)

  191. Patterico, you must be tough as nails to withstand the constant maligning you get from those open-minded types on the left. I hope SEK will think things over and do a check of his own biases.

    Fritz, I loved your response to the absurd racism charge about the National Review cover of Buddha Sotomayor.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  192. on the porch of [redacted] Ware Street

    [deleted by DRJ] (according to other publicly-available sources), in case any burglariously-inclined Cantabrigians might like to capitalize on a sudden disinterest in that particular domicile on the part of the local constabulary.

    Dave (in MA) (d51df8)

  193. I didn’t understand that you had to hit “Newer” to see more comments at SEK’s site.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  194. He retracted, almost immediately, Patterico. I am not good with linkie thingies. I quoted it above.

    JD (725e5a)

  195. I think it’s a “she.”

    Amazing how all these people pile on, even when you don’t attack them, and advance a completely reasonable position.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  196. Oopsie. Either way, he/she/it piled on the whole wingers are racists meme that the douchenozzle continues to advance.

    Did you read that link from AMac above? AMac is about as level headed and fair as DRJ, and the one that is likely overcopensating for an excessively small penile object went all attack hate attack hate attack hate on AMac.

    JD (5375e6)

  197. the story changes I think when Meghan McCain’s president has one of his media lackeys ask him about this and he proceeds to contrast his bff Skippy Gates with the stupid stupid po-po.

    Meghan McCain’s president is kind of a penis I think.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  198. Rich and timmah share that hate hate hate vibe.

    JD (4cd453)

  199. Curses, foiled again!

    Dave (in MA) (d51df8)

  200. Comment by Juan — 7/22/2009 @ 8:02 pm

    I’ve seen some of those houses up there, and a sticking door (or sticking pin in an old lock cylinder) during hot weather would not be tremendously uncommon. I just question why someone would rather do hundreds of dollars of damage to their front door, rather than bringing stuff in the back and calling a carpenter, a neighbor with a block plane or a locksmith the next day.

    One over the eight, and combative (or at least pissy and stepping wide) seemed more likely, in my opinion as a professional dispenser of human fuel. Hell, I’ve done it myself. I would like to get some testimony from the driver. There may be a reason the bags could not have come in through the compliant back door. If this were over at Ace’s, I would expect some salty reasons, but here I hope we can discuss some less anatomical ones.

    Too much time wasted, narrow alley in the back, couple of big cans in the way: these would be taken into consideration. Were someone to tell me that this towering giant of academe and constant chronicler of racial injustice had no understanding of why a report of two black males forcing their way into a white doorway (house rape, if you are PoMo) should not garner police attention, then said someone would also have to explain why black on black violence deserves less investigation than white on white.

    I kick in a door, say that I live there,refuse to state if any other person is there (in a possible hostage sitch) act like a tool and show no ID until I can get hold of my piece: Result; misery.

    Gates: Complete access to house, breaks door by using (slaving) his driver, eventually (after potential destruction of evidence) answers, proceeds to be a French Shower, yells, screams racism even though officers of colour on on scene. Chooses poorly. Result: Fame and Fortune through lawsuit.

    Angryfing: Something that makes Uncle Pinky angry, but he can not change without walking the earth, like Kane.

    Uncle Pinky (e4d7c2)

  201. Sorry to go all Joe on you folks, but this is rich.

    Patterico talks a good game about moderating his comments, but his commenters are routinely much worse than anything I’ve seen anywhere but the core supremicist sites.

    Calling you a racist — which you are — is not accusing you of a crime, you know. It’s legal to be a racist. Not very admirable, of course. If Patterico and his sycophants want to act like I’ve just hurt them worse than they’ve ever been hurt, they can, but that act is part of the coded racism bit as well. People like Patterico make a coded appeal to racism, and then when someone calls them on it, they’re all “Oh my god I can’t believe you just called me a racist! This is the worst thing ever that you just did!” And people like you eat that right up. But that doesn’t mean that anyone else has to take it seriously.

    JD (b537f4)

  202. he’s like listening to a five year old play Social Justice Barbie

    happyfeet (c75712)

  203. Maybe he should do an interpretive dance about it, while dressed up like Spock.

    JD (93cafe)

  204. Patterico, I have a great idea. I suggest that you bring SEK over to Compton for a couple of days with you. He is quite good. like most academics, at the hypothetical.

    The untidy world of reality is another thing. It would be helpful to him, as well. He might get interested in doing some volunteer work.

    I would suggest that you get him a ridealong with some police officers, but I wouldn’t want to see SEK hurt. And my guess is that his learning curve on a ridealong would be steep.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  205. JD, you have been reading that department course description I sent you, I can tell.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  206. I probably should have mentioned this. I am now in Long Beach. I was transferred to the gang unit a couple of months ago and was immediately sent to Long Beach.

    You may have noticed a falloff in my blogging productivity. This is part of the reason. A large part.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  207. ….
    I love it when the Leftists are so utterly predictable. They are like parodies of caricatures.
    Comment by JD — 7/22/2009 @ 3:10 pm

    What a whiny little bitchy post that is. “Oh, look at me, a mean ol’ liberal called me a name.”

