Media should keep pushing on Crowley

Even many of us who think the Cambridge Police overreacted by arresting Henry Louis Gates in his own home have assumed — for the sake of argument if nothing else — that Sgt. James Crowley’s report was accurate.

I’ve contended from the beginning that Crowley’s mistake was in failing to recognize why Gates would think he’d been racially profiled. Friend of Media Nation Harvey Silverglate and Slate columnist Christopher Hitchens have both written that the issue wasn’t race, but Gates’ constitutional right to throw a nutty in his own home. I agree.

But with Crowley, Gates and President Obama settling in for an awkward beer later today, let’s not forget that there is an enormous discrepancy between Crowley’s report and the statements of Lucia Whalen, the woman who called 911 and then waited at the scene until police had arrived.

Using very specific, descriptive language, Crowley wrote that Whalen told him she’d seen “two black males with backpacks on the porch.” And when the Boston Herald pointed out the discrepancy to Crowley, he replied, “Obviously, I stand behind everything that’s in the police report. It wouldn’t be in there if it wasn’t true.”

Yet Whalen, at first through her lawyer, Wendy Murphy, and yesterday in her own appearance before the media (Boston Globe story here; Herald story here; Cambridge Chronicle story here), has insisted that she and Crowley never spoke.

The media need to keep pushing. If Crowley’s report turns out to be wrong in some fundamental way, then it calls everything else into question as well.

Creative Commons photo (cc) via Wikimedia.

101 thoughts on “Media should keep pushing on Crowley

  1. Robin Edgar

    "Read Mary's column and you'll realize she's a Chicago AA Women"Oh dear. . . It looks like Raven's anti-racism "rant" was what I sometimes like to refer to as a premature ejaculation aka a case of foot-in-mouth disease.ROTFLMU*UO!

  2. Robin Edgar

    I dare say that Bill Baar made a necessary and salient point there RantsRaven. . .Still ROTFLMU*UO!

  3. Amused

    1. Police reports are not "key evidence" in convicting someone at trial. The cop has to testify, the DA can't rely on his report. Their use for the prosecution comes prior to trial, in establishing probable cause, making a bail argument, defeating motions to throw out evidence, establishing "dangerousness," and influencing the judge if the defendant cops a plea. They are more valuable to the defense at trial because sometimes cops forget how they abused the facts.2. Police reports contain lies with alarming frequency. The cops know the buzz phrases that make it pass a once-over-easy constitutional sniff test and how to make the elements of the crime. To read the cop reports, every drunk driver is staggering and slurring, every assault and battery victim sports an assortment of marks (red and otherwise) and the beat goes on.Cops are not journalists. Their reports are more argument than clinical description of events.

  4. O-FISH-L

    For the umpteenth time, an independent Cambridge District Court clerk magistrate found probable cause and issued the criminal complaint against Gates. The esteemed Attorney Charles Ogletree could have appealed the finding of probable cause to a Judge, but to my knowledge did not. Thus, the clerk's decision stands and the officer is on legal solid ground. If people don't like that an officer can arrest you for causing a disturbance on your outside porch, petition the legislature.One of the first lessons in criminal law taught to MA police recruits are the arrestable misdemeanors. Any misdemeanor that amounts to a breach of the peace is arrestable, and you also have a handful of other ones where the legislature gave officers the right of arrest. Years ago, they were taught with the acronym SID L&M, although TTSI has been added in recent years. Note that theft of a library book (regardless of value) is arrestable all day (and night) long.S =ShopliftingI =Influence (operating under)D=Domestic D=DrugsL=Library book theft or defacingM=Motor vehicle VIN obliteratingT=TaggingT=Theft of certain recordsS=Sex Offender (failure to register)I=identity fraud

  5. Bill Baar

    My issue FISH, is cops arresting you, and then no showing for the trial, or in this case, having the Charges dismissed. Sometimes they'll do that just to give you a hard time but then in effect judge the case themselves by not showing for the trial.Few people argue with that because afterall, they're off. That's why some statistics on Cambridge cops, and Crowley would be helpful. So does Cambridge/Crowley do this disproportianetly?Dan's original point was what should the press push.That's where they should push, instead of taking pics at this foolish photo op in DC.

