Review of Gates arrest: Everyone acted stupidly

posted at 12:12 pm on June 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

An independent review of the arrest of Henry “Skip” Gates at his house last summer concludes that, to borrow a phrase from Barack Obama, everyone involved “acted stupidly.”  Both Gates and the police missed chances to de-escalate the confrontation, the report concludes, mainly out of fear of the other side:

Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the police sergeant who arrested him last July after a confrontation outside his home both missed opportunities to “ratchet down” the situation and end things more calmly, according to a review of the case released Wednesday.

The independent review said “misunderstandings and failed communications” and a “certain degree of fear” each man had for the other led to the six-minute dispute that ended with the renowned black scholar being arrested by the veteran white Cambridge police sergeant. …

The situation at Gates’ home quickly escalated when it shouldn’t have, according to the review put together by a 12-member panel assembled in September. No one on the panel had direct ties to the Cambridge Police Department.

The report suggests that Crowley could have more clearly explained what he was doing and why he was doing it, especially after being shown Gates’ license and university ID. For his part, Gates could have used a more respectful tone to address the officer.

The Boston Globe gets a little more specific in its report on the review:

But once he saw Gates’s identification card, Crowley “could have taken greater pains to explain the uncertainty and potential dangers of responding to a serious crime-in-progress call” and why “police officers must focus on the safety of the public and their own safety, and why his need to assess and mitigate any risks may have caused him to adopt a seemingly abrupt tone,” the report said.

Gates, for his part, “could have tried to understand the situation from the point of view of a police officer responding to a 911 call about a break-in in progress, and could have spoken respectfully to Sergeant Crowley and accommodated his request to step outside at the beginning of their encounter,” the report said.

The report said “communications clearly were a problem” in the incident, with the police officer saying he “couldn’t get a word in edgewise” and the professor reporting that he considered the officer “unresponsive to his questions.”

The arrest may have been legal, the report said, but it observed that some police actions that are conducted according to policy “are not necessarily the best outcomes to a situation and may undermine the relationship between the police and the communities they serve.”

And speaking of acting stupidly:

Neither man, in interviews with the panel, said he would have acted differently.

In other words, no one learned anything — which is also hardly unexpected.  The review appears to have dispensed with the race issue, at least, which is a relief.  It just turns out that two men couldn’t communicate in a confrontation, hardly a remarkable occurrence.  As I wrote at the time:

As it happens, I have also encountered hostile police responding to a house, many years ago when I was in college, at a party that drew noise complaints.  Someone mouthed off about a warrant, which provoked the officer to charge into the house without permission, thump his finger repeatedly into the smart-alec’s chest, and threaten to arrest everyone at the house.  His partner, obviously the wiser of the two, pulled him out of the house by the arm and asked us to reduce the noise — which we had already agreed to do.  Both the smart-alec and the officer were white.

Do a few officers have judgment problems about “disorderly conduct” and are too thin-skinned about getting challenged?  Sure, and if the evidence supports that conclusion in this case, it would call for some retraining and at least an apology.  Jumping to a conclusion that it’s about race when there appears to be no evidence except by inference is bad enough from the media (although perhaps understandable from Gates himself), let alone from the President of the United States. Sometimes it pays to keep quiet before having all the facts.

So everyone acted a little stupidly, as it turns out, and that stupidity had nothing to do with ethnicity.  And by everyone, I include the Chief Executive who decided to shoot off his mouth about an incident despite admitting that he didn’t have all of the facts.

Update: This is a good moment to review last year’s guest opinion of Professor John Evans Evans-John at Iowahawk on the burden of the Harvard faculty in their community.


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BEERS FOR EVERYONE!!!!!

pilamaye on June 30, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Obama is vindicated!

portlandon on June 30, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Obama is vindicated!

portlandon on June 30, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Everyone acted stupidly, so that means Obama is stupid.

Holger on June 30, 2010 at 12:17 PM

BS. One person(well, two if you count Obamao) acted stupidly here, and it’s no secret who that was.

xblade on June 30, 2010 at 12:17 PM

This is often the truth in such situations. Cops need better training. People need better manners.

The Race Card on June 30, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Well, if a private citizen acts stupidly and a police officer acts stupidly, sorry, I’m holding the officer to a higher standard. The two parties involved are not equal here.