    On the first day in years you venture forth from the prospective skirts of your chorus of pals and get insulted in the same manner (if not the same words) you insult every person here who disagrees with you, you come running back here, looking for absolution and protection? What a baby. Pot, kettle, Jd

    Meanwhile, I have a law degree, so let me agree with DJR, we long ago lost our 4th Amendment rights and no court in the country would sanction a cop following Dr. Gates inside his house, no matter what his original reason and no matter what his motivation. I mean, the Supreme Court is one case from abolishing the Exclusionary Rule, so a warrantless entry isn’t going to make them blink.

    However, arresting a guy on the porch of his house is annoying, ridiculous, and outrageous, no matter what the gentleman said. Borderline tort liability under false imprisonment.

    Doesn’t matter, though, ’cause you guys know which to side with just based on the politics involved: Gates=liberal=bad. policeman=good.

    Oh and JD, if you made it this far, your victim-seeking on this thread is priceless. Godlstein-esque even. The student tries to become the teacher!

    timb (8f04c0)

  208. I hope you like the new assignment, Patterico. I was born in Compton, but raised in North Long Beach. Cherry St. and Artesia Blvd? I lived two blocks from that intersection.

    Back when I was living there, the West Side Longos were still around. Crips and Pirus as well.

    Nasty business. Though it can’t be pleasant, I am glad you are working to help. It’s more than any academic, including myself, does.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  209. that’s obnoxious what you said about Mr. G cause he’s the best one

    happyfeet (c75712)

  210. timb, I am not trying to fight with you here, but Professor Gates has a long history of seeing racism everywhere, and saying very provocative things about his perceptions regarding that topic.

    Like Rashomon, I very much doubt we are getting the entire story from anyone.

    I am always surprised by anyone who get assertive with police officers. That approach only seems to end up okay for the well to do, regardless of race.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  211. Thank you for your hate hate hate timmah. You should be happier than you are. OOOOOOOOOOOOOh, timmah has a law degree. Bow down and worship! Teh One told us the cops were stupid. Nothing more needs to be said.

    I am no victim, timmah. I just like it when you and your ilk live up to the stereotypes so perfectly. It is funny. And a bit sad.

    You are an angry hatey coward, timmah. With a law degree. Now that, folks, is scary.

    JD (0f9c01)

  212. timb, your comment continues your long streak of fatuous nonsense. You obviously never bothered to read the original post nor the comments above. After all, such would interfere with your silly conclusion that “policeman=good” was an accurate summary of the above.

    Grow up.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  213. SPQR – Timmah has a law degree! And a belly full of hate hate hate.

    JD (cc3aa7)

  214. Blutarsky hears a lot of dog whistles I think, very 1900s sci-fi. He’s seems a very paranoid type.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  215. If timmah passes the Bar then he might actually be able to use that law degree. Then that would be REALLY scary. Watch nuisance lawsuits skyrocket based on his comments here. Cyrus can school him on how to prolong avoiding sanctions and disbarrment.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  216. Well, JD, its a shame that timb does not have a better understanding of Fourth Amendment law. He’d write less silly nonsense.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  217. I see Presidente Zero blamed the cops for not treating an asswith the respect he deserves for being black. At least Presidente 666 admitted he didn’t have the facts so he could act as he usually does, just yells racist and expect everyone to fall over.

    It was in line with his treatment of the entire healthcare issue. More distortions, lies, and complete fantasy.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  218. Presidente 666? Really?

    BTW – What is the proper etiquette for calling a PhD a Dr.? If someone introduces themselves as Remington Steele, and you say, “Hello, Remington Steele”, and they scream “I am a Doctor and you will address me as such because I have earned your respect beeyotch” – is that in any way good manners?

    JD (1762b4)

  219. JD, if someone other than a medical doctor insists that I call them “Doctor” outside of their particular professional / academic setting, I usually laugh at their face. If they have a doctorate in education, I usually tip them five dollars only if they give me a good table away from the kitchen and any screaming babies.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  220. Well, I have one of those Ph.D.s, JD. At conferences and such, I am called “Dr.” by people I don’t know, and my first name by people I do. On campus, it is “Professor.” At home, I am “hey, you.”

    Seriously, I worry about any Ph.D. who wants people outside a seminar room or lecture hall calling them “Doctor.”

    Besides, I well remember my late aunt asking me about graduate school:

    Aunt: “So, you are going to Stanford?”
    Me: “Yup.”
    Aunt: “Going to get an M.D. or a Ph.D.?”
    Me: “Ph.D.”
    Aunt (blowing cigaret smoke): “So, not a real doctor, then.”

    I have always thought that getting a Ph.D. was like a five or six year fraternity initiation. It sure doesn’t mean a person is smart.

    Even at Harvard.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  221. Exactly right, SPQR!

    Oh, and I have never introduced myself to someone as “Dr.” or “Professor.”

    There is no word for the lame-osity involved in that kind of puffery.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  222. “no matter what the gentleman said. Borderline tort liability under false imprisonment” -timb

    This is Obama’s reasoning, I guess. That because he is black, and at his home, no crime he commits justifies an arrest.

    Even if he’s aggressively creating a disturbance. Well, I am not sure that his likely ridiculous shouting and screaming justified an arrest in the practical sense, but this concept that I’m hearing from the left is absurd.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  223. Eric – I encountered that type of person today, and I wanted to know the proper way to address them. Suffice it to say that my initial reactions we less than respectful.

