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Obama surprised at reaction to his comments on police officer in Gates' arrest

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The neighbour(s) will think twice before calling the police again.

And next time it might be a real break-in.

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The neighbour(s) will think twice before calling the police again. An unfortunate situation for everyone!

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sfjp330

Ever heard obama speak without his teleprompter? He never knows what he is talking about why should he start now?

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" . . . because they are mates and brothers."

"Brothers"? What the hell is that supposed to mean?

"No, I'm not a bigot. I've got plenty of "brothers" for friends."

Sheesh...

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Being a President, when reporters asked regarding about, Mr. Gates arrest, he should have said "I don't have all the facts in yet, and I will get back to you when it's available", and this should have been the end of it. Obama shows lack of experience.

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pawatan says:

Please. You must have the lowest possible standards for calling someone a racist.

My standard for what constitutes racism is clearly higher than Liberal professors like Mr. Gates. Sotomayor stated that she has better judgement than any white male judge just because she is a Latina. She also likes to use muddled legal concepts such as disparate impact to justify denying a citizen their 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law.

Prof. Gates was clearly seeking to gin up a racial confrontation for his own reasons. He stated that he was going to make a documentary about the incident at the very time of his arrest. The man makes his living by the study and practice of racial grievance.

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amerijap? You mean the way the liberal crowd did about Bush? What a parallel.

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Enough noise from the media on this will create sufficient flack that Obama will have a word with Gates telling him to stand down, hell maybe even apologize to the police for losing his cool. Otherwise Obama is in the way of the proverbial fan for his "stupid" comment.

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just because they are mates and brothers

How so?

when he jumps on the "Black men are never wrong when it comes to a white guy because all whites are racist" bandwagon.

No, that's not what he thinks. That's what the conservative media and anti-Obama folks attempt to make us believe that Obama is of a kind by highlighting his remarks.

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[I tend to believe that Crowley was the ass.] -- Of course you do even without a recording of it. All assumtion. And you know what they say about ASS U ME.

[They have a documented history of racism towards minority groups.] -- No doubt you don't mind lumping all cops into one group but one of your in group gets dinged and people lump all of that group then you have a fit about everyone lumping into one group. That's Hypocrisy in my books.

Obama made a remark and took his mate's side just because they are mates and brothers. So this makes Obama look a racist when he jumps on the "Black men are never wrong when it comes to a white guy because all whites are racist" bandwagon. His true colors start to show.

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For those interested in this issue, you can check out the updates at www.msnbc.com.

The police unions demanded the President Obama apology for his remark this early morning. Obama just made a statement about scholar's arrest as a "teachable moment."

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amerijap at 03:27 AM JST - 25th July

"If the local police insist that there's nothing wrong with the officer's action, then why did they have to drop the charge against the professor?"

The obvious, politics.

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The police officer has witnesses, the neighbors.

Sure he has. But it's not enough to give him the right information about Professor Gates in the first place. It didn't give the police officer an assurance that professor Gates was NOT one of the two unidentified black men who attempted to break in his own house. It's not enough to convince him that Professor Gates is well acknowledged by the neighbors in the community, either. If the local police insist that there's nothing wrong with the officer's action, then why did they have to drop the charge against the professor?

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How many of you have read Tom Wolfe’s “Bonfire of the vanities”? Once in the hands of the press & the politicians race becomes a football. Gates comes across as an arrogant self opinionated jerk who lost his temper & is now holding Crowley responsible, a hard enough corner to have back himself into & back out of but it has since been added to by fast mouth Obama. Gates is now in a position where to back down puts his friend Obama in an even worse position. And have you noticed how the local politicians are now looking for cover because nobody wants to be caught out in the open on this one. Backing Crowley might just lose them some black votes next time they run for re-election. As a policeman Crowley is finished, however good he was before isn’t going to save him from the politics of this. Gates will now get well paid for lots of nice speaking engagements.

