« | »

Gates: The US Justice System Is Rotten

From an indignant Washington Post:

In this photo taken by a neighbor Thursday July 16, 2009 Henry Louis Gates Jr. center, the director of Harvard University’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research, is arrested at his home in Cambridge, Mass.

Scholar Says Arrest Will Lead Him To Explore Race in Criminal Justice

By Krissah Thompson
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. has spent much of his life studying the complex history of race and culture in America, but until last week he had never had the experience that has left so many black men questioning the criminal justice system.

Gates was arrested outside his house in Cambridge, Mass., after a neighbor reported seeing two black men in the middle-class, predominantly white area pushing against the front door.

"I studied the history of racism. I know every incident in the history of racism from slavery to Jim Crow segregation," Gates told The Washington Post on Tuesday in his first interview about the episode. "I haven’t even come close to being arrested. I would have said it was impossible." …

The charge against him was dropped Tuesday, but Gates said he plans to use the attention and turn his intellectual heft and stature to the issue of racial profiling. He now wants to create a documentary on the criminal justice system, informed by the experience of being arrested not as a famous academic but as an unrecognized black man.

Gates has come to see the incident as a modern lesson in racism and the criminal justice system

Here is Gates’s account of what happened:

After returning from a week in China researching the genealogy of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Gates found himself locked out of his house, and he and his driver began pushing against the front door. The sight of two black men forcing open a door prompted an emergency call to police.

The white officer who arrived found Gates in the house (the driver was gone) and asked him to step outside. Gates refused, and the officer followed him in. Gates showed him his ID, which included his address, then demanded that the officer identify himself. The officer did not comply, Gates said. He then followed the officer outside, saying repeatedly, "Is this how you treat a black man in America?"

The police report said that Gates was "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior" and that the officer, Sgt. James Crowley, identified himself. "We stand by whatever the officer said in his report," said Sgt. James DeFrancesco, a spokesman for the Cambridge Police Department. He would not comment on Gates’s version of his arrest.

The department said that Crowley tried to calm Gates, but that the professor would not cooperate and said, "You don’t know who you’re messing with."

Gates said he does not think that anything he did justified the officer’s actions. He walks with a cane and said he did not pose a threat.

"I weigh 150 pounds and I’m 5-7. I’m going to give flak to a big white guy with a gun. I might wolf later, but I won’t wolf then."

Barack Obama’s election as the nation’s first black president was "huge and important," Gates said, but "did not translate to structural change. Given the demographics of Cambridge, [the officer] probably voted for Barack. That wasn’t much help to me."

He added: "I want to be a figure for prison reform. I think that the criminal justice system is rotten."

Charles Ogletree, Gates’s friend and lawyer, who also teaches at Harvard and wrote about the relationship between minority communities and law enforcement after the Rodney King verdict, said his own experience with profiling has been similar. On a trip to his home town of Merced, Calif., a police officer stopped him in his rented Cadillac to ask what he was doing in the neighborhood.

Gates’s prominence played a dual role, Ogletree said, bringing unflattering attention to Gates in the first reporting of the incident. Then, it allowed him access to well-connected friends and resources that got his case dismissed quickly.

Sitting handcuffed in the police cruiser, Gates was able to ask his secretary to "call Tree," referring to Ogletree.

"He knew: At least somebody will know where I am and what needs to be done. That is the advantage he had to know a lawyer and to call a lawyer."

The harsher side of the experience was "deeply painful and traumatic," Gates said. "I’m outraged that this could happen to me in my own home, but I’m outraged that it could happen to any individual."

He said his documentary will ask: "How are people treated when they are arrested? How does the criminal justice system work? How many black and brown men and poor white men are the victims of police officers who are carrying racist thoughts?"

He has always said his neighborhood is the safest place in the world for him. He is often recognized on the streets, asked for autographs or to debate his latest documentary.

He has no qualms about the neighbor who called the police.

"I’m glad that someone would care enough about my property to report what they thought was some untoward invasion," Gates said. "If she saw someone tomorrow that looked like they were breaking in, I would want her to call 911. I would want the police to come. What I would not want is to be presumed to be guilty. That’s what the deal was. It didn’t matter how I was dressed. It didn’t matter how I talked. It didn’t matter how I comported myself. That man was convinced that I was guilty."