    JD (4cd453)

  224. It kind of reminds me of the repeated exchange in “Unforgiven” when the one fellow introduces himself as “a writer.”

    “Of what?” they all asked. “Letters?”

    I’m sorry that you had to run into a snob who needs to get some perspective in life.

    You should have just insisted that they call you “Mr. JD” repeatedly. Then you reply with “Mr…or maybe Dr….” each time.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  225. Thanks. After getting a letter in today’s Boston Globe on the matter, this post actually changed my mind about the propriety of the arrest. I was so disgusted by the racial accusations that I became overly sympathetic to any effort to slap some cuffs on the guy. What Gates did, in essence, was to reenact the end of the old peasant woman skit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    sierra (4be1ff)

  226. At home, I am “hey, you.”

    Eric Blair, I’m willing to bet that those who address you as “Dr.” do not do so with even a tiny fraction of the love and affection that those who address you as “hey, you”, do. Home, it’s where the really good stuff that lasts is found.

    Dana (57e332)

  227. I read that there were a number of witnesses, not all police. It would be interesting to learn that someone has a cellphone video. Obama seems to be in favor of racial solidarity over even handed governing. He may regret this.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  228. Quite interesting that a few commenters describe Gates as an affirmative action hire, dubiously qualified. I think you have him confused with Cornel West. Gates is a rock-solid scholar. You know, these days black people can be qualified to do anything, even be President someday.

    There’s also something disquieting about the rush of commenters outdoing themselves in pledging their obsequious behavior to police. I don’t think setting low standards for law enforcement is doing any favors. (I recently took down the name of a policeman I saw threatening a motorist with a ticket for honking at his own dangerous, improper maneuver.) Is it such a good idea having LE that feel entitled to bust citizens for failing the attitude test? Even in the policeman’s own narrative, by the time of the arrest he knew that there was no burglary in progress. So why was he still there? Mark Kleiman is a UCLA professor whose blog is often sympathetic to law enforcement. He has a long guest excerpt that puts this well.

    The lesson most cops understand (apart from the importance of using the word “tumultuous,” which features prominently in Crowley’s report) is that a person cannot violate 272/53 by yelling in his own home.

    Read Crowley’s report and stop on page two when he admits seeing Gates’s Harvard photo ID. I don’t care what Gates had said to him up until then, Crowley was obligated to leave. He had identified Gates. Any further investigation of Gates’ right to be present in the house could have been done elsewhere. His decision to call HUPD seems disproportionate, but we could give him points for thoroughness if he had made that call from his car while keeping an eye on the house. Had a citizen refused to leave Gates’ home after being told to, the cops could have made an arrest for trespass.

    But for the sake of education, let’s watch while Crowley makes it worse. Read on. He’s staying put in Gates’ home, having been asked to leave, and Gates is demanding his identification. What does Crowley do? He suggests that if Gates wants his name and badge number, he’ll have to come outside to get it. What? Crowley may be forgiven for the initial approach and questioning, but surely he should understand that a citizen will be miffed at being questioned about his right to be in his own home. Perhaps Crowley could commit the following sentences to memory: “I’m sorry for disturbing you,” and “I’m glad you’re all right.”

    Spoiling for a fight, Crowley refuses to repeat his name and badge number. Most of us would hand over a business card or write the information on a scrap of paper. No, Crowley is upset and he’s mad at Gates. He’s been accused of racism. Nobody likes that, but if a cop can’t take an insult without retaliating, he’s in the wrong job. When a person is given a gun and a badge, we better make sure he’s got a firm grasp on his temper. If Crowley had called Gates a name, I’d be disappointed in him, but Crowley did something much worse. He set Gates up for a criminal charge to punish Gates for his own embarrassment.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (0a6843)

  229. Goodnight, racists.

    JD (725e5a)

  230. Mike K,

    It will be interesting. A neighbor took a photo of the arrest and at least one of the officers present appears to have been African-American. I wish our president had said nothing other than It would be inappropriate for me to comment on this.

    Dana (57e332)

  231. Andrew – Where, exactly, did anyone say that Dr. Gates is an “affirmative action hire, dubiously qualified”? Or, are you arguing with someone else? Just another leftist that takes the word of the aggrieved Doctor as the gospel truth. Racist.

    JD (d55760)

  232. [...] invoked a lively discussion over at Patterico, and I encourage you to read it.  Personally, I believe that playing of the race card was second [...]

    Gazzer’s Gabfest » Race disgrace! (b98ad6)

  233. BTW – What is the proper etiquette for calling a PhD a Dr.? If someone introduces themselves as Remington Steele, and you say, “Hello, Remington Steele”, and they scream “I am a Doctor and you will address me as such because I have earned your respect beeyotch” – is that in any way good manners?

    Sort of OT, but there’s a lot of local variation in this. At some campuses, such people are generally addressed as Professor Smith. At others, Doctor Smith is traditional. I think whichever is locally current is better than Mister Smith, even for non-medical doctors. Such a rude reply is, of course, a worse breech of good manners than any question about title.

