Professor Gates v. Sgt. Crowley

[Update I:]

Gatesgate. Digby expresses herself on this much better than I can.

This is all in my ‘not so humble opinion.’
I just posted this on Facebook:

Sgt. James Crowley refuses to apologize to distinguished Professor Henry Louis Gates for arresting him at his home without probable cause. The Mayor has issued an apology, but the arresting officer and instigator refuses to recognize his fault.

Some background: I have lived in Las Vegas, NV since 1985. My first ‘big city.’ Prior to that, I went to college in Kansas and lived in rural Oregon and Arizona while working as an archaeologist.

I do not know how may of you have ever been ‘abused’ by the police, but I have had my wrist forced up between my shoulder blades, multiple times, had my day pack emptied on the ground, had my briefcase contents unceremoniously dumped onto a parking lot, had 2-liter bottles of soda poured out – though I have never been charged, never been told what I was suspected of
, and never been given an apology afterwards. Even an, “Oops, we made a mistake.” This is while I was thin, not so thin, with a shaved head, while very hairy, on the UNLV campus, on the DRI campus, riding a bicycle on campus, while driving a white pick-up truck in the suburbs.

One thing we forget is that our Police Departments have been given a mandate to fight an undeclared war against an enemy that only they can see. Because of the ‘War on Drugs’ and now the ‘War on Terrorism,’ the mandate to ‘protect’ us, – and lacking an exterior adversary, apparently from ourselves – is fully operational.

You *are* guilty until proven innocent. To pretend otherwise is to be, …, naive. Their mandate is to uncover the hidden menace. I am unsure how to pass this along to my 7 year old who I have taught to think, “policemen are my friends!” Until you’re about 11, buddy. (This breaks my heart.)

I know that Sgt.Crowley has been trained to *diffuse* antagonistic situations, Even if the perp is *wrong* and the officer has chosen to not follow that procedure, even after proper ID was provided and the situation was diffused. He chose to be aggrieved and offended. He let his ego get in the way.

I know we recruit from the human race, but we ask for a higher calling and Sgt. Crowley accepted that.

In my opinion, you *do* have a problem, Sgt, Crowley. “”That apology will never come from me as Jim Crowley, it won’t come from me as sergeant in the Cambridge Police Department,” Sgt. James Crowley told Boston radio station WEEI. “Whatever anybody else chooses to do in the name of the city of Cambridge or the Cambridge Police Department which are beyond my control, I don’t worry about that. I know what I did was right. I have nothing to apologize for.””

In my opinion and experience, Sgt. Crowley, yes you do have something to apologize for. This is not a case of ‘if the public would just straighten up, we would be fine…’

Just an aside – why did they take the word of someone who obviously did not know who lived in that house that it was being broken into?
In this case, the police (or at least this officer) are part of the problem.

Yes, I support the police and their mission. Just quit dealing in dualistic thinking.

I have been told (recently, by multiple conservative friends, relatives, and in-laws) that there are ‘plenty of people who want to work’ if I don’t want to ‘do the job.’ Sgt. Crowley, the door is over there.

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I am the non-admin personality of blivet tool & die I have been academically trained as a professional archaeologist (MA, RPA) and now live in Arvada, CO. Father, husband, scientist, geek of several trades, and high-functioning Autistic adult. Future planetary expatriate?