Having said that, yes, just follow the police officer’s orders. You can file a complaint or protest later in a “safe” environment (safe for both parties).

SteveMG on June 30, 2010 at 12:20 PM

The Seattle police officer that that had to punch a woman that was interfering with an arrest, was unavailable for comment.

Electrongod on June 30, 2010 at 12:20 PM

How much did this cost us?

Also, don’t argue with a cop, that’s stupid.

Rocks on June 30, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Group hug.

The Independent Review is stupid.

BKeyser on June 30, 2010 at 12:21 PM

So everyone acted a little stupidly, as it turns out

No, everyone didn’t act a little stupidly, no matter what some whitewashed report says. Did you really think they were going to conclude it was all the black man’s fault, lol?

This was a pc conclusion, not a reality-based one.

xblade on June 30, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Doesn’t it boil down to if you mouth off to a cop you are going to spend a couple of hours downtown? I guess the cops could have walked away, but when Gates kept pushing it, and was warned to stop doing so, when is enough enough?

Mr. Joe on June 30, 2010 at 12:22 PM

When there is a failure of communication and one man has a gun, it is always the unarmed man’s fault. You listen to the man with the gun. Only one man acted stupidly here.

tommylotto on June 30, 2010 at 12:22 PM

And I was sympathetic to Gates for mouthing off to the cops in his house (there should be a rule that you can be more of an asshat in your own house as opposed out on the street).

Mr. Joe on June 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

If people had better manners, more police would have better attitudes. The fact is the police have a sworn duty to fulfill and ignorant rude and abusive citizens hamper them in the performance of that job.

Screw Gates. He’s an elitist racist boob and deserved exactly what he got.

csdeven on June 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

The review appears to have dispensed with the race issue, at least, which is a relief.

don’t tell that to al or jesse…they will still see race as the issue and so will gates I’m afraid

cmsinaz on June 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Sorry, kids, but I can’t be too hard on the police. That said, I have no problem being hard on the professor, who was an idiot and an opportunist, who used his ethnicity as a weapon to play the victim, in a desperate attempt for sympathy. Gates was the reason for the incident, not the police officer. Gates would not cooperate, which opened the door to escalation. Under those circumstances, the best of police officers could have made a mistake. But the FIRST mistake, was that of Gates.

A sophisticated slob, in a privileged environment, playing the victim. PATHETIC!!!

manwithblackhat on June 30, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Gates and Obama acted like racists . Cops acted like cops. Media acted like portugeuse water carriers. Did that dog die or something?

borntoraisehogs on June 30, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Seems to me that the police acted according to their training and SOP.

If that’s stupid, it was not an individual who was stupid.

Ed, sometimes you guys are really disappointing.

Ragspierre on June 30, 2010 at 12:25 PM

I was sympathetic to Gates, there should be a rule that you can be more of a jerk in your own home (it is your home). Unfortunately, cops get prickly when you challenge their authoritah. Still, if you cross that line, you will be heading downtown. That is a lesson we all face, black or white.

Mr. Joe on June 30, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda, Didn’t.

Maquis on June 30, 2010 at 12:26 PM

How much did this cost us?

Rocks on June 30, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Next on the agenda, a year long review of Hallmark.

Electrongod on June 30, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Sounds as if there needs to be a beer summit on this independent review…

d1carter on June 30, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Did you really think they were going to conclude it was all the black man’s fault, lol?

Super, just super.

Black man can do anything in American today, can’t they?

As Helen Thomas used to say, “Oy”.

SteveMG on June 30, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Everyone acted stupidly, so that means Obama is stupid.

Holger on June 30, 2010 at 12:17 PM

less words, same point.

VegasRick on June 30, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Nope.

The esteemed Professor should have provided an ID and there wouldn’t have been an issue. He was/is a trashy race peddler and wants to be martyred for his own stupidity. He was embarrased and acted a fool. They’re not equals and don’t share equal blame.

By causing a ruckus, the Professor might have been breaking the law. Officer Gates didn’t screw up by enforcing it.

Commission: Fail.

simon on June 30, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Independent study?

an expert review has found.

YAWN

Maybe at some point this country will get back to taking action and being productive again, instead of churning out useless studies and words.

reaganaut on June 30, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Everyone acted stupidly, so that means Obama is stupid.

