Patterico's Pontifications

7/27/2009

Henry Louis Gates Dispatch Call: Did Gates Say: “I’m a Hostage!”?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:03 pm

Here is the Gates 911 call:

And much more interesting to me, because you can hear Gates in the background — the Gates dispatch call:

Most news stories have described Gates’s statements in the background as unintelligible, but I’m not so sure. I have listened several times to the portions where you can hear Gates, and I believe you can hear him repeatedly asking the officer to leave — and at one point stating: “I’m a hostage!”

Here’s what his statements sound like to me:

At 1:34 he says something I can’t make out. “–ofessor Gates” or “called Mr. Gates” or “I’m Mr. Gates” or something else entirely. I really can’t tell.

At 1:40, when Sgt. Crowley is saying that “the gentleman” says he resides there, Gates says something that sounds like: “I’m called Mr. Gates.” That may not be what he’s saying, but it sounds a lot like it.

At 2:22 I could swear I hear Gates angrily saying: “I’m a hostage!”

At 2:51, Gates can be heard saying something like: “No, I want you to leave.”

At 4:16 it sounds like he’s saying: “[Unintelligible] leave right away.” Possibly: “I want you to leave right away.”

When you first listen to this it will be hard to hear these phrases. I’m a veteran of transcribing hard-to-hear tapes and I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it, but these are all guesses/approximations. See what you think.

One thing is for sure: Sgt. Crowley is calm throughout. Gates sounds increasingly angry.

UPDATE: At 2:22, a commenter hears: “I am outraged!” Plausible.

79 Responses to “Henry Louis Gates Dispatch Call: Did Gates Say: “I’m a Hostage!”?”

  1. I bow to your superior training. Even though I had listened to it previously, I could make head nor tail of it. It certainly does sound like he says “I’m a hostage” at 1:22.
    Unless, he said “I’m an ostrich.”

    Gazzer (409de8)

  2. Crap – so much for my ostrich joke.

    Andy Levy (8b47aa)

  3. I’d be increasingly angry too, if an officer was in my house after he established it was in fact my house and I had done nothing wrong and I asked him to leave. I might start yelling, under the impression that I had established that he had no reason to be there and I had the right to exclude anyone I wanted from my house and land.

    And if he asked me onto my own porch and I was still yelling at him, on my own property, I don’t think I should be charged with disturbing the peace, no matter how much I offended his feelings. It’s not like I drew the crowd when he called for more police cars and people gathered around.

    I don’t think it should matter if I was KKK, or Black nationalist, or Nazi, or Libertarian, or Communist, or Guns Rights, or Green, or Secessionist, or ACLU, or Westboro Baptist, or Daily Kos, or Patterico contributor.

    You can fault Gates for getting way too incensed and spouting off some ideological nonsense and yelling at the cop, but it is his home. Once the government intruded and was shown its intrusion was unwarranted, no matter how reasonable their response to the 911 call was, they need to respect property rights and take off. You still have the right to be loud and crazy and disrespectful to the government on your own homestead, as long as it is just verbal, or so I thought. It’s especially free speech because he was railing against perceived injustices of the government, and not inciting anyone to start fighting, burning or looting, or anything. He was just pissed of at government and got loud about it.

    It’s the “he did it on his porch, not in his house” distinction that’s really confusing me, and I’m a lawyer who works for the State of Texas. It’s still his property, the whole circus outside was not his fault but the fault of the excessive police response, and all he was doing was yelling. If he were yelling the same things in a park, or on a street corner, is that really disorderly? It’s pretty much the definition of free speech — we get to rant and rave at the government, even raising our voices, and as long as the crowd is just standing around and watching there is no disorder.

    I’m really kind of surprised how some on the Right are dealing with this. It’s pure free speech and property rights to me, but somehow some on the Right are focusing on the content of the speech (cops are inherently racist) and losing the fact that this guy established he was in his own home, never left his property, and still got arrested because the police didn’t like the tone or content of his rant.

    Aplomb (5a3869)

  4. You know, there’s no law against being an ostrich in your own home!!!

    sierra (4be1ff)

  5. Aplomb-

    This issue has been about race since Gates and Obama made it about race. That is why people on the right are reacting the way they are. It hasn’t been a story about free speech..it’s been a story about race. If you want to make it about free speech, then that is another argument.

    orbital (f431e1)

  6. Depending on which side of the argument you belong, you will hear what you want to hear. What is this new story that the distress caller never mentioned their race in her report? Why did anyone mention the fact that they were black men trying to break into the house. She never said anything about a crime being committed. If so, what is the basis of the cops coming to the scene? Check it out for yourself.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090728/ap_on_re_us/us_harvard_scholar_caller

    The Emperor (1b037c)

  7. I’d say it’s an abuse of power to arrest Gates simply because he was a jerk, which is likely what happened here. I’d also say that while this abuse is not de minimis, it’s also not that big a deal, and it’s not the start of a slippery slope toward tyranny. Gates’ basic rights remain intact, even when momentarily violated. He is a free man in America, free to continue to be a jerk, and preen about it, and get paid handsomely for it.

