Gates Arrest, Obama, Race, and the Police

Once again we see that many police officers will use the power of the badge to retaliate when someone gets annoyed and belligerent ["Obama Was Right About Henry Louis Gates Arrest," usnews.com].

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Once again we see that many police officers will use the power of the badge to retaliate when someone gets annoyed and belligerent ["Obama Was Right About Henry Louis Gates Arrest," usnews.com]. So Gates was outraged and possibly even loud and a-social—who would not be? He was accosted in his own home and forced to produce ID. After doing so the officer should have left with apologies—after all, he was wrong. He should have provided his name and badge number and skedaddled. Instead he called for backup and arrested Gates. Now society will be safe from the dangers of righteously angry individuals and police can proceed with impunity. I hope Gates sues and wins a bundle!

Comment by Paul Hamilton of OR

I do not understand why President Obama made the comment about the police being stupid. The police got a call that someone was breaking in on a home. They were doing their job. I would have been grateful that they were trying to protect my property. My home was broken in two weeks ago and I was robbed. I wish that the police had been there and caught the person that robbed me. The president must know when the police approach a robber that the police put their lives on the line.

Comment by Bonnie Thompson of NC

Whatever happened to free speech in this country? Gates gets arrested on his own property for yelling at a cop? Even if he did raise his voice, since when is that against the law? Especially on one's own property? That's the real reason why the charges were dropped, because it was clearly a wrongful arrest. That cop should be fired. Our tax money should go to people who deserve to wear the badge. Not hotheads wasting time and taxpayer money arresting harmless old men instead of going after real criminals.

Comment by John of CA

Look, here's the deal: Gates innocently lost his keys or whatever, jimmied into his house to get in like any one of us would do. A concerned neighbor calls police thinking somebody is breaking in, they respond, and run into somebody that is giving him a hard time saying "do you know who I am?" How many times do you think a cop hears this? ID cards are presented after who knows how much time. Bottom line ... a guy with Gates's intelligence would appear to me to be happy that the police showed up to make sure his possessions were not being compromised. Instead he plays the race card. What a shame. To me, this guy (Gates) was having a bad day (obviously), and then took it out on a guy doing his job. Obama's comments ... well that's another issue. Speaking on something he doesn't have the facts about really makes me wonder how much he really knows about the healthcare issue. I am in the officer from Cambridge's camp on this one.

Comment by Mike of ME

Look, if Gates has a bad day and yells at a cop in his own house he obviously can't be arrested for it. The cop had to trick him into coming outside to arrest him. So obviously he could have defused the situation by just leaving. You know the cop was bullying when he refused to give his ID number. He later said Gates couldn't hear him because of a bronchial infection. My experience with cops is half of them go into the job so they can bully people, and they like the respect they can command. I'm not saying everyone is like this, but even some of my friends that are cops have this personality. This is not a race issue but a power issue. If a cop has to trick you into coming outside to arrest you then the arrest probably shouldn't have happened.

Comment by Dave of IA

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