Holger on June 30, 2010 at 12:17 PM

less words, same point.

VegasRick on June 30, 2010 at 12:27 PM

At $502 a word, you are doing your part. :)

Electrongod on June 30, 2010 at 12:31 PM

This is often the truth in such situations. Cops need better training. People need better manners.

The Race Card on June 30, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Bottom line is that sometimes unfortunate situations happen. I’m sure both Gates and Crowley regret the incident, even if they won’t publicly admit it.

P.S. For the record, Cambridge MA is a big Boston suburb (pop. 100k) and has a very well trained and serious police force, as one might expect given that it is home to two of the nation’s top universities (Harvard and MIT). In the 3 years I lived there, I never heard any unkind words said about the CPD.

Outlander on June 30, 2010 at 12:33 PM

If the cop relaxes his position in similar situations, his life may be jeapordized. If Gates relaxes his position in similar situations, his race-baiting ego might get a little bruised.

suburbanite on June 30, 2010 at 12:34 PM

BOOOSH. Okay someone had to say it.

upinak on June 30, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Maybe growing up as the son of a police officer, I have a biased view, but there is never any reason to be a smartass or act hostile towards a police officer doing his job.

Basic common sense tells you that a police officer is the one in a position of authority and power, why would anyone (other than someone with issues) try to put a bee in their bonnet? It’s stupid.

ButterflyDragon on June 30, 2010 at 12:38 PM

The one really stupid argument made was this somehow involved racial profiling.

A neighbor called the police. The police had to respond. So police perception of race had absolutely nothing to do with the investigation. Racial profiling is when the police say, for example, “young black men in rental minivans with Florida plates are often drug dealers.” That’s pretty close to an actual example I read years ago.

Random traffic stops partially based on race could not be more unlike a break-in 911 call, which the police have to investigate.

It’s like apples and nuclear submarines.

Beagle on June 30, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Jumping to a conclusion that it’s about race when there appears to be no evidence except by inference is bad enough from the media (although perhaps understandable from Gates himself)

….why is it understandable by gates?????

…….Gates injecting race into this incident (where there was zero evidence of any racism by the officer) revealed his stereotypical
actions towards others and an obvious inability to see that he can be called out for something without it having to do with the color of his skin.

…..the only person making decisions based on skin color in this incident was Gates.

Baxter Greene on June 30, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Nope.

The esteemed Professor should have provided an ID and there wouldn’t have been an issue. He was/is a trashy race peddler and wants to be martyred for his own stupidity. He was embarrased and acted a fool. They’re not equals and don’t share equal blame.

By causing a ruckus, the Professor might have been breaking the law. Officer Gates didn’t screw up by enforcing it.

Commission: Fail.

simon on June 30, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Gates did provide an ID. At that point, the Commission said Crowley should have explained things better.

Jimbo3 on June 30, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Oooh, it was a blue ribbon commission, as well.

Blue ribbon experts, “People aren’t perfect.”

reaganaut on June 30, 2010 at 12:44 PM

BS. One person(well, two if you count Obamao) acted stupidly here, and it’s no secret who that was.

xblade on June 30, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Got that right. You can always apply a microscope in hindsight and find room for improvement in the police’s response. But the escalation into arrest was due entirely to Gates losing his temper, probably because he assumed racism where it wasn’t really a factor.

Or did anyone really expect such a report to put all the blame on Gates?

tom on June 30, 2010 at 12:46 PM

This is a good moment to review last year’s guest opinion of Professor John Evans Evans-John at Iowahawk on the burden of the Harvard faculty in their community.

hehe—that’s pretty good stuff ed

ted c on June 30, 2010 at 12:47 PM

I pointed out at the time and still think that while Gates is an a** that sees everything in racist terms, police have too much authority when it comes to arresting people for things like disorderly conduct and some abuse it. As a libertarian, I find that concerning.

Illinidiva on June 30, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Race was not a factor. Who are you kidding?

rjoco1 on June 30, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Cambridge Whitewash. Nothing more, nothing less.

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Having said that, yes, just follow the police officer’s orders.

Most of the time this is absolutely the best, safest, smartest, most effective, most civil course of action — SHUT UP AND LISTEN, then obey the officer’s orders.

