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Did Cambridge, Mass., police act appropriately in arresting black scholar Louis Gates?

Yes 67% 849 votes
No 32% 405 votes
Total Votes: 1254

Note: This is not a scientific poll.

comments


July 23, 2009
10:15 a.m.

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acostanzo ( acostanzo ) says...

If you saw someone that looked like they were braking into a house, what would you do?

July 23, 2009
11:39 a.m.

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Rick ( Rick ) says...

From what I read, the cop wanted to know who Gates was and Gates gave him two forms of ID. The cop accepted them and returned to his car. The incident would have been closed if Professor Gates had not followed the cop back to his car spewing insults.

This whole situation occurred in the most liberal town in Mass. and there was a PD supervisor watching, who made no attempt to stop the arrest. It was a judgment call by the cop, who decided he had been verbally abused enough. Anyone, black, white, green or purple, who runs their mouth at a cop (or anyone else, for that matter) runs the risk of being arrested. The Prof pushed too far.

Sometimes it's appropriate to put the victim mentality aside and thank the cop for doing his job. That applies to Mr Gates AND President Obama, who has stated that the cop should apologize. That's like having the Emperor judge the gladiator and turn thumbs down.

The President has 'disrespected' the cop, the system, the rest of Americans and his office by sticking his nose in where it does not belong.

His job is to represent ALL of the people and not get involved in matters that are outside of the constitutional responsibility of the President. There is an official chain of command and process to handle what happened and it NEVER includes the President of the US.

Barack, the man, has every right to his opinion, but when Obama, the President, speaks, the opinion he offers must be Presidential and in the best interests of the nation, not the man or the minority he is placing above the law.

The last thing America needs is cops who are afraid to interact with some groups and people who are emboldened by the President putting the cop in his place. Both men are role models and should act like it.

July 23, 2009
11:51 a.m.

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nygirl61 ( nygirl61 ) says...

The police did what they are hired to do... respond to a complaint, check out the matter, arrest if needed. From what I heard on the news, Gates was slow in offering his identification... cops pick up on things like that and were right to further question him. When they didn't get the answers they needed, they arrested him. Gates might be a well-known figure in his college, but obviously not very well-known in his neighborhood! Now he's thinking of suing the police department?? The police should be suing him for deliberately hampering their investigation of the matter! And the only person who really did anything wrong is President Obama when he called the police "stupid"!! He should be impeached for such a remark! He's the leader of all of us... policemen included!... not just his buddies!

July 23, 2009
12:46 p.m.

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esteban1949 ( esteban1949 ) says...

Once the fact was established that he was the owner of the house,the police officer should have tried to assist him...not arrest him.By the way,when are we going to hear about racial profiling with the police do or have done when they confront Purple,green and orange & white striped people acting like they breaking in their homes with keys or for speeding in a no fly zone ?? How come we never hear about that sorta of overt racism ?? Gee did our grand parents raise us all to be bigoted,or so prejudicial that if a Chinese-Polish American Hussite singing The national Anthem of Canada moved into the neighborhood, everyone would avoid him/her as if they had leprosy ? i don't think so...But I'm a wasp...who grew up on the streets...what would I know ?

July 23, 2009
4:32 p.m.

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Tommy ( Tommy ) says...

Regardless of the validity of the arrest, asking the president about it during that particular press conference was just irresponsible.

The president was explaining things that are very much life effecting, to pretty much all of us, and it was a needless distraction from receiving and digesting very important information.

It reminded me of the press conference where he was discussing the war, jobs, bailouts, health care etc, and someone asked him where he stood on Derek Jeter using steroids, which is as relevant to the subject at hand as asking him what his favorite flavor of ice cream is.

July 23, 2009
7:34 p.m.

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artvandalay ( artvandalay ) says...

Right-let's blame the reporter for the stupid answer the President gave. If you don't have all the facts-simply say "no comment".

July 24, 2009
8:02 a.m.