    Brian (445060)

  8. [...] it sounds like Skippy Gates is saying on the just released 911 tapes at the 1:22 point.  However, Patterico begs to differ, and he is a trained law professional, and thinks he may be saying “I’m a [...]

    Gazzer’s Gabfest » “I’m an ostrich…” (b98ad6)

  9. Aplomb,
    I have to agree with you on the points about private property and free speech – what is not clear to me is that Crowley conclusively proved that he was indeed the owner of the house – he showed an Harvard ID and a driver license that didnt match his address, from what I have gathered so far. I might be wrong, though – but thats why this whole thing is sad – we dont know the complete facts and probably never will.

    Crowley definitely did not use his common sense and instead lost his cool. This has more to do with the fact that cops dont like being shouted at – of course, they like to be authoritative in any situation.

    Gates snapped when he realized that his Harvard ID was no good – how could this be ? How could a Harvard professor not be taken for his word ? Would this happen to a white Harvard Professor?

    Crowley was ofcourse following protocol (which sure as hell lacks common sense some time) but it is unfair to say he was being racist. And I do agree that Gates has a right to be obnoxious in his own home – if he cannot be, then there is something much worse than reverse racism happening here – as long as he does not threaten/incite violence, he has the right to rant like a loon from inside his home.

    All that being said, Gates is a jackass – but if you are arrested for being a jackass, the jails in this country would be flooded like hell.

    Nagarajan Sivakumar (3dfe4a)

  10. I’m also a Texas attorney, who does NOT work for the State, and I see the police in this matter working with amazing restraint.

    Sgt. Crowley had exigent circumstances that would have allowed him to enter and arrest Gates the minute he showed his refusal to identify himself. Even AFTER he produced an ID, the police were totally justified in examining it and him to understand what was going on, make sure the ID was not bogus, and that Gates was not acting under duress.

    Gates was arrested for following the police outside in a rage, which is not normal behavior. They tried to calm him, warned him, and he persisted.

    I am a large, white old guy, and an attorney. I would expect the police to beat the dog snot out of me, had I acted in like fashion.

    Ragspierre (1bc451)

  11. Police profiling? Racism?

    Well, I’m sure Dr. Gates’ race relations analysis is much more accurate and objective in his class rooms and in his books…

    Dajida (7d0bb7)

  12. Orbital-

    It was all about property rights and free speech when Gates got arrested; Obama wasn’t there to comment or make it about race, of course. Yes, Gates was yelling about race, but he could have been yelling about black helicopters, the Zionist conspiracy, Dick Cheney, or Obama’s lack of citizenship. Doesn’t make a difference what he was yelling about.

    I don’t think it matters what Gates was berating the police about, in his own home, when it became clear he had committed no crime. It really is an issue about what cops can do to you if you are angry and yelling at them, in your home and on your property, when you’ve established your rights.

    Obama admits he misspoke when he called the police response “stupid”. I agree, he should have said “disturbing and potentially unconstitutional and perhaps a reminder that people have nearly inviolable rights in their own homes absent suspicion of crime,” regardless of what the angry old man was yelling at the policeman who had just established that the loony had every right to be there and every right to angrily demand government get out of his house and off his lawn.

    Aplomb (5a3869)

  13. I’m also a Texas attorney, who does NOT work for the State, and I see the police in this matter working with amazing restraint.

    Sgt. Crowley had exigent circumstances that would have allowed him to enter and arrest Gates the minute he showed his refusal to identify himself. Even AFTER he produced an ID, the police were totally justified in examining it and him to understand what was going on, make sure the ID was not bogus, and that Gates was not acting under duress.

    Gates was arrested for following the police outside in a rage, which is not normal behavior. They tried to calm him, warned him, and he persisted.

    I am a large, white old guy, and an attorney. I would expect the police to beat the dog snot out of me, had I acted in like fashion.

