Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

    Cambridge Police Unit Demands Apology From Obama for 'Stupidly' Remark

    The Cambridge and area police unions voiced their support Friday for Sgt. James Crowley and called for an apology from President Obama for saying officers "acted stupidly" for arresting black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home.

    "His remarks were obviously misdirected but made it worse yet by suggesting somehow this case should remind us of a history of racial abuse by law enforcement," Dennis O'Connor, president of the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association, said at a news conference.

    O'Connor also referred to statements made by Governor Deval Patrick -- the state's first black governor -- who called the arrest "every black man's nightmare."

    "Whatever may be the history, we deeply resent the implications and reject any suggestion that in this case or any other case that they've allowed a person's race to direct their activities. However we hope they will reflect upon their past comments and apologize to the men and women of the Cambridge Police Department," O'Connor said.

    Obama has said he was surprised by the controversy sparked by his comments. White House spokesman Roberts Gibbs said Friday that the President regrets that the media have gotten all worked up over the controversy and been distracted from other more substantive issues such as health care.

    Obama's remarks sparked outrage among many police officers who say the criticism could make it harder for police to work with people of color and set back the progress of race relations that helped Obama become the nation's first black president.

    Gates was arrested July 16 by Sgt. James Crowley, who was first to respond to the home the renowned black scholar rents from Harvard, after a woman reported seeing two black men trying to force open the front door. Gates said he had to shove the door open because it was jammed.

    He was charged with disorderly conduct after police said he yelled at the white officer, accused him of racial bias and refused to calm down after Crowley demanded Gates show him identification to prove he lived in the home. The charge was dropped Tuesday, but Gates has demanded an apology, calling his arrest a case of racial profiling.

    Obama was asked about Gates' arrest at the end of a nationally televised news conference on health care Wednesday night and began his response by saying Gates was a friend and he didn't have all the facts.

    "But 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."Source
    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6A00DsL1ao[/media]
    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snCRbLUs5cg[/media]
    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAoJfmQxpXs[/media]
    President Obama really "stepped in it" when he drew the ire of the powerful Police Union. I can't believe they are asking the President of the United States for an apology. But I guess that shows how powerful they really are, and how speaking out against them is just automatic political suicide. Its really hard for a politician to get elected, or re-elected, without that almighty police endorsement come election time as well.
    Last edited by mp40x; 07-24-2009, 07:26 PM.
    |TG-X| mp40x



    Register for the Forums! | Get on Teamspeak! | Play Squad! | Join Discord! | Support Tactical Gamer!


  • #2
    Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

    Of course, the idea that the police union might have a legitimate complaint couldn't be a part of it. No, its got to be that they just have too much power and can demand whatever they want from the President, right?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

      From what I've heard and read about the incident, it looks like a misunderstanding that got blown out of proportion and is being exacerbated by the media.

      IMO both sides should acknowledge their mistakes and move on. Obama's comment, justified or not, didn't help.



      TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

        Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
        Of course, the idea that the police union might have a legitimate complaint couldn't be a part of it. No, its got to be that they just have too much power and can demand whatever they want from the President, right?
        I dont like police unions as a whole. The idea that private outside organizations can have an effect on law making and public policy to me is outside the scope of what the police are supposed to be. Public servants, not well funded political organizations with lobbyists in Washington with the ability to sway elections, with their endorsement and money, so that "their guy" can get into office to further promote their agenda and increased law enforcement budgets. And no I don't think that the police union should be holding press conferences demanding apologies, in an effort to exercise their political might and protect their reputation. The district attorney has already dropped the charges against Professor Gates, so that might show that the arrest was unfounded.
        |TG-X| mp40x



        Register for the Forums! | Get on Teamspeak! | Play Squad! | Join Discord! | Support Tactical Gamer!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

          Originally posted by mp40x View Post
          I dont like police unions as a whole. The idea that private outside organizations can have an effect on law making and public policy to me is outside the scope of what the police are supposed to be. Public servants, not well funded political organizations with lobbyists in Washington with the ability to sway elections, with their endorsement and money, so that "their guy" can get into office to further promote their agenda and increased law enforcement budgets. And no I don't think that the police union should be holding press conferences demanding apologies, in an effort to exercise their political might and protect their reputation. The district attorney has already dropped the charges against Professor Gates, so that might show that the arrest was unfounded.
          First off, the police officers of this country may be public servants, but that does not make them indentured servants. They have just as much right to form organizations to represent their needs and wants as any other group of american citizens. should auto workers be disallowed to have unions with lobbyists in washington who can sway elections? I mean really, all THEY do is make cars. Preposterous. The police are absolutely entitled to have representation insofar as our government is concerned. We are a nation founded on representation of the people. Remember the Boston Tea Party? "Taxation without representation"? They're called cornerstones.

