Monday, July 20, 2009

What's wrong with the arrest of Dr. Henry Louis Gates of Harvard is not just the racism...

... although that is a significant issue.

Cambridge MA Police responded to a woman's report of "two black males with backpacks on the porch," with one "wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry," by arresting Dr. Gates inside his own home.

[Turns out Dr. Gates and friend had locked themselves out.]

Yes, Dr. Gates was irritable, and yes Dr. Gates probably initially refused to produce identification--again, within his own home.

What's outrageously, police-state wrong about this is the only charge the Cambridge Police could come up with:

He was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after police said he "exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior."


What the f**k? He got arrested for disorderly conduct inside his own home after he had provided the police with identification?

At which nanosecond after Dr. Gates proved he was the rightful owner of the home did the police officers have any legal standing whatever even to be inside the home, much less to characterize Dr. Gates' behavior?

Ah, but offending a police officer has now become a significant illegality, because our public servants are rapidly forgetting they were never intended to be our public masters.

Or would the Cambridge Police prefer public massas?

12 comments:

Nancy Willing said...

This is disgusting. Power abused and evidently blinded by racism.

I hear that some of the stimulus money in Delaware is heading to sensativity training for our prison guards (much in the same vein as one might hope the officers in this story will be forced into).

If one 'has the power' in a given situation, one may feel free to intimidate or 'throw weight around' on the basis of holding that 'power' (a gun and a badge in this case).

And in wielding power, what happens if one then insists upon, if one expects and desires 'respect and obedience' that is beyond what 'is called for'? In this case, not only not recognizing the need to make an apology for their mistake but to go ahead with the bogus arrest...shows immaturity at best and an imbalanced law enforcement culture at worst.

Anonymous said...

if you read the police report, he was arrested for his ranting and raving outside of his house.

there were local police and university police on the scene.

his house had been previosly broken into and yet his reaction to seeing a police office on his front step to become indignant and yell racism. strange behavior.

Nancy Willing said...

Good try anony- NOT. Charges now dropped. Read all about it on DE Way!

Hube said...

Well, good, Nancy! They should've been dropped. That still doesn't

1) excuse Gate's asinine behavior, and
2) make the cops racist.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. And people are making excuses for the police. The man was arrested in HIS OWN HOME FOR SPEECH THE POLICE DIDN"T LIKE!

For cryin' out loud, Hube, it doesn't matter what he said. There is nothing to justify this man's arrest - NOTHING!

We've lost this country. Police arrest and torture using Tasers with impunity. Freedom of speech and assembly is going, going, gone. And all you gotta say is that dropping the charges "still doesn't excuse Gate's asinine behavior."

First of all, YOU WEREN'T EVEN THERE TO KNOW WHAT HE SAID! Second, HE NEEDS NO EXCUSE NO MATTER WHAT HE SAID! Third, HE IS ONE OF AMERICA"S PREEMINENT SCHOLARS!

Unwarranted arrest in your own home by police is one of the most intrusive acts the state can do.The state stole over 4 hours of this man's life and humiliated him. Yet, you, as so-called conservative, thinks he should have gone quietly. Just like you would have, I guess. Be a good step-and-fetch-it.

But you probably can't even imagine this in happening to a nice white guy like you, right?

anonone

Anonymous said...

Nancy, the fact that the charges were dropped does not change anything in my post (#2).

it was the expected outcome.

Nancy Willing said...

I agree with Anonne. There is no way that the police have to fucking do more than establish that Gates was not improperly on the property. He did so. The cops needed to back off then. I would have been arrested too if this happened to me.

It doesn't necessarily make the cops racist, Hube. It does make them DICKWADS who don't deserve their badges.

Hube said...

First of all, YOU WEREN'T EVEN THERE TO KNOW WHAT HE SAID! Second, HE NEEDS NO EXCUSE NO MATTER WHAT HE SAID! Third, HE IS ONE OF AMERICA"S PREEMINENT SCHOLARS!

Actually, I was going by the police report of what he said. Did you read it?

Second, what he says DOES matter, you twit. You actually think it "doesn't matter" what you say to a cop when he's there investigating a possible break-in?

Third, he's only "pre-eminent" because he's a professor of "black studies." Funny how someone like Thomas Sowell who operates in a REAL discipline doesn't garner such a title.

But you probably can't even imagine this in happening to a nice white guy like you, right?

Actually I can. As I write over my place in response to Steve's post here, I clearly said as much. I also said that there are myriad incidents where cops have gone overboard when those investigated didn't do a blessed thing to warrant it, unlike Gates and his behavior.

So, go back to your comfortable womb at DE Liberal, anonone, where you can call me a "racist" (again). Yet, while you're at it, maybe you can ask your cohorts there (since you're SOOO concerned about governmental "overreaction") about their feelings of those who believe in the 10th Amendment, etc. Hypocrite.

There is no way that the police have to fucking do more than establish that Gates was not improperly on the property. He did so. The cops needed to back off then.

Not necessarily. If Gates' behavior was exceedingly hostile, depending on the situation, the police could take action.

The funny thing is, if the cops had a "devil-may-care" attitude, Gates (and you and anonone) would still be irate because "the cops didn't care about a possible break-in at a 'pre-eminent' black scholar's house."

Nancy Willing said...

Hube doesn't think Black Studies is a real discipline....

Anonymous said...

Black Studies is a real discipline. So is Turf Management.

Anonymous said...

not racist, not even an iota. Gatres a loud mouth black panther wannabe scholar trumping up racial tension be screaming racism. He's clearly, and I mean clearly the asshole here and it has nothing to do with his race.

What a dick. The cops do deserve their badges...for putting up with ignorant assholes like Gates, a raise too!

rc said...

"Third, HE IS ONE OF AMERICA"S PREEMINENT SCHOLARS!"

Isn't that a discriminatory statement?

"But you probably can't even imagine this in happening to a nice white guy like you, right?"

As a "white" motorcyclist w/ long hair and numerous tatts I can tell exactly what it's like to be pulled over and searched at police gunpoint for no good reason on "more than one occasion"

Which has taught me, when dealing w/ police, to keep my mouth shut.

Unless you have a gun in your hand yelling at another man with a gun is stupid.

I'm glad to see that some are able to see that there may be issues here
that go beyond racism. rc