Gates has asked for a personal apology. Ogletree said it is not clear whether he will receive one.

That Mr. Gates is considered a ‘scholar’ tells you everything you need to know about how the degradation of our intellectual standards and our institutions of supposed higher learning.

As we have noted before, the police were responding to a call from neighbors who saw two men prying up the door to a house with a crow bar. How were the police guilty of ‘racial profiling’? Should they have refused to handle the call?

Mr. Gates should have thanked them for risking their lives to protect his property. The neighbor didn’t. Instead he turned on them and attacked them like the race obsessed lunatic he is.

For those actions he was arrested. And he would have been arrested no matter what color he appears to be.

But to Mr. Gates this is proof that our “criminal justice system is rotten.”

"I studied the history of racism. I know every incident in the history of racism from slavery to Jim Crow segregation," Gates told The Washington Post on Tuesday in his first interview about the episode. "I haven’t even come close to being arrested. I would have said it was impossible."

Really? Why should it be impossible to be arrested if you break the law, even if you are an affirmative action Harvard Professor who teaches race grievance?

Also, please note that at least one of the arresting police officers was black. (See the photo at the top.)

Gates said he plans to use the attention and turn his intellectual heft and stature to the issue of racial profiling. He now wants to create a documentary on the criminal justice system, informed by the experience of being arrested not as a famous academic but as an unrecognized black man.

How wonderful. How laughable.

What a great scholar.

Speaking of which:

Gates’s prominence played a dual role, Ogletree said, bringing unflattering attention to Gates in the first reporting of the incident. Then, it allowed him access to well-connected friends and resources that got his case dismissed quickly.

His own mouthpiece, and fellow Harvard professor, says he got his case dismissed because of well-connected friends.

What a great lawyer.

By the way, here are some excerpts from the actual police report:

(Click to enlarge.)

Which presents an account which is a far cry from how the Washington Post and the rest of our watchdog media have portrayed Mr. Gates’ actions.

And as even Mr. Gates admits, it was probably written by an Obama voter.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

36 Responses to “Gates: The US Justice System Is Rotten”

  1. BillK

    It gets better.

    From “unbiased” CBS:

    Harvard Scholar: ‘I Would Like An Apology’

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (CBS) ― A prominent Harvard University scholar who was arrested at his own home by Cambridge Police last week says he wants an apology.

    Charges against Henry Louis Gates Jr. were dropped by the prosecutors Tuesday, upon a request by Cambridge Police.

    Gates, the nation’s pre-eminent black scholar, was arrested at his home near Harvard University last Thursday after forcing his way through his front door because it was jammed. Gates was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after police said he “exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior” when approached by police.

    “I would like an apology,” Gates told CBS station WBZ-TV by telephone from his Vineyard home Tuesday. “If he [the police officer] would give me a sincere apology and I believed it, I’d be prepared to forgive him.”

    In announcing that charges would be dropped Tuesday, police blamed both sides for escalating the conflict. “You had two human beings reacting to a set of circumstances and cooler heads did not prevail,” said Cambridge police spokesman Kelly Downes.

    “It was not Professor Gates’ best moment and it was not the Cambridge Police’s best moment.

    “I think both parties were wrong. Our position is race did not play a factor.”

    http://cbs4denver.com/national.....96089.html

    I don’t think there’s a more depressing statement here than:

    Gates, the nation’s pre-eminent black scholar

    If true, that should sadden all African-Americans.

    Needless to say, the America-haters at Harvard led by their President continue to show their true colors:

    Harvard President Drew Faust released the following statement on the incident late Tuesday evening:

    “I am gratified that the charges against Professor Gates have been dropped and that all parties involved have recognized and reaffirmed his strong reputation and character. I feel privileged to consider Skip not just an esteemed colleague, but a friend. I have been in regular communication with him since Thursday and I was profoundly saddened to hear him describe what he experienced. I continue to be deeply troubled by the incident.