          As far as the arrest of Dr. Gates, from what I've read, the police did their job to the letter. They received a report of suspicious activity (possible break in), arrived at the scene, made contact and requested identification. Dr. Gates then, apparently, became belligerent with the officer on the scene and immediately threw down the race card. When he refused to present identification and continued his tirade, he was arrested for creating a public disturbance, which he was doing.

          So tell me this, you get home from a vacation. A police officer shows up and knocks on the door. He says there has been a report of a break in. You say no, and you live there. He asks you for identification to confirm your story (and presumably make sure you're not a burglar who is just trying to play it off). Are you going to say no? Anyone in their rational mind wouldnt. You'd take 4 seconds to pull out your drivers license and show the officer, to which he/she will tell you to "have a nice day" and then leave to go back about his/her business.

          But apparently Dr. Gates felt the need to immediately turn it into a race issue. Even after the officer reportedly explained calmly to Dr. Gates that the only reason they needed to check ID was to make sure that he was actually the resident of the house, per standard procedure.

          The reason the charges were dropped mp40x, is not because they were unfounded. It is because it garnered major media attention and the police department didnt want it to get any bigger than it had. It was a smart public relations move. Could the initial situation with the arrest have been handled better? Maybe. None of us knows because none of us were there. But judging by the amount of media attention the issue has picked up, and seeing as no disciplinary action has been taken against any of the officers involved, it was probably a righteous arrest.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

            The spokesman during the news conference was asked if they were demanding an apology and he responded that they were not, but would welcome such an apology once facts surrounding the whole thing are public. The changed headline is accurate.

            As for the President's comment, he shot himself down right off the bat by saying he had a bias and he didn't know all the facts.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

              So not sure what to make of this...

              Was the officer reacting to race, or was he reacting to a man yelling at him? Why if given the ID which proved that Prof. Gates was the resident of the home and a Harvard Educator did the officer feel it was necessary to make an arrest? If such an arrest was warranted why did the officer wait until the Gates stepped outside to make the arrest? I can understand the officer being upset if he was being accused of racial bias, but how would arresting Prof Gates help the situation? I don't understand the officerís mindset.

              As for Gates, you have police knocking on the door saying there was a report of a break-in, I want to say he over-reacted, but I would be angered beyond reproach if I had to 'prove' that I was indeed inside my own home. I understand that if approached by the police it is by nature (and in many states law) part of the process to properly identify yourself. But all considering, Prof Gates must have been at least understanding that the officer was merely responding to a call to look into something that someone else called the police to report.

              I for one would like to hear the 911 call, or the report that was made which sent the police out to that address to begin with. I would also like to hear the dispatchers recording of the events to see if it would shed any light to the mindset of the people involved. In the end this looks like a case of things being blown way out of proportion...

              As for the President... He should have said 'no comment' and ended it there. By putting his foot in his mouth he only made things exponentially worse. Don't get me wrong I like the guy, but as of late it seems like he has been committing political suicide, and this didn't help.

              Now the biggest unanswered question I have from all of this: Why the heck did a reporter ask a purely racially motivated question following a press-conference set up specifically to talk about health care? One more reason to hate the majority of the media...

              ~ Draken

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

                Originally posted by mp40x View Post
                I dont like police unions as a whole. The idea that private outside organizations can have an effect on law making and public policy to me is outside the scope of what the police are supposed to be. Public servants, not well funded political organizations with lobbyists in Washington with the ability to sway elections, with their endorsement and money, so that "their guy" can get into office to further promote their agenda and increased law enforcement budgets. And no I don't think that the police union should be holding press conferences demanding apologies, in an effort to exercise their political might and protect their reputation. The district attorney has already dropped the charges against Professor Gates, so that might show that the arrest was unfounded.
                I'm not terribly keen on the idea of unions in general. I think they frequently gain too much power and use that power to make unreasonable demands. But that is not their only reason for existence. Unions came about originally because some perfectly reasonable demands need to be made, and the people had to join together to find a way to make them.

