Thursday, July 23, 2009

We report. You decide.
President Obama called the actions of a Cambridge, MA police officer, Sgt. James Crowley, "stupid" during his nationally televised news conference last night. Why? Because Crowley arrested Harvard professor Henry L. Gates, Jr. for disorderly conduct. Gates is black. Crowley is white.
Crowley was sent to Gates' home when a neighbor reported two men were breaking into that home. It turned out Gates was the one doing the breaking in. When Crowley arrived he saw an elderly black man inside the home and asked Gates for identification. Gates refused and demanded to see Crowley's ID. Finally, according to the police report, Gates gave the officer his Harvard ID card saying, "This is what happens to black men in America." Gates was loud and Crowley asked him to come out on the porch. Gates did and began shouting at Crowley that he was a racist officer.
The police activity had drawn a crowd as well as backup Harvard police officers. Twice Crowley asked the professor to calm down. When he continued to be loud and verbally abusive, he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
Prosecutors quickly dropped the charges against Gates. Which begs the question; why?
Because Gates is a professor and a minority, does he deserve special treatment? Should that not be decided by a judge or a jury of his peers?
Apparently the President of the United States agreed Gates deserved special treatment and was mistreated by police. There is no evidence of mistreatment based on testimony given by neighbors and other officers at the scene.
It is Americans like Obama and Gates who keep racism alive and well in this nation. Gates, of course, is threatening to sue the Cambridge Police Department. Typical! On what grounds Professor Gates?
Sgt. Crowley says what he did was right. The testimony of those who witnessed his actions uphold the officer. Perhaps Crowley should consider a lawsuit against Gates for calling him a racist. I believe under new statutes just passed by Congress this could constitute a hate crime.
And Crowley should bring suit against the President for defamation. Crowley is not a public figure. To label the actions of a police office "stupid" from a national podium is egregious - and worse - stupid.

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