Henry Louis Gates Jr. Arrested
I would like an apology from the police unions for acting like despicable douche bags.
For those of you who may have tuned in late, Police in Cambridge, Massachusetts arrested Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., noted scholar, because he got angry with them. He got angry with them because they accosted him while he was trying to get into his own home. They were responding to a neighbor’s report that there were perhaps men trying to break into his home. In reality, Gates was himself trying to get into his own home. There was apparently a verbal altercation over presentation of ID (the police say he refused; Gates says he showed ID but the police didn’t believe him and demanded more ID) and the police arrested Gates for disorderly conduct.
Of course, the Police account differs from Gates’ account of what happened, but it’s very easy to see who is in the wrong – the Police were. And the reason it is very easy to see who is in the wrong is because THEY DROPPED THE CHARGES. Immediately. If the police had actually had a case, if Gates had actually been doing anything wrong, they wouldn’t have dropped it. But the fact that they did speaks volumes about what actually happened.
Indeed, as Josh Marshall says:
Here are some salient facts. The house was Gates’ house. From what I understand, no one disputes that prior to his arrest and while in the house, Gates provided proof that the house was his. When you have those facts and the guy whose house it is ends up getting arrested, I think that’s prima facie evidence of bad police work.
President Obama is friends with Henry Louis Gates Jr., and when asked to comment, he said this:
“I think it’s fair to say, No. 1, any one of us would be pretty angry. No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And No. 3, what I think we know, separate and apart from this incident, is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”
I think that’s a fair statement. It’s my opinion that the Cambridge police acted stupidly. I’m not going apologize for saying that.
The arresting officer Crowley says “The apology won’t come from me. I’ve done nothing wrong.”
If that’s they case, why were the charges dropped?