Patterico's Pontifications


Henry Louis Gates: Isn’t It Time We Moved On?

Filed under: General,Race — Patterico @ 4:04 pm

It appears Henry Louis Gates wants to move on dot org:

Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. says he is ready to move on from his arrest by a white police officer, hoping to use the encounter to improve fairness in the criminal justice system and saying “in the end, this is not about me at all.”

When they say it’s not about them, it’s about them.

I can understand why Gates wants to move on. His stereotypical narrative of Sgt. Crowley as a racist cop has been pretty well demolished by the facts on the ground. The more we learn about this incident, the more it sounds like Gates was belligerent and in the wrong. Who knows? maybe he had a few too many beers on the plane back from China. For whatever reason, he decided Crowley was a racist simply because Crowley told him to “step outside,” rather than bowing and scraping to his eminence the fancy Harvard professor. A lot of people in the country are starting to think Gates was just a jerk. Time to move on!

Gates makes it clear that if we’re not going to “Move On,” then he wants any future debate to be conducted on his terms:

I am pleased that he, too, is eager to use my experience as a teaching moment, and if meeting Sgt. Crowley for a beer with the President will further that end, then I would be happy to oblige.

Yeah. You know, I strongly urge Sgt. Crowley not to have that beer. It’s clear Gates wants to condescendingly “teach” Crowley why his actions really were racist — and if he just understood the history of racism in this country, he would understand why he’s such a racist. Before you know it, Sgt. Crowley will be wishing the Secret Service hadn’t taken his handcuffs away. Best to just skip it entirely, sir.

Anyway, why would you have a beer with someone who has called you a liar? In an interview with Gayle King, Gates claimed that Sgt. Crowley — a guy whom Obama called a decent man — falsified his police report. He directly accuses the officer of making up the quote where Gates said “I’ll speak to your mama outside.”

I wouldn’t have a beer with someone who called me a liar.

124 Responses to “Henry Louis Gates: Isn’t It Time We Moved On?”

  1. I think that it might be wise for Officer Crowley to return the favor, and offer to take the good professor on some ride-alongs. Maybe then Professor Gates might see how things look through different eyes, which is what he says he is all about.

    It’s no longer black and white, but all blue, then.

    And it isn’t just about falsifying a police report (which it sure looks like he did). Dan Riehl is investigating some interesting connections with Professor Gates, his so-called charity, and tax law.

    Remember how it was okay to investigate “Joe the Plumber”? I realize that no one will put Professor Gates under a similar microscope, but I would bet good money that this academician felt that the investigations of “Joe the Plumber” were perfectly okay.

    But when the shoe is on the other foot—then we hear all about privacy and (just wait) more spurious charges of racism.

    Because “…that’s different™…” is the new catchphrase of the modern progressive.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  2. If your point is that we should move on, I don’t know if the best way to facilitate that is with another story about it.

    Seattle Slew (4dff28)

  3. And on the subject of Professor Gates calling Officer Crowley a “liar”…

    Let’s wait for the recordings to be released. I hope they will be, and my guess is that they will be leaked, mainly due to the President holding forth on this topic.

    Anyway, I hope that the transcript and Professor Gates’ accusations are juxtaposed.

    But I am sure that the Left will shrug their shoulders and say that it is just part of the metanarrative or some such thing. After all, Nobel Prizes in Literature have been given to people who out and out fabricated large portions of the autobiography (which was one of the major reasons the prize was awarded).

    Short version: “If you have the correct politics, you are not held to any standards at all.”

    Eric Blair (204104)

  4. Hey, SS? Don’t you have some low hanging “fruit” to handle?

    Eric Blair (204104)

  5. Patterico’s point isn’t that we should move on, Seattle Slew; that point belongs to Prof. Gates. Given your recent writings, I’m not at all surprised at your inability to grasp such a simple concept.

    No, Pat’s point is that Prof. Gates is a condescending bully who realizes he’s gone too far on this issue and wants it to disappear before he suffers any further embarassment.

    Is that clear enough for you? Or do you need us to draw you pictures?

    Steverino (69d941)

  6. Hey yeah, Eric Clair, even-steven!

    If this is a teaching moment, both sides have to go to school.

    Patricia (48ec63)

  7. Seriously, Patricia, most academics are really snobbish about their station in life. And life as a police officer does not often put you in contact with the Great Elite (nor am I claiming that Professor Gates was born wealthy, but he has done very well for himself the past thirty years or so).

    It might be best for BOTH of them to “educate” one another. The sad part is that Officer Crowley would probably listen (remember, he was handpicked to help educate police officers on how to avoid racial profiling). I would like to believe that Professor Gates would show the same respect to Officer Crowley.

    But his current behavior suggests otherwise.

    It would be great if I have misjudged him, though.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  8. The 911 tape may be released, but I doubt we’ll hear the exchange between Crowley and dispatch. Unless Denny Crane files a defamation suit on his behalf.

    steve (501e12)

  9. Were I the good Sgt, my response would go something like this:

    While I am glad that President Obama took the time to call me and apologize for remarks he made without the benefit of all the relevant facts, and while I am humbled by the offer to visit the White House, I am afraid I must decline that offer. I do not make it a habit of having a drink with people who falsely accuse me of lying on an official report – a crime in and of itself – nor do I make it a habit of sharing a drink with a man who – without knowing me at all – insults me by calling me a racist.

