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Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

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  • Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

    I conducted an informal survey of friends and family over the last few days, most of whom voted for Obama and rank themselves supporters.

    It seems that at least here in Massachusetts, there are quite a few regular people that "lost a lot of respect for Obama."

    I'd wager the recent evening off period of this index is over.
    Last edited by Slimprofits; 07-26-09, 02:58 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

    Maybe I've just lost my f&%$ing mind, but how does the Commander In Chief wade into a local matter so blindly? Especially with such disastrous consequences?

    It seems like the President is the first truly 24/7 President, having to be in the public, out in the open for 24 hours of every day, seven days a week. As the first 24/7 President, he is starting to see just how badly it will bite him in the ass for being so overexposed. He has set the precedent that he must personally comment on every headline made by the MSM, and he needs to quickly correct this course if he wishes to increase his clout.


    • #3
      Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

      Originally posted by Ghent12 View Post
      Maybe I've just lost my f&%$ing mind, but how does the Commander In Chief wade into a local matter so blindly? Especially with such disastrous consequences?
      He lost his mind, not you.


      • #4
        Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

        I never thought Obama was as smart as the MSM wanted us to believe.
        And not as smart as they believed.

        It's so easy to appear really smart when following such a poor act - "Dumbya".


        • #5
          Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

          Originally posted by Ghent12 View Post
          Maybe I've just lost my f&%$ing mind, but how does the Commander In Chief wade into a local matter so blindly? Especially with such disastrous consequences?

          Well the fact that he knows Mr. Gates, and has been described as a friend may have something to do with it. We have no way of knowing.


          • #6
            Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

            Originally posted by Raz View Post
            I never thought Obama was as smart as the MSM wanted us to believe.
            And not as smart as they believed.

            It's so easy to appear really smart when following such a poor act - "Dumbya".

            It's pretty hard not to mess up once in a while. If I had a dollar for everytime someone said to me, "I can't believe you said that."

            The comparison to Bush helps.


            • #7
              Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

              Originally posted by cjppjc View Post
              Well the fact that he knows Mr. Gates, and has been described as a friend may have something to do with it. We have no way of knowing.
              You're right, but the President comments on so many things and seems to personalize so many issues.

              Besides, [not directed at you] how dare a police officer interact with a friend of the President!


              • #8
                Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

                I knew when I heard Obama use the words " Behaved Stupidly" that it would come back to bite him. But I can't really fault him for it, as that was my first impression before hearing more of the facts. Only he should have kept his thoughts to himself until more facts were known. A President should know that. Nobody is perfect, and you can bet he's learned a lesson on this one. I was not an Obama supporter, but I kind of like his personal approach to things. And I think his idea of a meeting between all three at the White House is a good idea, ( even if its only a political stunt, it sets a good example). Obama understands far better than Bush ever did the concept of leadership.

                I had previously watched a documentary by Gates and was also shocked to hear he was arrested, as he is not your typical "chip on his shoulder" race relations "expert". He seemed like a very fair person in regards to how he saw racial stuff. And I knew he walked with a cane, so I didn't see him as being any threat to the officer. I think the guy was very frustrated at having to jimmy his own lock to get in and the cop showing up was the last straw. He lost his cool and overreacted. He jumped to the conclusion that he was being profiled. Wrong thing to do but it happens.


                • #9
                  Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

                  The real meat and potatoes:

                  Today, Henry Gates; Tomorrow, You
                  by Kelley B. Vlahos, July 28, 2009

                  After a week, the turbid tale of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and the Cambridge police has finally settled into the tedium of the 24-hour news cycle, singularly focused – but predictably superficial – in its debate over whether race played a prevailing role in Gates’ doorstep arrest on July 16.
                  That happens when a black, liberal scholar charges the white police officer who arrested him with racial profiling, and when the president, who happens to be black, says the police acted "stupidly" for doing so. The debate has thus found its shopworn but comfortable partisan trajectory, with Democrats using Gates to reopen a "dialogue" on race relations that forever churns but goes nowhere, and Republicans, largely represented by the right-wing blogosphere, loyally falling in behind the cops, holding the Thin Blue Line on the political front.

