Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cambridge Professor and the Race Card

I've been watching the story of the Cambridge professor who was breaking into his own house and was arrested for a few days. The professor became combative and was arrested for disorderly conduct, just like everyone else who acts like a jerk.

This appears to be a good cop who is being maligned.

But people who know Crowley were skeptical or outright dismissive of allegations of racism. A prominent defense lawyer, a neighbor of Crowley’s, his union, and fellow officers described him yesterday as a respected, and respectful, officer who performs his job well and has led his colleagues in diversity training.

“He’s evenhanded and, in the cases I’ve had with him, he’s been very much in control and very professional,’’ said Joseph W. Monahan III, a criminal defense lawyer in Cambridge and former Middlesex County prosecutor. Monahan has represented several defendants arrested by Crowley for domestic assaults and for drunken driving....

Crowley’s police union issued a statement saying it had reviewed the arrest of Gates and expressed “full and unqualified support’’ for his actions.

“Sergeant Crowley is a highly respected veteran supervisor with a distinguished record in the Cambridge Police Department,’’ said the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association. “His actions at the scene of this matter were consistent with his training, with the informed policies and practices of the Department, and with applicable legal standards.’’

The irresponsible President has added his own measure of maligning - though he freely admits he doesn't know anything about the facts.


Gate's neighbors and fellow police officers who responded to the call, all say that Gates was abusive and out of control. There are witnesses to Gates outrageous conduct.

The reaction through the country has been outrage.

Obama is saying he is "surprised" at the reaction to his irresponsible remarks.


Let's review what he said:

“I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry;

No actually. If I made a stupid mistake and had to pick the locks of my house or car and a policeman responded to a call about somebody breaking and entering, anyone sane would be extremely grateful - a bit embarrassed but relieved that if it were a real robber, this man would have been there to stop the thief. It would be an opportunity to express your gratitude. That's how normal people react who are not basing their reactions upon the color of people's skin.

Somebody was looking at the color of somebody's skin and being abusive in the situation and every witness has thus far said the bigot is Gates.

I don't get what the President is insinuating here.

Is it bigotry calling the police if we see somebody of color breaking and entering into a home or car? Can we still call the police if the person is white or when police respond to somebody picking locks on people's houses its now something Americans are "angry" about as a matter of law across the board?

Eighteen other front-door burglaries have happened in the last two months in Gates' neighborhood. In fact, Gates' house had a front-door break-in within the last few months.

number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home;
Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct --not breaking and entering. The President seems to be twisting the facts.

Obama’s account of the incident did not precisely mirror what Gates and police have said. Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct after he forced open the jammed front door to his home, and a neighbor reported it as a break-in. Gates said the police handcuffed and booked him even though he showed his driver’s license and Harvard ID to prove that he lived in the house, but the arresting officer said the professor was loud and abusive.
In fact, details are just starting to emerge about Gates irrational and abusive behavior - including the fact that he came out of the house to continue his abusive behavior and made derogatory remarks about the policeman's mother. ( Police Report )

Obama admitted he didn't know the facts so he therefore has to admit to deliberately twisting the facts to make the judgment he made and calling the police stupid. Not very wise or prudent. It's petty and immature - not to mention sleazy and small.

The officer being attacked by Gates and Obama and wrongfully accused of being a "racist" declined today to go into the gutter with them.

Speaking at length this morning on the Dennis & Callahan show on WEEI radio in Boston, Crowley maintained that "I know what I did was right." When the hosts asserted, however, that "professor Gates and the president of the United States owe you an apology," Crowley refused to bite.

"The president has a lot of other daunting tasks ahead of him," Crowley said. "I wish for the good of the whole country that he is successful in efforts to do the many things that he has to."

The radio show hosts persisted: "Well, hopefully on those other tasks he actually gets his facts straight, because clearly he didn't know what he was talking about when he addressed your little issue."

Crowley said: "I think it is regrettable that anybody on either side of this issue would make comments -- and you know I saw some of them, but I think it's regrettable that anybody, either somebody who supports me or somebody who thinks I acted inappropriately -- without knowing the whole story, without talking to those who were there who have firsthand knowledge of the events and who saw themselves the way in which professor Gates acted and what led to his arrest."...

