(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Ok. I’m really pissed off. As a former law enforcement officer, I know a little bit about laws, arrests, and the mindset of cops. So, when I read this over at AmericaBlog, after watching President Obama backtrack, the police union come out in force, and nobody, but NOBODY, who has a clue speaking up about this issue — well, I will.
First, what AmericaBlog says:
Obama hopes this is a “teachable moment.” Probably, the smartest and most insightful analysis on this subject was the one by Pam Spaulding. She holds everyone involved accountable. Pam has the ability to cut through issues and arguments in a way that few others can. It’s because she has common sense, a rare commodity these days.
Now… it’s my turn…
First of all, Pam Spaulding is full of it. What “class” a person is in has nothing to do in this at all. Here is what she wrote:
In my prior posts on the arrest of Harvard prof Henry Louis Gates in his own home by Cambridge police officer Sgt. James Crowley I have mentioned that class privilege plays a role in this debacle as much as race does. A lot of the debate about the incident dances around the topic but misses the big picture — race and class are always factors because we are human beings colored by experiences and classification within this country’s historical framework of those two elements.
Let me be clear here, class and race has NOTHING to do with this situation. Nothing. Zip. Nada.
This is a situation where a man, black or white, came back from a trip, found a problem with his house, had to deal with it, and then cops showed up saying he was a burglar.
AS an ex-law enforcement officer, I will give Sgt. Crowley everything up until the time that Mr. Gates proved he owned the home. After that point, it was Sgt. Crowley who was in the wrong, and, for ONE reason — he should have just left. He didn’t.
Once Prof. Gates proved he was the rightful owner, there was no other police action necessary. None. It was his house! But, Sgt. Crowley felt the need to put Mr. Gates in jail AFTER he had already proven he owned the home.
The charge, disorderly conduct, is the “go to” charge whenever a cop, no matter the department, uses whenever they want to put someone in jail. That is why the charge was dropped — Sgt. Crowley, and his department, knew it was all bullshit.
The entire point, to show Mr. Gates that the cops can put him in jail, was made — he went to jail. Charge dropped. I have seen it done, seen it threatened before, and watched the exact same thing happen, all as a cop. I know this occurs. Whether or not Mr. Gates was out of line in how he ADDRESSED the officers is only material to the fact that it was THE reason he WENT to jail.
There is, as far as I know, no provision, in any disorderly conduct statute, for a person being disorderly while in his own home. That is why the charge was dropped right after Mr. Gates got out of jail. No judge would view the arrest as viable.
The picture of the arrest clearly shows Mr. Gates being pulled out of his door in handcuffs. So, the arrest was made IN his home.
And, Sgt. Crowley, I’m sure, will never answer the question, “why, after the identify of the owner was established, did you simply not leave?” The answer is clear; he got pissed off at Mr. Gates and wanted to prove a point.
And yet, people who are clueless about cops, laws, and the mentality of cops, think it’s a “he said/she said” deal. Bullshit.
Sgt. Crowley was wrong. Period.