    Further more, I am afraid that I am needed here in Cambridge, doing my job, and continuing to help protect the lives and properties of every single resident, as I have done for [insert number of years on the force here].

    I wish the President and Professor Gates the best, and hope that their discussion on racism is indeed fruitful, as it would appear that one of the two people that will be in that room will indeed be a racist.

    I would the turn and walk away from the reports, saying not a single word, and I would make sure the Department also would present a wall of silence regarding the matter.

    I would also have a lawyer quietly file a civil suit against Gates for defamation of character, in as much as he would have publicly accused me of being a racist, a liar, and would have falsely accused me of committing a fairly serious crime.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  10. Don’t know if I’d want to have a “beer” with two self-centered egotists.

    Bill M (c5889b)

  11. And it isn’t just about falsifying a police report (which it sure looks like he did).

    what does that mean I don’t get it

    happyfeet (c75712)

  12. I hope that happens, Scott. Especially the civil suit. All a police officer really has is her or his reputation. It is no different than calling Professor Gates a plagiarist.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  13. A most amusing (to me at any rate) sidelight to all of this is that having Gates and the cop over for a beer only a few weeks after having Teh Gheys over for cocktails makes President Obama (wait for it) Bartender in Chief.

    David Ehrenstein (2550d9)

  14. Mr. Feet, I meant that Mr. Gates made claims in his police report that were not accurate (and were also self serving). They were very damaging to the officers, who seem to have handled an adult tantrum fairly well.

    Again, that is why I hope the recordings are released. And I am pretty sure that Professor Gates doesn’t want that.

    Dan Riehl has a suggestion that there may be some other reasons for Professor Gates acting out, other than jet lag and perceived victimhood. Who knows?

    Eric Blair (204104)

  15. “I would also have a lawyer quietly file a civil suit against Gates for defamation of character, in as much as he would have publicly accused me of being a racist, a liar, and would have falsely accused me of committing a fairly serious crime.”

    OOOooooo that would put that Uppity Negro in his place — wouldn’t it Scott?

    David Ehrenstein (2550d9)

  16. oh. got it. yes. quite right.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  17. “I meant that Mr. Gates made claims in his police report that were not accurate (and were also self serving).”

    I trust you know that for a fact?


    David Ehrenstein (2550d9)

  18. By the way, Mr. Feet, I still think your “iced tea and BBQ brisket” solution would have been best.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  19. The racist codewords are just flying off the page.

    I get to go to the races @ O’Reilly Raceway Park. Short-track racing with double file restarts! Let’s trade some paint, racists.

    JD (7510a7)

  20. Since Gates had been asking about Sgt Crowley’s mother, it would seem appropriate if he brings her along. HE WINS!

    Obama can see stupid, racist cops from his front porch (19f1d5)

  21. oh. That seems so long ago, Eric. Our little country was a much more innocent place then. There’ve been too too many teachable moments what have passed since then. Our only hope now I think is a Historical Speech in Prime Time delivered by a truly post-racial leader. But no such leader has our little country produced. We are adrift.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  22. #9

    Great comment.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  23. Who linked this CNN coverage? I just sort of had it up in a browser window and I can’t remember from where.


    lost and floundering poor Tony Harris… his notes from the propaganda meeting that morning were all wrong wrong wrong

    happyfeet (c75712)

  24. They were very damaging to the officers, who seem to have handled an adult tantrum fairly well.

    I suggest that handling an adult tantrum by someone in his own house who has not broken the law is to say good-bye and leave, thinking about how big a jerk they are as you go. Luring him outside so you can get him with a disorderly conduct in public charge is not handling it well, it is abusing the power entrusted to you.

    The speed with which so many commentators here jump from Gates behaving wrongly (which is certainly true) to therefore he should be arrested even if he hasn’t actually broken a law speaks quite a lot about the modern conservative. There was a time when conservatives might have thought a man had the right to be rude in his own living room without the government hauling him off to jail.

    Counterfactual (716edf)

  25. 3 wide for the lead !

    JD (07b76c)

  26. Counterfactual – “lured” ? Really? No other possible reason to want to be outside? Did you listen to the words of the other officers and the witnesses, or does that not fit your narrative?

    JD (07b76c)

  27. Wow, Counterfactual! The police officer didn’t know if any laws had been broken, who was who, and it is increasingly clear that Professor Gates was a jackass from moment one. “Luring him outside” is a pretty serious charge. Care to back up the “luring” business? Sounds pretty nefarious.

    Ever been on a ridealong? You should try it, and see how dangerous the job of a police officer is, how little anyone knows when the police are called…and then you can be all judgemental. As for “abusing power,” this simply shows that you have not been on ridealongs. It’s not like TV. Or more accurately, it is a good deal like “Cops.”

    Um. And disorderly conduct is actually a crime. As for your silly attempt to insult people here, I will reserve the obvious comment about “modern leftists,” since you did that quite well on your own.

    Let me put it another way. Gates is a valuable man, yes? He needs to understand that the media will not always be present, and he might pull a similar stunt with someone who is genuinely nasty. And he might get hurt. In Cambridge, Professor Gates was pretty much assured of safe treatment, despite all his racialist nonsense.