    At the insistence of my bosses, my business cards all have “Ph.D.” on them, but to tell you the truth, after long enough in egalitarian, informal Cali, I expect and often prefer to be addressed by first name…

    Andrew J. Lazarus (0a6843)

  234. “Gates is a rock-solid scholar. You know, these days black people can be qualified to do anything”

    lol

    He’s in African-American studies, I thought. A completely wasted life. A racial life. Unlike the cop.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  235. Wait, are you Dr. Racist? I do not want to offend.

    JD (725e5a)

  236. Dana #225: actually, the title I enjoy the most is from my sons.

    Dad.

    It’s lots and lots better than any professor nonsense.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  237. JD, with respect to Gates’ qualifications, I draw your attention to comments 27, 34, and 68.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (0a6843)

  238. AJL,

    The only mention I see of affirmative action is a quote from Gates himself lamenting the demise of it. Nothing about qualifications being dubious. Please show me where I missed it. Thank you in advance.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  239. JD, with respect to Gates’ qualifications, I draw your attention to comments 27, 34, and 68.
    Comment by Andrew J. Lazarus — 7/22/2009 @ 10:40 pm

    None of those comments reference his qualifications or whether they are dubious. They are about how he uses his position, not whether he is qualified for it. Please show where anyone questioned his qualifications. May I assume you concede the point about affirmative action and will retract it?

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  240. Re: #228. Um. My reading of Mark Kleiman’s blog is not really suggestive of “support” for police officers. I’m sure Kleiman will say that he “supports” police and law enforcement. But check over his blog and see if you feel he is terrifically fair minded and nonPC.

    I also think that is is very, very instructive for people to do ridealongs with police officers. It’s much simpler to criticize police activities in the abstract.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  241. I went looking for any hints of AA complaining and noticed that #26 had some… but then I noticed the author (Andrew Laz) and thought that was a little amusing.

    I am up too late as it is, so ‘night fellow racists.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  242. So if I am getting this right, there’s never been a old black male with a backpack that has broken into a home, and if I have a PhD I can torture the truth and assert that any black male with a backpack is young…. plus the black male possibly has a limp but the cop is required to ascertain omnisciently that any limp is not from kicking a door, but from hip surgery
    It’s a peer reviewed win-win for revisionist history.

    1. Older black males never burglarize homes

    2. When doing field indentifications on a burglary call always assume the people in the home live there, and any limps etc. are from surgery, not from kicking the door

    3 Always assume any black male with a backpack is young

    4. When on a burglary call, let unidentified subjects inside the home do whatever they damn well please

    Did I read right that the professor offered his Harvard ID?
    Then the city PD called Harvard to send over a officer to confirm it was a legit ID?
    Even a bartender won’t take a college ID, why should a cop?

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  243. What Gates did, in essence, was to reenact the end of the old peasant woman skit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    DENNIS: Man!
    ARTHUR: Old Man, sorry. What knight live in that castle over there?
    DENNIS: I’m thirty seven.
    ARTHUR: What?
    DENNIS: I’m thirty seven — I’m not old!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  244. Hasn’t anyone here ever watched “COPS” for cryin’ out loud?

    After just 2 episodes, one can perceive the idea, that the police when confronted by UNKNOWN INDIVIDUALS, MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS OF GOOD INTENT BY ANYONE OR ANY OTHER “FACTS” NOT IN EVIDENCE.

    Everyone at the “crime scene” (designated so by the dispatcher’s call) is considered a suspect and dangerous until completely proven not so. If anyone acts rowdy or abusive to the cops or anyone else in front of the cops, that’s Disorderly Conduct. If anyone touches or waves their hand or any other object around while the cops are there, that’s Assault. If there’s any evidence of a crime having occurred and there’s so much as a tiny bit of evidence that points to an individual, that’s sufficient for Arrest on Suspicion of a crime and will get you put in a squad till things get sorted out.

    I’m a civilian and can figure out that Police can not interact with citizens/suspects in the manner that citizens interact with each other. They have rules to follow that if they don’t, they will be disciplined for not doing so.

    This is all to protect the officer and protect the citizen/suspect.

    Mr. Gates blew this up from the get go by making assumptions and disrespecting the police. (somehow, I have a feeling that he’s disrespected the cops for quite a while).

    jcw46 (a0c012)

  245. “There are parallels between the use of “Commie!” by red-baiters of the early Fifties and “Racist!” by today’s leftist bloggers.

    Yeah, there really were Russian agents then, and there really are black-hating whites today.

    But evidence didn’t concern Joe McCarthy, any more than it matters in the current instance.”

    A difference is that the racists used to be in charge. But not the commies.

    imdw (699b4b)

  246. “He’s in African-American studies, I thought. A completely wasted life. A racial life. Unlike the cop.”

    I wonder if cops think like this.

    imdw (699b4b)

  247. AJL – Nice try, or rather, asspull.

    JD (57d75b)

  248. “I also think he might have probable cause to observe Gates until he produced his ID.”

    I don’t think that’s enough to enter a home.

    imdw (5d4ed6)

  249. You know what he’s going to say, but because he’s such a valuable contributer to non-political threads

    Here’s where the underlying problem is with SEK’s responses, I believe. It’s the old axiom of where the good old boy phenomenon (aka “a–hole buddies”) comes into play. Which means that no matter what said a–hole may say or do, he’s always in the club, and will never be remonstrated with, never to be curbed in his supreme a–holishness. When questioned about his blind devotion to the offensive jerk, the friend always resorts to extolling how his good parts outweight the bad, etc.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  250. Dmac – public asshattery is all it has. It is alphie, redux.

