Harvard Professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Arrested in Cambridge

pic-240-1211452Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., University professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Studies at Harvard, has been arrested while trying to break into his own house. A concerned neighbor called police when she saw Gates, 58, “wedging his shoulder in the front door [of Gates’ house] as to pry the door open.” Police say that he refused to give them his name, accused them of racism, and continued a loud altercation from his porch until his arrest for “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior.”

Police report that when an officer arrived at the scene, Gates became belligerent and allegedly shouted “[t]his is what happens to black men in America” when asked for identification. He also allegedly told the police repeatedly that “[y]ou don’t know who your [sic] messing with,” according to the report.

The Cambridge Police Department maintains that Gates created such a commotion on his porch that he drew a crowd.

Harvard Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. appears to have agreed to represent him — though these types of disorderly conduct charges are routinely dropped when they do not involve alcohol or drugs or property damage. This is not a major offense — Gates was released on a $40 bond.

Gates was awarded a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” in 1981 and was named one of Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Americans” in 1997.

The Cambridge Police entry merely states “On 7/16/09 at 12:44 PM, 58-year-old Henry Gates of 17 Ware St. Cambridge, MA was arrested for Disorderly conduct after exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior.”

Gates (who had just returned from China) has denied the police account, here. Ogletree says that Gates found his door damaged when he returned from China and entered through the back door. He and his driver then forced open the front door and brought his luggage in the house, according to Ogletree. Police state that when they arrived he was in his office and initially refused to come out and accused them of racism.

Rev. Al Sharpton has already descended on the scene to allege racism in the force and denounce the crime of living in a house while black.

UPDATE: As expected in the above blog, the charges have been dropped.

For the full story, click here.

57 thoughts on “Harvard Professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Arrested in Cambridge”

  1. Vince: “He showed proof of who he was and where he lived. The police report does not contradict Gates’s statement that he identified himself.”

    Mespo: Sorry Vince, but the report says that “…, I heard Sgt. Crowley ask for the gentleman’s information which he stated ‘NO I WILL NOT!’” Our putative victim then decided to launch into a tirade accusing the Sgt of being a racist, and then playing the pity card:”This is what happens to a black men in America”.

    Well, I sure don’t like to be told that I have misinformed the readers at this site. And, as a rule it is always important to read the entire document to see whether a selective quotation a) was taken out or context and b) tells the whole story. So let’s see first whether there is any other information in the report, and then let’s see both reports in their entirety.

    QUOTE: I asked Gates to provide me with photo identification so that I could verify that he resided at Ware Street and so that I could radio my findings to ECC. Gates initially refused, demanding that I show him identification but then did supply me with a Harvard University identification card. Upon learning that Gates was affiliated with Harvard, I radioed and requested the presence of the Harvard University Police. With the Harvard University identification in hand, I radioed my findings to ECC on channel two and prepared to leave. UNQUOTE

    So I think an unbiased reader of this post will agree that I was correct in my statement that “he [Gates] showed proof of who he was and where he lived.”

    I do not think Mespo gave the full story when he quoted the initial refusal selectively. Think my statement was correct, and Mespo was incorrect.

    The charges of disorderly conduct were dropped. There was no crime committed. Debate about the manners of either party can go on, and I will pass on that debate, but both Gates and the Police now agree that NO crime was committed. I agree with both Boston papers. The encounter was over when Gates identified himself. The police were overzealous.

    Finally, since context is important, here are the complete police reports so that readers can judge for themselves.