    Professor Gates is not a child, and is not new to any of this. He should have been unfailingly polite, and then threw a fit, after everyone left.

    Calling the police officer a racist helped no one except Professor Gates, who makes/writes documentaries and books about racism. Funny thing, that.

    I’m certain there is no connection.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  28. While they’re at it, invite Mike Nifong and the Gang of 88 along to the beerfest — let them “teach” Skippy and Barry what they learned from their stereotypical behavior as elitist PC douchebags.

    Sounds like fun.

    armadillo (a896ea)

  29. Counterfactual, you’ve named yourself better than you think, since your comment is based on “facts” you’ve made up that have nothing to do with the actual situation.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  30. Counterfactual thinks Dr. Gates is a mental midget that let himself get lured and tricked by a redneck hick racist cop. Why do you think that Gates is such a feeble minded idiot that he could be so easily tricked? Or, maybe, this drive-by was just making it up, since its narrative is “counterfactual” to the accounts of everyone except Gates that was at the scene.

    JD (07b76c)

  31. Um. And disorderly conduct is actually a crime.

    Except that by MA case law Gates’ actions don’t even come close to the standard for DC. Here’s a pretty good post on that topic:

    Soronel Haetir (2a5236)

  32. I guess that’s why the Black cop said he would have arrested Gates after the first warning instead of giving him two warnings like Sgt. Crowley.

    armadillo (a896ea)

  33. I’m not an attorney, Mr. Haetir. But I do know better than to be a jackass to a police officer fresh on the scene.

    This argument, with all due respect, doesn’t impress me. You might be right in the ultimate sense. But is it worth getting cuffed and taken downtown to be printed and photographed?

    How much better to take care of it later. And it is clear from what we are seeing is that Professor Gates has not been…um…very accurate in his description of events. Based on how the Cambridge PD is acting, I would guess that this is the tip of the iceberg.

    I think that there is a reason that Professor Gates wants to forget about this. And it has nothing to do with “racist” or “stupid” actions by the Cambridge PD.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  34. Wow, Counterfactual! The police officer didn’t know if any laws had been broken, who was who, and it is increasingly clear that Professor Gates was a jackass from moment one. “Luring him outside” is a pretty serious charge. Care to back up the “luring” business? Sounds pretty nefarious.

    I’ll jump in here: Gates has subsequently made a statement about his experience. And here’s part of it:

    It looked like an ocean of police had gathered on my front porch. There were probably half a dozen police officers at this point. The mistake I made was I stepped onto the front porch and asked one of his colleagues for his name and badge number. And when I did, the same officer said, ‘Thank you for accommodating our request. You are under arrest.’

    Oops, looks like counterfactual’s claim is corroborated by Gates. But wait, Gates is a liar or something, right?

    And disorderly conduct is actually a crime.

    Why was the charge dropped? And before you play politics of the gaps, consider your own demand that counterfactual back up his claims with substance.

    josef johann (400cf2)

  35. Hey, JJ…let’s just see what the recordings show. Let’s get all the witnesses together, and put them under oath. Okay?

    And let’s take a really close look at Professor Gates’ charity, shall we?

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  36. Josef – So you just ignore the statements of the officers (plural) and witnesses ?

    JD (07b76c)

  37. I wish someone would put the 18 car in the wall.

    JD (07b76c)

  38. JD: on, the contrary, I suggest that you recede from your position of dismissing Gates out of hand as though that’s the neutral, objective position.

    josef johann (400cf2)

  39. It’s on the arrest report that his door was unsecurable because of a prior break-in. This must be the only black man in America who leaves his door unsecured while going on a trip to China.

    It’s too strange, though. I’d want to see the report on this earlier break-in. There is more here than meets the eye.

    jcurtis (14bf32)

  40. The most significant element in this whole affair was the demeanor and tone Obama adopted once the question was brought up at the end of his TV appearance to discuss “health care”.
    His face became hardened and anger was evident in his tone. He epitomized the angry black man responding to whitey.
    This sorry excuse for a national leader is a total incompetent still fighting the demons of his bitter past.

    edward cropper (4aac06)

  41. If I were Crowley, I’d take a tape recorder to the meeting. Who knows, I might even be able to point out to Professor Gates that it’s his oversize ego that makes him such a pretentious and pompous ass.

    GarandFan (289ff1)

  42. If Gates now says that he wants to “move on” then it’s time to beat on him twice as hard.

    pst314 (dbf8fd)

  43. that’s so moby it’s gayer than that one o-zone video where they dance on the plane wings

    happyfeet (c75712)

  44. oh. I googled you. You’re not moby just strident sometimes. My bad. I’m sorry. Except the beating part is sort of not great word choice I don’t think.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  45. that was really harsh about the o-zone video

    happyfeet (c75712)

  46. @40 jcurtis —

    I agree there’s more to this than meets the eye. Gates apparently became incensed when Sgt. Crowley asked if he was alone in the house. Logical for Crowley (he was investigating a break in by two black men).

    But why would Gates go ballistic over this seemingly straightforward question? Especially given the earlier break-in. Don’t forget, a student was murdered only a few blocks away from Gates’ home (at Kirkland House dormitory on the Harvard campus)less than 2 months ago.