  6. lkcape

    "My issue FISH, is cops arresting you, and then no showing for the trial, or in this case, having the Charges dismissed."I fully agree with the no-show being objectionable.Having the charges dismissed? Not so fast…There are any number of reasons why charges are dismissed, none the least of which may well be the DA not wanting to waste his resources on the case. (Remember DAs are on the public payroll, and DAs budgets aren't as flush as some may think.)The officer on site makes his call based on his understanding of the statutes and probable cause. From there, the arresting officer has little to say about the process or case disposition.(As it should be.)As for Dan's position on what the media should push? It's fairly clear that he is willing to give Gates a pass and not press more closely on his account of the events.He thinks Gates's actions to be immaterial to the case.Now why would he do that since Gates' own actions are the reason why Gates finds himself in this particular pickle jar?Dan's taken a rather elitist position here…the type of position he rails against when he is on the downside of the issue.Are we looking at a double standard or no standard at all?

  7. Steve

    "The officer on site makes his call based on his understanding of the statutes and probable cause."And if instead he just does it because he feels like it, is the arrest "constitutional"?

  8. Bill Baar

    If I were politically powerful, and my friend or kid arrested, the last thing I would want is for the case to be dropped against them.I'd want truth out, and great if the Cop had over reached –dump on him later– but bottom line I would want truth out, and letting the process work its way the best way to go.The last thing I'd want is for charges to be dropped because then it looks like the connection got my friend or kid off.That's exactly the opposite way Obama played it and coming from Chicago he should have known better.The penalty of being connected to a powerful person is you pay the price when caught in public. Caught right or wrong, you still face the judge to avoid the look of using clout.Obama played this the absolute worse way. He let Gates off. He let the Cop off. The public is left wondering with only our experiences with cops to fall back on …. plus the spectacle of the Nation's top cop (Prez Obama) having this foolish Beer summit.

  9. Robin Edgar

    Speaking of which does anyone know if Henry Louis Gates cried wolf in his beer? Did Stone Brewing Co. ship the complimentary case of their Arrogant Bastard Ale to the White House for the occasion as I suggested?

  10. Robin Edgar

    It's unfortunate that Sgt. Lashley was not the first Cambridge policeman on the scene, things may have gone quite differently. For starters Gates would not have had the racist white policeman running in his head and thus *might* have stepped out onto the porch when asked to do so assuming that Sgt. Lashley spoke the same initial words that Sgt. Crowley did.

  11. Bob F

    I can't believe i'm listening to (some) well educated people here. I've got no special expertise in race relations, media matters, I have no special insight into constitutional law, I dont even have a college degree, but enough is enough. If not, WHEN will enough be enough? "The media need to keep pushing" – How far you gonna push? Pushing at WHAT? When are you going to be satisfied, when his memory gets better after time goes on, when her's does? When you've created even more animosity between the races than has already been created?Who cares WHEN he realized that Mr. Gates is black – we know that during their very first minute of their interaction HE KNEW MR.S GATES WAS BLACK. The question is – did he treat Mr. Gates differently because he was black, not WHEN did he know Mr. Gates was black.It's a funny thing, the cop who wrote that garbage racist email the other day.. he was fired, and rightly so, for what he said. But what your searching for here is not really a question of what Crowley said, it's what was Crowley "feeling", what was he "thinking". That's what your really trying to ascertain. I haven't heared that Crowley was accused of 'saying' anything racial, so I must assume you are asking "what was he really feeling" so that you can then judge his actions in this incedent based on that. To suggest that there are NO differences, real or perceived, between the races, I think would be disingenuous. You can't tell me that a black male inside jewelry store in a white neighborhood doesn't get looked at more closely by security more than a white guy, and he knows it, and he "feels" it, I'm sure. Likewise, i'm probably less likely feeling comfortable walking down the alley of a predominantly black neighborhood in the middle of the night than down main street here on Cape Cod. That's the way it is.. maybe i'm a racist bigot for seeing it that way. I hope not, I try not to be, I try to make my kids be color blind. And I think for the most part they are. But they come from a different time than me. And Mr. Gates is aware of different racial equations and histories than me. And Mr. Crowley probably has his own unique history, background and perspective on matters of race as well. That's just the way life is. Men are different than women, and they see each other differently. They aren't different legally, they are no better or worse, but we do at least recognize that there are difference among us. That shouldn't hold a negative connotation in and of itself. If I see someone in a fire, i'm going in, black, white, dwarf, blind, etc… (OK, maybe you think for a moment if it's the serial killer ex-wife, of which I have no ex-wives)."I've contended from the beginning that Crowley's mistake was in failing to recognize why Gates would think he'd been racially profiled" Wouldn't Crowley have to have been thinking about race as an aspect of this call in order to recognize that possibility"? Consider race, dont consider race… I dunno. I know he wouldn't care what color the guy was if the gunshots started bouncing off of body."Gates' constitutional right to throw a nutty' – Ya, you're probably right, in a legal sense. That's why the charges were dropped. But as I mentioned to a couple of your posters yesterday, and as Colin Powell stated a few hours later "When your faced with an officer trying to do his job and get to the bottom of something, this is not the time to get in an argument with him"… "I was taught as a child, You don't argue with a police officer".And you can assure both Harvey and Christopher, Officer Crowley's arrest of Mr. Gates will likely not have the effect of creating precedent a for weekening the First Amendment Right To Free Speech, if anything, it will solidify it."The media need to keep pushing" Be careful that what you ask for isn't worse that what you've got.

