Thursday, July 23, 2009

Police report from Gates arrest case

An incident report from the Cambridge (Ma.) Police Department offers more details into why Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested last week, an incident that has drawn lots of attention in recent days, including a comment from President Barack Obama.

According to the report, Gates was placed under arrest after he was observed "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior, in a public place, directed at a uniformed police officer."

Officers responded to Gates' home on July 16 to investigate a report of a burglary and demanded Gates show him identification. Police say Gates, who is African-American, at first refused, flew into a rage and accused the officer of racism.

Gates was charged with disorderly conduct. The charge was dropped Tuesday.

Many pundits and others have weighed in on the incident. Obama was questioned about it Wednesday in a Q&A session during a primetime news conference on health care.

Obama said he believes the police "acted stupidly" in arrested Gates, a friend of the president. He did acknowledge, however, that he did not know all the facts of the case.

In interviews today, Sgt. James Crowley, the arresting officer said that while he supports the president, "I think he was way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts as he himself stated before he made that comment, " according to a report from the Associated Press. "I guess a friend of mine would support my position, too." -- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who's the real racist??? No wonder Obama got elected, the liberal professors. This country is going down the tubes. The police did a great job with this incident and the preisdent is comenting without knowing all the facts. I thought he was supposed to be a polished politician...OH there was no teleprompter to help him...

Anonymous said...

If you read the facts, you would see that a call came in saying a black man was breaking into a house. When the police saw a black man on the property, the approached him and that is when Gates accuded them of racism. Crazy.

Jeremy said...

While I don't agree with the way Gates handled himself, I have more issues with the fact that police officers can arrest someone for basically no reason at all. "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior" - This is nothing more than a police 'catch-all' crime.

Anonymous said...

If you're white and you get in a cop's face, guess what? You're going to get arrested, whether you live in the house where you get in the cop's face, or if you live 3000 miles away. If you want the cops to work for you, and keep your neighborhood safe, here's a tip...don't piss them off.

Anonymous said...

I am a retired police supervisor.

I bet that if the police officers arriving on the scene had treated Mr. Gates civilly, explained that they had a complaint and asked politely if it was his house that he would have produced ID when it was requested ... case closed.

However if he was approached aggressively, possible with guns drawn and treated like the criminal they had probably already decided he was, Then contact can quickly become confrontation and a police officer becomes angry that his every command is not being obeyed without question.

I learned a long time ago that police officers who start out aggressively have a disproportionate number of violent confrontations.

I am not claiming that is the case here, but it needs to be considered.

Anonymous said...

You failed to mention in your report, on purpose or otherwise, that Gates showed his drivers license to the cop thereby proving he lived in that home. Not stating all the facts is misleading.

webecinya said...

he showed him a Harvard ID, the obvious ID to show would be an ID with an ADDRESS to show you live there. Next time I get pulled over I'm gonna show the cop my College ID and say I have the right to drive.

Anonymous said...

his is what happens to big mouthed idiots that are being investigated for a break in because a neighbor called. Anyone else would have properly shown their I.D. to show it was their residence, and thanked the police for checking. This clown has to start screaming and throwing the race card around

Anonymous said...

With all respect to everyone Gates showed his ID card. But in naturality all the cops had to do was use their computer system and type up the address against His ID and case closed.It's illegal to break in your own house he should have called for a backup key, sat on the porch and waited upon arrival. The less you have to deal with the cops the better to them we are prey sometimes for they are HUMAN also. And who's knows people have they way of setting you up maybe the nosy neighbor did that, they knew who it was. His faced didn't change. One thing for sure we all need to cover our butts

Anonymous said...

"exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior, in a public place, directed at a uniformed police officer."


When did a person's private residence become a "public place?"

Anonymous said...

I'm jewish, black and a NAMBLA member in good standing. Israeli President Emanuel has decreed through his Kenyan spokesperson Obama that Americans continue to not read the official police report, bow down and worship blacks, continue fighting I$rael's wars and continue sending money to I$rael. I agree with President Emanuel.

Anonymous said...

IF the officer was so correct in procedure, why were the charges dropped?? If he owes no apology, then why are there no charges being filed?? hhmm Is it because you were dead wrong for the arrest in the 1st place?
Boston has a history of racism. So let's not act like it is an outrage. And the stupid neighbor, should recognize a guy that lives there. I am sure he or she was being nosy on more than one occasion. Whaite police get away with this crap all the time. And then they want you to bow down and thank them for putting a gun in your face first. Hell no.

Anonymous said...