But I’ve been in a situation where I had to tell the cop he was wrong. He agreed, we both lived. He said “thanks” and “see ya later.”

Most people don’t deal with cops enough to have the confidence or comfort required to think clearly on their feet. That is why police should be intimidating because that fear actually compels compliance which helps to keep things moving along safely.

It’s easy to file a complaint if the complaint is legit, very easy. Most cops take this very seriously and are not looking to dirty up their personnel file with complaints.

The Race Card on June 30, 2010 at 12:55 PM

If this man’s home were actually broken into by a real criminal and he got less than enthusiastic attention from the local authorities, he would level the same charge. My heart goes out to our LEOs and the double f-word-ing standards they have to live by.

Bottom line, if I were detained because I was breaking into my own home, I would make every polite effort to the officers to convince them that I was the owner of the home. If after my best effort I failed, I would still resign myself to the fact that it was still my fault that I was in that situation to begin with. (The urge to CAP a lot of that last sentence was near overwhelming)

hawkdriver on June 30, 2010 at 1:03 PM

I think the fact that all choose to live in Cambridge is predictive of the fact that they all can act stupidly.

pgrossjr on June 30, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Gates and Obama acted like racists . Cops acted like cops. Media acted like portugeuse water carriers.
borntoraisehogs on June 30, 2010 at 12:24 PM

More to the point:

The cops acted exactly like cops.

The ass hole Harvard Professor acted exactly like an ass hole Harvard Professor.

But Barack Hussien Obama didn’t act in any way even remotely like the way a President should act.

Instead, Obama acted exactly like a community agitator.

logis on June 30, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Obama jumped in that Cambridge incident within hours, but 70 days after the oil spill started he has yet to use his office to put his beloved bureaucracy to work cutting red tape and getting needed resources on-scene and working. Evidently Obama thinks the only responsibility of being President is declaring who’s to blame for a situation rather than rectifying it.

Socratease on June 30, 2010 at 1:16 PM

But I’ve been in a situation where I had to tell the cop he was wrong. He agreed, we both lived. He said “thanks” and “see ya later.”

Yeah, but I think it’s best to do that after the situation has calmed down. Once the officer is aware of the situation, that he’s “safe”, that you’re no threat, then make your case.

But in the middle of an event, just follow his orders. Litigate the matter when everything has been worked out.

SteveMG on June 30, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Didn’t Obama try to make race a factor in all this???

albill on June 30, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Obama is racist. This also let us see the anti cop side of Obama.
Just remeber how Obama respects cops when I remind you all that Obama paid his dozen of traffic tickets from his student days right before running for office. Obama hats cops and oil skimmers.

seven on June 30, 2010 at 1:25 PM

So basically the cop was a racist and didn’t want to figure things out and jumped to the conclusion this way was a criminal no matter what and arrested him.

And the big mouth who was trying to kick in his own door should have talked more soothingly to the racist white cop in hopes of not getting beat to a pulp by the racist white cop.

Neo on June 30, 2010 at 1:27 PM

If I remember correctly, Gates was berating the officer within his own home (which of course, is perfectly legal), and then the officer invited him outside. Once outside, Gates continued to shout and officer then arrested him for disorderly conduct.

So the officer invited him outside so that he could arrest him. Pretty cr*ppy. Once it was clear Gates was the homeowner all the cop had to do was walk away.

crr6 on June 30, 2010 at 1:31 PM

They can take their “independent review” and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. The Sergeant could have communicated better? Difficult to communicate with someone who doesn’t want to listen, and who is using a situation to set you up. Gates got what he asked for and wanted. He placed the Sergeant in a situation where he couldn’t back down and had to take action. After 35 years on the job, I would have done the same thing. The only regret I would have is that one insignificant a$$hat could cause so much trouble and disrupt my life.

kam582 on June 30, 2010 at 1:36 PM

The report suggests that Crowley could have more clearly explained what he was doing and why he was doing it, especially after being shown Gates’ license and university ID. For his part, Gates could have used a more respectful tone to address the officer.

And everyone would have been happy and the bluebirds would have been singing.

Sure.

tom on June 30, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Crowley was the adult; Gates was the whining child.

Independent study throws Gates a bone by splitting the blame.