    Ragspierre (1bc451)

  14. I think you have it all wrong. Clearly, Gates was saying I’m a black sage.

    Person of little or no color (19f1d5)

  15. Gates was constipated after his long return trip from China — and no doubt he carries a chip made of either class or race, though perhaps an odd admixture.
    Crowley was pumped up at the possibility and pissed off at the reality of his mission.
    Both men then proceeded to eff it up, with Gates being the primary initiator and aggressor.
    But Gates wins the case, despite being the major asshole as far as the discussion between the two is concerned. Once Crowley determined the house was indeed Gates’ castle, it was time to head back to the streets. Never mind that Gates is lying his ass off when he denies yelling the yo mama shit, etc.
    Crowley needed to be a bigger man. Just the same, who among us would not have gotten tired of Gates’ shit and invoked the POWER just as Crowley did? We all long to wield it.
    But some very effective cops I’ve known would have simply let Gates know he’s smaller even than the stature listed on his driver’s license and then walked away, leaving the professor to screech and howl at his own four walls. Probably for a long time; at least until he takes a good dump.

    Larry Reilly (45e7a4)

  16. Aplomb, why do you believe that if one thinks that the arrest was inappropriate that it is then forbidden to comment that Gates’ shouts of racism is out of line?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. Aplomb says

    I’m a lawyer who works for the State of Texas.

    That’s your problem.

    Can’t you see the reason police have people in this situation step out of their house is for their own protection? There have been numerous incidents where an invader allows the hostage (even if it’s their home they can be a hostage) answer the door and instructs the hostage to send the police away. By asking the Mr. Gates to the front porch the officer was merely doing the job he was trained to do – insure everyone is out of harm’s way. Mr. Gates AND himself.

    Now, why don’t you go out on your front porch and start yelling, indeed do it at an officer. You don’t think that constitutes “disorderly conduct.” What does then? If I was your neighbor standing on my porch yelling like a lunatic (yes, Gates is a lunatic) then I’d bet you’d be the first to call for an officer, being a lawyer and all. Or maybe you’d sue first. But don’t pretend you’d stand there and applaud his “freedom of speech.” Lawyer for state of Texas? Public defeneer perhaps?

    Epluribusunam (d39e0a)

  18. Let them each imagine the worst of each other as this episode begins.

    Crowley believes he may be talking to a burglar, or to the home owner who won’t let him insure that the house doesn’t still hide two burglars.

    Gates believes he is talking to a racist badge heavy policeman.

    So, who screwed this situation up. It was racial for Gates from the beginning.

    ric (bd48a8)

  19. Aplomb-

    I was just responding to your question about why the right doesn’t seem to be on Gates side on this issue. That is because Gates and Obama made this about race when it didn’t need to be. That’s what offended many on the right. And that’s why you are seeing the reaction you are seeing. No one on the right made it about race..the people on the left did. And the right reacted predictably to that.

    orbital (f431e1)

  20. magnificent job of transcribing the tapes, Patterico. Difficult to say about 4:16, but your others are surely dead on.

    Here’s the lesson: if you witness a break-in at your neighbor’s house, and you don’t know exactly who your neighbor is, then don’t get involved. [sigh]

    Jude (a1650e)

  21. The take-away from all of this is that Rich Puchalsky taught me that you are all hatey racists. But he is a lying liar what lies, so I am on the fence.

    Gates did not cover himself in glory.

    JD (e19c2d)

  22. It was all about property rights and free speech when Gates got arrested; Obama wasn’t there to comment or make it about race, of course.

    Hogwash. This was Obama’s response:

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

    Obama made it about race the minute he opened his piehole, without all the facts in place. He (and Gates) automatically presumed that it was about the color of Gates’s skin, rather than the nature of the dispatch call. This is no surprise–Obama takes institutionalized racism among the police as a given. That’s why he felt free to comment on it, using the weasely tactic of saying that this supposed racism was separate from the incident, yet using guilt by assocation to smear Crowley’s actions.

    The fact of the matter is that this was just a minor incident that probably would have ultimately got Crowley a slap on the wrist and a “be more judicious” next time, if Obama hadn’t felt the need to interject himself into the situation.

    Given that it was his press lapdog Lynn Sweet who asked him the question, in a forum that supposedly was about health care, I wouldn’t be at all surprised this was a deliberate, planted action by him to subscribe a “teachable moment” to Americans that, yes, even a black Harvard professor can be arrested in his own home, and you honkies need to continue to feel guilty about race relations in America. It’s pretty obvious he’s completely flabbergasted that anyone would find reason to criticize his remarks or actions.

    Another Chris (a3bb8f)

  23. I heard the “I’m a hostage” part. Good catch.

    I would expected today’s police officers would have something recording all of their encounters and not just what gets picked up over the radio blips.