The police did their job. What I thought was peculiar was that Gates' neighbor didn't know who he was and called the police on him? I find it hard to believe the neighbor didn't know Gates was his neighbor. Gates got belligerent towards a police officer--of course he will at least get cuffed. I think Gates is trying to get his 15 minutes of fame.
Cambridge PD: You Rock!

Anonymous said...

The report is pretty damning and the officer had been previously appointed by an African American police commissioner to teach run the department's anti-racial profiling course. This guy simply made an ass out of himself. When the police are talking to you, listen to what they say. If you cooperate, usually the result is much better!

BTW, one thing you never do is show a cop your college ID, professor or student. It's an implied insult that you are somehow better than him or special. Another sure fire way to get in trouble is say "you don't know who you're messing with."

Anonymous said...

The police officer was merely trying to determine if there had been a break-in at the professor's address. The story would have been much worse if the professor's belongings had been cleaned out by a thief who had identified himself to the responding officer as the property owner. Is there a possibility that the professor was already upset over being unable to gain access to his rented home and he took out his frustation on the police officer???

Anonymous said...

Some of you leaving comments are only getting one side of the story. Or trying to spin this to be one-sided. Gates has said that he was asking for the officer's badge#, which the officer never gave. Is that "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior"? It has been said that officers even knew he lived there. Gates' account was that he entered through the rear when the front door was jammed, and later tried jimmying the front door. Who hasn't locked themselves out of their house or apartment before? Should you be arrested for trying to fix a door to your home yourself? "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior" is truly a catch all... catch all Black people.

Anonymous said...

You ever been overseas, ever come in from 2 weeks in China? Jet lagged, trying to get into the house... darn door is jammed, so you go to side or back. You start to relax and Cops drive up and want to talk to you... aggressively... what would you do? Sorry officer, I just live here, I'm sorry my neighbors don't know me, they must NEVER PAY ATTENTION!@

Consider, what if the couple in Gaston county hanging out with the Gaffney serial killer had been black. What did treatment did they get? 'Oh, you guys ok, jeez, you see that guy you hung out with, man, what a crazy white dude!'

Anonymous said...

The legal situation.

The Cambridge Police received a call about an alleged burglary in progress by two black men. The Officer arrives at the house - broken front door, black male in house (perhaps also matching the description of one of the person's seen forcing the door.) Exigent circumstances, reasonable belief that a crime is in progress, officer does not need a warrant to enter the house or detain/question the person in the house.

Officer then asks black man, "who are you, what are you doing here." Answer "it's my home, I broke the door." Still exigent circumstances, officer stays, officer can chose to disbelieve- if reasonable or believe. Officer can still question and detain.

Officer then asks for ID, gets two photo-IDs identifying black man as home owner - STOP - no-more reasonable belief that a crime has been committed or is in progress, it is the home owner, he broke his own door, he has the right to be there, as a police matter the issue is closed - time to go, unless the Officer wants to offer assistance ("got a locksmith, way to secure that door?")

After he had seen the ID everything else he did was stupid. Once he had seen the ID he had no right to be in the home, or for that matter even on the porch - the Cambridge Officer was trespassing, he needed Gates' permission to remain on Gate's property - if that permission was not forthcoming it is time to go.

Anonymous said...

Further... since when do policemen, who have determined a situation to be somewhat resolved, use the option of arrest rather than calming the subject? Even if he had to handcuff the professor, and put him in the cruiser until he calmed down wouldn't have attracted as much attention as this has with him being arrested for yelling... if that's what he did. And, Ms. Lucia couldn't vouch for the professor? Why couldn't she recognize her own neighbor @ high noon? Which makes this story (reported by the officer) that much more fishy.

Anonymous said...

Last, get the story straight. A cop, out of uniform, in an unmarked car, is questioning the owner of a home if 'he' should even be there. What would you do if I, a black man, in plain clothes, claiming to be an officer, asked for entry into your home, and questioned why you were in there under those circumstances?

Anonymous said...

Part of disorderly conduct is being in a public place and creating a disturbance, e.g. alarming the neighborhood by yelling loudly...Gates followed the Officers down to the sidewalk and off his private property, hence the public part...this is a lawful arrest...case closed.

Anonymous said...

Obama doesn't know the facts of his new health plan either- but he wants us to embrace it.
Ironic- Gates house had been broken in before! Seems like he should have been grateful police responded quickly.
Gates and Obama are the real racists. As for now- that house will be open game for burglars. Don't bother calling the police!

Anonymous said...

It amazes me that so many uninformed people post stupid remarks on here that are completely FALSE. Does anybody listen to the interviews with the actual people involved instead of believing what they see in the media?

First, the Sgt. WAS in uniform, he says so in his interview. Second, it has been stated several times that Mr. Gates was beligerent during the whole encounter, even before he produced the ID.