  12. Steve

    I'd say Sgt Lashley may be biased and giving a fellow officer support. Maybe not. I don't know for sure – I wasn't there and neither were you, I presume.I'm not saying it's true in this case, but it's certainly within the realm of police behavior I've seen.I don't believe Crowley acted properly when he arrested Gates – I think he was just arresting Gates because he was frustrated. I don't know how you can be so sure Crowley had just cause.

  13. Bob F

    Rants: "Cuffing someone in America is traditionally reserved for "serious crimes," No Rants, they can cuff you simple self protection if they want.. laws aren't based on "tradition", they are based on "precedent".Dan: "Give me a break, Robin. The guy with the gun, the handcuffs, and the governmental power to put you in a cruiser and drive you to the police station against your will has all the authority." That's right Dan, he has "authority", which Gate's failed to recognize. And Crowley was using that authority, and placing his safety in jeopardy, in the course of protecting Gates and his property. And he didn't get a "thank you officers", he got a "**** you" instead.Dan: 'Ikcape: It's really very simple. It's fair to say that Crowley's report describes the worst Gates' behavior could possibly have been" – That is NOT fair to say, it may be that he was reluctant to arrest him in the 1st place, and wrote only what was superficially needed to effect the arrest on this minor charge.. you simply dont know. the suggestion that you do may be colored (if i'm allowed to use that phrase) by you position on the matter. If fact, the complete opposite is tru.. if Crowley was REALLY out to get Gates, you CAN BE SURE that the report would have contained MUCH more definitive details against Gates, that Crowley would have known that any court in the land would believe him, representing and putting his life on the line for US, would believe over Gates.Dan: "Steve: The key is that Crowley himself has not stated a legitimate cause." Dan, that's because the case was thrown out, for whatever reason, law, politics, pressure, etc.. The forum that a police officer states a cause for an arrest is in a court of law, not one of public opinion. By the way Dan, i'm curious.. how long was Mr. Gate's inconvenienced the day of the arrest? I'm pretty sure just as long as officer Crowley was busy with the matter, while the rest of us taxpayers didn't have his services and protection available to us. But since you're the media guy, interesting that I haven't heard you mention anything about officer Crowley's rights.. like how the media was parked up and down his street for the past TWO WEEKS AND COUNTING, trampling on his lawn, on his privacy, bothering his family, his privacy… Since he works for us, represents us, yet is a private citizen as well?"The media need to keep pushing" – Did you forget about HIS rights, overlook them in the heat of battle? Do you not care? Do they not matter? Is it OK to "push" so strong that any injustice Mr. Gates seems to be ENJOYING is dwarfed by the injustice to cirtizen Crowley? OH… THAT'S RIGHT, you've got a better Amendment to legitimize that behavior.. Freedom Of the Press. Well maybe we need a new constitutional amendment, Freedom from HYPOCRISY!