Crowley: 2

Gates: 1

Obama: 0

BuckeyeSam on June 30, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Yet again, a 12 member panel accomplishes nothing, for the sake of nothing, and a cost that would probobly astound all.

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on June 30, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Nonsense. The cops stopped a guy breaking into a house. It was up to PINO (Perfesser in name only) Skippy Gates to prove who he was and the reasons for his actions. Instead Skippy decided to race-bait the issue. The only idiots involved are Skippy pretending a fraudulent victim game and Zero pimping the same fraudulent victim game.

Then again the Liberal mental defect is always to blame others (especially cops) for personal failures in judgment and conduct. It’s a continued rebellion against their parents by laxy Leftist minds refusing to grow up.

viking01 on June 30, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Another panel to tell us that no one’s perfect and everyone could have done something differently to achieve the perfect outcome. Yay! How much did that cost?

drocity on June 30, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Cambridge Whitewash. Nothing more, nothing less.

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2010 at 12:53 PM

RAAAAACCCCISST!!!

Phil-351 on June 30, 2010 at 1:43 PM

A shining example of why it always pays to be polite, civil, and to remain as calm as possible. I’ve dropped plenty of comments here and other places excoriating Cops acting badly – this isn’t one of those cases. Gates pushed the button here, Gates dropped the bomb. Skippy used the ensuing kerfuffle to polish his community organizer and mediator bona fides, a cravenly petty political stunt. So instead of something that should have been a short article in the local Cambridge or Boston newspapers, we got a photo op at the White House, with Gates being rewarded for acting like a jackass, and our nation’s Chief Executive sending a really, really poor message to the nation.

Oh, and more than 70 days later, Skippy still hasn’t managed to organize a DAMN thing for the undeclared disaster in the Gulf, except for how he’s going to use it as an opportunity to press home his agenda to make the nation’s energy prices skyrocket.

Because the totally made up stuff seems to be the only thing he’s got any ‘competence’ with at all. And even that is minimal.

Wind Rider on June 30, 2010 at 1:44 PM

No one learned anything because I seriously doubt anyone on that ‘review board’ has even been put in such a position.

Like the intelligent folks who maintain that ‘you can reason with a drunk person and get them to follow your directions’. Yeah, when pigs fly.

GarandFan on June 30, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Gates and Obama acted like racists . Cops acted like cops. Media acted like portugeuse water carriers.
borntoraisehogs on June 30, 2010 at 12:24 PM

More to the point:

The cops acted exactly like cops.

The ass hole Harvard Professor acted exactly like an ass hole Harvard Professor.

But Barack Hussien Obama didn’t act in any way even remotely like the way a President should act.

Instead, Obama acted exactly like a community agitator.

logis on June 30, 2010 at 1:16 PM

What she said, twice.

The Race Card on June 30, 2010 at 2:02 PM

My wife and I live in a relative normal community that is neither high crime or particuliarly dangerous. We listen in on the police scanner as the officers go about their jobs of protecting it citizens. We have gained a lot of respect for what they do that we did not have before.

Each officer often is responding to several situation an hour, often one after the next. Some are simple, but even the simple ones have a risk if someone decides to do something they will regret the rest of their life, and others are high risk to the officer and their life.

Imagine going to work everyday knowing that you will face that and if you slip up or fail to keep control of a situation, it could cost you your life. How long would it take you to error on the side of your life?

A commission, committee or what ever, judging this situation is like one of us sitting in our lounger and judging how to fight a war based on what you read in the papers.

Franklyn on June 30, 2010 at 2:05 PM

This review is what you get when you’re trying very hard to find fault on both sides so you appear neutral. But is it really likely that both sides will be equally at fault? In most confrontations, isn’t one side or the other being especially unreasonable.

I have nothing against Gates per se, and I’m sure he was tired and didn’t appreciate having to explain to the police why he was breaking into his own house.

But the police had a clear report of what looked to be a crime, and their investigation was pretty much what you would have expected. I can sympathize with Gates, but he was clearly the one who turned a minor hassle (“Yes, officer, I realize I had to break into my house, and it may have looked like a crime, but it really is my house”) into an arrest. I think the over-emphasis on racism in our culture sometimes leads to seeing it where it doesn’t exist.

