Cop who arrested Harvard prof was a racial profiling expert; Obama stands by criticism

This from WBZ-TV in Boston is one of the better accounts (plus video links) today:

The white police sergeant who arrested black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. said Thursday President Barack Obama was “way off base” claiming Cambridge officers acted “stupidly” during the incident.

Sgt. James Crowley, who is a police academy expert on racial profiling, responded to Gates’ home near Harvard University last week to investigate a report of a burglary and demanded Gates show him identification. Police say Gates at first refused and accused the officer of racism.

Gates was charged with disorderly conduct. The charge was dropped Tuesday, and Gates has since demanded an apology from Crowley.

“I acted appropriately,” Crowley told WBZ Radio’s Carl Stevens Thursday.

“Mister Gates was given plenty of opportunities to stop what he was doing. He didn’t. He acted very irrational he controlled the outcome of that event.”

Here’s today’s Washington Post follow-up on Obama’s comments, made at the tail end of a Wednesday evening press conference:

President Obama stood by his criticism of the Cambridge police department’s arrest of Harvard University Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr., telling ABC News’s Terry Moran he was “surprised” by the controversy sparked by his comment during a prime-time news conference Wednesday that the department had behaved “stupidly.”

“I have to say I am surprised by the controversy surrounding my statement because I think it was a pretty straightforward commentary that you probably don’t need to handcuff a guy, a middle-aged man who uses a cane, who’s in his own home,” Obama told Moran in an interview set to air Thursday evening on “Nightline,” excerpts from which were made available online.

The president called arresting officer Sgt. James Crowley an “outstanding police officer” but emphasized that “it doesn’t make sense to arrest a guy in his own home if he’s not causing a serious disturbance.”

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193 comments Add your comment

Bill White

July 23rd, 2009
6:25 pm

The honorable policeman was just following his rulebook. That hardly makes him a racist. If this far left professor didn’t lose his temper, then this would never be a story. This guy reminds me when I was young and drinking too much whiskey. I mouthed off to everyone including the police. The best thing that happened to me was when the policeman tackled me and beat me with his stick and threw me into the drunk tank. Even though I drank for a few more years, I decided to never mouth off to an officer. OK, now I hear everyone yelling that I’m being racist. Wrong! I prayed with many upstanding African-American men in town. One of my best friends in my bible study is Roosevelt. He’s a handsome man who leads a more Christ-centered life than me. Even though he’s named after that Commie president, I love Roosevelt like a brother. After I picked Roosevelt up from his hotel job in my 150, we talked about this case. Roosevelt agrees that this elitist professor is in the wrong.

Mark

July 23rd, 2009
6:36 pm

We have the right to remain silent, unfortunately some of us simply lack the ability…

All I'm Saying Is...

July 23rd, 2009
6:40 pm

You’re not racist, Bill White, you’re just off base. Public intoxication is against the law and sounds like you were resisting arrest and that’s why you were tackled, beaten, and arrested.

This professor (not sure why it matters whether he was ‘far left’ or not) was in his home and had proven that it was his home (showed the officer his Harvard i.d. and his driver’s license with his address).

The professor who is tired due to arriving home via a long flight from China gets understandably upset when the officer then says to him to step outside. Why does the professor need to step outside? He has already proven he lives at this house. The officer should leave at this point.

And by the way, in my opinion, the officer had nothing to apologize for at that point. He could have easily said we received a call about two men trying to break into a house and I came to check it out. Obviously you live here and this is your house. Thank you and have a good day.

But what did the officer apparently (although neither of us was there so we don’t really know what happened both the professor and the officer agree on this) do: he asked the professor to step outside. Tell me again why this was necessary.

I would have gotten upset too if I have proven myself to be a resident of this house and now the officer wants me to step outside. What for?

And then the professor basically gets arrested for getting upset—-not for breaking and entering, not for trespassing, not for public intoxication, and not for resisting arrest.

And I don’t care if you found another African-American to agree with you—it just means you’re both wrong.

TD

July 23rd, 2009
6:43 pm

The only racists in this whole ordeal is Henry Louis Gates & Mr. Obama!

AUBoggs

July 23rd, 2009
6:52 pm

Acted stupidly? The same could be said of someone commenting without having all the facts or understanding what a police officer is faced with every day.

BravesFan79

July 23rd, 2009
6:53 pm

How can the officer POSSIBLY confirm the person inside IS the owner if they dont talk to them directly? This one is a reach… even for the racist NAACP.