                  It has become a timeless political and media waltz, one that serves neither side, especially the actual victims of racial profiling.
                  But an interesting and even momentarily hopeful thing happened in that fertile space of time between when a news story breaks and the mainstream media’s wagons circle a simple, safe narrative. People started talking about the police. And civil liberties. The phrase "contempt of cop," referring to bogus arrests triggered when an officer perceives a challenge to his authority (typically when an individual in an exchange refuses to fully cooperate, is deemed disrespectful, asks too many questions, or asserts his rights), was invoked in relation to Gates in places as mainstream as National Public Radio.
                  On both the Left and the Right, commentators and bloggers were reflecting – however briefly – on their own relationships with police, and the ever widening gulf between “civilians” and cops, made more pronounced by post-9/11 hyper-criminalization and 21st-century communications like cell-phone cameras and YouTube. Early critics wondered openly not only about racial profiling – which remains an important touchstone here – but about police egos and the punishment for not keeping one’s mouth shut.
                  “What I see as more significant [than race] is the phenomenon of persons being arrested who challenge the authority of police,” David Rudovsky, senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia, told the Christian Science Monitor on July 24, in a discussion of "contempt of cop" charges. “It’s street punishment.”
                  Former congressman and federal prosecutor Bob Barr agrees. "Reducing this simply to a racial conversation pretty much guarantees future problems," he said in an interview with "The fact of the matter is, this situation raises troubling questions about citizens being required to be overly submissive and condescended to by police." Sure, the badge should be respected, he added, but if the police are acting unreasonably, "I don’t think the citizenry ought to sit back and take it."
                  Frustratingly, others suggest passivity is the only viable approach when dealing with police: "So you want to make friends, join the glee club," writes Neely Tucker at the Washington Post. "You want to yell at people who are lousy at their jobs, go to a Redskins game. But, all things considered, Don’t Mess With Cops. It usually works out better that way."
                  Michael Mechanic cuts to the quick in his own take for Mother Jones: "I understand Gates’ indignance and what he must have been feeling at that moment. … But get righteous on a street cop and you will lose every single goddamn time. Gates should have known as much."
                  So we have become a nation of passive, potential suspects, and often it is the random circumstance like a jammed door that can bring it all down, superseding in an instant everything else – background, race, social class, pristine criminal records – everything.
                  One year ago Wednesday, Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo found this out most horrifically while he and his mother-in-law were restrained with cuffs by county police and shoved onto his kitchen floor. As he lay face-to-face with the bloody corpses of the beloved family dogs – which had been summarily shot by police moments earlier – Calvo must have wondered how his own seemingly solid identity as good neighbor and community leader had so quickly evaporated with the firepower of the SWAT team now swaggering around his Maryland home.
                  Unlike Gates, Calvo was in plastic handcuffs before he could even demand, "Do you know who I am?!"
                  The cops had busted down the Calvo’s door on a no-knock warrant (that we know now never existed) with the intent of arresting him for the 32-pound package of marijuana that had been delivered by the mailman and was sitting on his doorstep. But the package wasn’t meant for him; it was part of a drug dealer’s mail-order scheme (that the police were already aware of), involving unwitting residential addressees. The mayor and his wife were later cleared, but to date the police have not apologized for killing the dogs and have maintained the circumstances at the time warranted the paramilitary response. The Calvos are reportedly suing the Prince George’s County Police and Sheriff’s Office, but as this February recount suggests, the psychological trauma is enduring.
                  In a separate request for a civil rights inquiry last August, Calvo invoked a 2006 study by Radley Balko and Joe Berger that found botched law enforcement raids had increased across the country, along with the frequency of SWAT "call-outs" – 3,000 a year to 40,000 in 2001:
                  "More disturbing, we now have received reports of similar misconduct involving other innocent homeowners, including invasion of the homes of other innocent county residents and killing of other innocent family pets. This appears to be a pattern and practice in our law enforcement agencies where a lack of training and supervision is apparent."
                  Patti Davis, daughter of the late president Ronald Reagan, gave voice to what many law-abiding, white suburbanites were likely thinking when they eyed the clean-cut images of the pre-raid Calvos, smiling as they walked the black Labradors they had loved as their own children:
                  "We have all been living in a climate of ’shoot (or accuse) first, ask questions later.’ And that attitude is contagious. … Prince George’s official county Web site defines itself as ‘a county of livable communities.’ That’s what we all wish for – a livable community, a home where we feel safe. We want to feel that if the bad guys come, we can call the police and they will be the good guys. We want to believe that if we’re innocent, armed men with government badges won’t handcuff us and shoot our pets and wave their weapons in our faces.
                  "But more and more of us don’t believe that."
                  Just a month ago, a 72-year-old grandmother was tased by a patrolman twice her size after she refused to cooperate during a routine traffic stop. As the video shows, grandma was being stubborn, used at least one expletive, and would not comply with the officer’s request to sign a speeding ticket and stand two steps away, behind her truck. He tased her, leaving her writhing on the ground, mewling eerily like an injured animal.
                  This recalls the case of 71-year-old Eunice Crowder in Portland, Ore., in 2003. Allegedly hard of hearing and vision, she tangled with a city worker who was cleaning up her yard on a warrant. Police were brought in. Her glass eye popped out when they hit her in the head. She was pushed to the dirt and tased three times. She eventually settled for $145,000 in a suit against the city.
                  Of course, not all Taser tales end with a fat check for the victim. In the now infamous "Don’t Tase Me Bro!" incident at the University of Florida in 2007, school officials determined the police were quite right in tasing student Andrew Meyer, who refused to stop shouting questions at John Kerry after the senator gave a speech. Meyer might have been the butt of a few jokes (a 50,000-volt shock to the body is funny!), but the fact that police and other government officials continue to defend the growing use of Tasers to immobilize individuals, even children and the mentally ill, even when it kills people, is nothing to laugh at.
                  Surely outrage is in short supply. Often it seems futile. Public officials more often than not take the side of police, maintaining a nearly religious deference to law enforcement that cannot be brooked by video evidence or a disgruntled citizenry.
                  Take this guaranteed cringe-worthy video. It depicts clearly unhinged Oklahoma state trooper Daniel Martin choking paramedic Maurice White while a patient waits inside an idling ambulance on the way to the hospital. While it is obvious to anyone watching that Martin had no regard for the fate of the patient (he even appears to threaten her family members as they beg him to release White) his ego-driven, unprovoked physical attack on the paramedic lands him a mere five-day suspension and an anger management class.
                  "There are no more checks and balances in these sorts of situations, and there need to be," charges Barr. "Public officials need not be afraid to say, yes, we respect our police, but they make mistakes and we need to look into this."
                  Journalists aren’t immune either, like Asa Eslocker, who was manhandled and arrested by Denver police while he was trying to cover a story during the Democratic National Convention last November. His alleged crime? Refusing to leave a public sidewalk in front of a hotel where a number of VIPs were gathering.
                  Not surprisingly, after being hauled to jail in handcuffs, the charges were dropped.
                  Carlos Miller, a Miami journalist, recently started a blog describing his own arrest after he refused to cease photographing a traffic stop on a public street. In April, he linked to a video of two El Paso journalists being arrested for covering the scene of an accident (in other words, doing their jobs), and more recently, a tape of an Idaho man being sodomized by a police Taser. The officers in that case have been "disciplined," according to news reports.
                  Unfortunately, while members of the so-called elite media like James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, acknowledge that "arresting Professor Gates was an unwise use of the officer’s authority," exploring this theme further seems unworthy of their attention. If they had, they’d easily find a body of case law defending Gates’ position. See Poocha and Duranfor examples of men who were much more belligerent toward police than Gates but whose First Amendment right to free speech ultimately shielded them from conviction.
                  Now that should be the story. But as of Sunday, Gates has merely sparked what the Washington Post tiredly calls "a national conversation on race and law enforcement." Baloney. The "national conversation" merely allows the media to go on virtual autopilot while the he-said-she-said/black versus white narrative takes over, leaving any analysis of the law enforcement part a lifeless afterthought.
                  Even Taranto’s explanation, that the original Sturm und Drang occurred between "two stubborn men," is a cop-out. As Maureen Dowd said Saturday, "the strong guy with the gun has more control than the weak guy with the cane." That might be the best place to start, if a real conversation is what we’re after.