    Was there some reason for Gates’ over-reaction beyond the “don’t you know who I am” snobbery? The earlier break-in may provide some clue ’cause something’s not right. Perhaps Gates knew who was responsible for the earlier forced entry which would explain why he wasn’t concerned for his safety and more welcoming to the police.

    armadillo (a896ea)

  47. Josef – Sorry. I call BS. When the other cops, and witnesses back up Crowley’s position, there is no reason to retreat from a position of facts, and enter into sheer speculation.

    JD (bc26c4)

  48. The president’s irresponsible meddling and his off-the-cuff pronouncements created an escalating firestorm that is really quite destructive to our country. Because of Obama, the original incident in Cambridge, along with the individual participants, was elevated to a level of importance and scrutiny which defies all reason. Because Obama was in the equation it became impossible for anyone involved to back off gracefully or to tamp things down even if they wanted to. The national “taking of sides” by people who by and large have no interest in resolving anything has gotten loud and perhaps even dangerous.

    I see that a lot of folks are criticizing or ridiculing the upcoming White House beerfest/kumbaya get together. I have some background in crisis management (more business than political) and I must say that the symbolic gesture of these three coming together for a photo-op to say in effect, “it got out of hand and we are herewith declaring this little fight over” is pretty much what I would have recommended had I been on the case. Yes, it will probably be somewhat insincere and tense and shallow— and there will be no “teachable moments” arising from it unless Mr. Gates is willing to listen as well as to teach. However, such a meeting is necessary, Obama had to take the initiative, and I believe it will signal to many curious bystanders and at least some of the media that it IS time to move on.

    elizabeth (35ec9d)

  49. Comment by JD — 7/25/2009 @ 8:09 pm

    Except that even if the official report is entirely accurate it still doesn’t amount to an actual violation of law. And if you think arresting a grievance monger is actually punishment you haven’t watched Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson enough.

    Soronel Haetir (2a5236)

  50. Justice Haetir : You must sit on a high court to be able to make such a comment. Could yo plese explain to this 70 year old lawyer the reasons why the professor’s actions do not add up to a violation of law? Please cite the relevant cases supporting your position. By the way, don’t cite the “De Minimus” rule.

    Longwalker (996c34)

  51. Justice Haetir : You must sit on a high court to be able to make such a comment. Could yo plese explain to this 70 year old lawyer the reasons why the professor’s actions do not add up to a violation of law? Please cite the relevant cases supporting your position. By the way, don’t cite the “De Minimus” rule.

    Longwalker (996c34)

  52. Justice Haetir : You must sit on a high court to be able to make such a comment. Could you please explain to this 70 year old lawyer the reasons why the professor’s actions do not add up to a violation of law? Please cite the relevant cases supporting your position. By the way, don’t cite the “De Minimus” rule.

    Longwalker (996c34)

  53. Comment by Longwalker — 7/25/2009 @ 8:48 pm

    I already cited

    Soronel Haetir (2a5236)

  54. I thank Eric and JD for their responses to my post. JD, I don’t believe I made Gates out to be a mental midget just because he stepped outside when the officer asked him to. How many people do you think know that you are safe from a disorderly charge if you are in your house, but vulnerable if you step outside? I didn’t until this happened. I am willing to bet that almost none of the commentators here without a police or law background knew it either. The fact that Gates didn’t know something that almost no one knows hardly makes him out to be a mental midget.

    Eric, I appreciate that a police officer’s job is dangerous and he never knows what might happen on any call. But I point out to you that by his own report, the officer did not ask Gates to step outside for his safety or any reason like that. He had already determined there was no crime. Instead he asked this man yelling at him that he was a racist to leave the house because of acustics. So the sequence is:
    1 – Gates is a “jackass from moment one” and no doubt annoys the officer greatly (and I use the work annoys only because this is a family blog, other more accurate words come to mind).
    2 – Gates is safe from arrest for yelling that the officer is a racist while he is in his house. The officer asks him to step outside because of acustics.
    3 – The officer then arrests him for being disorderly.
    If you want to say that it would never cross this officer’s mind that in asking Gates to step outside he was changing a nonarrestable situation into an arrestable one, then go ahead. People can judge if they believe that on their own. I will stand by my statement that the best thing to do was walk away thinking ‘what a jerk’ as opposed to changing the private situation into a public one.

    As far as your beliefs about Gates wanting a confrontation either for publicity or to ‘play the victim’, I agree that seems likely. When you write that Gates should have behaved more corectly with the officer, I say of course. I only also point out that, all those things being true; that in America, one can still be rude to authority figures, especially in one’s own house and not be arrested. At least that is how it is supposed to be. When in the world did believing this become a ‘leftist’ belief?

    And SPQR, glad you like the name 🙂

    Counterfactual (716edf)

  55. Counterfactual – Actual police officers in these threads have spoke at length about a variety of procedural and safety reasons why a police officer would move the discussion outside. And you chose the word “lure”, presumably not on accident. Ironic that the other cop indicated that Gates followed Crowley out of the house, and was warned at least twice prior to being cuffed. Hardly luring or subterfuge. Jeebus. The same crap just gets recycled. At least you are civil, but civility does not allow you your own facts.