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teufel_hunden4life ( teufel_hunden4life ) says...

If minorities want to end racism than why do they keep it out in the spotlight? Minorities and Liberals are always talking about racial profiling but when do you ever hear them praise people (like cops) for actually doing their job? Right away people are quick to jump on the racism train to make themselves look sympathetic to their cause. Their cause should be to stop making an issue where no issue exists.

What the left-wing Liberal media will not report is the fact that this JACKASS professor from Harvard who thinks his s**t doesn't stink was being completely belligerent to a cop that was only doing his job and protecting the neighborhood. He should have thanked the cop for being observative and protective but he decided to take the racism victim route.

July 24, 2009
8:06 a.m.

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silbernagel ( silbernagel ) says...

I don't know if the police acted appropriately or not, but I do know that the President spoke inappropriately in saying they acted "stupidly."

July 24, 2009
8:36 a.m.

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upstateny ( upstateny ) says...

People of all races have been wrongfully accused of crimes in this country. The racial aspect of this case was highlighted by the media in order to move more units of newspapers or get more hits on their websites.

July 24, 2009
9:45 a.m.

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WomanWithAnAttitude ( WomanWithAnAttitude ) says...

Gates is an educator? Unbelievable. What an embarassment to Harvard.

July 24, 2009
1:07 p.m.

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schdygrl ( schdygrl ) says...

Wow this must be really hard for all of you guys. Every time there is an article about a Schenectady cop its all about not trusting their side of the story and crucifying them. Now that Obama is involved it is all about protecting the poor cops from the belligerent black man. None of you were there and therefore do NOT have all the facts. According to your own rules, this means that you should not comment either!
GROW UP people! This is a distraction and a non issue. In case you all haven't noticed the unemployment rate is ridiculously high, we have the highest number of casualties in Afghanistan since the war began, the country is in a horrible recession and you can fill in the rest. However on the news we get to hear about Obama’s last comment, great BBQ recipes, the most flattering swimsuits for your body type, Jon Gosselin’s latest romantic affair and of course Michael Jackson’s “homicide.”
The media (including your local and national radio talk show hosts) does have responsibility in this madness and it is so sad that most of the people are too blind to see and can only be led.

July 24, 2009
1:17 p.m.

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schdygrl ( schdygrl ) says...

teufel_hunden4life-
I think you have made one of the most stupid comments I have ever heard. You are blaming racism on minorities by them keeping it out in the spotlight?

July 24, 2009
1:22 p.m.

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schdygrl ( schdygrl ) says...

nygirl- I understand you are getting the fox news version of the story but your facts are completly wrong. The officer in his own words (look up the police report that was writtne by the officer) knew that he was the owner of the home but didn't like his attitude.

Both of these guys were on a power trip and the guy with the gun and handcuff's won.

July 24, 2009
5:08 p.m.

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HobbesEsq ( HobbesEsq ) says...

Regardless of race, the real issue is the god-complex displayed by many cops and how they abuse their authority. Gates acted as one would be expected to act if they are in their own home, are wrongfully accused of breaking and entering their own home, and then humiliated by the government agent who had just violated his civil rights.

Unfortunately, even as an educated, white male, I fear for my civil liberties when confronted by the armed, arrogant soldiers who are paid to serve and protect the population. I commend Gates for his restraint, I probably would have reacted a lot more physically.

July 24, 2009
11:55 p.m.

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medic_sean426 ( medic_sean426 ) says...