                  • #10
                    Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

                    Excellent read. Thanks.

                    Another place to begin is by taking a good look at our increasingly amoral and dysfunctional society.

                    As Adams said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.
                    It is wholly inadequate to the governence of any other.”

                    Perhaps the Christians aren't completely wrong.


                    • #11
                      Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

                      Here's a short piece on Kelly Vlahos' article:


                      Doing 55 in a 54
                      Matt Barganier, July 28, 2009

                      Kelley Vlahos has a great piece today on the Henry Gates affair and the larger problems of which it’s a symptom. One such problem is the ever increasing number of pretexts on which the authorities can interrogate, search, assault, and arrest citizens. The authority figure, equipped with endless excuses to initiate an interaction with the citizen, from an expired tag to a false burglar alarm to an alleged whiff of what might be a controlled substance, uses his or her superior knowledge of legal arcana to find some way to put the citizen behind bars. For instance, what struck me when reading the policeman’s account of the Gates incident was a small detail: the repeated use of the term “tumultuous.” It appears three times in the brief report in descriptions of Gates’ behavior. Why was the cop fixated on this SAT word?

                      Turns out, it appears in the Massachusetts statute defining disorderly conduct. The cop goaded the agitated Gates into stepping outside of his house (he made sure to give a reason for this in the report – poor acoustics in Gates’ kitchen!) to create the grounds for an arrest. The cop already knew the specific – though vague and debatable – adjective he should use in his report to make the charge sound incontestable to the lawnorder crowd.

                      The proliferation of new laws in the wake of 9/11, all full of vague and debatable terms, has given the authorities infinite points of entry into all of our lives. They truly can arrest first and read the statutes later; you’re sure to have done something wrong. Even if they eventually drop the charges or fail to convict you, don’t count on getting any compensation for your anxiety, lost time, injuries, or legal fees.

                      An analogous situation prevails in international affairs, where the global police churn out endless legal pretexts for subjecting whole countries to full body-cavity searches, house arrest, assault, and capital punishment, and we’re watching it play out yet again in the case of Iran. But that’s a post for another day.


                      • #12
                        Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

                        "The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. "

                        AYN RAND

                        Yeah, when I heard that police report I could tell the officer was writing it as he was trained to, not off the cuff like many believe. I still think Gates probably overreacted.


                        • #13
                          Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

                          Originally posted by flintlock View Post
                          "The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. "

                          AYN RAND

                          Yeah, when I heard that police report I could tell the officer was writing it as he was trained to, not off the cuff like many believe. I still think Gates probably overreacted.
                          "One sure sign of encroaching tyranny is the existence of so many laws that the educated and informed classes are unable to enumerate them."

                          THOMAS JEFFERSON


                          • #14
                            Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

                            Thought we could use another professional opinion on this matter.

                            Heather Mac Donald
                            Obama’s Ignorant Attack on Cops
                            The president ought to know how much inner-city neighborhoods owe to good policing.

                            29 July 2009

                            The arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. outside his home on July 16 has triggered a familiar media frenzy on the topic of race and policing. Nothing that has emerged to date suggests that Cambridge Police Sergeant James Crowley was motivated by racial bias in arresting Gates for disorderly conduct. The broader discussion about whether the police in general are biased has been in turn characterized by two standard lacunae: silence about minority crime rates and about the massive benefits to urban neighborhoods from proactive policing. This latter omission is particularly unfortunate. Public safety is the absolute precondition for reviving city economies once the recession starts to ease. President Barack Obama’s reckless embrace of discredited ACLU stereotypes about the police last week puts that precondition at risk.

                            Go to any inner-city police-community meeting, and you will hear the following message from residents: We want more police and more law-enforcement activity. In the many such meetings that I have attended, from the Bronx to South Central Los Angeles, I have never witnessed complaints about police brutality or racial profiling. Instead, I have heard: “Why aren’t you getting the dealers off the streets?” Or: “Why are the dealers back on the corner the day after you arrest them?” Or: “Youth are congregating outside my building; can you please enforce the loitering laws?” (Answer: No, the courts won’t let us.) Or: “Drivers are blasting their car stereos at top volume; can you stop them?” Ghetto residents, in other words, desire the same quality of life and freedom from fear that residents of more affluent areas enjoy.