    QUOTE ON:
    Main Form
    Page 1 of2
    CAMBRIDGE PolicE DEPARTMENT
    CAMBRIDGE, MA
    Incident Report #9005127
    Report Entered: 07/16/2009 13:21:34
    Case Title
    Date[Tlme Reported
    0711612009 12:44:00
    Incident Type/Offense
    1.) DISORDERLY CONDUCT c272 S53 —
    Reporting Officer
    CROWLEY, JAMES (467)
    Persons
    Location
    WARE ST
    Date/Time Occurred
    to
    Approving Officer
    WILSON III,JOSEPH (213)
    Role Name
    WITNESS WHALEN, LUCIA
    Sex Race Age DOB
    40 H
    Phone Address
    C MA
    Offenders
    Status Name Sex Race Age DOB Phone Address
    DEFENDANT GATES, HENRY MALE BLACK 58- — f H LLJ I $WARE ST
    C CAMBRIDGE, MA
    VehiCles
    Property
    Class Description Make Model Serial # Value
    Narrative
    On Thursday Ju 16, 2009, Henry Gates, Jr. !I , of Ware Street, Cambridge, MA) was placed
    under arrest at Ware Street. after being observed exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior, in a public place,
    directed at a uniformed police officer who was present investigating a report of a crime in progress. These actions
    on the behalf of Gates served no legitimate purpose and caused citizens passing by this location to stop and take
    notice while appearing surprised and alarmed.
    On the above time and date, I was on uniformed duty in an unmarked police cruiser assigned to the
    Administration Section, working from 7:00 AM-3:30 PM. At approximately 12:44 PM, I was operating my cruiser
    on Harvard Street near Ware Street. At that time, I overheard an ECC broadcast for a possible break in
    progress at Ware Street. Due to my proximity, I responded.
    When I arrived at* Ware Street I radioed ECC and asked that they have the caller meet me at the front door to
    this residence. I was told that the caller was already outside. As I was getting this information, I climbed the porch
    stairs toward the front door. As I reached the door, a female voice called out to me. I turned and looked in
    the direction of the voice and observed a white female, later identified as Lucia Whalen. Whalen, who was
    standing on the sidewalk in front of the residence, held a wireless telephone in her hand and told me that it was she
    who called. She went on to tell me that she observed what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the
    porch of 0 Ware Street. She told me that her suspicions were aroused when she observed one of the
    men wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry. Since I was the only police officer on
    location and had my back to the front door as I spoke with her, I asked that she wait for other responding officers
    while I investigated further.
    Apt/Unit #
    http ://pd-rmsIQED//policepartner/common/crimeweb/incview/main.j sp?agencyCAM-PD… 7/20/2009
    Main Form Page 2 of 2
    As I turned and faced the door, I could see an older black male standing in the foyer of Ware Street. I made
    this observation through the glass paned front door. As I stood in plain view of this man, later identified as Gates, I
    asked if he would step out onto the porch and speak with me. He replied “no I will not”. He then demanded to know
    who I was. I told him that I was “Sgt. Crowley from the Cambridge Police” and that I was “investigating a report of a
    break in progress” at the residence. While I was making this statement, Gates opened the front door and
    exdaimed “why, because I’m a black man in America?”. I then asked Gates if there was anyone else in the
    residence. While yelling, he told me that it was none of my business and accused me of being a racist police
    officer. I assured Gates that I was responding to a citizen’s call to the Cambridge Police and that the caller
    was outside as we spoke. Gates seemed to ignore me and picked up a cordless telephone and dialed an unknown
    telephone number. As he did so, I radioed on channel 1 that I was off in the residence with someone who
    appeared to be a resident but very uncooperative. I then overheard Gates asking the person on the other end
    of his telephone call to “get the chier and “whaf s the chief’s name?”. Gates was telling the person on the
    other end of the call that he was dealing with a racist police officer in his home. Gates then turned to me and told
    me that I had no idea who I was “messing” with and that I had not heard the last of it. While I was led to believe
    that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he hibited toward
    me. I asked Gates to provide me with photo identification so that I could verify that he resided at Ware
    Street and so that I could radio my findings to ECC. Gates initially refused, demanding that I show him identification
    but then did supply me with a Harvard University identification card. Upon learning that Gates was affiliated with
    Harvard, I radioed and requested the presence of the Harvard University Police.
    With the Harvard University identification in hand, I radioed my findings to ECC on channel two and prepared
    to leave. Gates again asked for my name which I began to provide. Gates began to yell over my spoken words
    by accusing me of being a racist police officer and leveling threats that he wasn’t someone to mess with. At some
    point during this exchange, I became aware that Off. Carlos Figueroa was standing behind me. When Gates asked
    a third time for my name, I explained to him that I had provided it at his request two separate times. Gates