The officer did everything by the book. The police were called by concerned neighbors who believed someone was breaking into the professor's house (which, in fact, he WAS doing...the fact that he lived there is irrelevant to the police response). The officers got the description of "two black men breaking into the back door of [the professor's] house." They arrived to find a black man who had entered through a door which had clearly been tampered with, and they had no reason at this point to believe that there was a legitimate reason for this. This is not racial profiling, it is following the evidence. Since the officers had no way to know ahead of time who the man in the house was, they did the proper thing in asking for identification. If Professor Gates had acted civilly and maturely, as one would expect an esteemed professor to do, the incident would have been over. Instead, he yelled at and threatened the officer. As the officers left, he followed them out of the house, still screaming at them and calling them racist and threatening them. Threatening a police officer, whether you feel it is justified or not, is not smart. It is, in fact, a good way to get yourself arrested, or tased. The officers arrested a man who was threatening them, outside his home (a police officer can arrest someone outside their home without an arrest warrant). Maybe instead of screaming racism, Pr. Gates should grow up. People like him are the very reason that real victims of racism get ignored. Would Prof. Gates have reacted this way if a black cop had shown up and requested ID? Or is Prof. Gates himself racist? Shame on the police? No, shame on the professor for acting like an infant and throwing a temper tantrum, and then pulling the race card. Pathetic. And now, after pulling this stunt, he gets a free trip to the White House. Way to reward bad behavior, guys.

July 25, 2009
12:46 a.m.

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WJames ( WJames ) says...

President Obama's to be commended for inviting both parties to the White House. He jokingly said that he needs to get the attention back to health care which is divisive enough.

July 25, 2009
6:18 a.m.

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Ground_Control ( Ground_Control ) says...

It's impossible to know what the actual facts are without having been there.

July 25, 2009
6:52 a.m.

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ViewFromTheRight ( ViewFromTheRight ) says...

The fact is that Obama shot off his mouth without, by his own admission, knowing the facts. Irresponsible. This type of behavior is what leads to wars between nations. It is time for him to consider the consequences of his words and actions, not simply try to interject himself and the federal government where they don't belong.

July 25, 2009
6:56 a.m.

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ViewFromTheRight ( ViewFromTheRight ) says...

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll by Rasmussen.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_c...

Look for the President's approval numbers to slip further as a result of this issue.

July 25, 2009
7:27 a.m.

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annarondac ( annarondac ) says...

Obama said he "could have calibrated his words better."

With this slip up, what does he do on the international level.

July 25, 2009
3:49 p.m.

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wmarincic ( wmarincic ) says...

HobbesEsq That is not the dumbest post I have ever seen here but it is most surely in the top ten. It is liberals like you that have caused the decline in America that we have been seeing the last 40 years. You have no respect for authority and I dare say morality. If I asked you the difference between ignorance and apathy, I bet you would say "I don't know and I don't care". But that is just one man's opinion.

July 25, 2009
6:36 p.m.

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lalala ( lalala ) says...

The guy showed ID that it was house. Hell no he shouldn't have been arrested. Anybody would have been mad if they were arrested in their own house!

July 27, 2009
8:42 a.m.

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wmarincic ( wmarincic ) says...

Instead of calling the Police names and being uncooperative Gates should have done what any decent person would have done and that is thank the Police for checking that his home was not being burglarized. Instead this racist and Gates is a racist as far as I'm concerned started calling the Police names and screaming racism and being totally uncooperative by refusing to show ID. Also, I wonder if this professor was white, would Oboma have said the same thing? I doubt it!!!!

July 27, 2009
1:32 p.m.

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wmarincic ( wmarincic ) says...

lalala how would the Police know it was his home if he refused to show ID and once he did show his ID he continued to insult the Police for doing their job and trying to protect this liberal racist's property. Gates is no better than the Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons who continue to scream racism where there is no racism involved, they are the racists, or in your mind is it only whites that can be racists.

July 28, 2009
8:40 a.m.

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stryfelyfe ( stryfelyfe ) says...

How did he look like he was breaking into a house when his id showed it was his house? And it's not illegal to talk back to the police and you have every reason to be aggravated at being harassed. A lot of cops think just because they got a badge they can do what ever they want too. Look at schenectady.

July 28, 2009
11:28 a.m.

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dan ( dan ) says...

I encourage everyone to read the police report of the event. Yes, it's one side of the story, but it seems pretty accurate. http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/yea...

 

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