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Thread: Uh oh.... this will be ugly

  1. #1
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    Default Uh oh.... this will be ugly

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090721/...r_disorderly_9

    BOSTON ? Police responding to a call about "two black males" breaking into a home near Harvard University ended up arresting the man who lives there ? Henry Louis Gates Jr., the nation's pre-eminent black scholar.

    Gates had forced his way through the front door because it was jammed, his lawyer said. Colleagues call the arrest last Thursday afternoon a clear case of racial profiling.

    Cambridge police say they responded to the well-maintained two-story home after a woman reported seeing "two black males with backpacks on the porch," with one "wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry."

    By the time police arrived, Gates was already inside. Police say he refused to come outside to speak with an officer, who told him he was investigating a report of a break-in.

    "Why, because I'm a black man in America?" Gates said, according to a police report written by Sgt. James Crowley. The Cambridge police refused to comment on the arrest Monday.

    Gates ? the director of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research ? initially refused to show the officer his identification, but then gave him a Harvard University ID card, according to police.

    "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," the officer wrote.

    Gates said he turned over his driver's license and Harvard ID ? both with his photos ? and repeatedly asked for the name and badge number of the officer, who refused. He said he then followed the officer as he left his house onto his front porch, where he was handcuffed in front of other officers, Gates said in a statement released by his attorney, fellow Harvard scholar Charles Ogletree, on a Web site Gates oversees, TheRoot.com

    He was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after police said he "exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior." He was released later that day on his own recognizance. An arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 26.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Uh oh.... this will be ugly

    My general comment is the Prof found the perfect situation to call out a racist police force, in an area where he will generate outrage, and will win a change in a culture.

    Good for him.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Uh oh.... this will be ugly

    1. He's lucky they didn't taze him and then beat the crap out of him.

    2. If the cops are smart, they will drop the charges and apologize profusely.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Uh oh.... this will be ugly

    I wonder what would have happened if, confronted by a pair of police officers investigating a reported break-in, Mr. Gates had come to the door and presented identification showing the address to be his home.
    I suspect it would be thirty seconds of examining the ID and making sure that everything was O.K., the police back in their car patrolling the neighborhood, and Mr. Gates back in his kitchen preparing his evening martini.
    Of course, that would not have generated outrage or win a change in culture. It would have merely preserved the peace of the neighborhood and allowed everyone to go on with their lives.

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  5. #5

    Default Re: Uh oh.... this will be ugly

    The point is that he shouldn't of had to show them his ID.

    When was the last time the cops came into your house and asked to see your ID?

    This troubles me as an erosion of liberties issue as mush as it does a racial issue.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Uh oh.... this will be ugly

    Actually, with the call of the break in. When they show up, they will ask for your ID. It's their job to make sure you are who you say you are and that you are supposed to be there. Period. End of story. As for the name and badge number, you'd think a Harvard guy would be able to read it off the uniform and badge. But then again, being able to read and act accordingly doesn't get attention any more.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Uh oh.... this will be ugly

    I don't understand how the police acted irresponsibly. They responded to a reported break-in and simply tried to ascertain the facts. What should they have done differently? On the other hand:

    By the time police arrived, Gates was already inside. Police say he refused to come outside to speak with an officer, who told him he was investigating a report of a break-in.

    So who's at fault here? Gates should have been grateful that the police responded and tried to protect his property. If anyone is gulity of racial profiling, it's the neighbor, but she was just trying to do her civic duty. Suppose there was really a break-in and the neighbor saw it and ignored it, or the police didn't investigate properly? Unless there are other facts that we don't know, I'm with M Richardson here. Gates overreacted when he wouldn't talk to the police and that caused the problem.
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    Default Re: Uh oh.... this will be ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Ground&Pound View Post

    When was the last time the cops came into your house and asked to see your ID?
    When was the last time cops came to your house to investigate a reported break-in? I'd gladly present ID and thank them for their diligence.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Uh oh.... this will be ugly

    More information from an AP story on Yahoo:

    Ogletree [Gates' attorney and fellow Harvard professor] said Gates gave the officer his driver's license and Harvard identification after being asked to prove he was a Harvard professor and lived at the home, but became upset when the officer continued to question him.

    "He was shocked to find himself being questioned and shocked that the conversation continued after he showed his identification," Ogletree said.


    And a big surprise (not) . . .

    The Rev. Al Sharpton is vowing to attend Gates' arraignment.
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