    JD (1910a1)

  56. But it does fit a narrative, JD. And that “feeling” is more important than the facts.

    Again, let’s wait for the recordings. I think much will be made clear. And the actions of the Cambridge PD suggest that they are pretty confident. Professor Gates’ wanting to “move on” is suggestive that he knows he went waaaaaay over the top.

    But the facts will get out there, eventually.

    And the President needs to learn to think before he talks without a TelePrompter. At least, when he starts sentence with “I don’t have the facts,” he should know that a period in the sentence should quickly follow.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  57. I don’t care if the guy’s green with purple stripes… If I can’t see the entirety of the house and who’s inside it, I’m not stepping foot in it.

    I know people who do door-to-door and delivery work who have been jumped, beaten, and robbed like that. If I don’t know you personally (and have at least a decent opinion of you), I’ll stay on the front porch, thank you very much…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  58. It’s like these folks have never watched “Cops,” Mr. Jacobs!

    Eric Blair (204104)

  59. Skippy Gates’ wanting to “move on” belies his own active role in elevating the consequences of his COPS-like white trash behavior into a national issue.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  60. The most shocking part of this whole episode is that Skippy had a shirt on.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  61. Yeah, it did have that whole trailer-park vibe, didn’t it, Mr. Feet?

    Eric Blair (204104)

  62. Whatcha gonna do when they come for you…?

    Mike LaRoche (d83224)

  63. If you want to say that it would never cross this officer’s mind that in asking Gates to step outside he was changing a nonarrestable situation into an arrestable one, then go ahead.

    Your logic would hold if it weren’t for the fact that Crowley asked Gates to step outside of the house from the very start.

    It’s not like he thought, “Hey, this guy is being an ass, let me get him to step outside so that I can cuff him.” No, it was clear from the very beginning that Crowley wanted Gates outside.

    Based on that, it’s difficult to make the leap that Crowley’s purpose was to turn an unarrestable Gates into an arrestable one.

    Steverino (1b3695)

  64. =yawn= July and August are usually slow news periods and the Beast needs fed daily. This appetizer has been chewed over pretty well and ready to be swallowed with a beer chaser at the White House, then passed into the hopper of history.

    Covering healthcare reform is as dry as weather reports from the Sahara and Republican sex scandals so numbingly numerous, they require lettering to be followed, as in ‘C-Street.’ And, of course, Michael Jackson is still dead.(Some say Reid has been for years as well.) Lucky for the media that hurricane season is reaching full bloom and one may be around the corner bringing a big, wet kiss to some unsuspecting locale. It’ll be sure to catch the attention of the Big Eye and quench that thirst for some fresh cable news dramatics. Or Rupert can hope another damsel in distress falls off a cruise ship on holiday. After all, it is vacation time.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  65. “…After all, it is vacation time…”

    If only.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  66. It was weird though DCSCA, that so many white people were willing, eager even, to look at a very a lot educated black guy, and think it entirely likely and even probable that he would not have the faculties to cope with a fairly mundane encounter with a white police officer. That shamefully racist and I think a lot of people had thought we were past that.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  67. oh. *That’s* shamefully racist I mean

    happyfeet (c75712)

  68. way it should have gone:
    o) sir we had report of possible burglar,could you step outside?
    g) sure, its my house, here’s my i.d. , buy the way who reported it, i would like to thank them for keeping a eye out for me.
    o)your next door neighbor saw you forcing the front door and called us
    g)yes, a recent break-in caused that problem
    o) o.k. mr. gates , thanks for your cooperation, have a nice day.

    the way it went:
    o)sir we had a report of possible burglar, could you step out side?
    o)sir i am just responding to a call on possible burglar
    o) (now he’s thinking , what an asshole) sir can i see some i.d.
    o) (now he’s pissed, just need some i.d for verification, this guy’s yelling at him calling him a racist and will not cooperate)sir please i.d
    o) (he’s still pissed, has been called racist, gates still trying to be the one with the power)( problem , he knows the law, if he can get gates in public, acting like an ass he can arrest him)
    i’m going to step outside on the porch sir, so i sort this mess out
    o)(should have said , sir next time we get call for your address, we’ll be sure that we get here real quick, you will be our first priority ) (now that i have witnesses of you being a ass, going to show you who has the power)i’m arresting you for being an asshole

    I can’t blame the cop ,he did not hire on to be abused by the public he serves, if gates could have shown common courtesy , this could have been a very brief visit for local authorities , and should have brought comfort to him knowing that his community ,had his back.

    daniel (a9c3ee)

  69. Hell, if this had happened here in Georgia, I would have slapped the cuffs on Gates at the very beginning of his tirade, for Obstruction of an Officer. Maybe they need to look into this charge for their state. It sure does simplify your investigation and allows you to assume control of unruly individuals with a lot more ease.

    peedoffamerican (63a600)

  70. I love the meme that this ivory tower denizen was “lured.” Its standard police procedure in a situtation where breaking and entry was reported to identify anyone and to get them out of the house. To suggest he was lured displays either ignorance or a contempt for the truth.

    Gates refused legitimate requests that any normal individual would have provided if he were sober. The fact that Gates responded in an aggressive and demeaning fashion only demonstrates his lack of judgement and arrogance.