    Legacies of racial injustice remain an unfortunate and painful part of the American experience, and inform our views, our actions, and their consequences. As President Obama has remarked, ours is an imperfect union, and while perfect justice may always elude us, we can and must do better.”

    Why do I think Gates will be the first to claim “racism” if a black is seen actually breaking into his home and Cambridge Police don’t bother to investigate for fear of sparking another incident?

  2. BannedbytheTaliban

    Here is Gates’s account of what happened:

    So where is the similar text reading: “Here is the Officers’ account of what happended”? No bias there. And who has the most to benefit from lying? The biggest racist in America are these self-proclaimed “scholars,” racial advocates, and community organizers, i.e. professional race baiters. And again, who has the most to benefit from “racism”?

  3. “Poor white men” is now a race?
    I’m going to shut up now. This country is going to hell in a handbasket. Bet this fool gets a multimillion dollar grant to study the role of race in criminal justice.
    Like it’s never been done before.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      It HAS been done before, many times. And each time the studies show that in fact, black officers are far more likely to arrest black suspects and that black judges are far more likely to put blacks into prison.

      But those statistics are swept under the rug and as each study is completed, they are just as quickly squelched.

      There’s a reason that 70% of the prison population is black. The elephant in the room is that blacks have historically been angry. That’s true enough. But it’s very hard to admit that what they’re angry at is themselves, which has manifested itself into countless “non-profit” groups, discussion boards, PBS specials and so forth.

      I was always taught when I was a child that when I was angry, to look at myself, first. And that often requires gut-wrenching honesty. And that, is the basis for real progress. Something that blacks, historically, refuse to face.

      And…sadly, when they do, as in the case of Mr Bill Cosby, they are drummed out of the black race by the likes of Sharpton, Jackson (the one without talent), Rangel, etc.

  4. neocon mom

    The “Justice System” dropped all charges against Gates.

    It’s the “Executive Branch” he’s got a beef with. I forgot, who is in charge of that one?

  5. jrmcdonald

    The real question should be, Who would give a racist and unbalanced person like this a job?

  6. Liberals Demise

    Oh Goody!!
    One wonders how this yarn will be spun. Will he spin it using the ‘WHITE” half of his DNA or will he prop up the hurt black DNA side and show America how a Halfrican gets his share of “reparations” from whitey.

    “Youse peoples gotta be learned.”

  7. jobeth

    “I’m glad that someone would care enough about my property to report what they thought was some untoward invasion,” Gates said. “If she saw someone tomorrow that looked like they were breaking in, I would want her to call 911. I would want the police to come. What I would not want is to be presumed to be guilty. That’s what the deal was. It didn’t matter how I was dressed. It didn’t matter how I talked. It didn’t matter how I comported myself. That man was convinced that I was guilty.”

    Ok….Of course the officer had to momentarily assume he was a bad guy and question and/or even cuff him until he could get to the bottom of things. If he went in there assuming that a guy, who was trying to break in a door, was automatically the homeowner, the officer could have been shot or injured or at the very least the “bad guy” could have run.

    Then Mr Gates would be running into court crying that the police had the bad guy in their grips and failed to demonstrate good judgement in apprehending him. Either way the police are at fault.

    If I am seen breaking in to my own house and the police show up to question me…I will first thank them for coming and then comply with what they ask of me. It’s easy enough to prove who you are for pete’s sake!

    You can’t tie the police department’s hands and then ask them to do a job.

    Grow up “professor”. I would wager your professorship came via affirmative action, because your thought processes are sorely lacking.

    My son is a police officer and I would want him to do the very same thing…for his own safety.

  8. proreason

    Methinks Mr. Gates was looking for something to raise his profile.

    And I think he found it.

    Let’s review the facts:
    – he came home and found himself without a key.
    – he “entered through a backdoor”
    – then he went to the front door and with the help of his driver “forced it open”, apparently with the help of a crowbar

    So, after getting in the house through the backdoor, he decided to destroy the front door in plain sight of the public.

    Maybe he’s mentally retarded.

    Or maybe something else is going on.

  9. bill

    With the racists, it’s all about race.