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Surprised? To call somebody "stupid" in a race relations charged context is going to start a controversy. Especially when it's the freaking president. D'oh! It might have quieted down a bit by now if Obama hadn't stuck his foot in it but now it will roll on for the weekend at least. The cop officials and officer's union are both demanding an apology from the president! Surprise!

Of course the press is loving it. They'll stir this pot for all it's worth.

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The police officer has witnesses, the neighbors.

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Triumvere said:

Badsey, it's the law...

I don't think it is the law everywhere; as I recall someone once said, "Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!" However I much prefer the misquote, "Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!!"

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Why is this such a surprise. We know that American police in general by virtue of their past behaviour have effectively surrendered their standing in the community. They have a documented history of racism towards minority groups.

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You have two stories. So unless a tape comes forward, there's no evidence to whether Crowley or Gates was in the wrong.

I tend to believe that Crowley was the ass. Without a tape, it's all he said, he said. < :-)

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yeah the guy did not identify himself, then yelled at the officer when he asked for ID while responding to a burglary call. The home owner should have gone to jail. My step brother has been hauled off for popping off to cops who came to our house to deal with totally unrelated issues before.

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Anyway, look; what Obama said is not far off the mark. While some are on here making excuses that it's 'one person's story against another' and only a short time before stating clear out that one person was wrong, at the end of the day the officer still overstepped his boundaries,

Actually the officer was completely within the realm of conventional logic to haul the professor in on disorderly conduct.

The officers show up because somebody called about a possible burglary, the officer questions Mr. Gates and determines that he is there lawfully and asks him to step outside for his own saftey (the police still don't know the situation or whether or not there may have been an actual burglary), Mr. Gates begins acting beligerant (neighbors confirm that he was acting wildly and shouting at the much calmer police), and eventually the officer has enough and arrests Gates for disorderly conduct. The same thing they would do to any other drunk, street crazy, or disturber of the peace until they cool off.

Gates was looking for material for his documentary and went way over the line, the officer for his part put up with way more than a normal person would have and gave Gates more than a fair shot to comply.

and with the INTERNATIONAL attention it's getting it wasn't really all that 'smart' a career move, was it? You can argue semantics about what is 'right' and what is 'smart' all you want, but it won't change the fact that the officer's in a whole lot of trouble, and that trouble's not going to go away.

If all police officers thought of while they were on duty was 'Am I going to hurt someones feelings for doing this' or 'Is this guy connected to somebody important' they wouldn't be able to do their jobs. And I don't think the officer is in any actual trouble, I doubt his fellow officers will ever let him forget it, but I can't see his career being impeded by arresting a college professor who was acting like a beligerant @ss.

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I'm surprised Obama commented, and I'm surprised that he commented the way he did. He should have avoided the issue. This isn't going to help him.

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Just because you teach a subject doesn't make you a follower of your own training at all times.

I used to work for Arrowhead Stadium for 23 years. The one, #1, primary reason I finally left my employment there was the Kansas City Police Dept. I was in charge of Gate #1, the primary gate that the most players, staff and police came through. They thought they owned the place. Speed limit 35 and they drove 50 and greater through the gate, let alone on the grounds. They'd come to games with half the neighborhood in their car and flashing their badge like they were on duty. When confronted with this and verifing they were not on duty, they take revenge against stadium staff.

Cops are jerks, also. < :-)

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That police officer is a racial profiling expert, which means he teaches other cops how to avoid doing it. This is beyond wierd, when the cops show up and ask you for ID show it to them, dont freaking scream at them then play the race card. Since when does the president call individual cops stupid for things he knows nothing about?

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Sometimes I think that Barack Obama deals with a gross case of diarrhea of the mouth. < :-)

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Madverts ( 4:10 PM ) - "The voice of experience"

Could you elaborate on that? Thanks.

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Badsey, it's the law in Massachusetts. How many times does it need to be reiterated?