    He should have been tried. He was guilty of sin. Why was he let off?

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  71. #66 – Rubbish.

    What he says usually is.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  72. The responses here provide a spectacular demonstration of the difference between conservatives and authoritarians attracted to conservative politics as a matter of identity.
    A conservative is naturally and forthrightly opposed to the idea that a cop should arrest someone on their own property simply for mouthing off. A conservative sees that sort of arbitrary application of government power as a serious, intolerable threat to basic freedom.
    An autoritarian instinctively supports law enforcement, even in cases where the action is arbitrary.
    The authoritarians ignore the simplest, most essential question. Was it necessary to arrest Gates? Not unless you feel intimidation is the state’s prerogative.

    bruno (0b0754)

  73. A conservative is naturally and forthrightly

    And if the label he (or she) identifies with goes beyond the superficial and isn’t bogged down by overly emotional characteristics, then he will have enough common sense to realize that human nature is complex and multi-faceted and that situations similar to those involving a super-flake like Gates have to be placed in their proper and full context.

    Mark (411533)

  74. Hmmm, looks like police departments need to bone up on their sensitivity training again because some of you are seriously slipping. Somehow holding a gun and a badge makes you feel as though you don’t have to look at things from anyone else’s point of view other than your own. Until you realize the dynamics of human nature, you will never truly be safe. I am all but sure that the good Sgt. Crowley took none of this into account when he descended upon a law abiding citizen’s home and treated the home owner like a criminal. THE MAN WAS IN HIS HOME, he posed no threat to the public, i.e. “disorderly conduct,” and he wanted the good Sgt. to leave, which is WELL WITHIN HIS RIGHTS. It doesn’t matter what Gates (or anyone else) for that matter says about anyone’s mother, father, sister or brother. The point is, he was in his home, wanted Crowley to leave, and that should have been the end of the story. This is just another case of a police officer feeling that a badge and a gun gives him the right to do whatever he (or she) wants. Wrong. It doesn’t.

    Laurie (6e7c19)

  75. Oh, and “not showing common courtesy” is not a reason to arrest anyone. The transcript provided above clearly illustrates that Crowley (got pissed), well guess what police officers? Learn how to keep your anger at bay and abide by the law. How about that?

    Laurie (6e7c19)

  76. Laurie.

    “descended”??? His cohorts all gleaming, I suppose.
    You ought to–probably will never–figure out that when everybody knows better, saying stuff like this makes you look bad.
    Of course Gates was treated like a [potential] criminal. Reported break-in. Why am I wasting my time. You know we all know this. You know it, but you keep on as if we can only know what you say.
    Give it a rest.

    “Moving on” means that zero and Gates know they’re whipped, but that this is the best way to skate.
    It will not be a “let’s all get along” meeting. zero and Gates will frame it as if they graciously forgave the cop.

    And I think it’s time to look at Inkwell. Just to throw a little hot sauce into the situation.

    Authoritarian vs. conservative: Nuts. Cops must be aware that people acting irrationally might be…irrational. Irrational people get other people hurt.

    Richard Aubrey (ac8698)

  77. The only act missing from this circus is Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson, I didn’t hear anything about demanding Obama be fired for making a stupid statement. Why aren’t these Media Queens pontificating on this episode????
    A photo op missed, for either of them to miss a chance to stand in front of a camera and make inflamatory statements.

    Charlie (6ebba1)

  78. I’ve about-faced on this. I started off sympathetic to Gates. No more.

    And I started off believing the arrest was completely unjustified. No more.

    I do feel the arrest was probably not necessary. But it was arguably justified on the grounds that Gates came out after the officer and was beginning to attempt to incite the onlookers.

    I’m all for lawsuits here. Discovery would be very interesting and might eliminate the crop of urban myths in the making (though as these things go, probably not.)

    Dan S (43c61d)

  79. Laurie,

    Transcript? What transcript? As far as I know, the tapes haven’t been released yet. If you know otherwise, a link would be appreciated. Up in 71 you have Daniels speculation as to how things went but it’s not a transcript by any stretch.

    “Learn how to keep your anger at bay and abide by the law.” Sounds like good advice for the prof.

    “It doesn’t matter what Gates (or anyone else) for that matter says about anyone’s mother, father, sister or brother.” I think you over generalize. Try that in a biker bar, I’ll call 911 for an ambulance after I quit laughing at you. Even the Supreme Court recognizes that “fighting words” are NOT protected speech under the First Amendment.

    kaz (e7a67c)

  80. As I’ve posted here before on this topic, I fear the tapes may never be released. That is, I think those in the Gates camp will argue that there is nothing to be gained by the release and that it simply “could inflame passions” further.

    Under those conditions, the Gates folk would say, yes, Gates was “boisterous” or some such throwaway phrase, but there was not enough ….

    Crowley and the police need, IMHO, to get those tapes out.

    jim2 (1333f0)

  81. #83 – how do you suppose the Gates camp will suppress the tape if the Cambridge police union decides they want it heard?

    Phil Smith (4e586c)

  82. The likelihood of those tapes being released is probably a lot proportional to the extent to which Skippy tries to exploit this sillyness with a racial profiling tour and book signing and film fest.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  83. This is just another case of a police officer feeling that a badge and a gun gives him the right to do whatever he (or she) wants. Wrong. It doesn’t.