There are more lies being spread here, but I won't refute them if I don't remember exactly where I heard the contradiction.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this was about racism but this is about stupidity and ego. As a police officer informed me "Gates should have never been arrested". Deal with facts ONLY. Gates had difficulties entering his house. Officer was called to the scene and approached Gates without backup initially; therefore, officer established that this was not a dangerous situation. Officer established that this was Gates residence regardless of the exchange of words. As the law enforcement professional, the Officer should then leave immediately!

As my officer friend stated, this is a classic case of the officer ego-tripping because Gates asked for his ID and badge number. This is Gates rights to request. Charges were dropped because the officer acknowledged that he walked up the sidewalk to the porch and made the arrest for Public disorderly conduct.

You can not be arrested for that in your own home or on your porch. Nor can you be arrested for being pissed at the officer. Again, the officer should have just left once he establish that Gates did not break into his own home.

Anonymous said...

He was not in a public place, he was inside his home, after which according to reports he had entered through the rear door, disabled the alarm, returned to the front and was attempting to open the jammed front door from the exterior when observed by the neighbor. Both parties could have acted with more tact and maturity. I don't believe either acted appropriately.

Anonymous said...

The police report sounds detailed and consistent, and plausible. Mr. Gates seems to have had an emotional outburst towards the invasion of privacy (he had not placed the call for the police to visit his property). He was ungrateful to Sgt. Crowley doing the job he was hired to do. I hope Mr. Gates will come to appreciate the officer's effort on his behalf and ask for forgiveness for his emotional outburst towards the officer. The report on the event does not reveal anything except that Mr. Gates made it harder for the officers to perform their duty on his behalf, and showed himself as a possible threat to the rights of others on the scene, leading to his arrest. However, it seems likely that Mr. Gates had a thought of being unfairly treated due to his African heritage, prior to his confrontation with the police. Sgt. Crowley seems to have been doing exactly what he was hired to do. Mr. Gates was being defensive emotionally, and this may have led to his being unjustly offensive towards others at the scene. Simple appreciation for the officer working on his behalf would have possibly avoided any conflict between them.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous, 9:32 PM "IF the officer was so correct in procedure, why were the charges dropped?? If he owes no apology, then why are there no charges being filed?? hhmm Is it because you were dead wrong for the arrest in the 1st place?"

The charges were dropped for political reasons. What DA in his right mind is going to waste his valuable time prosecuting a case when the President of the US has already declared the defendent innocent?

The officer owes no apology because he was correct in arresting Mr. Gates. The fact that the charges were dropped has no bearing on whether the arrest was valid. Charges are dropped every day for many reasons. These were dropped because of the relationship the defendent has with people in power, not because the charges were not valid.

Anonymous said...

Can we say "black bigots"? Enough said.

Anonymous said...

obama forgets to tell you the same officer saved a black mans life
by giving him cpr.

Anonymous said...

Why dosent Obama mention that FBI stats prove of the 5 million violent crimes annually in America blacks committ 80% of them while 2 million are black on white crime? Blacks are 13% of the population.

Harvard owned the home not Gates.

Why were the disorderly charges dropped so quickly? This is preferential treatment.

Could Gates could have rigged this?

Obama showed his true anti-white cop colors when in fact he is supposed to be chief law enforcement officer in America as the president. Obama stepped into this one bigtime. Maybe he isnt so smart ...

The infamous SC church burnings in the 90s ended up being black arsonists collecting insurance money after they tried to blame whites.

Over 1/3 of all the infamous historical lynchings were white.

Had this been a real home invasion and the cops not responded Gates would have screamed racism for not protecting a blackman.

Anonymous said...

Piss on Gates. If all else fails...shout racism!

Anonymous said...

If you read the police report, it clearly states that the officer did identify himself, while Gates was screaming at him. Gates is the one who played the race card and fit the stereotipic profile by streaming like an idiot at the police and not showing proper ID. Gates should be thanking the police and his neighbor for keeping an eye out and responding. People watching out for each other is the right thing to do!
Gates buddy Obama has no business commenting at all and he has made a huge mistake by sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. A Beer ain't gonna fix this one bub!!

Anonymous said...

to retired police supervisor

you start off saying "I bet" that if the police officers arriving on the scene had treated Mr. Gates civilly, explained that they had a complaint and asked politely if it was his house that he would have produced ID when it was requested ... case closed.

Then you finish with I am not claiming that is the case here, but it needs to be considered.

Sounds to me like you contradicted yourself by "betting" that police didn't respond politely and then "not claiming" that is the case.