    continued to yell at me. I told Gates that I was leaving his residence and that if he had any other questions
    regarding the matter, I would speak with him outside of the residence.
    As I began walking through the foyer toward the front door, I could hear Gates again demanding my name.
    again told Gates that I would speak with him outside. My reason for wanting to leave the residence was that
    Gates was yelling very loud and the acoustics of the kitchen and foyer were making it difficult for me to
    transmit pertinent information to ECC or other responding units. His reply was “ya, I’ll speak with your mama
    outside”. When I left the residence, I noted that there were several Cambridge and Harvard University police
    officers assembled on the sidewalk in front of the residence. Additionally, the caller, Ms. Walen and at least seven
    unidentified passers-by were looking in the direction of Gates, who had followed me outside of the residence.
    As I descended the stairs to the sidewalk, Gates continued to yell at me, accusing me of racial bias and continued
    to tell me that I had not heard the last of him. Due to the tumultuous manner Gates had exhibited in his residence
    as well as his continued tumultuous behavior outside the residence, in view of the public, I warned Gates that
    he was becoming disorderly. Gates ignored my warning and continued to yell, which drew the attention of both
    the police officers and citizens, who appeared surprised and alarmed by Gates’s outburst. For a second time I
    warned Gates to calm down while I withdrew my department issued handcuffs from their carrying case.
    Gates again ignored my warning and continued to yell at me. It was at this time that I informed Gates that he was
    under arrest. I then stepped up the stairs, onto the porch and attempted to place handcuffs on Gates. Gates
    initially resisted my attempt to handcuff him, yelling that he was “disabled” and would fall without his cane. After the
    handcuffs were properly applied, Gates complained that they were too tight. I ordered Off. Ivey, who was
    among the responding officers, to handcuff Gates with his arms in front of him for his comfort while I secured
    a cane for Gates from within the residence. I then asked Gates if he would like an officer to take possession of
    his house key and secure his front door, which he left wide open. Gates told me that the door was un securable
    due to a previous break attempt at the residence. Shortly thereafter, a Harvard University maintenance
    person arrived on scene and appeared familiar with Gates. I asked Gates if he was comfortable with this
    Harvard University maintenance person securing his residence. He told me that he was.
    After a brief consultation with Sgt. Lashley and upon Gates’s request, he was transported to 125 6th. Street in
    a police cruiser (Carl, Off’s Graham and Ivey) where he was booked and processed by Off. J. P. Crowley.
    bttrv I/nd-rn, vJflPfl//nnl n tnr/n nn/nipu,ph/intvipw/rnin i cn?i aencvfl A M-PD 7flfl/W)flQ
    Main Form
    Page 1 of4
    CAMBRIDGE POLICE DEPARTMENT
    CAMBRIDGE, MA
    Incident Supplement #9005127 – 1
    Report Entered: 07/16/2009 13:52:50
    Not For Public Release
    Case Title
    DISORDERLY CONDUCY
    Date/Time Reported
    0711612009 12:44:00
    Incident TypelOffense
    1.) DISORDERLY CONDUCT c272 S53 —
    Reporting Officer
    FIGUEROA, CARLOS (509)
    Persons
    Sex Race Age DOB
    Location
    Date/Time Occurred
    to
    Approving Officer
    WILSON III,JOSEPH (213)
    WHALEN, LUCIA 40 H
    C —: MA
    Narrative
    On July 16, 2009 at approximately 12:44 PM, I Officer Figueroa#509 responded to an ECC broadcast for a possible
    break at Ware St. When I arrived, I stepped into the residence and Sgt. Crowley had already entered and was
    speaking to a black male.
    As I stepped in, I heard Sgt. Crowley ask for the gentleman’s information which he stated “NO I WILL NOT!”.
    The gentleman was shouting out to the Sgt. that the Sgt.. was a racist and yelled that “THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS
    TO BLACK MEN IN AMERICA!” As the Sgt. was trying to calm the gentleman, the gentleman shouted “ You don’t
    know who your messing with!”
    I stepped out to gather the information from the reporting person, WHALEN, LUCIA. Ms. Whalen stated to me that
    she saw a man wedging his shoulder into the front door as to pry the door open. As I returned to the residence,
    a group of onlookers were now on scene. The Sgt., along with the gentleman, were now on the porch of
    Ware St. and again he was shouting, now to the onlookers (about seven) ,“THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO LACK
    MEN IN AMERICA”! The gentleman refused to listen to as to why the Cambridge Police were there.
    While on the porch, the gentleman refused to be cooperative and continued shouting that the Sgt, is racist police
    officer.
    Basic Information
    [ Agency
    Incident #
    Report #
    Date
    Report Status
    CAM-PD
    9005127
    1
    07/16/2009
    12:44:00
    COMPLETED
    Je Title/Victim
    In
    cident Type/Offense
    Date/Time Printed: Mon )ul 20 13:58:11 EDT 2009 By: pcarterw
    Apt/Unit #
    Role Name
    Phone
    Address
    Offenders
    Status
    Name Sex Race Age DOB
    Phone
    Address
    Vehicles
    Property
    Class
    Description
    Make Model
    Serial #
    Value
    http://pd-rms/QED//policepartner/common/crimeweb/incview/main.jsp?agency=CAM-PD… 7/20/2009