    Comment by Laurie

    Let’s hope that “Laurie” never has the need to call the cops for a domestic disturbance or has a burglar who is standing just inside the door telling her to tell the cops it was an accident the alarm went off.

    I wouldn’t mind the lefties if they wouldn’t sound so stupid.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  84. […] Patterico: “I wouldn’t have a beer with someone who called me a liar.” Not to mention that the “lie” in question was actually a supposedly falsified police report—criminal conduct on Crowley’s part, if it were true. […]

    | Little Miss Attila (62389c)

  85. #79:

    Oh Laurie its nice to realize that spouse beaters can rest easy in the knowledge that as long as they are in the safety of their own homes they can do anything they want in your vaunted opinion. Unfortunately for you and the ACLU freedom isn’t lisence nor the ability to act out like a three year old child without consequnces.

    Its interesting to see the “self esteem” generation display both their ignorance and inability to grasp the simple dynamics of how criminal procedures work.

    Reminds me of some of the morons on juries who will always vote to acquit because their harbor a grudge against authority.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  86. What offends me most about this is that claims of historic oppression are used to justify accusing someone who has nothing whatsoever to do with that history of racism.

    They have learned nothing from their own history.

    Amphipolis (42043b)

  87. This Affirmative Action Zero needs to get a real job.
    I know he is a Professor but if he doesn’t bring some real world experience from Business or Industry he is not educating anyone.
    No wonder the American education system takes 12 years to bestow a fourth grade education on our young people.
    They can’t perform simple math tasks therefore it is impossible to to teach them anything more complex than washing dishes and stocking shelves.

    btenney (41afb8)

  88. #84

    One word: Obama

    jeb2 (0daeb1)

  89. I agree, it is high time to move on. There is never a right and wrong in these kind of incidents… Gates is going to be right until the cows come home and so is Crawley, so I pronounce them both exactly RIGHT and they win!

    Addiction Analyst (add4c2)

  90. #92

    Did you ever serve on a jury with me? You sure sound like the guy that argued the charged man couldn’t be guilty, because he looked like his nephew. He said his nephew couldn’t have done those things.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  91. The central question to me is: Can the police arrest someone who speaks to them in a disrespectful manner?
    If you say “yes”…people should speak to officers of the law in a respectful manner…then you can understand why they are arresting street protesters in Iran

    Norris Hall (abb519)

  92. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You need anger management gentlemen. You need to learn how to DIFFUSE situations, not make them worse. You need to learn how to pick your battles and walk away. You need to learn how the best way to make it home safely to your families is to not play into things escalating. Sgt. Crowley should have been the better person and walked away. Period. End of story. That is ONE of the things you are paid to do. That is one of your responsibilities. That is why YOU are the ones who are to set an example for the rest of us. That’s it, guys. You’re wrong. And until you realize this, you, and I will never be safe.

    Laurie (e0c805)

  93. You need to learn how to DIFFUSE situations, not make them worse

    The word you’re looking for is “defuse”. “Diffuse” means “spread out thinly”. “Defuse” means “to render less dangerous”. One’s an adjective, the other is a transitive verb.

    Steverino (69d941)

  94. Hysterical often, Laurie?

    JD (f8b50e)

  95. Norris Hall, do you think Gates was arrested for merely being disrespectful?

    If so, you should review what we know about the incident, because Gates’s behavior was far beyond that. It did break the law. Though I do think it would have been fine if he weren’t arrested, I think it’s great that he was and would want someone arrested in my neighborhood for acting like this.

    Racist screaming, goading, for extended an extended period of time, interfering with an investigation into an obvious break in (the call + the door = urgency) is just a bit too much.

    However, if Ahmedinijad had merely arrested those screaming in his protests and released them later, rather than send them to his torture + rape + murder facility for merely standing peacefully, I would be perfectly fine with that too.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  96. Steverino, I’ve found when one has no valid response, he will often resort to inconsequential criticisms. Now that you can spell it, how about learn to do it? How about that? As I said, gentlemen, you’re wrong. Period.

    Laurie (e0c805)

  97. Laurie, defusing situations is certainly desirable, but the question is whether or not Gates was so uncooperative that the officer could not get his job done – which was to determine whether or not a crime was occurring.

    Something you have not addressed other than making your own version of inconsequential criticisms.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  98. Laurie is right and you are wrong. Period. /sound of foot stomping

    JD (f8b50e)

  99. Steverino, thank you for the grammar lesson. That usually comes when someone has no other valid response. Now that you know how to spell it, try doing it. How about that?

    Laurie (e0c805)

  100. You have to admit, Laurie, the situation has certainly been diffused. All the way to the White House.

    nk (b26631)

  101. No, I’m not right. This isn’t about me. This is about you guys as police officers learning the proper way to deal with people expressing emotion. SPQR, there is no question that Gates behaved badly. But if everyone who behaved badly was arrested for it, there’d be no more room in the county jails. Further, there are real crimes being committed that should be addressed, not making a mountain out of a molehill at a private citizen’s home. Even if Gates was a butthole, so what? That’s not against the law and Crowley took it personally. That was his mistake and until you officers realize that you are setting yourselves (and others) up for trouble that could easily be avoided. Police officers are paid to be the better people. If that’s too much to ask, choose another profession. That’s all I’m saying.