    JD (57d75b)

  251. imdw/#246 –

    “A difference is that the racists used to be in charge. But not the commies.”

    This seems to be a vote for the status quo.

    My sort of Righteous People deserve exclusive use of a Magic Slander to frame public policy debates. Because racists not commies used to be in charge.”

    Or is there more to what you’re saying?

    AMac (c822c9)

  252. Imdw – That was covered, at length, above. That you chose to not read it comes as no shock. You should have stopped at “I don’t think”. We would have been in agreement.

    JD (57d75b)

  253. You’re right, JD. Nobody thinks on this site except you. And God.

    Seattle Slew (4dff28)

  254. “I also think he might have probable cause to observe Gates until he produced his ID.”

    I don’t think that’s enough to enter a home.

    Comment by imdw — 7/23/2009 @ 5:56 am

    JD is right that this was covered before…but the rationale is that up until ID was produced, it was prudent not to let someone who had just been seen jimmying a door open, a possible burglar, out of one’s sight, just in case the “let me go get my ID” was an excuse to pull – or go get a kitchen knife etc. as – a weapon. Anyway if I were a police officer that’s what I’d want to do.

    no one you know (7a9144)

  255. Gates’ account says he provided his Mass drivers license. The Cambridge Officer says he just provided a Harvard ID card.

    Since I had this same story happen to me – locked myself out, climbed up the side of the house, and made my way into my home through a window only to have my new neighbors call the police – I ended up answering the door to two local police officers with questions. I answered all of them directly and provided my drivers license.

    They were at my home all of 5 minutes. I met my new neighbors the next day and asked if we could exchange house keys to save me the personal embarrassment next time. He obliged and now we turn it into a joke as an excuse to have beers together.

    I can’t believe Lynn Sweet asked a Gates question to POTUS last night and he answered it. Did anyone ask about Mom jeans or the White Sox jacket worn at the All-Star game?

    Brennan (7e7343)

  256. and a cop high on his own authority and sense of outrage.

    Name me a cop who isn’t high on his own authority and I’ll have found something new in the world.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  257. seattle slew (guaranteed a sock puppet, BTW) – Have you read this thread? You are oh for two in your comments so far, unless inane was your goal, in which case you are batting a thousand.

    JD (f3535f)

  258. Funniest moniker yet – a Troll uses a horse as it’s avatar. Even better, it chose the horse’s backside to use as it’s main orifice for communication. Well played, sir.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  259. As a cop of 13 years I know, as I have read some poeple write in the comments here, that police officers deal with assholes all the time and thus need to have thick skin. This is true. HOWEVER, that being said, when an individual carries the insults/verbal harrassment to the point where it actually prevents me from investigating a complaint or crime, I am then justified in arresting that individual. Some people become so heated, so loud, so close and so venomous, you simply cannot do your job. At that point, you are interfering with an officer. Period. Whether you like it or not, you are compelled by the law to comply with an officer conducting a criminal investigation. You could be in your house or in a confessinal booth – location is irrelevant if a felony is in progress, or the officer has reason to believe it is and could articulate that. This knucklehead professor determined the direction and outcome of this incident. As we say in law enforcement, this guy “talked himself into handcuffs”. Oh, and by the way, university I.D. isn’t valid I.D. and would mean nothing by itself, as it has none of the information an officer needs to determine someone’s real identity or residence.

    D. Smith (adaa6e)

  260. SEK #85,

    Today’s news says the neighbor reported “two black men with backpacks,” not two youths. Do you expect the police to ignore what the neighbor reported because it doesn’t match your idea of what fits? If so, then I submit you are the one profiling here.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  261. And there you go, DRJ. “Pitch-perfect” analysis, to borrow a term.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  262. Thanks, D. Smith, for your input here and for protecting your community.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  263. JD, what is wrong with these people? I mean real racism does exist, but when a segment of the population insists that this incident was such a case, don’t they realize that they are mocking real incidents of racism as well as victimizing an innocent person?

    I guess to President Obama and some of his supporters, being dishonest is easy if one can substitute morality for politics.

    Pons Asinorum (03d2d0)

  264. By which I mean you are correct, DRJ. People like SEK need to actually work with police officers for a while. But it is much easier to criticize them.

    As you imply, the irritating part is watching such people attack one side for making assumptions, while making assumptions of their own.

    The facts on this case will come out. Based on what I know of Professor Gates, I am fairly sure he screamed and carried on. And if it was recorded, it will get released (or leaked, courtesy of the President attacking the Cambridge police department). The results will be predictable:

    Stage One: deny, deny, deny.
    Stage Two: demand further proof.
    Stage Three: when the situation is proven, then insist that it was no big deal.

    Sigh.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  265. [...] statement above if from Sgt. Crowley and, most likely, is self-serving. Then there is Gates’ version of events: When Professor Gates opened the door, the officer immediately asked him to step outside. Professor [...]

    Chips, Skips and Apologies | QandO (4844f0)

  266. I’m a center-left white Southerner, and after reading the comments/arguments posted above, I felt compelled to suggest something to everyone who is flinging accusations back and forth: drop by an African-American Studies class and sit in for a day. You might be surprised to discover how worthwhile, thought-provoking – and different – these classes can be.