                My point is that the demands of a union should be judged on their own merits, and not purely based on whether you think the union in question is too strong or not. And in this particular case, the union's request seems to be perfectly reasonable.

                The President started by issuing a disclaimer that he didn't really know what he was talking about, and then went on to criticize a public servant in a way that seems more and more untenable the more we learn about the case. If the President wanted to say that now that he has more information, his earlier assessment seems to have been mistaken, I'd be happy to let that ride on the basis of his disclaimer. But if he's going to let his uninformed statement stand even after we learn how wrong it was, then I'd say the police union is completely justified in requesting an apology.

                ==========

                Edit: Obama has issued a half-apology in the matter, which will probably be accepted as "good enough".
                Originally posted by Obama
                "I want to make clear that in my choice of words, I think I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge police department and Sgt. Crowley specifically. And I could've calibrated those words differently."
                Kind of a lame correction, but better than nothing.

                Also, Re: Draken:
                Originally posted by Draken
                Why if given the ID which proved that Prof. Gates was the resident of the home and a Harvard Educator did the officer feel it was necessary to make an arrest?
                The police claim he never did show any ID. Gates claims otherwise.\

                Originally posted by Police
                Patrolman Carlos Figueroa says he and Sgt. James Crowley were investigating a report of a burglary at Gates' home near Harvard University, and they needed to be sure everyone was in the house legally. He said that's why Crowley asked Gates for his identification.

                Figueroa said Gates shouted "No, I will not!" He also says Gates was shouting at Crowley, calling him a racist and saying, "This is what happens to black men in America!"
                (from here)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

                  Oh...There is a Links somewhere that BO called the Officer and "Apologized" for the comments. It didn't hurt that the Union was not backing down from this one..as is so easy to do in any case involving Race. If there was truly an issue, the officer and the Dept would have been held to task.

                  And Disorderly conduct is a pretty common charge when you have someone making a public "scene" when you are trying to conduct an investigation. Mostly it goes like this.. "Sir, please keep it down." ... "Sir, I don't want to tell you again or I will arrest you for DC.." ... Drunks at the hospital were big for this one...
                  |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
                  ..now where did I put my keys?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

                    Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                    First off, the police officers of this country may be public servants, but that does not make them indentured servants. They have just as much right to form organizations to represent their needs and wants as any other group of american citizens. should auto workers be disallowed to have unions with lobbyists in washington who can sway elections? I mean really, all THEY do is make cars. Preposterous. The police are absolutely entitled to have representation insofar as our government is concerned. We are a nation founded on representation of the people. Remember the Boston Tea Party? "Taxation without representation"? They're called cornerstones.
                    I understand your arguement. But auto workers don't have the power to arrest and deprive people of their freedom. Just to make a point I despise most of the lobbyists in Washington simply because of the curruption that they create. Law enforcement special interests groups, unions, and organizations are part of a much bigger problem. The US prison system in larger than any other nation in the world. We have 5% of the worlds population, but 25% of the worlds prisoners. Inmate Count in U.S. Dwarfs Other Nations'. Its these groups who advocate more prisons, more police, stiffer penalties and are big supporters of the War on drugs. If you think about it, more arrests actually drive up the crime rate. The more police there are, the higher the crime rate. Its such a perpetual self serving monster.
                    Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                    As far as the arrest of Dr. Gates, from what I've read, the police did their job to the letter. They received a report of suspicious activity (possible break in), arrived at the scene, made contact and requested identification. Dr. Gates then, apparently, became belligerent with the officer on the scene and immediately threw down the race card. When he refused to present identification and continued his tirade, he was arrested for creating a public disturbance, which he was doing.
                    I thought that he had already proven residency before he was arrested. I could be wrong though.
                    Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                    So tell me this, you get home from a vacation. A police officer shows up and knocks on the door. He says there has been a report of a break in. You say no, and you live there. He asks you for identification to confirm your story (and presumably make sure you're not a burglar who is just trying to play it off). Are you going to say no? Anyone in their rational mind wouldnt. You'd take 4 seconds to pull out your drivers license and show the officer, to which he/she will tell you to "have a nice day" and then leave to go back about his/her business.
                    Agreed.
                    Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                    But apparently Dr. Gates felt the need to immediately turn it into a race issue. Even after the officer reportedly explained calmly to Dr. Gates that the only reason they needed to check ID was to make sure that he was actually the resident of the house, per standard procedure.
                    Thats from the officers point of view. The fact is we don't know. Probably never will. I don't allows take law enforcements side of the story as fact.
                    Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                    The reason the charges were dropped mp40x, is not because they were unfounded. It is because it garnered major media attention and the police department didnt want it to get any bigger than it had. It was a smart public relations move. Could the initial situation with the arrest have been handled better? Maybe. None of us knows because none of us were there. But judging by the amount of media attention the issue has picked up, and seeing as no disciplinary action has been taken against any of the officers involved, it was probably a righteous arrest.
                    I agree it makes more sense to just drop a petty misdemeanor than suffer public scrutiny and national media attention. But I don't think it was a righteous arrest. He could have just got in his car and left. Regardless of how obnoxious the Professor was.
                    |TG-X| mp40x