  14. Steve

    Bob F: Crowley was using that authorityOr abusing it. That's at issue here.BobF: and placing his safety in jeopardySeriously? Crowley's safety was in jeopardy at the moment he made the arrest?

  15. Bob F

    Steve, Crowley had a right, an obligation, to use that authority.. he could not – not answer that call. He didn't have the right to abuse that authority though, and if he did, they could have dropped the case, which they did. And I certainly wouldn't be sticking up for him.. i've been on the other side of that abuse myself. If he did so maliciously, then Gates would have a right to civil remedy. which i'm sure is a high burden of proof… But dont get me wrong, if Crowley had abused that authority to the extremes, hit Gates or called him racial slurs, you wouldn't see me sticking up for Crowley.. I just dont see that here.As far as Crowley's safety, he stated that he went into the house as he didn't know if there may be a domestic dispute, or the "2 people breaking in" might be in the house and Gates simply was unaware of it.. From there it apparently immediately turns into an argument between Gates and Crowley. So the point where Crowley was entering a home where the person he's dealing with might be a threat and then realizes he's likely not, is almost instantaneous.. I think the entire thing was 7 minutes. So no Steve, perhaps in minute 5 he thought a robber might come around the corner with a gun, then in minute 6 he knew that wasn't likely the case, except now he's got the guy who's home he's trying to protect calling him a racists for even being there. If I'm a white cop responding to that address next time, i'll probably make sure the next cop gets there before me. Police officers killed in the line of duty: 19,778:

  16. Bob F

    p.s., and off subject, sorry, but I cant argue my points any more tonight.. i'm beat. My family spent most of yesterday and today saying goodbye to a true hero, CPL Nicholas Xiaros. His father is a well respected cop here in Yarmouth, and Nick died a few days ago keeping us safe so we could, well, everything we do. 21years old. Sickening. I've never seen any community come together like this loss has brought my town together.. ever, not close. Good night everybody, hug your kids.

  17. O'Reilly

    Lucia Whalen says the extent of her conversation with Jim Crowley was Crowley telling her to stay there [on the sidewalk.] Jim Crowley says he climbed the porch steps, heard the 911 caller calling out for him, whom he later identified as Luci Whalen. He says he noticed her cellphone in hand. He says she told him she saw two black men with backpacks. This was in his official incident report, which is submitted to the court. This conflict has no bearing on the arrest but it does have bearing on the accuracy of Officer Crowley's incident report. I would think the CPD would want that cleared up promptly. If Officer Crowley embellished his report (and I'm not assuming he did) then he should suffer a consequence sufficient to discourage him from doing it again. A friend of mine contacted the CPD Commissioner by email to inquire about it. He has not heard back yet. He'll give it a week before he tries again.

  18. Steve

    Bob F – let me be clear: I think Sgt Crowley did everything right, up until the point he arrested Gates, which was an abuse of his authority, given the facts as I know them.

  19. Bob F

    *Steve, I agree that it would have been better for that arrest not to have been made.O'Reilly – The dispatcher told Crowley the caller said there were two men with backpacks.Crowley goes to the scene and sees that they are black.So we know the caller said there were two men with backpacks.We know the two men referred to ended up being black.We know that upon arrival the caller indicated she was the caller.Crowley worded what he thought was a simple misdemeanor report "He says she told him she saw two black men with backpacks".Perhaps he could have worded it better "she indicated she was the one who saw the two men with backpacks, the black males".Meaning, she indicated she was indeed the caller, simply by having the phone in hand and pointing to the house.Regardless, we know he was instructed to answer the call, we know that upon first contact with the men he knew they were black.This isn't a case of mistaken identity, where there is a key question as to who described the suspect how and at what point.When the arrest is made, we know that he knows, Gates is black. I would think that in writing his incident report, he would generally describe what brought him to the address, and then more specifically, the details of what basis the arrest was made on. Had the arrest not happened his report might say "false alarm, was homeowner, cleared". Regarding the arrest itself, he gains nothing by trying to suggest he knew the men were black either earlier, or later.It makes a great conspiracy theory, but it's inconsequential. There are likely inconsistancies, oversights, or misstatements in the ancillary details of misdemeanor arrests ALL THE TIME. Especially when they are not germain to the arrest.. "I arrived from the north" when it was really the west." If Crowley "embellished his report", it would have been on an item of significance."A friend of mine contacted the CPD Commissioner by email to inquire about it. He has not heard back yet. He'll give it a week before he tries again." Your kidding right? Had THE CHARGE, not been dropped, it was, and Gates opted to fight this in court (as I may have were it me, since it wouldn't have been dropped), what would Gates say to the court to explain why he's not guilty of the charge – "The Officer Knows I am a black male"?Mr. Gates brings up the race.The press brings up the raceThe dispatcher pressed Whalen about the race.Whalen mentioned "could be hispanic".The bloggers, the president, civil right groups, etc..The ONLY party to this matter that didn't seem to be consumed with the race factor is the police office who teaches diversity training, sensitivity training.