But it’s really, really hard to see racism at fault just because the police officer was white, when Gates was a professor in a prestigious university, in a city with a black mayor, in a state with a black governor, in a nation with a black president.

Let’s face it, a racist police officer in such an environment would not be likely to keep his job for long.

tom on June 30, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Like the intelligent folks who maintain that ‘you can reason with a drunk person and get them to follow your directions’. Yeah, when pigs fly.
GarandFan on June 30, 2010 at 2:00 PM

It’s dominance theory, pure and simple: If somebody backs down from a cop, his ego might be slightly bruised.

If a cop backs down from a beligerant drunkard, he could end up…

Hmm, what’s that quaint little word the prole’s use sometimes? Oh yeah, now I remember: DEAD.

logis on June 30, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Jimbo3: I should have clarified. He should have provided an ID at the officer’s initial request. (Not after 5 min of calling the officer a racist for responding to a reported break-in.)

simon on June 30, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Gates refused to provide ID which showed his address. It’s my understanding that he DID have such an ID on his person at the time but refused to show it until he was at the police station.

Does the report even bother to address Gate’s failure to produce a document that would show his address when it was right there in his wallet?

Given the Gates A)had the ability to easily prove that this was his residence and B) refused to provide this information, I have a hard time finding anything that Crowley did was stupid.

Jason Coleman on June 30, 2010 at 2:25 PM

BEERS FOR EVERYONE!!!!!

pilamaye on June 30, 2010 at 12:14 PM

It’s on Obama’s tab! (but we really know who’s paying… we are); which begs the question…
If the government buys you a beer, are they really? I think not.

CynicalOptimist on June 30, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Review of Gates arrest: Everyone acted stupidly

Everyone, including Obama. The Leader of the Free World goes for Miller Lite at the Beer Summit? Goose Island would have been a far superior choice.

hicsuget on June 30, 2010 at 3:38 PM

In other words, no one learned anything — which is also hardly unexpected.

So much for another one of Obama’s “teachable moments.”

I don’t care what any panel thinks, IMHO professor Gates has a huge chip on his shoulder and instead of cooperating with a law enforcement officer who was merely doing his job by responding to a potentially dangerous 9-11 call (break-in in progress) professor Gates threw out the race card and tried to make it a racial issue when it clearly wasn’t.

Worse yet, our Celebrity-N-Chief gave credence to professor Gates egregious use of the race card when he poked his uninformed nose into a situation he had no business in thus proving in my mind Obama is no champion of healing race relations nor is he a champion of change but instead is a typical race-baiter with an ax to grind!

Bottom line is the only people that acted stupidly in this whole situation were professor Gates and our POTUS!

Liberty or Death on June 30, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Skippy Gates understood from the outset that this incident was grist for his Leftist ideological mill.

BHO stupidly followed his Leftist instincts and fell in behind Skippy.

vilebody on June 30, 2010 at 5:08 PM

It just turns out that two men couldn’t communicate in a confrontation, hardly a remarkable occurrence.

No. It’s called respecting the law and the authority wielded by the police. It’s a citizens responsibility to follow the instructions of a police officer at all times. Failure to do so should result in any consequences a policeman determines fit for the circumstances and that allow him to do his job.

Mr. Gates got what he asked for and deserved it.

el hombre on June 30, 2010 at 5:51 PM

So everyone acted a little stupidly

We can always count on ed to be agreeing with the moral relativist point of view. gates got arrested because he was an out of control jackass. gates wasn’t going to calm down and crowley attempted to speak reasonably with him but the only way gates was going to listen was if crowley beat the dirtbag silent with his baton. If the cops had just walked away in the middle of gates ranting it would not have been the end of it, gates would have followed them to thier cars and then called his lawyer anyway. And besides, I seriously doubt that turning your back on an irate out of control idiot is recommended police procedure. By the way, gates profitted from the experience by getting a huge government grant to make a pbs show about how racist America is.

An “independent” panel in cambridge, mass? Right.

peacenprosperity on June 30, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Who acted the most stupidly?Rhetorical question,we all know the answer.

DDT on June 30, 2010 at 6:27 PM

I include the Chief Executive who decided to shoot off his mouth about an incident despite admitting that he didn’t have all of the facts.

Liberals rarely rely on facts, they rely more on feelings.

free on June 30, 2010 at 10:50 PM