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Even though Barack Hussein al-Obama has totally betrayed his promise of a post-racial society

I still kinda think the officer acted stupidly.

Posted by on 07/27 at 09:37 AM
  1. Yep. It had an unvarnished clarity and righteousness about it. I winced when he said it because you could anticipate the repercussions, but it was still absolutely correct.

    Posted by  on  07/27  at  11:21 AM
  2. So this is the latest viral internet meme, true-life tales of white cops flying into a rage when a black man violates no laws whatsoever? Awesome. At some point, I hope the white folks who are all “Cops are always right” will wake the eff up and see the truth.

    Posted by Orange  on  07/27  at  03:51 PM
  3. You know this reminds me of how outraged we are when a professional football player beats his wife.

    We all (yes that includes all of us) invest the authority role in police officers and when real “bad guys” challenge that authority we are glad when the police act appropriately. The appropriate behavior in the face of the police is submissive. We don’t yet have community social workers patrolling our streets. When we do, you can yell at them and expect not to arrest you.

    Sorry to be such a reactionary here but I think the professor could have avoided this by genuflecting as is customary and moving on.

    Posted by  on  07/27  at  04:02 PM
  4. Well as an old white man, i was accosted by an enraged law enforcement officer the other morning.  It quickly became clear to me that too many of our PTSD-suffering veterans have found their way into our law enforcement services.  The officer’s penultimate statement to me was that he had obviously pulled over the wrong vehicle (he had accused me of driving illegally through a route i could not possibly have taken {with an attorney in the passenger seat to boot}wink, but (and final comment) that he would be watching me very carefully anyway in the future.  During the contact the officer informed me he felt a legitimate threat to his life (i was in a well-marked large, corporate van), and that i was not allowed to speak or move until he said so.  In depriving me of no less than seven Constitutionally guaranteed (five separate amendments) rights, the officer insisted (without apology) that his job entitled him to act in this manner regardless of my rights and legal protections.  The cop didn’t apologize for his error in pulling me over, didn’t suggest he had made a mistake, and felt no restraint in railing against my driving (though of course he had not witnessed my driving).

    My attorney friend whispered to let it go at the time (hoping the officer would actually write me a ticket that could be used as direct evidence of the officer’s clear incompetence and civil rights violations), so i didn’t immediately react.  We subsequently filed letters with the local law enforcement hierarchy and the ACLU.  The development of militarized police to control the state, increases the use of PTSD-suffering vets, who are more than willing to use force to react to the assumption of paranoia that they create in their disturbed minds.  The officer in Cambridge was not only stupid (an 11 year veteran of that police force who had no clue who Gates was?), but also psychologically damaged as evidenced by his attitude and escalation of force against an arthritic academic.

    Posted by  on  07/27  at  04:06 PM
  5. Another vote:
    Unfortunately for Obama, the press headlines often simply read something like this: “Obama says police acted ‘stupidly’”. But the reality is that Obama supported the officer’s need to verify Gates’ identity and residence. What Obama considered ‘stupid’ was the actual arrest for disorderly conduct, and I couldn’t agree with him more.

    Posted by  on  07/27  at  04:22 PM
  6. Well, another new Internet meme, to which I hope to contribute in this uncharacteristically brief post, is pushback on the whole ‘post-racial’ meme.

    Posted by  on  07/27  at  04:42 PM
  7. Is the assumption of #3 that women who marry pro athletes get what they’re asking for?!

    Oh, and if this is insufficiently genial towards a “regular,” Michael, feel free to delete it.

    Posted by  on  07/27  at  08:35 PM
  8. Sounds like a reasonable question to me, Nick, though I suspect the answer is “no—I was calling attention to double standards in our attitudes toward police behavior.” Though I think Elliot should take the question himself....

    Odd, isn’t it, that Crowley had just come from a domestic-dispute call?

    Posted by  on  07/27  at  09:48 PM
  9. And as Radley Balko seems all too often to have to report, the stupid pile gets deeper and deeper.  From the case of Jimmy Slaughter, a employee of the Department of Homeland Security: <blockquote>“Is this the agency which protects our country? . . . Now my neighbors are wondering or believe I am just another ‘DIRTY COP!’ I have served my country proudly for 23 years in the Marine Corps and six years as a Customs K-9 handler. I bleed Red, White and Blue.”