  20. Bob F

    Your kidding right? The story suggests the photo shows that the president "strides ahead on his own" – his back foot is 8 inches from Gates' cane… any closer and he'd knock the guy over. He's allowing the two human beings who he wants to interact with each other, to interact. It shows that bringing them together may have indeed allowed each to see the others humanity. That site, and yourself sir, are fortunate that images "speak volumes" to you, because you are clearly blinded by your political bias. This phot0 reminds me of another the right put out suggesting that Obama was checking out the young lady, only that when the actual footage was played, it showed he was actually helping the elder next to him, and looking down on the ground to make sure they had their footing. The fact that the image tells you all you want to know speaks volumes about you. With any and all due respect, sir.

  21. Bill Baar

    No, not kidding at all. I agree with Lifson. I think Obama uses people with a vengence. I think Rev Wright was right when he said a Politican does what he's gotta do when Obama tossed Wright overboard.I have guests to my house for some sort of reconciling moment, I don't stride ahead of them letting Crowely help Gates with the steps.Maybe this is a case like the Prez and the skirt, but if that's the case, the WH was blind to post this.. what ever the circumstance they were blind to post this.The Press Push Crowley… heck Crowley is the guy to lean on…don't push him.

  22. Bob F

    I've been sticking up for Crowley on this post all along. Being that you are not the leader of the free world, I would image the guests at your house probably dont follow the same protocol as those would at the White House, of remaining behind the president of the United States. Do you get THAT distinction? It's a moot point, the extremes of each party see things in the light that they see things. When Obama was seen in the oval office in his shirtsleeves, the right said he was too casual, and needed to dress with the dignity of the office. Now, in this photo, you suggest that he should have remained in back, instead of leading his guests to their destination. We've seen Oabama hug people who lost their jobs, who lost family members, etc.. I dont need a single photo, taken out of context, to show me the compassion of this man, not after what I saw during the prior 8years. A single frame of a photo, and it speaks volumes to you. Well that position speaks volumes to me.

  23. O'Reilly

    Bob F – you are dead wrong which is why you should link to your source when you make categorical claims of fact. "The woman whose report of a possible house break-in led to the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. said she never mentioned race during her 911 call"linkAudio recording here."In an interview at police headquarters last night, Haas said “it was very clear that she wasn’t sure’’ what the men’s race was. He also said that when the dispatcher questioned Whalen for more details, she told police she could only guess about the race of the two men. “She speculated . . . that one might be Hispanic.’"Crowley's report also documents a conversation he had at the scene with Whalen before his knocked on Gates door. But the person with whom he allegedly had the conversation says that's not true. Ms. Whalen’s statements contradict the police report filed by Sgt. James Crowley, who said she told him outside Mr. Gates’s home that she had seen “what appeared to be two black males with backpacks” on the porch of the yellow single-family house.Ms. Whalen said that the only words she exchanged with Sergeant Crowley in person were, “I was the 911 caller.” She said that he responded, “Stay right there.”linkIf Commissioner Hass does not investigate, he will contribute to the reasonable assessment that the CPD is not interested in investigating testilying. If you are so inclined, you could apologize for your cavalier misrepresentation of the facts.