    I am sure that it is available at many sites, and this is one of them:
    http://lawandorderroybean.blogspot.com/

  2. Mespo.

    “but I detest a bully– however pedigreed.”.

    Why are you so ready to assume that Professor Gates was bullying the poor innocent cop and not the other way around. How is it you have been following JT’s blog for so long without noticing the tendency for cops to be abusive bullies, no matter how lacking in pedigree.

  3. There are many forms of Jim Crow Etiquette. There is Jim Crow etiquette for blacks dealing with whites, Jim Crow etiquette for whites dealing with blacks, and Jim Crow Etiquette for whites talking about blacks (jurors considering a black defendant for example).

    What we have here I think is a white with power obeying Jim Crow Etiquette for whites with power dealing with a black and a black failing to obey Jim Crow etiquette for blacks dealing with whites.

    A white with power dealing with a black has the right and indeed the duty to show that he holds the black in contempt. Here is an example from a newspaper article of some years ago before the Internet age so I cannot provide a link.

    There used to be a column called “Murphy’s Law” in the Sydney Morning Herald written by a solicitor Chris Murphy. In this column the author high lighted absurdities of the Criminal (in)justice system much as JT does in this blog.

    As far as I can remember the story in one column went like this. An aboriginal man was in a hurry driving his pregnant wife to hospital when he was stopped by a white policeman for speeding. He indicated that he was in a hurry and asked could the policeman hurry up, but the policeman after writing a speeding ticket insisted on making him wait while he checked whether the car the aboriginal was driving was stolen. The aboriginal man responded with anger presumably using the usual sexual swear words that form 20% of the content of any private conversation between police and was arrested for the trifecta, that is the triple set of charges often used against aborigines, offensive behaviour, assaulting police and resisting arrest. The man’s wife was left to find her own way to hospital.

    The following is not from the article but is my interpretation and reading between the lines.

    The absurdity of the police pretending to believe that someone would use a stolen car to ferry his wife to hospital is obvious. Why would the policeman make such an absurd pretense? Because the car was driven by a nigger and it was the policeman’s right and indeed his duty to make his contempt of the nigger clear to the nigger. A statement not actually made by the policeman hangs in the air, it is “yes I know this is your car, you know that I know it is your car but you are a nigger and I have the right to make you wait while I radio for information that I already know.”

    It would take superhuman self control for a recipient of such an insult not to respond with the usual swear words, which then result in the arrest for offensive behaviour, the inevitable resistance to that arrest and the other two charges. Of course the policeman need not trouble himself about the pregnant wife stranded in the road, but then she was a nigger as well.

    I suspect that something very similar happened to Professor Gates. A white policeman obeying the dictates of Jim Crow etiquette for whites went out of his way to indicate his contempt for a nigger, the nigger responded with offensive uppity righteous indignation and his arrest and charging were the result. When Gates said “you don’t know who I am” he was correct as the policeman assumed that he was someone who would have no more credibility in contradicting the word of a cop than the usual street corner drug dealer but he had by mistake picked one of the few niggers in the city acknowledged even by whites to belong to the respectable classes.

    I hope Professor Gates pursues this to the limit. As in the case of the Tulia 1999/2000 cocaine prosecutions, the things that come to light are a tiny selection from a plethora of similar incidents of injustice that are forever hidden.

  4. “The sergeant said he was forced to step out of the home because of Gates’ uncomfortably loud yelling,”

    Really is this believable? The poor widdle policeman had to go outside because the nasty nigger yelled at him.

    The more I look through this thread the more I come to the view that Gates was dealt with in an insulting manner that legitimately made him angry. Whether in his anger he did something to which the policeman legitimately took offense is another question, but I suspect that the real offense was Nigger behaving in an uppity manner contrary to Jim Crow etiquette.

  5. Mespo.

    “ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside.” So you believe the policeman when he says a Harvard educated professor used these words. They are just as consistent with a racist policeman who has a Nigger-underclass stereotype of all Negroes fabricating a report on the assumption that his prisoner is just someone from the hood.