    I think anybody in our neighborhood who we didn’t know, trying to break in a house, even a house they may own, with a crowbar would be called in to the police.

    But I doubt the black guy two houses down, would be called into the police, because I know him and know it’s his house.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    “Scholar Says Arrest Will Lead Him To Explore Race in Criminal Justice”

    Yes, how slick is that? I never would’ve thought that to get a real “inside” expose’ on race in the justice system to….somehow…..(but how, you ask) get myself arrested, thus making the cops none the wiser.

    Why it’s…..BRILLLLLIANT!!!

  11. Classic
    “It didn’t matter how I comported myself. That man was convinced that I was guilty.”
    Yeah, but only after you refused to cooperate and berated him and calling him a racist for doing his job.
    Is this guy related to Cynthia McKinney? He didn’t assume you were guilty of B&E, he saw that you were guilty
    of being a RACE BAITING ASS to a police officer doing his job.

    I agree, the Justice system is rotten if you’re above the LAW (YOU DON”T KNOW WHO YOU”RE MESSING WITH!)
    because your friend the lawyer can get you off without having to face your accuser in court.
    I guess preferential treatment is OK as long as you’re black.

  12. GetBackJack

    The concept of Racial Profiling is the PC attempt to abrogate the natural human defense and self-preservation skill of visually detecting threats.

    Sound racist? Bovine scatology.

    http://www.project.org/info.php?recordID=174

    2/3 of our prison population is black. I’m not supposed to take note of that?

    If you don’t want to be part of the problem, change your ways.

    • Liberals Demise

      AMEN!!!!

      DON’T COMMIT THE CRIMES!!

    • Confucius

      I second that.

      What the left calls “profiling” is our brain making sense of what it sees so as to predict and guide our actions.

      When a group of pierced teenagers walk straight towards you, you know to cross the street and not into an alley. As GetBackJack states, it’s self-preservation.

      If the teenagers are offended, good. It’s a lesson in itself as they just pre-judged the person who crossed the street.

  13. take_no_prisoners

    This reads like the script of a movie I once saw. There was a black professor who bought a summer home on Cape Cod and the neighbors saw him hooking up his stereo and assumed he was robbing the place. The police surround the place and when the civil rights activists get there one of the civil rights activists accidentally catches the place on fire. If I’m not mistaken the black professor character was named Gates. Sometimes life imitates art.

    • take_no_prisoners

      I remember now. The Black professor character was named Andrew Sterling. It was a 1993 film called Amos and Andrew. At one point, the petty crook played by Nicholas Cage takes the black professor hostage, breaks into the neighbors house while they are out watching the police siege at the black professors house and they are confronted by the neighbors white german shepard. The dog wants to shake hands with the black professor but he says the dog is prejudiced against black people. Nicholas Cage tells him the dog doesn’t know the difference, but if he didn’t shake his hand he would quickly learn to be prejudiced.

  14. Melly

    I thought Barry was supposed to end racism and bring unity, love and peace to the world.

    HA!

    I do see a rather imposing black officer in the foreground of that photo.

    And the police cuffed him from the front – not the back…they seemed to have handled him gingerly.

  15. dostadawg

    I wouldn’t call it racism but I would say the cop showed a lack of common sense, a well dressed old guy with a cane breaking into a home and then showed an ID?. People need to realize this would probably happened regardless color depending on how Gates acted. They would have done the exact same thing if a white guy was being loud and arguing with him. Because a lot of cops have that ego and power trip like ” How dare you talk back to me”

    Just like the cop tasering the old lady…Something needs to be done with law enforcement but not only because its a black and white issue.

  16. Trialdog

    From Gates’ behavior, I’m surprized he wasn’t tazered. Officer gets a call of a break in. Finds an unruly belligerent man ranting in a house. Officer can’t know whether the man is on crack, on meth, or a raging psychotic. (Apparently Harvard has no standards concerning their employees off work activities and does not provide mental health benefits) Without pre-judging the suspect, the officer quickly determined Mr. Gates is simply a raging psychotic, cuffed him for his own safety, and took him downtown.
    For helping him, the police should be billing him for their time.
    This must be so embarassing for an institution such as Harvard. Certainly this hurts Harvard’s reputation. They carefully cultivate their image of having “scholars” working with them. Now this. A supposed “scholar” behaving like nutjob junkie. Shame.