                            In decades past, the often-justified racial rap against the police was that they ignored this hunger for order in poor, minority neighborhoods. A policing revolution in New York City that began in the nineties, however, ended such callous neglect. Police Commissioner William Bratton began holding his precinct commanders accountable for every crime that occurred on their watch, whether on Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan or 125th Street in Harlem. The NYPD began obsessively analyzing crime data on a minute-by-minute basis and deploying officers to high-crime areas. This policing revolution, known as Compstat, triggered the most important public-policy achievement of the last quarter-century. Crime in New York has dropped 77 percent from 1990 to 2008, a deeper and more sustained crime decline than in any other U.S. city.

                            Nowhere have the effects of this crime drop been more startling than in the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Children no longer sleep in bathtubs to avoid stray bullets; they can even be seen riding bikes on streets once dominated by drug gangs. Elderly residents can walk to the grocery store without worrying about getting robbed. Vacant lots that had served as breeding grounds for crime and disorder have been snapped up and developed; national chain stores have moved into areas that they had long shunned, bringing jobs and desperately needed consumer choices. And over 10,000 minority males have been spared the bullet that would have taken their lives had New York’s homicides remained at their 1990 peak of 2,262, rather than dropping to 516 in 2008.

                            The data-driven Compstat method sends officers to neighborhoods where crime is highest; it doesn’t pay attention to race. But given black crime rates, proactive urban policing will inevitably produce disparate stop and arrest rates. In New York City, for example, blacks commit about 82 percent of all shootings, though they are 24 percent of the population; whites commit less than 1 percent of shootings, though they are 35 percent of the population. Such disparities—which are typical of violent crime across the country—mean that when the police are searching for a gun suspect, they will almost never be stopping whites based on a victim identification but will disproportionately be questioning blacks. As long as crime rates remain so unevenly distributed racially, police activity will be as well. (As for car stops, the other frequent target of ACLU propaganda, Bureau of Justice Statistics surveys show that black and white drivers are stopped at identical rates.)

                            President Obama’s ignorant attack on the police during his July 22 press conference for picking up blacks and Hispanics “more frequently and often time for no cause” jeopardizes the public-safety gains in every city where the police have brought crime down since the early 1990s. When activists and politicians, not to mention the President of the United States, accuse the police of bias, some officers decide that proactive policing is not worth the risk to their jobs and reputations. It’s easier to wait for someone to be shot than to try to get that gun off the street before it is used. No government welfare program has come close to effective policing in reviving inner-city neighborhoods. If President Obama wants to continue that urban success story, he should acknowledge the value of policing and the hard work of the countless inner-city officers who tell themselves every day they go out on patrol: “I work for the good people of this neighborhood.”

                            Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor of City Journal, the John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute


                            • #15
                              Re: Henry Gates, Sgt. Crowley and President Obama

                              Heather's comments entirely miss the point. . .