    The only time police lying gets exposed is when there is an inconvenient recording, more reason for banning any photography or sound recording of police. Make it illegal with a 20 year sentence to be in possession of a recording including images or voices of police.

  6. Mespo.

    “I’ll take the word of the cops over this guy anytime under the circumstances.”

    You can do so as there was no inconvenient camera or microphone to provide overwhelming proof that the policeman is a liar. However rational people who observe any justice system in action must come to the conclusion that the police lie or misinterpret and misremember extremely often and that anti Negro racism is a powerful force for distorting perception. It is quite possible that the policeman believes and even remembers things happening as he described, it is simultaneously quite possible that Gates description is nearer to objective truth.

    You Americans are incapable of realizing just how racist you are. Where in the human brain are those ideas and beliefs that lead to racism to be found? They are to be found under the heading “common sense” with other beliefs that never require testing against reality. Some of the beliefs are 99% true, some are rules of thumb that work most of the time and some are pure ignorant prejudice that are shared by everyone one knows and so never get questioned.

  7. Vince:

    “He showed proof of who he was and where he lived. The police report does not contradict Gates’s statement that he identified himself.”

    ***********

    Sorry Vince, but the report says that “…, I heard Sgt. Crowley ask for the gentleman’s information which he stated ‘NO I WILL NOT!'” Our putative victim then decided to launch into a tirade accusing the Sgt of being a racist, and then playing the pity card:”This is what happens to a black men in America”. Well maybe, but not all the time, and I will need more proof of racism than this to convince me.

    I’ll take the word of the cops over this guy anytime under the circumstances. And lest you believe that this was not disorderly conduct when the professor hit the porch still ranting and playing for the crowd of about seven, I cite you the definition of the charge:

    “A disorderly person is defined as one who:

    * with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or
    * recklessly creates a risk thereof
    * engages in fighting or threatening, violent or tumultuous behavior, or
    * creates a hazard or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose.”

    I am a believer in the Castle Doctrine, but I detest a bully– however pedigreed.

  8. The Boston papers agree:

    The liberal Globe said: “Once the officer established that Gates was indeed standing in his own home, the encounter should have ended. Objecting to an officer’s presence in one’s residence should hardly be grounds for arrest.

    “Still, confrontations with police seldom end well, even if officers are in the wrong. If Gates believed he was being treated discourteously, he could have filed a complaint with the police department’s section for professional standards. Ultimately, though, it was the officer’s responsibility to de-escalate the situation, even by walking away. Police are trained specifically to ignore verbal provocations that come their way.”

    “The right wing Herald said the same thing: “The disorderly conduct charge against Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has been dropped and that’s a good thing. Cambridge police appear to have been more than a tad overzealous in interpreting what does or does not constitute “orderly” behavior inside a man’s own home. But Gates probably should have counted to 10 when police responded to the report of a possible break-in instead of reacting as if he had been accused of a terrorist act.”

    Gates should not have shouted, but he did not commit a crime, and he was provoked.

  9. Just to get the facts clear. There was no woman involved, except the lady who called 911. There was no alcohol, he did not force the door, it was his first arrest, there was no probable cause for a felony stop because he said he lived there, and just because a cop arrests someone does not meant they did something wrong.

    Returning from vacation, Gates found the door broken. He used a KEY to enter the back, called repair service, and tried to repair the door of his own home.

    The crucial fact is that he told the officer he lived there. He says he went to the kitchen, followed by the officer, and presented two forms of name, photo and address identification. The officer examined the id.

    This should have ended the situation. A man was lawfully present in his own house. End of story.

    At this point, the officer lost it. He should have said thank you, you live here, this is your house and we will now begin to investigate the breakin. He showed little or no good judgment in the situation.

    Read the report. It does not say the man was unidentified, or that he refused to identify himself. It does not contradict Gates’s account.

    http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Original_PDF/2009/07/21/0721docket_redacted_revised__1248200728_6644.pdf

    He showed proof of who he was and where he lived. The police report does not contradict Gates’s statement that he identified himself.

    Besides, there is no such crime as tumultuous behavior.

    Gates lost his temper, but, whatever Gates did, it was not a crime. His arrest was wrong. The Police conceded this when they dropped the charges. They were wrong. He was right.

  10. Slice:

    You are right,He was caught doing something.He was caught being”BLACK”.

