T Nation

Black Harvard Prof Arrested


"Ogletreeâ??s statement said Gates returned from a trip to China to find his front door damaged and impossible to open from the outside, even with the help of his driver, who is also black. When Gates entered through the back door, he saw a police officer on the porch, who said he was investigating a reported break-in at the home, according to Ogletree.

Gates said he showed the officer his Harvard identity card and Massachusetts driverâ??s license, and asked to see the officerâ??s identification, the statement said. Gates continued to ask for the police officerâ??s name, to no avail, and was arrested when he followed the officer out his front door, the statement said."


This looks fishy to me. The cop saw his ID and was leaving, while this guy followed him shouting and cursing. Then he got arrested. I admire the cop for not putting his nightstick between the guy's eyes. I DO NOT have the necessary temperment to be a cop.


Then you have exactly the right qualifications to be a costumed thug.


how is it fishy? he said himself. his neighbor did the right thing to call the cops because she was concerned (how she didn't recognize it was her neighbor is confusing) and hes not suing.

dude has every right to be in a stink, most agencys require officers to give out their badge number and last name, if the agency involved here doesn't, even more reason.

the police should not be anonymous.

we should be free to yell and scream at any government authority figure without risk of arrest, we pay their salary, we are the boss.

cop pulled a dick move because an ordinary citizen stood up to his "authority." Good ole boys were gonna give him a scare and take him down to the station and feel some heat! fucking starlight ride-lite bullshit for asking a cops ID needs to stop.


You admire a state authority figure for not breaking the law and clearly abusing his power?

Talk about setting the bar low. No wonder the federal government has gotten away with so much shit. Do you also admire Obama for not spending tens of trillions of dollars instead of several trillion?


We are their boss, and we do pay their salary, but everything else in that statement is fucking stupid.


That's how Obama got elected.

A cop risks his life protecting the city and this prof's house. He establishes the prof's identity and is leaving. The prof then starts screaming at the cop about how the cop is a racist.

If any of us had followed a cop out of our house under similar circumstances, all the while screaming at him, we'd be arrested -- as well we should.

Obama weighing in and calling the cop stupid shows how paranoid some black men are (can we say 'Professor X'?) Arresting someone for committing a crime is 'racist'. Looking at a black guy is 'racist'. Asking a black man for his ID is 'racist'. Arresting a black man who is screaming at you so loud that you can't even talk on your radio with another cop is 'racist'.


Strong in this one the troll is!

Not your best attempt, HH. Getting soft in your old age? :slight_smile:


Thank you.

First off, officers should give you their name and badge number if you ask. I have never hesitated when I had some big mouth egomaniac screaming for it. What do I care if he knows my name? Trust me, I won't be intimidated by that nonsense. That is because I treat people with respect as much as I can and study my job very thoroughly.

Nearly every uniformed officer in the country wears name tags anyway. The only exception may be plainclothes guys. Every time a cop is dispatched somewhere a computerized record is kept of it. If you feel you have been wronged, just call the jurisdiction and ask for the officer's information. There are also other avenues to identify a cop if you feel it is necessary to report his actions.

It is true to say that the police are employed by the public and society at large is our "boss". Technically, the military is also employed by us too, but I haven't ordered any airstrikes lately.

This does not mean any individual person is our "boss". When I was employed in other jobs, my boss had ultimate authority over me. If he said "stop" I had to stop, if he said "go" I had to go. Many court cases have addressed and settled this issue. The police exist to serve the goal of securing and maintaining order in society AT LARGE. That is a very important distinction. You, or me for that matter, have absolutely no individual control over an officer's actions so you can stop with the "boss" bullshit.

The term is completely incorrect if you have any understanding of its meaning. It is more appropriate to say that you have the right to monitor police actions and be heard when you want to report the resulting consequences of those actions. That is completely proper in a (relatively) free and open society.When you don't have that right, like in North Korea or Russia, then you are in a police state. Until then, stop distorting the facts and bitching about a "police state". Many of you whiners have no idea what that is.

