The Gates Arrest

(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.


Skip to comment form

  1. Ron White (comic)… this one bit he does about being arrested for being Drunk In Public… and he tells this whole story of course… ‘I was drunk in a bar, which is perfectly legal, they threw me (out of the bar) into “public”… arrest them!’

    well he tells it better. heh.

    Anyway, I hear you.

    • Inky99 on July 25, 2009 at 4:37 am

    Michael Jackson has been dead long enough, so now they have this.

    This keeps us from getting pissed off about the things that really matter, like all the dead troops in Afghanistan, the fact that the Fed and the banks ran a Ponzi scheme on us, leaving us all broke and unemployed, and all the usual crap that these distractions are used for.

    This is a non-issue, a non-story.  

    • icosa on July 25, 2009 at 4:44 am

    For your take on this, it is rather disturbing that when a cop assaults an innocent person, he can talk to the prez and have a beer with him and everything forgiven.  Only in America.  Wasn’t it ‘w’ that everyone wanted to have a beer with..I am so confused.

  2. Once inside he might try to arrest Obama.

  3. I wish we could stop acting like police abuse is something new and surprising.  It isn’t.  It’s been a problem for decades.  This could be a whole, new essay, citing police abuse as the reason for the Miranda decision (1963) and rules about suppression of evidence and false convictions (Central Park Jogger, Chicago torture cases) and innocent people on death row.  The only difference in this case is that Gates is well known and the charges were dropped.

    Maybe this old post would shed some light on the issue.

    Of course, this being 2009 we’re not going to have a robust, national debate about why our police forces are totalitarian and abusive. Oh no.  We’re going to discuss whether saying that Gates’s arrest was “stupid” was bad, when the Prez should have been saying it was abusive and illegal.

    • robodd on July 25, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    “These situations call for the utmost in mutual decorum and mutual respect.”

    That is all.  Next “crisis.”

  4. to tazer any body who gets lippy and calls it resisting you have to face the fact that we live in a police state. No one is exempt from this kind of power. I lived in Hollywood in LA during the 80’s and the cops their were really out of control. Bill Gates ran the department and one of the reasons I moved to OR was to escape his goon squads. Ironically after 9/11 our mayor hired him in Portland where he did a lot of damage and killing in the black community, all justified by the ‘I perceived it was a threat’ defense. The only odd thing about this is the fact that they did this to a famous rich guy but then again he is an African American so I guess he is not immune. What happened to the peace offers part of community policing?    

  5. Here’s video put together by Chris, at VoteStrike on the Gates’ ordeal:

Comments have been disabled.