In an interview today with WBZ radio, Crowley said that while he "didn't vote for" Obama, he supports "the president of the United States 110 percent." But that does not mean he agreed with Obama's comment that Cambridge police "acted stupidly."

"I think he is way off base wading into a local issue before knowing all the facts," Crowley said.

This morning on WEEI, Crowley spoke for 22 minutes and offered his most detailed public explanation of why he handcuffed the renowned professor of African-American studies.

"He was arrested after following me outside the house, continuing the tirade, even after being warned multiple times, probably a few more times than the average person would have gotten," Crowley said.

The hosts asked: "How many times?

"He was cautioned in the house, meaning calm down, lower your voice," Crowley said. "Once we got outside in front of the general public and the police officers that were assembled there, two warnings, the second warning with me holding a set of handcuffs in my hand. It was something I really didn't want to do, but the professor at any point in time could have resolved the issue by quieting down and/or going back in his house."

Crowley continued, "There are so many things in this incident that keep me scratching my head wondering. I apologize, I was not aware who professor Gates was. And when I read the name off the card, it wasn't like I said, 'Oh, wow, that's professor Gates.' I'm still just amazed that somebody of his level of intelligence could stoop to such a level and berate me, accuse me of being a racist, of racial profiling, and speaking about my mother. It's just beyond words."

During the interview, the radio hosts made it clear how they felt about the arrest of Gates, telling Crowley that he did not "have to defend your character here because there is no reason to, you didn't do anything wrong."

"God knows the public is supporting you," one of the hosts said. "Maybe not the elites, maybe not the president of the United States, but the reaction on message boards, the reaction on talk shows, and just people on the street -- they are on your side, officer, you can be sure of that.

It turns out the sergeant has been teaching classes for five years at the police academy on racial profiling.

His academy class, which he teaches with a black police officer, instructs about 60 police cadets per year who spend 12 hours in the classroom, said Lowell Police Academy Director Thomas Fleming.

“He’s a very professional police officer and he’s a good role model,” Fleming said. “Former police commissioner Ronny Watson, who is a person of color, hand-picked Sgt. Crowley. ... I presume because he would be the most qualified and most professional. He’s a very good instructor. He gets very high reviews by the students.”

Watson, who is black, is the former Cambridge police commissioner

Lawrence Hickman, a black Boston police officer who also teaches at the academy, said he’s worked alongside Crowley for years now and has nothing but the highest respect for him.

“He’s well versed in the subject matter he taught,” Hickman said. “He is the right instructor for the subject material ... I’m an African-American police officer, If there were any issues or if I thought he was biased, I would have addressed that. We all do the same job and we all know how things get spun out.

The police union is saying the Obama will regret his remarks. We have a duty to make him regret his remarks.

McDonald, the lawyer for the 50-member police union, says he knows Crowley personally and considers him a topnotch officer who behaved appropriately in the Gates arrest.

He said he and members of the union "were disappointed" in Obama's remarks. "I think perhaps the president might have second thoughts about shooting from the hip."

The White House today, meanwhile, backed away slightly from President Obama's remark.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters traveling on Air Force One that Obama did not regret the remark during his primetime news conference Wednesday night, but wanted to clarify that he was not calling the arresting officer stupid.

Obama felt "cooler heads on all sides should have prevailed" once the officer realized Gates was in his own home, Gibbs said, according to the Associated Press.
Obama's response to this, now that the fact are out, is beneath contempt. Obama needs to be a man, own up to his mistake and apologist. If he doesn't, this is something that he is not going to recover from. I've yet to meet anyone who isn't digusted by the President's conduct - including people who voted for him.

US President Barack Obama joked that even he would get shot if he lost his keys and tried to break into the White House.

He was answering a question about the arrest of his friend, prominent African-American Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, who was hand-cuffed and detained after having to break into his home in the Massachusetts town of Cambridge.

"I guess this is my house now. So it probably wouldn't happen," Obama said, looking around the ornate East Room and trying to put himself into a similar situation. "But let's say my old house in Chicago," he continued.

"Here, I'd get shot," he quipped, to laughs from the gathered press corps.

What a jerk.

The White House is not Barack Obama's house. That house belongs to the American people and he is our guest. I have a feeling it's going to be a short stay.

Gates needs to be fired. He's a racial profiler, a bigot, a hothead and a tiny little man. His conduct is unacceptable and we need to hold Harvard accountable.

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