Seems to me that if an officer is responding to a b/e in progress with a suspect on scene, this would be considered a high threat situation. Maybe you think the officer should have walked up with his hands in his pockets and, asked the guy if he was the suspect and/or if he was armed and then just walked away. Heaven forbid he did that and it turned out to be a legitimate b/e (he'd be fired). Thank goodness you are a "retired" supervisor.

Anonymous said...

The fact that the case was dropped has no bearing to whether or not he was guilty of the offense. Look at your local judicial system! Charges get dropped and reduced everyday for a variety of reasons. Why do you think the same thugs who continue to get locked up are still out running around. I suppose they're all innocent too.

Anonymous said...

To be a retired Police Supervisor the statement you posted is STUPID. There is absolutely no way to tell how many Police Officers in this country have been killed because they tried to initially treat a suspect civilly. If the suspect has not done anything wrong then there is no reason to anything other that cooperate with the Officers initial request(s). Once the Officer sees you are going to cooperate and gets to the truth of the matter I'm certain the attitude diplayed by him/her would change. What most likely happened in this case is that Mr. Gates was ticked off because someone would have the audacity to question a man of his stature. Police Officers and 911 operators deal with these attitudes every day. It's just because of who Mr. Gates is and that he turned out to be friend of the Presidents that this case is getting so much attention. Turns out the President opened his mouth without thinking things through as well. At least he came back around and admitted his mistake. I have yet to hear Mr. Gates quit complaining and demanding an apology long enough to admit his.

Anonymous said...

3 cheers for race profiling ... This good white cop should have hauled off and slapped the hell out of this pathetic bad homo whiny punk little man arrogant Gates. What a laughable joke he is. He gives blacks a bad name.

This was not race profiling by any stretch but what in the hell is wrong with pulling over criminal looking thugs anyway before they commit a crime?
If a carload of thugs look suspicious to cops trying to protect the general public welfare and saftey then why not pull them over and check them out?

We know 9 out of 10 times they are indeed doing something illegal whether smoking crack drinking or holding a weapon that is meant to be used on another individual.

Race profiling is a good thing. Keep it up or there will be more violent crime and thats a fact and if any people should demand this it should be law abiding black folk who may be their next victim and usually are.

Anonymous said...

Lets look at race for a second. Whites tried to kill off the Native Americans. Whites stole blacks from Africa. Whites go to other countrys and spray paint their buildings and get cained. Whites, American whites that is, are hated in other countries as they think they are so wonderful. Whites still think they are the superior race yet every thing they touch they destroy. If you don't like my country take your white butt back to England. This here country belongs to the Native Americans. Whites just came here an ruined it. The USA is in desperate need of a CIVIL war. Only this time it will be equal ground. Everyone will have weapons. Not just the sheet wearing whites. It won't be any dragging out to lynch from a tree. White Americans, that is some, white Americans, need to get a life.

Anonymous said...

AMERICA NEEDS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVEN'T EXPERIENCED RACISM YOU WILL NEVER KNOW HOW IT FEELS ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE. IT STILL EXICT IN AMERICA SO IF YOU HAVEN'T EXPERIENCED THE HURT THEN SHUT THE BLANK UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE POLICE ALWAYS THNK THEY CAN SAY WHAT THEY WANT TO SAY PEOPLE BECAUSE OF THE UNIFORM. IF THEY STOP BEING SO STUPID WE WOULDN'T HAVE THIS PROBLEM. I GUESS THE OFFICER NEEDED TO MAKE AN ARREST BEFORE HE CLOCKED OUT FOR THE DAY OR DID HE WANT TO SHOW HOW MUCH POWER HE HAS.

Anonymous said...

Facts are Facts. The fact is that racism is alive and well in america and afro americans are always on guard due to that fact. I would have been irate as well if I am in MY OWN HOME and a police officer comes to MY door to question me about MY home. It seemd to me this began with a resident calling the police. Apparently she did not take the time to know(at least visually) who resides in her neighborhood. I assure you had it been a white person she would not have called. Another Fact.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of everything being a race issue. The fact is..a call came in stating that there were unfamiliar people in the house and an officer was dispatched. There was no mention of race in the 911 call. The police did their job and Mr. Gates flew off the handle, and was rightfully arrested...you do what they police ask you. Had he calmly showed them his identification then this wouldn't be a story. On a similar note, my husband who is on the neighborhood security team at our home owners association was driving through our neighborhood where houses are still being built to check for loiters and such. It was dark, there were no street lights and he was approached by an unmarked police car. The cop approached him and told him to get down on the ground. He patted him down, found his ID, realized that he lived in the neighborhood and that was the extent of it. My husband cooperated and there was no issue. For the record, my husband is white and the cop was black. Maybe I should alert the media.