    Or, maybe they do have something like that also.

    jcurtis (14bf32)

  24. Gates is too stupid to be teaching at Harvard. He bounces between English and Ebonics. Maybe he just needs medication.
    Obama graduated from Harvard Law but he doesn’t understand “innocent until proven guilty”. How can Podunk Community College have a pre-law student graduate and not have that basic right ingrained in their minds? Let alone Harvard?
    Harvard needs to be investigated…they seem to be handing out degrees and professorships based on skin color.

    Andre (4e0dda)

  25. 22

    Obama had an enumerated response like that responding to a reporter’s question? I didn’t see the Obama presser, but I felt this whole incident was coordinated with Obama all along.

    There is no doubt that he knew the question was coming if he had a multi-part response ready to go.

    jcurtis (14bf32)

  26. There are two issues; the arrest, which could be arguable, depending on the law and the exact details of the circumstances.
    And that Gates is a race-hustling jerk. Whether or not the arrest was legit–which will forever be a matter of opinion among Gates’ buddies and fellow race hustlers–the fact that Gates started the race and class thing right out of the box is the big takeaway. Among other things, future claims of racism will be diluted by the memory of Gates’ doing his usual thing. Why shouldn’t he? It’s given him a very nice livelihood, his assets, his notoriety, and his phony charity.
    Not to mention the failure of the usual suspects to cave and start apologizing.

    Richard Aubrey (e2775b)

  27. What a great Iowahawk link, Joe.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  28. Harvard is a private institution and their photo ID shouldn’t be worth any more than your gym card or your Mormon Temple card.
    I doubt Cambridge PD accepts a Harvard ID as definitive proof of attending Harvard.

    So, did Gates’ Harvard ID have the address Gates was at on it?

    Why not just produce the ID used to board his plane? (or am I misunderstanding that he took a flight)
    Surely he didn’t travel using his Harvard ID?

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  29. “I’m a hostage”

    If Professor Gates believed he was a hostage, would he not have wanted to immediately escape to where there was safety and more importantly, where there were witnesses? Anything but be alone alone with his captor. I’m not buying.

    Obama graduated from Harvard Law but he doesn’t understand “innocent until proven guilty”.

    I think both Professor Gates and Sgt. Crowley should have been presumed innocent in this until all recordings were made public. Professor Gates is the person who wants to try this in the public court. So be it. The posted recording was helpful in that it establishes Professor Gates’ anger escalated throughout the ordeal, while Sgt. Crowley sounded as if he maintained self-control in what must have been a difficult situation.

    Once the president made his presumption of guilt re Sgt. Crowley and the PD, it became clear that he could not and would not give the presumption of innocence to Sgt. Crowley. Like he did with his friend.

    Dana (57e332)

  30. Those tapes have so many inaudible or barely audible moments, and a lack of what’s really needed — actual on-location feedback — they don’t appear to really reinforce the claims of either Gates or Crowley.

    But it doesn’t really matter. After all, look at the mindset of those people (most of them of leftist persuasion) who on one hand said the ton of evidence against OJ Simpson wasn’t good enough, and, on the other, said there was absolutely no ambiguity — no gray area — in how Rodney King should have been dealt with by cops.

    Beyond that, Gates is a typical “progressive” whose very livelihood depends on the existence of racism or the hardship of the underdog in American society. Bleeding his heart over and blabbing about victims, real or imagined — and as identified and categorized by the left — probably makes him feel relevant and whole. Take that away and he’d be like the Maytag repairman.

    Mark (411533)

  31. I also have experience transcribing tapes and I think he says “I am outraged” not “I’m a hostage”

    Ferne (4d0a46)

  32. I think that this has been pointed out before, but this sort of sums up the entire mess:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o76WQzVJ434

    Worth a chuckle.

    I hope that Officer Crowley doesn’t go to the White House “for a beer.” No doubt there will be extensive discussion of the “hoppiness” and aroma of the various microbrews being offered…(with a hat tip to Dennis Miller’s joke).

    Eric Blair (204104)

  33. Here’s what I take from this situation, being a white male aka Honky by Prof Gates standards:

    1. Anything I’d do would be racist. Even if I were helping a minority it would be racist, because whatever I did wouldn’t be good enough. Since I’m a Honky.

    2. Since I’m a racist Honky, why bother.

    Brooks (cc5654)

  34. no no no… you are “racist white boy”
    Honky is something Redd Foxx might have hollered on Sanford and Son outtakes

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  35. Do as I say, not as I do

    This is hilarious, even if a bit off-topic. Seems that Teh One™ got all hot and bothered in 2004 when Congress and the Prez rushed through bills without fully reading them.

