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Gates and police issue

Posted Friday, July 24, 2009, at 3:03 PM

Did the policeman who arrested, and later dropped charges, against Harvard professor Hentry Lewis Gates Jr. at his home perform his duties in a correct manner?

Should President Obama have come out on national television and say the police department handled the situation stupidly?

And, two questions beg to be answered and we may never know those answers.

Would the policeman have handled the situation in the name manner if Gates had been white? And, would President Obama have even expressed an opinion on the matter if the professor had been white?


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

1. Yes

2. No, that is not within his pay grade.

3. Yes, given his record I believe he would.

4. No

-- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Jul 24, 2009, at 3:08 PM

I do not believe it had anything to do with race. If the subject was acting in a manor that met the criteria of the disorderly conduct law, then by all means.

Obama should not have said what he did regarding the Police Department. Period. That was out of line, again PERIOD.

The officer may have had pressure from his superiors to drop charges, or he may have felt that it was the right thing to do. Without hearing directly from him, it would be hard to really put a finger on what happened.

As for the race issue...I dont know the officer, and again without hearing from him and knowing who he is, then we will never know. I would hope that the dept he works for, and represents does not stand for racism, but again we will never know unless he tells us his side of the story.

Would Obama said anything if it was a white guy?

Doubt it.

-- Posted by driedleaves on Fri, Jul 24, 2009, at 4:12 PM

-- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Jul 24, 2009, at 3:08 PM

+1

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Fri, Jul 24, 2009, at 4:16 PM

Obama should have stayed out of it, period.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Fri, Jul 24, 2009, at 4:25 PM

Obama is showing that he himself is looking at the world through "colored" glasses. This matter was a local matter and should have remained such. The President brought to National attention a matter that should have remained in the local newspapers. To call policemen stupid only shows disdain and disrespect for the law, that which he is sworn to uphold.

-- Posted by writeattitude on Fri, Jul 24, 2009, at 5:33 PM

In order for the police officer to be considered wrong, one must assume that when professor Gates refused to identify himself, the officer should have just said "Well okay then, have a nice day", and left the scene. I would hope and pray that ANY police officer investigating a burglary call or suspicious person would require ANYONE found on the premises to identify themselves. The only apparent racists in this incident are none other than professor Gates himself and our President, who upon admitting that he did'nt have all of the facts, accused the police department of acting stupidly. Mr. Obama's supporters touted him as being "ready to lead" from day one. I haven't witnessed him "lead" anything yet and his inexperience is not only showing, it's glaring. His openly stated racist opinion of the Cambridge Police Department demonstrates that he was listening while the Reverand Wright was preaching.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sat, Jul 25, 2009, at 2:14 AM

Escalation and overreaction was a training tactic that was used by demonstrators in the early 60's in order to bring racist issues to the news media and therefore to the forefront. It became obvious when this occurred that Gates had been well trained in how to use these tactics to bring about his agenda. The police, once again, fell into the trap of making themselves look like the bad guys. Obama comments were calculated and well planned to fan the flames that Gates had lit. All of this comes on the heels of the NAACP's recent justification of its continued existence. How advantageous.

-- Posted by ridgeroamer on Sat, Jul 25, 2009, at 8:21 AM

1. Yes

2. If it had been a true racial incident then I would say yes since he could help mend the racial tensions we still experience today but this was a cop just doing his job and a professor who decided to instigate a scene. Obama should have not spoken and especially when he didn't know all of the facts. He created more harm than good!

3. From the record of this police officer, it seems he would have handled it the same way no matter what race the individual was.

4. I doubt it . . . the media wouldn't havened even covered it.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Sat, Jul 25, 2009, at 9:21 AM

The fellow who was arrested was apparently a good buddy of the President's. I guess that is why the President lost his temper and insulted the cop without all of the facts. I could see myself doing that if Gates were my buddy. And of course, who wants a cop to come into your home and start demanding ID? White or black, I would not take kindly to that. In fact, I might tell the cop to leave my property. Finally, African Americans. - especially those over 55 - are rightfully sensitive to police profiling and abuse because it is real and was, at one time, pervasive.

-- Posted by some common sense on Sat, Jul 25, 2009, at 2:28 PM

I think the real reason that the Gates incident has made the news isn't because he's a friend of Obama's but because he's really famous. I think that regardless of their color if someone else of the same level of fame was arrested for the same reason, it would be a big deal.

-- Posted by cfrich on Sun, Jul 26, 2009, at 1:27 AM

While it is important that the president should not comment on every little thing. This incident is not small but an epitome of the greater racism.To say that local authorities must have dealt with that issue is to assume that this problem is only prevalent in that area,but in many states it does. As President,Obama has the obligation to protect the interest of all races and he is in order.

-- Posted by Peter Hangoma on Mon, Jul 27, 2009, at 4:04 AM

Everyone seems to assume that Mr. Gates did not give the officer any ID, simply because the officer said so. However other reports indicate that he did give the officer ID. It was also late and he was returning from China. I assume Mr. Gates was tired and needed to get home to bed. His door was jammed, he was trying to get into HIS OWN house and now has to deal with the police. The officer was white, Mr. Gates black and now the profiling begins. Let's use common sense. We all have dealt with police officers that bully the common man. Let that common man be black and OH WELL, we know it isn't going to end pretty. We have wonderful police officers and wonderful servants of the people in our political arena. We also have crooks,deviants and embezzlers in that arena. I can't believe how this country goes berserk every time Obama opens his mouth and gives an opinion. Bush put this country in the mess its in and yet, Obama is blamed. NO ONE opened their mouth when Bush lost billions of dollars sent to Iraq. It was mentioned once in the media and then never followed. He tried to sell our Ports to Dubai and that was hushed up (whatever happened to that sale?) Why is it that Republicans and their like can do anything and nothing is said but the Democrats are out to sell out America? I can't believe the one-sided journalism in this country. I tire of its grandstanding lie-inducing crap and wish to hear more equal, non-partisan, non-racial information on the facts, not opinion of journalists and the media. We need to stand behind the president we have and hope he can get the economy moving, the job market opening up and educational system in better shape so that our kids will have a better future filled with hope and tolerance.

-- Posted by grannyoldknow on Mon, Jul 27, 2009, at 8:41 AM

A BLACK cop took the white cops side on this his color had nothing to do with it.its always the race card to get out of trouble.if it was racial im sure a colored cop wouldnt have took his side on it.and as far as the socialist ignorant man you all call president sticking his nose in it that tells you he is out for the interest of the african americans and could care less about a white officer doin his job that A BLACK cop sides with.he had no facts just talking out of ignorance.if he can do that then buddy you all wanted change bend over and take it.TALK ABOUT HOMELAND TERRORIST HA FUNNY TRY LOOKING AT YOUR GOVERMENT FIRST.

-- Posted by christianswillwin on Mon, Jul 27, 2009, at 11:37 AM


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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette.
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