Audrey

July 23rd, 2009
6:59 pm

What if there was another suspect inside. If the officer and left and the professor had gotten hurt or robbed because then the black community would be crying that the WHITE officer didn’t do his job correctly and that he should lose his job and apologize for not protecting the black community as they would the white community. Obama was OUT OF LINE in his comments. He should have just stayed out of it! No wonder I voted, for the first time, republican!

Zimbooli

July 23rd, 2009
7:13 pm

Let’s face facts: Obama is a bigot, with his prejudice towards blacks, that is where his voting blocking is at. Two, the guy in question is black, so immediately scream ‘racism’, while no one (except me) knows the definition. Three: Win. The worthless-ass cops were at fault, the dumb negro professor was a fault, and if you give a few hours I’m sure I can find that obama was at fault.

niki

July 23rd, 2009
7:38 pm

The officer was doing his job and keeping himself safe. Its the same story over and over its always the big bad white people that are just racist and abusing authority. If the professor wouldn’t have imediately pulled the race card like so many often do(considering the conspiracy against them of course) then this wouldn’t be a story would it. The officer was unaware if there were suspects in the house even as they spoke. That was the reason for asking him to exit his home.

jerry

July 23rd, 2009
7:54 pm

Obama should stay out of things he knows absolutely nothing about. That includes his ignorant comment about racial profiling by this officer, and just about everything else he has done to this country.

Read the actual police incident report here. http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0723092gates1.html

Curly Girly-man

July 23rd, 2009
8:02 pm

I’m sure I speak for most GOPers when I say that Gates fella was acting awful uppity. Hey, if there’s a man in uniform in one of our living rooms, we’re groveling on the floor licking his boots – or anything else he wants us to lick.

ghostwriter

July 23rd, 2009
8:18 pm

This reminds me of the arrogant Smyrna female cop who asked me for my ID when I was a PASSENGER in a car that had a burned out license plate light. After walking up to the car and verifying that the tag was valid, then verifying that the driver had a valid license, why did she need to see the ID of a 51 year old well dressed man?

Just Human

July 23rd, 2009
8:25 pm

We don’t live in a police state. We should not be arrested simply because we are angry at police who intrude on our property and violate our civil rights. ID was produced. Residence was established. That should have been IT. Policemen are NOT gods. They are not immune from verbal comments when they are obviously in the wrong.

It sickens me to hear so many people suggest that a man in his own home should be arrested for responding negatively to an abuse of police powers. If this man had been white – and I say this as a white man – the police would have apologized and left. Because he was black, he was arrested. The department has apologized…they have admitted their mistake. Why are people still blaming the victim here?

Oh, let me guess…because they are racist trash.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

July 23rd, 2009
8:25 pm

Now, now. Teaching at the “Cambridge Police Academy” doesn’t make one an expert on anything, unless the academy has a donut class.

Imagine Officer Crowley’s excitement – he’s been walking the streets of Cambridge for 20 years, still hasn’t progressed passed beat cop.

Nothing really happens in Cambridge. One murder in the last 2 years. A little over 1 rape per month. Less than 1 assault per day, around 1 burglary per day.

Officer Crowley, is back on the beat, after the gym and some steroids for a chaser. He’s making the best of a boring dead-end life, so he swaggers around in his uniform, telling a drunk to move along, and flashing his badge for the college girls, hoping for an after-nooner – when all of a sudden, BURGLARY IN PROGRESS!

All that gym work gonna pay off now. He runs down the street. Old white lady tells him – they’re in there!

Awww. It’s two old black dudes. With ID. Where’s all the excitement now?

Well let’s make some. “Respect my authority!” Officer Crowley/Cartman says. And he cuffs the oldest black guy, all 120 lbs. of him, and walks him out., hoping the college girls will catch a glimpse, and, since his buddies are there, they know he won’t take no lip from no n-gg-r professor, oh no not him!

sad brotha

July 23rd, 2009
8:35 pm

Obama’s used car salesman tactics are falling apart. The car (change) is not what he promised. He is going to fail and we will all pay. This guy NEVER did a thing and is now the president. failure is around the corner and it is going to get bad. Promises promises…who is going to pay for them? The Stupid Cambridge Police Department? Deep down we all know the professor of color had a chip, and acted the fool. The racial credit card is OVERDRAWN!

herman

July 23rd, 2009
8:44 pm

i wish a policeman would try to arrest me in my own home after showing proof. when proof was shown policeman should have left. period. right to remain silent is only if you get arrested. he was not under arrest at the time. obama spoke truth and white america hates it. racism is alive check the comments

sugarapple

July 23rd, 2009
8:47 pm

Stay out of my house. I showed my picture ID it was time for the cop to leave.