  17. Enthalpy

    Lawrence Auster at VFR has had interesting observations about Louis Gates’ appearance on a PBS show, “African-American Lives” aired in February, 2006.* Some may view the article as a bit rough on the professor, but it seems to make valid points about his racism.

    *
    http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/005151.html

  18. canary

    Scholar Says Arrest Will Lead Him To Explore Race in Criminal Justice

    I think he’s done enough of that studying he and Oboma’s hero Dubois. Autographs? Dang if he’d have stayed in jail for a couple of days he could sign and charge for them. Could this chronic whack be on crack?

  19. bronzeprofessor

    Okay, I’ve given this some thought. Here’s what I conclude:

    1. The problem here is class, not race, and the prejudiced one is Gates. He has his own driver, whom he can apparently commandeer into a brainless, impatient idea of breaking down a door. The story tells us, right from the beginning, Gates likes being respected and assumes others are meant to answer to his whims. So then the policeman arrives, trying to figure out what is happening. Gates can’t believe that a working-class Boston cop — someone who probably doesn’t speak as eruditely as Gates — has the nerve to ask him to step outside the house. And so he proceeds to bait and dehumanize the cop, even threatening him with some kind of complaint that could endanger his job.

    2. The person who was really abused in all this was the cop. He had to respond to the call to do his job, and at the first threat of a racism lawsuit, he has to worry about his career and reputation being ruined. It was cruel and intentionally ruthless to bring race into the equation when all Gates had to do was step outside and cooperate.

    3. The charges have been dropped and Gates spent only a few hours in jail. He should apologize to the Boston Police Dept. and that officer in particular if he expects an apology from Boston Police. He should not turn this into grounds for more academic discussion of race. The only racial element to this case is the fact that Gates used racial threats in order to make a policeman fearful of his job.

    QED

    • pdsand

      My suspicion after I looked this all up and down yesterday is that the whole thing was a publicity stunt dreamed up by the good professor so that he could have this soapbox to shout from now. Suddenly after a day or two of resting comfortably he announces grand plans to study and explore the justice system. And suddenly he’s a (wait for it) victim! How convenient…

  20. canary

    As a black man Gates is aware his gang like behavior, using racist slur “your mama”, to the police officer. Those are fighting words on the street.

    Advertisment: Free Course for Gates

    Mother’s tell your children, not to dis-respect police officers. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, be respectful. DO NOT sass, yell at, or “threaten” them, or you will make things worse for yourself. Be polite if you can.

    “Son, if you just arrived from Communist China, and busting a door down, and threaten “you don’t know who your messing with” this may be cause for the police to find out just who exactly is threatening them. Terrorists come in all colors and races.

    Gates said “” [the officer] probably voted for Barack. That wasn’t much help to me.””
    Free Obama Advice for Gates:
    “I value good manners, for example. Everytime I meet a kid who speaks clearly and looks me in the eye, who says “yes sir” and “thank you” and “please” and “excuse me,” I feel more hopeful about the country. I don’t think I am alone in this. I can’t legislate good manners. But I can encourage good manners whenever I’m addressing a group of young people.” barack obama “values” the audacity of hope pg 60
    Gate’s parents, Harvard educ., tv cop shows, America, China, rest at Martha’s Vineyard have all failed him. He may have to paint his bright yellow house before he can sell it.

  21. MinnesotaRush

    “I studied the history of racism. I know every incident in the history of racism from slavery to Jim Crow segregation,”

    He may as well have continued, “.. and now I have the golden opportunity to avenge each and every one of them!”