    Laurie (e0c805)

  102. And you are totally wrong in thinking that lack of a gun and a badge somehow made Professor Gates the lesser person whom Sergeant Crowley should have deferred to like a grown man would to a child. Professor Gates is fully a man as Sergeant Crowley and his obligation to act like a man is no lesser. Especially in his own home, to a fellow human being who came to check on his well-being.

    nk (b26631)

  103. Steverino, thank you for the grammar lesson. That usually comes when someone has no other valid response. Now that you know how to spell it, try doing it. How about that?

    This particular time, it’s coming from someone who doesn’t take you seriously, because the matter should have been closed long ago.

    How about that?

    Steverino (69d941)

  104. NK, this isn’t about man vs. man. This is about a police officer doing his job in the smartest, safest way possible. There was absolutely no reason to arrest Gates. Everyone seems to be forgetting that the charges were dropped. Hello? That means there was no valid case. And you’re right, it was a complete waste of time and tax payer money. How was that making the city safer? What threat did Gates pose to the citizens of Cambridge? Zero. I think it’s a sad commentary that so many of you police officers do not see anything wrong with how Crowley handled the situation. So, I suppose you are likely to repeat it. It’s not a moot subject until something is learned from it. Have none of you learned anything?

    Laurie (e0c805)

  105. What is this “you guys as police officers” crap? There have been some weigh in on this, but the vast majority are not. If you really meant that it was about doing his job in the smartest safest way possible, you would not be bitching. The smartest safest way was to get the suspect out of the house. Dropping charges does not mean there was no valid case, nice asspull.

    JD (959071)

  106. No, I’m not right. This isn’t about me.

    “…but I’m going to proceed to blather on endlessly about how I’m right and you’re all wrong.” Laurie, not much of a counter – argument in your case.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  107. This Laurie seems … confused.

    JD (7cad2c)

  108. You cannot claim to be the victim and demand equality at the same time. There is no virtue in victimhood and, most importantly, no survival value.

    nk (b26631)

  109. Is this true, that because charges were dropped nothing was wrong? So Gates should sue for his civil rights being abrogated, just because he followed a cop out of his house and kept disturbing the peace. I know that in Amerikkka you should be able to provoke a cop when you’re angry and suffer no consequences.

    If I were the lady who called in this report, I’d file a newspaper ad with the following:

    NOTICE TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD–Due to unfortunate public outcry for my phone call, I will no longer call the police if I see something bad happening outside. You’re on your own, so good luck. If you survive an attack, perhaps you can have a beer with your attacker.

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  110. He was friends with the mayor and the governor, that’s why the charges were dropped

    narciso (996c34)

  111. What a bunch of whiners! I sure do hope most of you are not police officers! Chip on your shoulders much? My goodness!

    Laurie (e0c805)

  112. And the President, narcisco. Don’t forget that.

    JD (7cad2c)

  113. Whiny whining whiner is what you guys are. How do I know that is true? Because Laurie told me so.

    Calling someone a whiner is a rhetorical device that basically tells us that outside of her asspulls, Laurie’s got nothing, zero, zip, nada.

    JD (8f6877)

  114. Whether or not racism played a part in Crowley’s decision to place a 58 year old, unarmed man in handcuffs, in his own home no less, and arrest him for disorderly conduct because he talked about his mother, is something we’ll never be able to prove or disprove. However, while the Cambridge PD may appear to be supporting him, rest assured, the powers that be are strongly advising their officers to make better decisions than this “supervisor” did. In fact, hopefully this will make it into a case study in the local police academies.

    Laurie (e0c805)

  115. I hope Danny Glover plays him in the movie. That will be so cool.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  116. Cuffed in his own home? Really? And were there warnings given as Gates threw his tantrum, while police officers were trying to see if a crime had been committed?

    Eric Blair (204104)

  117. Who’s whining? I am a total and complete racist elitist. I am chortling with joy to have seen my blue-clad minion put a [codeword] in his place.

    Laurie, get lost.

    nk (b26631)

  118. I cannot believe all of the codeword racisms being thrown about all willy-nilly around here. Have you no shame?!

    JD (7cad2c)

  119. What data do you have to support the speculation that he was cuffed “in his own home”?

    He was cuffed outside his home, after coming out and continuing to harass the cop.

    Memo to PROFESSOR Gates: shut up while you’re ahead.

    steve miller (c5e78c)

  120. Yes, Laurie, more important crimes to pursue like Michael Jackson’s abuse of narcotics …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  121. No, let’s keep things in perspective, shall we? I mean crimes in the local Cambridge jurisdiction, like drunk driving, domestic disputes, B& E’s and other larcenies, assaults, that type of thing. Surely much more important than wasting time with a rude man on his front porch where he posted no threat to anyone ….. well, except to the good Sgt. Crowley’s ego, that is. He was wrong, and all who support his handling of the situation are wrong too. Thank God Gates really was just a jerk spouting off on his front porch. I guess better that he was a dangerous cop-hating psycho, militia type wielding a shot gun? Give me a break. This situation did not need to go where it did.

    Laurie (e0c805)

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