    Now, of course, since it’s HIM, it’s all OK.

    Gotta love the guy – he’s truly Teh One™!

    steve miller (c5e78c)

  36. Great link, steve.

    JD (07af0d)

  37. “One thing is for sure: Sgt. Crowley is calm throughout.”

    It is indeed important to focus on this. Not the arrest.

    imdw (603c39)

  38. Gates is actually saying, “I’m a Hasid!”

    Official Internet Data Office (6ac5ad)

  39. Ferne: could be. Updated the post.

    It is indeed important to focus on this. Not the arrest.

    I have indeed already indeed focused on the arrest. The tape indeed does not indeed shed any more light on the problems with the arrest — other than, indeed, to show that the cop was indeed not upset. And Gates was. Indeed.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  40. I also heard: “I bury Paul.”

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  41. This is not about Crowley…it’s about Gates and his buddy Obama’s coming out of the closet as confirmed racists.

    Shouldn’t be surprising with Gates’ background and Obama’s Church affiliation for 20 years, should it?

    Al-Ozarka (e4a947)

  42. I think he says “I am outraged” not “I’m a hostage”

    Speculating, but if it is ‘I am outraged’ rather than ‘I’m a hostage’, I’m inclined to go with this being more of a class issue rather than one of race. Somehow this version easily lends itself to a visual huffing and puffing, followed by an angry sniff like only the elite can deliver.

    Dana (57e332)

  43. Contempt of Cop? Of course the question is was Gates enough of a douchenozzel to justify being arrested? There is a line you cannot cross without a trip downtown.

    Joe (17aeff)

  44. Doesn’t make a difference what he was yelling about.

    Somehow I doubt Aplomb would make this assertion if Gates was white and Crowley was black. But then, of course, we wouldn’t be talking about it because Obama wouldn’t have opined on it.

    Anyway, considering the substance that Gates is chock-full of, I think he was yelling “I’m an outhouse!”

    Jim Treacher (796deb)

  45. 43

    Ha, I agree. Who says “I am outraged”?. Isn’t that something left to others to say about you, like “damn, that dude seems outraged”?

    He should have went with:

    “I am loudly registering my indignation here, to anyone within earshot!”.

    jcurtis (14bf32)

  46. Good job

    Dr Gates Gave Crowley ID 15 to 20 sec. after Crowley reports Dr Gates opened his door to him. In addition considering the nature of the 911 call Controle could and should have hade the Drivers license for that address on their screen and known who lived there. Now if one reads Officer Crowley’s Incident Report #9005127 covering the Dr. Gates incident as Crowley reports it, and listens to the Cambridge Police Radio Calls with a stopwatch (provided the recording has not been edited), one will see its physically impossible that Officer Crowley’s report is truthful. I think for there not to be a an internal investigating would be another Cambridge Police Department crime. I also think other citizen of Cambridge could subject to this kind of abuse if asking Officers like Officer Crowley for name and bage number.

    zoolander (5c38cb)

  47. Eric Blair that was the best video link I’ve seen in quite awhile. Gave me a great laugh, and I hope the folks I sent it on to enjoy it as much as I did.

    Grace O'Malley (06cbab)

  48. He’s not saying, “I’m a Hostage,” nor even “I’m an ostrich” but rather, “I’m on estrogen,” which, if you think about it, explains a lot.

    Steven (f4574f)

  49. Grace, that’s a classic movie (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) you absolutely must not live your life without having seen a few dozen times.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  50. Perhaps officer “Jack Dunphy” can answer this. But unless I’m mistaken, verbally assaulting an officer is an arrestable offense, whether on private or public property. It seems curious to me that a several lefty defenders of Gates contends that as soon as the proof of residency of established, (and Gates initially refused to cooperate) it was perfectly within the professor’s right to berate the officer, since he was in the privacy of his own home.

    lee (86706b)

  51. Those killed at Kent State relied on the wisdom of their leftist professors as to what the National Guard would or would not do. The kids in the Teamsters strike a few weeks earlier, who faced the same National Guard unit, were not misled by leftist professors. So when the National Guard showed up with their guns and told everyone to go home, they went home. The inteligent, although ignorant, people at Kent State knew better. Their leftist professors had told them that the National Guard would not shoot. Suprise!