                              Systemic Not Stupid

                              Cops Gone Wild

                              By DAVE LINDORFF
                              Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley has gone whining to his professional organization, the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Assn., asking for support in calling for President Obama to apologize for saying he acted "stupidly" in arresting Harvard Prof. Henry Gates after first suspecting the prominent African-American scholar of being a burglar caught breaking into Gates' own home.
                              Sgt. Crowley claims he was totally justified in making the arrest on a charge of "disorderly conduct" (later dropped by the police), because Gates, who actually had been forced to break into his own home during a return from a speaking tour in China when the front door was stuck, had allegedly become "enraged" when the officer confronted him and asked for identification. Crowley claims that Gates called him names, called him a racist, and threatened to file a complaint against him, and that as a result he arrested him.
                              President Obama said that this arrest, made after Gates had shown the officer both his Harvard faculty ID and also his drivers license, showing that he in fact lived in the residence in question, was stupid, but in truth it was much worse than that. It was a blatant abuse of power--one that has become all to common, and accepted, in today's America, where every cop's a "hero."
                              Sgt. Crowley, a large man with the power of arrest, armed with a gun and the authority to use it, was never physically threatened by the 5'8" Gates, a 58-year old man who walks with the aid of a cane. He simply didn't like being called names and yelled at by an irate citizen, and so he slapped on the cuffs and dragged the offending perp downtown for booking.
                              Crowley's cop backers, and the predictable right-wing punditry, claim that he is owed an apology by President Obama, because the president directed his criticism "at the wrong person." They say it was Gates who behaved "stupidly."
                              That is to say, in their view if a police officer comes into your house and accuses you of being a burglar, you are "stupid" if you protest--especially if you are a black man and you suspect that the officer in question made his assumption because you are black. In the view of these "superior" officers, and of Sgt. Crowley, the appropriate behavior for a citizen confronted by a police officer is abject submissiveness, a Buddha-like calmness, and, of course, deferential politeness.
                              Now I suppose it might be the better idea, if you don't want any trouble, to say "Sir" to a cop who stops you or who asks for ID, but what the hell kind of country is that? Where does it say that if you feel wronged by the police you have no right to tell them what you think?
                              Things have gone seriously wrong when police feel justified in slapping cuffs on people who stand up for themselves and speak their minds.
                              I would agree that President Obama was wrong to say Sgt. Crowley had been stupid to arrest Gates. He should have said Sgt. Crowley had abused his power.
                              I know police have a tough and dangerous job. I have twice in my life called police when I thought there was an intruder in my house (once it was true), and I'm glad they are quick to show up when called. But American police are not Roman centurions, whatever they may think. They are public servants--and indeed, because of their awesome power of arrest and their deadly sidearms, they are servants with a special duty to use their power responsibly and in the most measured of ways.
                              In response to my article yesterday on this site, I received a lot of mail, most of it supportive, and much of it consisting of accounts by people, black and white, of occasions when they had been threatened or abused by out-of-control police. But one woman's letter stands out. The wife of a veteran police officer who died in 1984 in the line of duty, she offered the following:
                              "My first husband was a police officer for 9 years. He never arrested people in such a situation. He would have asked for I.D.,then told the professor that he was simply answering a call. And furthermore,he would have offered to help the professor and his driver, and/or suggested a locksmith. My husband was very polite, college-educated and tried to simply diffuse every situation instead of escalating it. He said any police officer who makes a lot of arrests for disorderly conduct and/or resisting arrest needs to be retrained. He said it's a red flag for a problem officer.
                              "In his 9 years on the P.D.(killed in the line of duty unfortuantely), he made record number of arrests and never had a complaint, because he was respectful and fair in dealing with the public.
                              "He (Crowley) totally mishandled this call."
                              For another perspective, consider this note from Aleksandar Kostich, an attorney in the felony unit of the Albuquerque, NM public defender's office. Kostich writes:
                              "I believe that in the misdemeanor division they get a lot of that type of thing. What I see in my own practice with regularity is the cops using (public disorder charges) to detain, search, etc.--basically what is referred to as a pretextual stop or detain. The Albuquerque Police are notorious for this, and for doing it more often to African American folks."
                              He adds, "The problem is really systemic in my opinion."
                              Sure Prof. Gates could have avoided the whole thing if he'd played nice, thanked the officer for suspecting him and demanding his ID, and sent him on his way with a friendly wave. But if the professor felt he was being racially profiled, and was pissed about it, then right or wrong, why should he have to shut up and take what he perceived as biased treatment from a cop? He had surrendered his documents. That was his only obligation (and even there, he could have, if he'd wanted, demanded that the officer return with a warrant first).
                              President Obama should not apologize to Crowley. Nor should Prof. Gates. Crowley, if he is as good as he says he is, and as sensitive to racial issues as he claims he is, should apologize to Gates, both for suspecting him, and for the wrongful arrest. If he does that, I suspect Gates will apologize too, for calling Crowley a racist.
                              The bottom line here is that a man was arrested in his home after falsely being suspected of being a burglar by a policeman who made the arrest soley out of pique at being disrespected by the man he was wrongly suspecting.
                              If we still live in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, it seems clear to me who should be apologizing in this case.

                              Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). He can be reached at