    Jeremy (1b6244)

  267. Anyone who wants to find out how racist you are just needs to tune in to MSNBC. Good Allah.

    JD (0a78bf)

  268. Jeremy, I pity people who hyphenate everything they say.

    This idea that you have credibility on African American studies because you’re a ‘center-left-white-etc etc etc ‘ is asinine. You are not a -center left-white-etc etc’. You are Jeremy. It doesn’t matter what category your professor told you you’re in. Those are lines that divide us while also denying our individuality.

    All these hyphenated-americans… so sad.

    I am sure there’s something to learn from the classes you recommend, but judging from just how small minded, bigoted, and dumb this Harvard expert on African Americanness was, I suspect I got the lesson for free. Some people think blacks are always oppressed by everything. That’s probably a core lesson… certainly Gates’s core lesson.

    I suggest that everyone put a ride-along with a great cop, one like Crowley, way ahead of Afro-American studies on their list of things they would learn from.

    I also strongly suspect that those departments mimic very closely the things you’d hear in any of the other hyphenated american departments, or multiculturalism, sociology, poli sci, revisionist history, etc etc etc.

    Jeremy, I hope you take to heart the fact that your ideas are no stronger or weaker if you’re black or white or ‘center left’ or just plain left or right or just Jeremy.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  269. As a cop of 13 years I know, as I have read some poeple write in the comments here, that police officers deal with assholes all the time and thus need to have thick skin…

    I think police would get into those kinds of situations less if they weren’t trained to be so confrontational. I take at least one decently long walk a day usually in early evening and I like to walk through nice neighborhoods it’s just a simple pleasure I suppose and I’ve had police roll up beside me and ask me what I’m doing in a very confrontational manner and keep badgering me for up to 5 minutes like walking down the street in a residential neighborhood after sunset starts automatically means you’re casing houses or something. I’m also white by the way so race doesn’t have anything to do with it. One time I had an officer tell me in response to my saying I walk around for enjoyment and to stay in shape “That’s bullshit I saw you walking around here yesterday” when here happened to be literally right around the corner from my house and I don’t really see how what I said wasn’t a reasonable response to the question of “why are you walking around here”?

    Police are trained to note as many details as possible and cut through bullshit but unfortunately as a combination of their training and having to deal with assholes all the time a lot of them at least in my experience don’t have the social skill to cut through bullshit without being a jerk. But on the other hand any time I’ve had to deal with the police where I was the one seeking their assistance they’ve been nothing but polite and courteous to the utmost. I just wish that a cop being suspicious doesn’t have to mean a cop being a jerk – which again I can only speak for my experience – but that seems like the way it is.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  270. I think Jeremy was using irony. You know, “irony”, the quality of a malleable, silver-grey metal.

    nk (989c26)

  271. Jeremy, I apologize for being thick skulled if NK is right. I’m very, very bad at deciphering sarcasm on the internet. My fault entirely if that was the case, you racist.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  272. I wasn’t being ironic. Having never posted on here before, I gave a shorthand version of my perspective by admitting that while I’m not a conservative, I’m not here to throw bombs, either.

    Anyway, as an undergrad in the late ’80s/early ’90s, I took a couple of African-American Studies classes (and a Women’s Studies class, too!), and while the experience took me out of my comfort zone at first, the lessons, topics and discussions were extremely interesting.

    It is much more convenient to ascribe a collective victim mentality to the entire field of study, or claim it simply has no merit whatsoever. I’ll give you that.

    Jeremy (1b6244)

  273. I do agree that it’s more convenient!

    And that’s not a position without merit. I have taken sociology classes, but never any of the women’s studies classes. I do read, though. I know what ideas these departments produce.

    And Gates’s idiotic behavior really underlines the impression I had.

    I stand by my opinion that a ride-along with a cop is far more educational than sitting in any liberal arts undergrad class, but especially more educational than sitting in a class about afro-american studies. I get more out of just reading books on american history.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  274. “This is true. HOWEVER, that being said, when an individual carries the insults/verbal harrassment to the point where it actually prevents me from investigating a complaint or crime, I am then justified in arresting that individual.”

    Was he still investigating a crime after he decided to leave the house?

    “Oh, and by the way, university I.D. isn’t valid I.D. and would mean nothing by itself, as it has none of the information an officer needs to determine someone’s real identity or residence.”

    The ID was issued by the landlord. That doesn’t count for anything?

    imdw (bb6bc2)

  275. No, landlord ID’s do not have a special exception, imdw.

    JD (410197)

  276. “No, landlord ID’s do not have a special exception, imdw.”

    It was a harvard ID and this was a harvard house and a harvard professor. Special exception to what? Is there some rule he produce ID in his house?

    imdw (b1380b)

  277. Yes. When someone calls 911 and reports a break-in in progress and the police arrive to find people at the scene. Actual cops discussed this above. There is no exception for a Yale or Princeton ID either. But, good to know your dishonesty continues apace.

    JD (410197)

  278. “Yes. When someone calls 911 and reports a break-in in progress and the police arrive to find people at the scene. Actual cops discussed this above. There is no exception for a Yale or Princeton ID either. But, good to know your dishonesty continues apace.”