  24. O'Reilly

    Notice that Whalen uses the word "suitcases" not "backpacks" on the 9/11 call and notice also that she didn't speak about race or luggage at the scene with Crowley. Whalen categorically states the extent of their conversation was "I was the 911 caller," She said. He responded, "Stay right there." So where does Crowley come up with "two black men with backpacks" and where does he get off attributing it to Whalen?Officer Crowley is accountable for the words he uses and the events he portrays in the official record of what happened, the incident report, which is the basis of the commonwealth's position regard the events surrounding an arrest.

  25. Bob F

    O'reilly, I said, amomng many things, that Whalen mentioned "could be hispanic". I was speaking loosely to what I heard in the actual tape.The article you quote says "She speculated . . . that one might be Hispanic.And that is what you base me as "you are dead wrong" on?You're gonna have to try harder than that, spend more time and investigation on this matter than that, before you hang your hat on my being dead wrong on the quote I attributed to her, and the one you do. "Might" or "Could. Ya, good one, you really got me on that one!"If you are so inclined, you could apologize for your cavalier misrepresentation of the facts." I'll have what O'reilly's drinking bartender!

  26. O-FISH-L

    To Bill Baar: The failure of a police officer to appear in court after being notified is a pretty serious violation of department policy, not to mention a potential contempt violation from the judge. Court takes precedence over any other assignment, including a regular tour of duty, overtime, details etc. Officers are even expected to come in on their vacation day and if they do, they get that vacation day back, plus court pay.Cops are human and there are some who don't like public speaking / courtroom testimony, but they are quickly weeded out. I've seen great street cops with a fear of court who have been forced into a desk job where arrests and the resulting court appearances are unlikely. At my department, three unexcused absences from court resulted in discipline, a fourth would likely result in termination. I don't remember anyone getting to the fourth absence.Of course an officer can't be in two places at once, so if he is being held for trial in Superior Court on a felony case, he probably can't be in District Court the same day for a misdemeanor or traffic hearing. That's especially true for the State Police. For instance on any given shift, a Trooper out of the Southie Barracks patrols in the jurisdiction of BMC, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Dedham District Courts at a minimum. If his presence is requested at two courts on the same day, policy dictates he attend the most serious case and hope for a continuance on the other, but under MA Criminal Procedure Rule 36, defendants are entitled to a speedy trial and continuances aren't granted the way they used to be.

  27. Bob F

    O'Reilly "So where does Crowley come up with "two black men with backpacks" and where does he get off attributing it to Whalen?"Once again you make an EXCELLENT, yet misguided and irrelevant point.Do you REALLY think Crowley was hiding in the grassy knoll, called the suspected B&E in himself, planning to be the 1st on scene, so that he could get in a petty fight and make a petty arrest?Backpack, suitcase, piano, what the hell difference does it make?!What does the sequence of his interaction with Whalen have to do with the arrest itself?NOTHING. Just about everything that happened prior to their personal interaction is irrelevant, it has no bearing whatsover on the legitimacy of the arrest itself, which I also question. Nothing preceding the arrest was charged.This he said, she said is irrelevant because, regardless if he states it exactly correct, or he gets some minor details wrong, the arrest, the "issue" takes place after all of that.Backpacks or suitcaes? Was there something that changes the facts of the matter if he states one instead of the other.. Come on. How about fruitcakes and pipedreams?

  28. O'Reilly

    Bob F said: O'Reilly – The dispatcher told Crowley the caller said there were two men with backpacks. linkAnd Bob F said: Do you REALLY think Crowley was hiding in the grassy knoll, called the suspected B&E in himself, planning to be the 1st on scene, so that he could get in a petty fight and make a petty arrest?linkWhich is a straw man argument. And Bob F said: Backpack, suitcase, piano, what the hell difference does it make?!The difference is that neither Whalen on the 9/11 call said it, nor did the dispatcher say it, nor did Whalen say it to Crowley at the scene and yet "two men with backpacks" ends up in the official police report written by Crowley and attributed to Whalen. So (looking at the first paragraph of this comment) you are dead wrong. And Crowley's superior officer should get that straightened out unless it's ok for CPD officers to document untrue statements on their official police report.