    Slaughter’s case was one of the many highlighted in a recent report released by the Cardozo School of Law which claims that federal immigration agents have violated their own agency rules as well as the Constitution while conducting home immigration raids. The report accused ICE agents of approaching their work with a “cowboy mentality” which has lead to severe misconduct and disregard for the rule of law. In the report Slaughter explains what happened:

    “I was at home with my wife when the door bell rang. I opened the door and noticed approximately 7 uniformed ICE agents with vests and guns standing at my door . . . I opened the door to look at the paperwork and five agents entered my house . . . . The agents then told my wife to stand in the center of ‘OUR’ living room. Not once did anyone say they had a warrant.”

    Not only are ICE officials mistakenly raiding the homes of their colleagues, this weekend the San Francisco Chronicle also documented several recent instances in which US citizens have been accidentally detained and deported. <blockquote>

    Posted by  on  07/27  at  09:59 PM
  10. You know Nick that is an interesting question. And I don’t want to just give a glib response. The truth is that what was on my mind is that we pay football players millions of dollars to beat each other up then act outraged when they display the same behavior with their spouses. Do I think that they are “asking for it” No. Of course not. Do I think women who dress provocatively when they go out are “asking to be raped”. Perhaps I could have used the analogy of a war veteran who comes home and shoots up his work place. My point is simply that when we institutionalize violence, police, war, football (and hockey) and give it a stamp of approval, we should not be surprised when it comes back and bites us in the butt.

    Posted by  on  07/28  at  12:27 AM
  11. "Stupidly” is actually a gentle remonstrance in this case. The question I’m left with: how big an asshole to I have to be in order to get to have a beer with my president?

    Posted by  on  07/28  at  09:02 AM
  12. spyder, the term “going postal” came from an era when the ranks of federal government were filled with Vietnam-era vets who had gotten veterans’ preference in tests. The way it works, if you are a vet you get five extra points on a test. If you are a disabled vet (and that included certified PTSD from a war zone) you get ten points.

    I spent over 25 years in the USPS as a union rep and I can assure you that when a letter carrier was “trouble” or “too slow” that management targeted them to create incidents to cause them to act out and get fired. I remember counseling one guy who just would not let go of his anger at the supervisors. I finally said that if you do go off, just limit your shooting to the guys in the white shirts and ties.

    Posted by Bob In Pacifca  on  07/28  at  10:39 AM
  13. Good question, O.T.  And while we’re on that subject, let me suggest that Crowley isn’t the only lucky ducky here:  as one of my (white) colleagues pointed out to me the other day, he’s broken into his own home a number of times now, but the police have never hassled him, and thus he has not become national news and a matter of Presidential concern.  “Some guys,” he concludes, “just have it made.”

    Posted by  on  07/28  at  10:40 AM
  14. As far as the Gates case, I examine the police report for internal logic here: http://southofheaven.typepad.com/south_of_heaven/2009/07/habitating-while-black.html

    On top of that yesterday we find out that Crowley invented the “two black men with backpacks” meme after-the-fact for his police report.

    So, Ohio teach, not only do you have to be an asshole to get invited to have a beer with the Prez, you also have to be a perjurin’ liar.

    But I expect that Crowley realizes that whole load of crap story is about to splat. If he shows up and gets asked one or two questions his whole phony narrative collapses. All those people standing next to Crowley are at this moment edging away from him.

    Posted by Bob In Pacifca  on  07/28  at  10:45 AM
  15. The police is one of the institutions we are not supposed to criticize. Not a new phenomenon. In related news, CA and LA are cutting every budget item in sight, but our dear mayor is sticking by his promise to hire more cops.

    Posted by  on  07/28  at  04:16 PM
  16. Christian, your lack of faith in the police is ... disturbing.

    Captcha:  reported, as in you will be.

    Posted by Michael  on  07/28  at  08:57 PM
  17. christian h., you need more police because only 90% of the “hey yous” of any given officer result in a completed interpellation. You add a second officer for backup, you get 99% completed interpellations. You add a third officer, that’s 99.9%. Basically you need infinity policemen to guarantee a 100% interpellation. You don’t want any subjects floating in a non-ideologized void, do you?

    No subject left behind!

    Posted by  on  07/29  at  04:28 AM





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