    I posted this in the other thread. But according to the report, crowley said he appeared to be a resident even before getting ID. So still, there’s a rule that you have to give ID even if the cop thinks you appear to be the resident? And an ID from your landlord and that Harvard police can confirm won’t work?

    [note: fished from spam filter]

    imdw (dc9722)

  279. That said, there’s obviously a racial component, since the officers were called to investigate two black youths . . .

    SEK:

    Can you please direct me to the specific portion of the report that states that the black people seemingly trying to force their way in were “youths”? When I read the report all I can see is the word “men.”

    Also, people can put down backpacks.

    Also, your comment is completely pointless because the witness was describing Gates. Which leads me to wonder just what in the hell your point is.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  280. Patterico, you need to learn more about “Whiteness Studies.” And I’m serious: you will understand all the…um…unusual logical constructions you are experiencing after wading through that topic.

    You won’t be any happier, but you will better understand the “code” that is being leveled against you.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  281. Patterico – SEK told us earlier that old people do not carry backpacks, and Gates obviously couldn’t because he is a frail old old elderly old crippled man. Or something like that.

    JD (9f4ff6)

  282. My favorite part was repeatedly referring to Professor Gates, born in 1950, as “elderly.”

    I resemble that remark, to some degree.

    And while 58 might appear “elderly” to SEK, portraying Professor Gates as a helpless dotard did serve Teh Narrative.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  283. Eric – Did you get that message I left you?

    JD (8f6877)

  284. God forbid anyone should actually try to bring up a valid, albeit tangential, point.

    If you actually took the time to learn about the underpinnings of African-American Studies, you might just find out that the primary goal of most programs (including Harvard’s) is to develop an understanding and appreciation of African-American history, art and culture.

    BTW, I happen to think Gates was (more) at fault in this situation, but for some reason I felt one or two of you might be willing to concede that demonizing an entire field of study based upon your own preconceived notions and paranoia isn’t helping move the dialogue forward. Oops.

    Eric, you may or may not be racist, but you certainly are ignorant.

    Jeremy (565441)

  285. Jeremy, actually when I took the time to learn about the underpinings of african-american studies, I found the same thing I’d found with native american, hispanic and other ethnic studies. A low level of scholarship of such ethnic studies across the various universities.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  286. “Jeremy, actually when I took the time to learn about the underpinings of african-american studies, I found the same thing I’d found with native american, hispanic and other ethnic studies.”

    Wow that’s a lot of fields you went and researched. Did you publish the results of all this time and effort?

    [note: fished from spam filter]

    imdw (b66cc8)

  287. I took African American studies in high school back in the early 70′s.
    We had a lot of guest lecturers who’d greet us with the black power salute and then launch into 1/2 hour long harangues punctuated with dubious second hand anecdotes.
    One woman who had straightened her hair and dyed it blonde made us repeat “Black is beautiful” 10 times to start and finish her lecture.
    I learned a lot about how white I am and how everything I had in this life was done on the backs of black slaves…. so when I wanted to know how that could be since I could only trace my ancestry back to poverty stricken British orphans who were sent overseas to work as underage slaves in the Nova Scotia logging camps, I got called a liar.

    My whiteness made me complicit in black slavery.

    Maybe the curriculum has changed for the better, but I’m in no hurry for Mr. Gates brand of BS

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  288. If you actually took the time to learn about the underpinnings of AfricanEuropean-American Studies, you might just find out that the primary goal of most programs (including Harvard’s) is to develop an understanding and appreciation of AfricanEuropean-American history, art and culture.

    I wanted to see how that looked in print ….

    HeavenSent (01a566)

  289. I once heard someone referred to as an African-American South African. It took me a little bit before I broke out in laughter.

    JD (9f4ff6)

  290. It must have been extremely low brow humor to impress you, JD. Was this person dangling a ball of yarn as well?

    Seattle Slew (4dff28)

  291. Oh, Jeremy, you are sly, aren’t you? You try to insult me, but you just look like the fatuous ethnocrat you are. Go read some Tom Wolfe.

    See what I did there? I assumed things about you based on a few posts. Pretty stupid of me, right?

    Sort of like you did.

    You are just looking to fight, and it’s boring.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  292. JD, I just got your message. I’ll reply by e-mail in a few. Interesting news!

    Eric Blair (204104)

  293. Apparently the new sock-puppet has no sense of humor. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. And it lies. Really not a very good combinaion there, Mr. Ed.

    JD (e6edba)

  294. Why do the trolls/sockpuppets always fixate on me? It must be my pleasant personality.

    Patterico/DRJ – Which sock puppet is this one? I am almost always right, you know?

    JD (28e6e6)

  295. Us liberals always reach for the lowest hanging fruit. JD, you hang pretty low my man.

    Seattle Slew (4dff28)

  296. great write up! I concur dr.

    commenter (aafda0)

  297. Whenever I have had altercations with police where I become belligerent, it has rarely ended well for me.

    Gates acted like a jerk. He could have made that situation go away very easily and dealt with his righteous indignation other ways.

    commenter (aafda0)

  298. Commenter “Fritz” at the linked Acephalous thread recommended a guest post at Crooked Timber by Brandon el Pozo. Police Discretion: A Different Perspective gives a reasoned overview of the incident from the point of view of a thoughtful cop with experience walking the beat.