  11. It sounds like he was caught doing something he shouldn’t. People don’t get “loud” for no reason.

  12. It appears ones response to the police in this story has something to do with our response to the police. I’m guessing this isn’t the first time Professor Gates or someone in his family has been questioned, demeaned, or wrongly judged by police authorities. When a man is pushed down enough times, there are going to be times when he has to fight back.

    And I’m sorry the case has been dropped. Because one the damage to his reputation has been done. And also I think our “post racial” society could learn from the court hearings.

  13. It is terrible thing to have the media post Prof. Gates mug shot. Certain things should be confidential and automatically expunged when ERROR is made. Not the case, and not only by FL adm law is the mug shot public record, the record of the arrest is forever there, just like a sex offender record, unless expunged. I lost a job because of such an ERROR. A DISMISSED case could not be in my employer’s file. As I write more photos surface. How is this happening? http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090721/ap_on_re_us/us_harvard_scholar_analysis

    If the professor did not have problems with the institution he is employed by, the mere exposure most likely caused much embarrassment, along with all the other potential future damages. The article I read made it clear that both parties agreed to let bygones be bygones.

    That was generous of Mr. Gates, but most likely needed to obtain the ostrich stance. Going to read the rest of that AP spot.

  14. To Mike Spindell: “I remember when the police were supposed to be public servants and not our bosses. However, that part has never been true for the black, brown, yellow or poor.”

    So true, what have we come to.
    Not many escape the power of the police state. The arrogance, the criteria they most likely have to meet to keep the up with the beat(the quota). I would not be surprised that there is a quota for arrests like the eom quota for traffic tickets.

    My Story: After death of my other life by the system, I was lately harassed for no reason, unless the paranoia is real and it was trumped up that someone called a suicide attempt at my address. I forgot to look out the window when there was a knock on the door. Shame on me. It was a used to be officer of the peace, with plainclothes backup, who asked me if my daughter-in-law was there (by name}.

    I simply said no and since I had opened the door, I began to close it, when at that time, while closing the door the used to be officer of the peace asked me if he could talk to me and I said, “No.” The used to be officer of the peace pulled from the outside. I struggled with all my might to close the door. I got it locked. Afterward I was noticeably shaken. They walked to the side of the house; they stayed outside; they talked to me through the door. I gave them the number to reach my daughter-in-law after I called the police station to complain.

    Here is the clincher. Because I did not want to “talk” to him, he told me I obviously had something to hide.

  15. erykah:

    I read Gates’ statement.If he dropped any more names they would have justifiably charged him with littering. This is a simple case of a well-meaning neighbor calling the police to report a perceived break-in, and the police questioning the person they found in the house. There is no sign of overt racism, and I fail to see what the police could have done differently when faced with a felony stop, and not knowing all the facts upon their arrival. I am fully prepared to condemn racism when I see it, but here I see an overbearing, pompous, professor throwing his weight around a college town to the detriment of some underpaid civil servant whom he would be the first to castigate were he to have to wait three minutes after he phoned in a suspicious bump in the night. If you accept the premise that racism occurs when the perpetrator has the power over the victim, I wonder how you assess the relative powers of the police sergeant versus the “genius” man of letters. Sorry, no sale on victimhood with me for the good professor. He got lucky the charges were dropped; now he should drop it. All is not racism that glitters!

  16. 4wrdthnkndad,
    Amen. Given what happened had I been Professor Gates I would have been bad tempered also. The police somehow don’t feel that people have the right to be angry at them anymore, especially if their skin color is different. However, they allow themselves the right of getting angry any time they want and too many these days run around with large chips on their shoulders and bigotry in their hearts.

  17. “I am not in any way condoning the arrest, but don’t think the police were treating him any different because of his race.”

    Alan,
    You are giving the Cambridge Police Force way too much credit. I’ve read differently and see I know much about Dr. Gates and have heard him speak often on TV I find him quite credible.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/21/AR2009072101771.html?hpid=topnews

    When he told them “you don’t know who you’re dealing with” he was not being insulting he was telling them the truth. They had seen his driver’s license and the had seen his identification as a Harvard Professor and they arrested him anyway because he didn’t kiss their behinds. I remember when the police were supposed to be public servants and not our bosses. However, that part has never been true for the black, brown, yellow or poor.

  18. Jackson, you missed the bit about him steathily placing pictures of his family around the home, a well known Black-Professor-Ninja tactic when breaking and entering…

Comments are closed.