  29. Bob F

    Without using too many more brain cells on the matter, keep in mind that the officer writes his report after the fact. Therefore, it would make sense that he uses the compilation of information he now recalls after the fact, and tries to explain it as best he can recall. To suggest that there was some evil motive or intention behind the discrepancies you note, when they are completely unrelated to the justification, or the lack thereor, for the arrest, does not make sense to me. Sure, if a cop lies about a matter of significance to the arrest itself, then "Houston, we have a problem", and the solution is one that is effected perhaps 100 times a day in Masachusetts courts, the person charged fights the arrest, and is found not guilty based on that error by the cop. It's not doesn't make it to the Supreme Court. But your argument has nothing to do with the underlying arrest. There are errors and inconsistancies in many police reports, ask your coworkers. Especially in minor misdomeaner cases where the need to ensure every single detail is likely less important than in major felony cases. You yourself even stated recently "Cops are human". Mr. O'Reilly, I have nothing against you, and I don't favor Gates over Crowley. I'm just engaging in this discussion as I find it interesting, so please dont take it personal, because I assure you, I have no intention of, as you ask to "apologize for your cavalier misrepresentation of the facts". You are making some presumptions, as am I. I am not trying to be loose with the facts. I honestly beleive that the "arrest" comes down to what happened between Crowley and Gates, in the house, after Crowley knew that Gates was the owner of the house. When Crowley found out Gate's was black, what Whalen said to the dispatcher that was or was not relayed to Crowley, how Crowley worded the events leading up to the incident, if Crowly remembered incorrectly, or was simply lazy in writing his report, NONE of that is germain to the arrest itself. In fact, IF Crowley was REALLY trying to screw Gates, you can be sure that Crowley's report would have made Gates look much worse than it did. I really think that Crowley had the "I am THE Cop" syndrome, and Gates had the "This white cop isn't going to treat me like this syndrome'. But hey, you and me will both find opinions all over the range of possibilites. Respectfully, me. P.S. You indicated you work at a police department? Do your offices REALLY want superior offices to be scrutinizing every single possible error and detail of every misdomeanor arrest report where the charges were dropped. My god, there'd be no time for cops to protect the public.

  30. L.K.

    Interesting take on the whole situation in the on-line Wall Street Journal by Shelby Steele the wing-nuts both right and left, look first at Mr. Steele's credentials.

  31. Bill Baar

    Being that you are not the leader of the free world, I would image the guests at your house probably don't follow the same protocol as those would at the White House, of remaining behind the president of the United States. Do you get THAT distinction?No, I really don't. I'm not aware of any protocol that says a guest at the White House has to walk behind the President. If someone asks me over for a beer, when it's over, I expect them to walk me out the door. This was a very odd photo… Crowley shows a lot of class…

  32. Amused

    Tsk. A clerk magistrate signing a criminal complaint does not "establish probable cause." Not now, not ever. It is a nonjuducial preliminary threshold matter subject to challenge (not "appeal") You cannot appeal something that has been dismissed, and this case was dismissed because the preliminary finding by whatever clerk signed the complaint (which they do in 99 and 44/100ths of arrest cases) absolutely would not stand up after a show-cause hearing or on a DeBenedetto motion to dismiss.

  33. Robin Edgar

    Bill, I agree that the White House photo of Sgt. James Crowley helping Henry Louis Gates Jr. down the stairs does depict him as showing a lot of class. He looks compassionate and caring and I don't think it is feigned. I believe that if both of these men want to put this embarrassing incident behind them and work together to improve race relations in the U.S.A. that the American public should let them do just that. I wish them both well in that endeavor and I think that any further harping on about either of their alleged or actual failings is counter-productive to that end.

  34. Robin Edgar

    BTW I do not mean to suggest that *you* are doing so Bill. Perhaps I should have calibrated my words differently to be clearer on that point. 🙂

  35. lkcape

    Let's see, Mr. B_1…A credentialed academic writing for the Wall Street Journal.A anonymous roll of toilet paper posting on a blog.Which one has more credibility?BTW… aren't you upset that the TP manufacturers aren't producing their merchandise in politically correct colors?

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