I bleed Pacman logo red

July 23rd, 2009
8:53 pm

first, you should never talk about how other people do their jobs before finding out every last detail. Especially when you’re doing a particularly crappy job yourself. Glass houses, throwing stones, all that jazz.

you white people out there need be ril ril careful, K? everything you do now is under the scrutiny of a long put upon race of people that now thinks ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING is racist.

watch ur backsssssss ;)

reservoirDAWG

July 23rd, 2009
9:01 pm

Obama is an idiot.

Sowega

July 23rd, 2009
9:05 pm

I won’t get in to the racial component of the situation–I don’t know the town or the folks involved. But I do know that a lot of cops are damned Barney Fifes. They can’t stand it unless they’re controlling everything and everyone around them. And God forbid if they ever bow up over their hurt feelings and snatch somebody down and cuff them–not a single other cop will ever tell them they did wrong. Blue sticks to blue and damn the rest of the community. It’s only gotten worse ever since every department in the nation has adopted the paramilitary style uniform. The best law enforcement remembers that they are members of the community, not its little boss men.

And if I’m being challenged in my own house after I’ve proved who I am, and I get pissed about that, then by all means, please take your hurt feelings and get the hell out. At least the professor had the decency not to threaten them. All he did was call it like he saw it. Apparently the first amendment doesn’t apply when hurting the feelings of the police.

One more question–since when does someone’s house become a public place as stipulated in the charge?

Mike

July 23rd, 2009
9:06 pm

Interesting that all you pale faces are entitled to your opinion. For a cop who supposedly teaches racial profiling, he knew exactly what he was doing. Fact is just about everything in this country is based on race. Problem is people who have always been the majority have always enjoyed its privileges. Now when those privileges infringe on the minority who BTW are not accepting that treatment anymore, you pale faces call it the race card. Most dont care if the cop apologizes or not. Fact is people see the town of Cambrigde, its people and its cops for what they are. They are no different than the klu kluxers of yesteryear. They just dont wear the dunce hats and those white dresses anymore.

Dawgfan

July 23rd, 2009
9:10 pm

Boo hoo Mike. Why don’t you take advantage of opportunities?

reservoirDAWG

July 23rd, 2009
9:13 pm

Wow! Pale faces? Jacka$$.

Sowega

July 23rd, 2009
9:18 pm

My face ain’t pale–it’s red like my neck!

I still got to side with the professor on this one.

Boots

July 23rd, 2009
9:19 pm

Whether you like it or not, the elitist professor was in his own house and showed the officer ID and proof that it was his house, so the officer had no warrant and should not have even been in the man’s house.

Now, the unfortunate thing is the professor played the officer like a banjo. The officer was suckered into making a fool of himself. That’s on him. He should have known better.

kody3517

July 23rd, 2009
9:23 pm

racist??? The president is racist for making that comment! If it were two black officers that did the same would the president made the same comment! I have lost all respect for the president! The president should not get involved until he has all the facts! Than comments should be made. The professor never identified himself. All he would have had to do is cooperate and ID himself. The officer is right the professor made the choice to be arrested, he acted wrong! whether he was white, black or any other race!

Joel

July 23rd, 2009
9:25 pm

This cop just had to show his authority. He should apologize or leave police work.

I don’t blame the professor for showing anger. I guess we are still trying to recover from a Cheney/Bush fueled police state.

BG

July 23rd, 2009
9:25 pm

Why do blacks always play the race card when they get into trouble?

reservoirDAWG

July 23rd, 2009
9:28 pm

Some of the most idiotic statementsI’ve read. Your boy Obozo can do no wrong.

Dixie

July 23rd, 2009
9:37 pm

Gates pull that $h_t in Gwinnett Co; Ga–He get his A$$ MOWED DOWN!

conservative

July 23rd, 2009
9:44 pm

This just in; Anyone that doesn’t vote for goverment take over of everyones healthcare is a racist. Anyone that doesn’t like the Obamanation must be a racist. If you don’t bend over and take it then you are a racist.
Here is a guy that has as his number 1 priority the release of guys we have held in Cuba. Next, he goes around apoligizing to the World for being American.
Now he is calling Police stupid.
How many idiots that voted for that guy have now open their eyes?

falconfan

July 23rd, 2009
9:46 pm

a neighbor saw what appeared to be a break in and called the police, the police actually showed up in a timey manner, investigated the situation and asked for proper id and the respose was to call the guy a racist. is it possbile to get some of those racists transfered to atlanta?

reservoirDAWG

July 23rd, 2009
9:46 pm

conservative, then I’m a racist. What are people thinking?