  22. canary

    Gates “I might wolf later, but I won’t wolf then.” does he mean he’s thought of being arrested before, and figured not to “wolf wolf” police, until after he’s handcuffed then “wolf wolf” the traumatised policemen. Or is this a new threat with the other threat foretold for the future, they’d better not mess with him. Is wolf wolf some secret underground Chinese mob talk? The police should probably put some “surveillance on this wolfman”, until they feel they are out of danger of being wolf wolfed. Maybe it’s a new beat from his geneology
    wolf. wolf wolf. wolf wolf wolf. wolf wolf. wolf. for Yo Yo Ma’s groundbreaking PBS special of groundbreaking techniques of connections between music, the human mind, body and global universe.
    Yo Yo Ma, Visit PBS.org to Check your local showtimes.

    • Petronius

      “Is wolf wolf some secret underground Chinese mob talk?”

      Gates is a professor of literature at Harvard. ’nuff said.

  23. Petronius

    “Gates, the nation’s pre-eminent black scholar . . . .”

    You’ve got to be kidding, right? Please . . . tell me you’re kidding? No way this bum competes with Walter E. Williams or Thomas Sowell. Not even in the same league. Not even on the same planet.

  24. sheehanjihad

    Note to the Cambridge Police Dept. ANY 911 call about or from that residence should be totally ignored….due to the racist behavior of the police. That way, even as Gates is being beaten into a stupor by thug robbers, he will know that at least now, finally white men respected his wishes….

  25. wirenut

    Thank you S.J. for your expert and uncanny commentary. Moving on to camera two, the moron still has his yap flapp’in.
    I guess the Hindenburg disaster and now 9/11/01 need to be revised do to this lastest outrage. More at 10:00 ! ATS NEWS, About To Snap Network.

  26. BillK

    No shock, but He fully supports Gates.

    From the Associated Press’ report on tonight’s Obama show:

    While the session was dominated by health care, Obama said in response to one question that Cambridge, Mass., police “acted stupidly” last week in arresting Henry Louis Gates Jr., a black scholar at Harvard, in his house. Police were called to the house to investigate a possible break-in. Gates produced identification but was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct after protesting the police conduct.

    “Now I don’t know, not having been there, what role race played in that,” the president said. But he added that blacks and Latinos often are stopped by authorities in disproportionate numbers. Police have dropped charges initially lodged against Gates. …

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/ne.....0839.story

    Wow, the President playing racial politics – who would have ever thought?

  27. canary

    Obama meddles in friend Gate’s legal matters. Doesn’t Obama have enough bad boys to defend, Chavez, Ahamdman, tax cheats, terrorists, illegals, acorn nuts, etc

    (CNN) — President Obama said that police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, “acted stupidly” in arresting a prominent black Harvard professor last week after a confrontation at the man’s home.

    “I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played,” Obama said Wednesday night while taking questions after a White House news conference.

    Obama defended Gates on Wednesday night, while admitting that he may be “a little biased,” because Gates is a friend.

    “But I think it’s fair to say, No. 1, any of us would be pretty angry; No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, No. 3 … that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.”

    The incident, Obama said, shows “how race remains a factor in this society.” Watch the president address the incident »

    The officer, Sgt. James Crowley, told CNN affiliate WCVB earlier Wednesday that he will not apologize.

    “There are not many certainties in life, but it is for certain that Sgt. Crowley will not be apologizing,” he said.

    (Gates) He said Wednesday that he and his lawyers were considering further actions, not excluding a lawsuit.

    Gates said that although the ordeal had upset him, “I would do the same thing exactly again.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/.....index.html

  28. canary

    If you have the stomach for Obama’s long winded defense of Gates.
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/.....nnSTCVideo

  29. canary

    It’s also interesting to note, aside Obama and Gates being friends, both are fans of WEB Dubois. Dubois had simular beliefs to Margaret Sanger, in that poor black people should not have baby’s as it harmed the race. If you recall, one of the first things Obama did after being elected is send money to Africa for abortions. Hillary accepted the Margarette Sanger award. Bush, sent money to help with the AIDs epidemic. Many wealthy white people, such as Bill Gates, who Obama disdained, Matt Damon, have sent millions to aid poverty in Africa. Obama’s solution is to weed out the poor.

    Abortion & Black Genocide/Barack Obama & the Negro Project
    nararated by Jonathan Tremaine

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....&NR=1


« Front Page | To Top
« | »