    Longwalker (1fe7c2)

  52. Any normal clear thinking non-agenda and NON RACIST person would have produced the required I.D. and thanked the police for their watchful efforts on his behalf. But then you have LIBERALS….coupled with academic arrogance and elitism… A comedy worthy of Neil Simon…

    Richard (042955)

  53. [...] the course of several hours. It’s kind of fascinating to watch that happen; presumably the tapes and testimony coming available is acting as an [...]

    Moe Lane » Yet *more* on the Crowley/Gates thing. (da2344)

  54. [...] the course of several hours. It’s kind of fascinating to watch that happen; presumably the tapes and testimony coming available is acting as an [...]

    Yet *more* on the Crowley/Gates thing. - Moe_Lane’s blog - RedState (796605)

  55. “Sgt. Crowley had exigent circumstances that would have allowed him to enter and arrest Gates the minute he showed his refusal to identify himself.”

    Even before getting ID, crowley said that the man appeared to be the resident. That’s not an exigency that justifies a warrantless entry and seizure.

    imdw (ea40bd)

  56. Are you teh stoooopid, or jus willfully obtuse, imdw?

    JD (be8dcd)

  57. Some bloggers are saying that the mike on the police officer’s belt, unedited, would have disclosed more. The authorities did say they would release SOME of the audio tape. Now the mayor saying she will have this matter investigated and it is possible the policeman will be punished, to me, shows the fix is in and the policeman’s career is over.

    J (0f2b1a)

  58. As everyone knows what Gate actually said was “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?”

    David Ehrenstein (2550d9)

  59. “Now the mayor saying she will have this matter investigated and it is possible the policeman will be punished, to me, shows the fix is in and the policeman’s career is over.”

    And maybe other cops won’t be so quick to arrest on a BS charge. What a terrible result.

    imdw (96b4d6)

  60. And maybe other cops won’t be so quick to arrest on a BS charge. What a terrible result.

    And maybe next time there is a 911 call reporting a suspected break-in, maybe the cops will not do their job.

    JD (e0ced2)

  61. Actually, that did not come out the way I intended. Maybe they will be more hesitant to respond, more hesitant to question people found at the scene of a suspected crime, more hesitant in their interactions with the public. Because doing your job is apparently racist.

    JD (b7c790)

  62. imdw, you say “the man appeared to be the resident. That’s not an exigency that justifies a warrantless entry and seizure.”

    Even if he appeared to be the resident, the cop needed to make sure. That’s just obvious. he knew two men had broken into the home. He didn’t suspect it, he knew it. The door confirmed the truth of the 911 call. He didn’t know if that man’s family was being held hostage, if the apparent resident was just a good actor, or what. Some break ins are not burglaries. Some criminals are in their 50s.

    The idea that the cop thinking this was the resident = there was no justification to investigate, is patently absurd. Just so unserious I can’t even understand it.

    I know you’ve seen the actual law that Gates obviously broke. If you don’t like the law, that’s one thing, but a cop can enforce the laws on the books. It’s up to the legislature to change them if they really want people acting like Gates.

    Gates is a criminal. Period. The entry inside the house was obviously legal. Period.

    I do think this cop’s career is going to drastically change. He will have a hard time investigating crimes in the future.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  63. imdw wants to see Crowley punished, as apparently the Mayor does. These are not good people.

    JD (5e5cad)

  64. I find it interesting that so many here act as if the history of this country started about five minutes before Crowley knocked on Gates door. I am particularly amused by all the faux outrage that race was brought into it. I would guess that if the history of this country has taught black people anything, it’s that race is almost always a part of the issue.

    And on the issue of identity politics, it seems conservatives are all for it, they just want the identity changed. It this case to police officer. In fact many here will bend over backwards while positing mitigating scenarios to protect their particular special class.

    Question. According to the time line, Officer Crowley arrived about 1:39. according to Crowley gates produced ID about 12 minutes after he arrive, about 1:45. So why is Crowley still in the house at 4:16, if he had established Gates identity an hour and a half earlier?

    As for producing a Harvard ID, this is Cambridge MA, are you telling me that the police aren’t familiar with Harvard ID’s in Harvard’s home town?

    Mike Giles (21cd77)

  65. The last thing Obama wants is for this thing to further escalate. The mayor is doing him no good. And what “warrantless entry and seizure” are you talking about?? You’re just making stuff up.

    bio mom (6eac50)

  66. I would guess that if the history of this country has taught black people anything, it’s that race is almost always a part of the issu

    On the contrary, if the history of this country has taught black people anything, it’s that there will always be assinine white people willing to infantilize them forever, regardless of their actions.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  67. [...] the course of several hours. It’s kind of fascinating to watch that happen; presumably the tapes and testimony coming available is acting as an [...]