                    Register for the Forums! | Get on Teamspeak! | Play Squad! | Join Discord! | Support Tactical Gamer!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

                      Originally posted by mp40x View Post
                      I agree it makes more sense to just drop a petty misdemeanor than suffer public scrutiny and national media attention. But I don't think it was a righteous arrest. He could have just got in his car and left. Regardless of how obnoxious the Professor was.
                      And what if the man then turned out to be an actual burglar? Gates claims to have shown ID, but the police claim that he never did -- and I suppose they could be lying. But supposing that they are telling the truth, they probably arrested him specifically to get a chance to properly investigate whether or not he actually lived there, since he had refused to prove it voluntarily. So their thought process under that logic would be, "arrest him for a minor thing, check his ID while booking, if it matches the owner all well and good and we can drop the charges. If it doesn't match the owner, charge him with burglary while we're at it."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

                        Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                        And what if the man then turned out to be an actual burglar? Gates claims to have shown ID, but the police claim that he never did -- and I suppose they could be lying. But supposing that they are telling the truth, they probably arrested him specifically to get a chance to properly investigate whether or not he actually lived there, since he had refused to prove it voluntarily. So their thought process under that logic would be, "arrest him for a minor thing, check his ID while booking, if it matches the owner all well and good and we can drop the charges. If it doesn't match the owner, charge him with burglary while we're at it."
                        Well, your arguement is based on the police claim that he never proved residency. Some one is taking liberties with the truth and its probably on both sides. But that does not take away from my opinion that the officer should have just got in his car and went on with more pressing matters. I don't think he was arrested because they wanted to take him in and check his ID. He was arrested for talking back to the officer, plain and simple, a challenge to the officers authority. The officer won, wich they always do.

                        But let me ask a question about something thats been bothering me about this whole thing. Who made that 911 call and why? Now its supposed to be a neighbor of Professor Gates. Right? Does that neighbor not know what Professor Gates looks like? I know what all of my neighbors back home look like and what cars they drive. It just seems kind of odd to me. Also, they said that a similar call came in the week before with the same complaint that there was a break-in at Professor Gates house. That seems awfully odd as well. What we really need to know is who made that call and if it was the same person that made the call the week prior. And it would be interesting to here the tape of that call too.
                        |TG-X| mp40x



                        Register for the Forums! | Get on Teamspeak! | Play Squad! | Join Discord! | Support Tactical Gamer!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

                          Originally posted by mp40x View Post
                          But that does not take away from my opinion that the officer should have just got in his car and went on with more pressing matters.
                          If you're being questioned on an identity issue by an officer, you cant just get in your car and leave. If you try, you get arrested for evasion.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

                            Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                            If you're being questioned on an identity issue by an officer, you cant just get in your car and leave. If you try, you get arrested for evasion.
                            Not the suspect. Mp40 is saying the policemen should have gone somewhere else, because home burglary isn't important enough to justify police time. They should be worrying about the really critical stuff like catching more speeders.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Professor Gates, Barack Obama, and the Cambridge Police.

                              Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                              Not the suspect. Mp40 is saying the policemen should have gone somewhere else, because home burglary isn't important enough to justify police time. They should be worrying about the really critical stuff like catching more speeders.
                              Gates was arrested because he mouthed off to the cops, nothing more or less. It wasn't to make sure he wasn't a thief or because he was disturbing the peace. He irritated a cop and the cop arrested him to show him who was boss.

                              Happens all the time and will continue to happen until we don't have cops.

                              What is the big fuss?
                              Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                              - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                              - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                              - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                              - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                              - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                              - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                              Comment

                              Connect

                              Collapse

                              TeamSpeak 3 Server

                              Collapse

                              Advertisement

                              Collapse

                              Twitter Feed

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X