Lastly, this is my take on this case from what little information is out there. It kind of sounds like the professor was being an agitator and maybe even purposely trying to bait the officer into making a mistake. That is where he was wrong(total speculation of course). The officer was wrong in falling for it and probably losing emotional control which resulted in him misusing his arrest power. The ability to restrain someone's liberty is very powerful and should be treated with extreme respect by people entrusted with that power. For the most part, you have a right to be an idiot, especially in your home.

PS - The president should mind his own business. This has nothing to do with him. Doesn't he have his hands full completely wrecking the country and turning it into a socialist nightmare?


A black "professor" threw a hissyfit to get the free publicity from a "driving while black" incident, and the cop took the bait. The MSM can use the story to browbeat whites for their racism and blacks can use it to be angry. Self-loathing whiterpeople can use it to feel guilty about themselves. Everyone goes away happy!


"During the incident, an officer ordered the man to identify himself, and Gates refused, according to the police report.
Gates began calling the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police officer a racist and said repeatedly, 'This is what happens to black men in America.'
Officers said they tried to calm down the 58-year-old academic, who responded, 'You don't know who you're messing with,' according to the police report."

If this is true, I wouldn't hit him in the head with my nightstick. I'd have only tasered him. Or a good crack across the legs with my nightstick. Otherwise, his paranoia won't be cured.

The Prof should apologize. And its too bad he didn't taser him -- might have cured him of his paranoia.


Great post JD, summarised perfectly.

Can I emphasise that in these situations, through the media, we never get the full story.

Although Obama has nothing to do with this case, I do think it was important for him to make some statement to promote prudence.


They should taser you. Right in the grundle. You've got it coming.


Which the president promptly failed to do after admitting: (a) he is biased, and (b) he didn't know all the facts.


Yea!!!! PRC is back! How I've missed these sorts of insights. My favorite part of the post, if I may, is the quotation marks around the word "professor"... classic.


Great post.

One thing people need to take into consideration, is that police officers are taught to take control of the situation. They are the law. I am not saying it's right or wrong, but during their training, that is the mantra by which they are conditioned. So keep that in mind when you have some interaction with police.

As far as this situation with the professor, perhaps he was baiting the officer, maybe he had a real shitty night and took it out on the cop. Who knows. But I do not think the president is in a position to make the comment he made, especially after admitting he didn't know all the facts. He should get ripped for it, as should anyone. But why hate on him? He thinks what he thinks, and that is our president. The same way he isn't sure about the details of his health-care plan, or the stimulus and how it was supposed to keep unemployment under 8%. Let this be echoed when the 2012 elections come around. Because THIS is the real measure of this man.


Perhaps "President" (Just for you gambit) Obama should have read this before opening his big narcissistic mouth...the actual police report.


JULY 23--Here are the police reports detailing the confrontation last week between Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cambridge cops, who were condemned last night by President Barack Obama for acting "stupidly" in arresting the African-American scholar. Cops responded to Gates's house after neighbor Lucia Whalen reported spotting "two black males with backpacks" trying to gain entry to the home (Gates, returning home from a trip overseas, and his driver were contending with a stuck front door). The Cambridge Police Department reports, authored by Sergeant James Crowley and Officer James Figueroa, quote an incensed Gates yelling, "This is what happens to black men in America!," and, when asked by Crowley to speak with him outside the residence, Gates replied, "ya, I'll speak with your mama outside." A disorderly conduct rap was filed against Gates, but quickly dropped by prosecutors. Gates is reportedly considering legal action against the Cambridge police. (3 pages)

See the link for the complete report.


The only other time I remember anything like this happening was when Bush senior was asked about the Rodney King debacle when it happened and he gave an ill advised response too. However, his comments were critical of the police and sympathetic to King so for that day he was a hero in the mainstream media.


Well,talk about paranoia.


Pull the crosses out and let's find this professor! People are idiots.


JD430<----------This is the man to listen to in these matters.There was a better way of dealing with this from both sides.

And I do agree about Obama's comments. I'm sure he was pressured by someone(or his own "blackness"..yea,I said it) to comment on this...which was a mistake. Of all the racial issues that happen in this country on a daily basis that are worse than this...this was not the one to comment on. I hate when this shit happens....as usual in these matters,I'm expected to pick a side by default of skin color. Gates is a good man...he fucked up. He should admit it as well. And what a wonderful neighbor he has..lol.