    Yet *more* on the Crowley/Gates thing. | WTF?! Obama (2423b3)

  68. I agree with Kelly King…Obama should not have waded in with his “Reverend Wright” inspired racism, nor should Gates have gone off on his racist rant when the black/white/hispanic cops arrived at his house to protect it and make sure it was safe.

    The cops did their job and Obama and Gates tried to use the incident to do what they always do: bash whites. Gates and Obama have made a career out of it.

    I agree with Kelly King, I was appalled by Obama. I supported him. I voted for him. I will not again.

    Bob Connors (785124)

  69. SOP on any suspected B & E is for the officer to ask for I.D. from the person who opens the door. It is also SOP for that person to be asked to step outside. This accomplishes a number of things:

    first, it removes the officer, and the resident, from inside.

    second: it allows the resident the privacy to tell the officer if there IS anything wrong inside (like a family member having a gun at their head by someone trying to rob them)

    third: it puts the officer, and the resident, on neutral territory

    Gates overreacted to what was a routine B & E investigation.

    But that is not surprising to anyone who has bothered to do a little research into Gates’ past statements.

    Example:

    Gates wrote on his Yale University application:

    “As always, whitey (Yale University) sits in judgement of me, preparing to cast my fate.”

    In an interview in 2006, Gates had this to say:

    LAMB: (interviewer) At one point you had a line in there (referring to Gates book), something to the effect, “My mother despised white people”.

    GATES: My mother hated white people.

    LAMB: All her life?

    GATES: Probably. I didn’t know until — in 1959 we were watching Mike Wallace’s documentary called “The Hate that Hate Produced”. It was talking about the Nation of Islam amd I couldn’t believe — I mean, Malcolm X was talking about the white man was the devil and standing up in white people’s faces and telling them off. It was great.

    As to Gates’ ego he wrote in a 2007 edition of Travel and Leisure talking about spending July and August at the Oak Bluffs area of Marth’s Vineyard. He talks about how he had a special hand made tricycle built for him in Germany and how he daily rode to South Beach and back and how the tricycle had a “Good Humor Man” bell on it and he would ring it when he passed by people. He says:

    “Everbody waves and says ‘There goes that Henry Lewis Gates, Jr.”

    In another interview, Gates relates how he had searched his own geneology, and learned that he had “white” ancestors, which horrified him.

    So Gates refers on his Yale application to those who would be reviewing the application as “whitey”, he is horrified at learning he has white ancestors, and seems to think that people are impressed that he is riding by them ringing his little tricycle bell and they know, and care, who the hell he is.

    Gates shouting at Sgt. Crowley “Don’t you know who I am” bears out that Gates has an ego problem, impressed with his own self importance. Calling white people “whitey” shows that he has disdain for white people, obviously something he learned well from his own mother. I would bet that the accusation of racism on the part of the officer was just a standard response that Gates long ago was programmed to use.

    Police officers are trained to defuse a situtation that could become out of control. Gates was obviously getting out of control. I can’t count the times that some belligerant drunk has been thrown in jail over night just to have all charges dropped the next morning. There is a reason a cell is called “the cooler”.

    Crowley could have just “cuffed and stuffed” Gates, but instead, he told the dispatch to keep the other cruisers coming and to notify Harvard Police.

    You may have a right to say what you want in your own home. You do not have a right to continue to harrass a police officer, following him outside, to create a scene. That blue uniform is not a suit of armour. And no one, not even a police officer, is required to take such ranting insults.

    Had Gates done this to anyone else, not a trained LEO, he would have been picking himself up off the ground.

    Not too long ago there was a case where two officers reponded to a simple “domestic” disturbance call. One officer, a Hispanic, went to the door, rang the bell while the other officer, white, stood on the sidewalk. A man, an illegal immigrant, opened the door and shot the Hispanic officer point blank in the face, killing him. The second officer responded by killing the murderer.

    Because the officer that killed the illegal was white, LaRaza camped out in front of his home, demanding that he be fired and tried for killing a murderer who was still holding his gun when the white officer shot him. It didn’t matter that an officer was dead. What mattered to LaRaza was that an illegal Hispanic was dead and was shot by a white officer.

    I suspect that Obama jumped to the same conclusion LaRaza did. It was HIS friend who was arrested, he did not have all the facts, but HIS immediate reaction was to blame a white officer for harrassing his friend, who is black.