Curly Girly-man

July 23rd, 2009
9:56 pm

I don’t understand Gates’ reaction. I’m like most GOP guys – a guy in a uniform shows up in my living room, I’m ready for hot sex.

earl simpson

July 23rd, 2009
9:58 pm

i hate to say this but it must be alot of police officers and whites responding to this what if it happen to u oh i forgot it wouldnt you guys are white

CORE VALUES

July 23rd, 2009
10:02 pm

I can’t even believe OBAMA commented on this. He (OBAMA) is wrong!

conservative

July 23rd, 2009
10:02 pm

Obama will do for Black people what Jimmy Carter did for Georgia. Everyone was excited in the beginning to see someone from a small town in Ga. make it to the big time. It gave us a little hope for our own lives. Then the reality set in and we were embarrassed nationally and across the globe.
Black people will be the last to come off the wagon, but they will be sitting at home shaking their head in disgust even if they don’t admit it outside of the home.
We must try to hang on for another year and half.

niki

July 23rd, 2009
10:06 pm

Enter your comments here

reservoirDAWG

July 23rd, 2009
10:06 pm

Earl, rank and file. Just another dumba$$.

Dave

July 23rd, 2009
10:07 pm

Obama should not comment on local issues!

itiswhat it is

July 23rd, 2009
10:08 pm

Obama’s statement had nothing to do with race..everyone speaking against him is just trying to stir up mess because he’s a black president. It was a stupid mistake of the officer. If the professor was white it probably wouldn’t have gone this far. For those that say it was procedure for the cop to ask the man to step outside for his protection then you are wrong. If the officer thought the situation was unsafe he would have asked the man first and called for the necessary back-up. He obviously felt offended by the race card and acted stupidly. He should have apologized and left once the ID was shown. Anyone of us would have been offended by the officer if we were the ones questioned in the middle of the night for no wrong doing. Police makes mistakes just as well as others.

Dave

July 23rd, 2009
10:09 pm

itiswhat it is — What planet are you from!!! You must be kidding me.

conservative

July 23rd, 2009
10:13 pm

Have anyone else heard that the residence had a burgalary reported earlier this year? I can’t confirm, but I heard that and this would make an officer’s suspesions that more realistic.
Nothing can excuse Obamanations comments. Guess the telaprompter was off again.

Mike T.

July 23rd, 2009
10:14 pm

When’s Obama going to resign?

RGB

July 23rd, 2009
10:15 pm

A black liberal professor with a chip on his shoulder and a black president who sat in a bigoted “church” married to woman who for the first time in her life is proud of her country. They’re all victims–all of them.

Black victimhood is very, very tiring and most decent people are annoyed and unmoved by it. Obama impugned the character of, by every account, a role model police officer. He should be ashamed of himself, but with black victimhood there is never any shame.

itiswhat it is

July 23rd, 2009
10:18 pm

Dave you probably believe the officer that shot the two elderly white women in Gwinnett was justified as well right…..Just try not being Bias for a moment and you might understand where I’m from.

opus

July 23rd, 2009
10:20 pm

I get a Cynthia McKinney vibe from Professor Gates. Just like white folks who “get a little too big for their britches,” there are plenty of accomplished black people who think they are above it when they are asked to comply with the rules. If law enforcement asks you to step outside, you comply (like any grown-up would). The attitude that Gates pulled with the officer sounds just like the crap Cynthia McKinney pulled on the capitol police officer when she was asked for her ID. It’s a shame that the “race card” was even played here. It is a tool for fools!

conservative

July 23rd, 2009
10:27 pm

Hot off the wire; Obama calls dead pit bulls stupid racist. Some of them caused Mike Vick to loose his job. Those darn dead racist white pit bulls.

Dash Riptide

July 23rd, 2009
10:33 pm

“If law enforcement asks you to step outside, you comply”

Outside of my own castle? With no warrant involved? Oh, hell no.

Carolyn

July 23rd, 2009
10:39 pm

Why would anybody smart enough to be a Harvard professor be dumb enough to break his front door after he had gotten in the rear door, especially when he’s “just stopped by before joining his family on vacation”? Break the front door, then leave town on vacation?? I doubt this was stupidity. I think it was a plan to stir up publicity for his cause. Why does everything have to be about race? Can’t we all just be polite and get along?