    AMac (d38f7e)

  299. African American studies departments are quite often extremely racist. They aren’t in depth… they likely don’t have rigid review of claims made.

    It’s about hate. That’s why Gates was so belligerent immediately. He’s been pushing hate all his life.

    No surprise that he’s yet another one of Obama’s friends who has lived a life of hatred. By all means, attend an African American study class and learn what kind of hate exists in the hearts of many faux-academics. It’s akin to attending a Klan rally, and I imagine that too would have been educational.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  300. Goodnight, racists.

    This isn’t about racism.

    It’s about Gates not being a conservative. Therefore he is presumed to be a liar by people who don’t like “leftists”.

    If Harvey Mansfeld was in his position, all the lefty-blogs would be cheering the cop and the righties would be decrying the “liberal cambridge police department”.

    It’s all around pathetic

    libarbarian (a418c2)

  301. I am so sick and tired of these black racists. Here you have some rich Haavaaad snob quickly playing the race card on some poor hard working stiff just because he can. The prof is now talking about suing the cop. Do you think he could possibly think the trial would be fair after Obama labeled the police actions as “stupid?” Being a Harvard law grad Obama should know better than to taint any potential jury pool in this way. Do you think that Crowley will keep trying to teach fellow officers not to profile by race? My guess is that this incident has planted a seed of resentment toward the blacks Crowley was previously trying to protect. What a colossal slap in the face for this poor officer.

    Jo (e3064e)

  302. Us liberals always reach for the lowest hanging fruit.

    Comment by Seattle Slew — 7/23/2009 @ 9:24 pm

    With your mouths, right? Or is it your power glutes?

    nk (07e440)

  303. Anyway, I’ve met JD, and I’m pretty sure what’s under his kilt does not swing your way. So just call it sour grapes, “liberal” (code word).

    nk (07e440)

  304. This professor, from what I have seen, has always had a chip on his shoulder towards white people. He would love to make the slavery issue TOTALLY the white peoples’ burden; and ignor the historical fact, that it was, and is, the black African culture that initially and PRIMARILY cultivated the racially organized slavery era. The blacks basically did it to themselves (just look at how they’re into ‘personality’ and ‘idol’ worship). But “the good professor” could never admit to that; otherwise how could he continue his ‘upperly mobile’ lifestyle.

    Preston (fc70b3)

  305. libarbarian – Why did you mischaracterize and distort this entire incident to fit your narrative? The facts, annoying little things aren’t they, suggest that Gates was waaaaaaaaaaay in the wrong. But you just really want this to be about race and politics when it is about a guy being an arsehole.

    Thanks, nk. Seattle Slew want to fondle my low hanging fruit, NTTAWWT.

    JD (92df48)

  306. Gates house had previously been broken into….

    (Although it does seem a bit strange to assume it’s burglars breaking into a house via the front door…unless they were not too smart burglars…)

    Gates house had previously been broken into THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR..

    FORMER MARINE '69 '72 (0db71d)

  307. Gates deserves some sympathy.

    No Gates needs to learn about “military courtesy”. This could have escalated into a more serious encounter.I doubt that is taught at Harvard however.

    I have been in L.A. county (me and five blacks in a four man cell), Orange and San Berdoo county jails and I was never once assualted by the arresting officers. Why? because of military courtesy.

    FORMER MARINE '69 '72 (0db71d)

  308. There is a kind of elitism which is called well-bred. But it’s a two-way street. You grant the same courtesy and consideration you demand.

    nk (07e440)

  309. AJL, you’re FOS.

    Phil Smith (4e586c)

  310. It’s about Gates not being a conservative.

    And, therefore, you can take whatever common sense is in that brain of his and fit it into a thimble, with room to spare.

    This isn’t about white people and black people, or racism this, racism that, or cops and those they arrest. This ultimately is about the foolish qualities that recently made Obama sympathize with Honduras’ ex-president Zelayo, even though Obama knew full well the guy he was giving the benefit of the doubt to also was being hugged and kissed by fanatics like Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s leaders.

    This actually is about the foolishness (or flat-out stupidity) of people on the left, certainly if they’re older than rebellious teenagers, older than idealistic, clueless college-aged kids. Perhaps around the age of James Crowley.

    There’s a phrase that a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged. In some ways, Crowley has just been mugged. However, if he remains true-blue to his “lefty” orientation and those of others, including people like Gates and Obama, he may need to be mugged a lot times before he wakes up and says “Duh!!! and D’oh!!”

    wbztv.com:

    [Cambridge Police Sargeant James] Crowley maintained he had done nothing wrong in arresting Gates.

    “I support the president of the United States 110-percent,” he told WBZ Radio.

    “I think he’s way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts, as he himself stated before he made that comment. I don’t know what to say about that. I guess a friend of mine would support my position, too.”

    Crowley has taught a class on racial profiling for five years at Lowell Police Academy. In the class, he teaches officers about different situations and how officers should handle them.

    Mark (411533)

  311. [...] have called the arrest an “inappropriate” action by “an offended cop who got high on his own authority [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Balko Utterly Demolishes a Few Arguments that Jack Dunphy and I Never Made (e4ab32)


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