    If anyone is owed an apology, it is Sgt. Gates for being slandered for simply doing his job and following standard police protocol. And Henry Gates, Jr needs to take some classes on race relations and how NOT to judge someone based on their skin color.

    retire05 (bfa01d)

  70. “The idea that the cop thinking this was the resident = there was no justification to investigate, is patently absurd”

    Indeed. Pay attention. I said it was not an exigency that justified a warrantless entry and seizure. This was in response to the person who said that the refusal to show ID was an exigency that allowed entry and arrest. There are other investigative techniques the officer can still deploy that do not require an exigency.

    “And maybe next time there is a 911 call reporting a suspected break-in, maybe the cops will not do their job.”

    This is a source of their power. They get to do BS. Because if they don’t, they have the threat to leave us at the mercy of criminals.

    “imdw wants to see Crowley punished, as apparently the Mayor does. These are not good people.”

    I’d like cops to change their behavior. I’d rather this not require punishment. But i’m told sometimes changing people’s behavior requires that transgressors be punished, and that slaps on the wrist don’t work.

    imdw (24ad22)

  71. I am told that imdw is a dishonest douchebag. Appears that is true.

    JD (2a16e6)

  72. I think that’s unfair to actual bags of douche, JD.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  73. #70:
    Do we have to sit here and listen to imnw boast that he taught Al Sharpton his ryhming and legal skills?

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  74. To #3 Aplomb who says:

    “I’d be increasingly angry too, if an officer was in my house after he established it was in fact my house and I had done nothing wrong and I asked him to leave. I might start yelling, under the impression that I had established that he had no reason to be there and I had the right to exclude anyone I wanted from my house and land.”

    You are what is known as a ‘dickhead’. If I’m a cop, and you start yelling at me, I’m going to give you an attitude adjustment – a tune up as we call it in Chicago.

    Jonny Amplesack (9bb770)

  75. “They call me Mister Tibbs”

    Jasion (694aa2)

  76. Jeez, can’t these people make a simple phone call reporting a break in? “Hi, I live across from 17 Ware Street, I saw two men who looked like they might be trying to break in, maybe they live there but they kind of had to beat the screen door in, you should come check it out.” Done.

    Mike G (00dba9)

  77. Jim Amplesack

    You are the one with the bad attitude. Police officers are not allowed in the state of Mass to arrest people for mouthing off. This attitude adjustment that you are talking about is simply brutality and abuse. I hope that you are not an officer. Respect can not be commanded and demanded upon by abuse because that just inspires, retaliation, fear and hatred which is what many people have for this type of officer in spades.

    Had Dr. Gates been white, 58 years old this simply would not have happened but for he sake of argument lets say that it did. I would still be of the same exact frame of mind regarding Crawely’s response to this situation. He should have regardless of his race simply appologised and left. Crawley, set the tone for this whole situation. Had he approached it with a different attitude this would not have happened PERIOD.

    Patty (19e0dd)

  78. For all of that think Crowley was a great LEO going by SOP. Imagine the following scenario.

    You arrive home from work as an aerobic instructor in sweats and gym shoes. You live alone and are a rabid second amendment advocate and have a legal gun collection to prove it plus readily available self protection firearms.

    Someone calls in to 911 and reports seeing two people pushing your front door in. And describes one of them as looking just like you. Minutes later a LEO arrives and sees a a male (you) through your outer, glass front door. The LEO approaches you asks (orders?) you to step outside. You ask what for. The LEO explains the 911 call and asks for ID.

    At this point your are pissed. There is no BE and why doesn’t the LEO ask the 911 caller instead of harassing you. But you say OK. MY ID is in the other room. You turn to fetch your ID and the LEO suspecting that you are a suspect and might flee follows you. You are unaware of this. As the LEO enters your house your collect of firearms is in plain sight (gun cabinet, on the wall etc) as well as your self protection firealarms clearly visible on a foyer table and next to the sofa in the family room.

    Upon observing this the LEO immediately is concerrned for his(her) safety. The LEO draws his(her) service revolver and immediately orders you to freeze and raise your hands. You are totally in shock. You had no idea the lEO was behind you in your house uninvited. You turn and start berating the LEO and telling him of your rights and that you are going to call your lawyer. You then say “I am going to fix your ass good!!! What’s you name and badge number??” and reach into you pocket. The LEO fearing for his(her) life fires one round into your heart. As you fall onto the floor dead your hand releases your cell phone that had your lawyer on speed dial.

    President Sarah Palin attended your furnal and declared you a great white American defending your home and fourth amendment rights. Former president Obama was part of the black LEO’s defense team.

    Of course this could have ended the other way around.

    ckirksey (e0f4fe)


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