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/41-98d.htm

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/41-98c.htm

Gates violated the officers Police rights and his personal rights.

Say what?

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Obama needs to be very careful about a liable here --> he is commenting on someone's professional action. Also calling someone a racist publically is also a liable and could interfere with the officers work. I believe this officer would have a case against both Gates and Obama and could easily prove damages.

As for giving out badge numbers and a last name: Generally that is policy and a "affirmative response" must be given = this doesn't necessarily mean you must give out you name and badge number. If you are in uniform you generally do not need your badge showing (you are identifying yourself as a policeman), if you are undercover you must show the badge (identifying yourself as police).

It seems Gates may be confused here, but the policy is sort of confusing. Do you need to show your badge and police number to someone that you think may be crazy -Of course not, logic prevails and you personal rights must be protected.

Police arrived at the scene to investigate a criminal case. -That is much different than a civil case. A burgular could have been inside that house (the reason the door was ajar in the first place). Later on it became a civil issue when Gates violated the officers Police rights and his personal rights.

Gates should stick to attacking people that won't or can't fight back (Students, minorities, poor, etc)

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What a bunch of halabaloo. Everyone wants one up the other. "Stupid" is right.

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Losers always play the race card. This is really nothing more than a ridiculous storm in a tea cup.

I'm surprised Obama joined in.

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You can argue semantics about what is 'right' and what is 'smart' all you want, but it won't change the fact that the officer's in a whole lot of trouble, and that trouble's not going to go away.

Smith, What makes you think the officer is "in a whole lot of trouble"? I suppose he is in terms of promotions - sort of like the army, they are unlikely to forget that he brought the heat down on them on a national level; I doubt this guy will ever get past sergeant. But, other than that what do you suppose will happen to him? Slap on the wrist at best - a temporary transfer, or the loss of a little pay. Most likely nothing at all. The absolute worst would be that the pressure would cause him to resign, but they aren't going to fire him, not by a long shot.

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But here is where you really got me: we need to start holding police officers to a higher standard." and not a professor of the nation's most famous college making almost 200k a year?

I'm with you on this; Gates, who is known for his arrogance, was being and ass. (Seriously, "Do you know who I am?"... who says that? I thought that only happened in movies.) But its not comparable, really... Gates is not a civil servant, not bound to "serve and protect", and not issued a firearm and the license to use it for the enforcement of law. The faculty, alumni, and students (as well as their parents, who are paying through the nose) have a right to demand better of their professors. But I didn't go to Harvard, so its not my call.

Police are in a unique position in society; laws that apply to you and I literally do not apply to them, and their is enormous potential for abuse of power, both within the bounds of an officer's legal discretion and beyond it. Power corrupts, especially in an enviroment where the consequences for stepping over the line are often minimal. Take a look through the Agitator (http://www.theagitator.com) for countless examples of the kind of abuse I'm talking about (Narc squads and SWAT teams are especially bad; I also take serious issue with the cavalier manner in which tasers are employed). We need to hold police officers to a higher standard, precisely because of - rather than inspite of - the enormous responisbilty they are entrusted with. And, if part of that entails signficantly raising salaries, then I'm all for that. Actually, someone floated the idea of rasing salaries and reducing pentions as part of a plan to make it easier to remove bad cops... it makes a lot of sense if you think about it.

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Obama is not really surprised.He knows what time it is in America when it comes to the race issue.

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pawatan: "Please. You must have the lowest possible standards for calling someone a racist."

No kidding! The guy goes on about how Obama 'denies the white side of his heritage', and adheres to black theology, etc. etc. Basically the guy himself pretty clearly has some issues with race. Wolfpack is much like the extremist who rails his fists and screams, "All extremists should be shot!"

Anyway, look; what Obama said is not far off the mark. While some are on here making excuses that it's 'one person's story against another' and only a short time before stating clear out that one person was wrong, at the end of the day the officer still overstepped his boundaries, and with the INTERNATIONAL attention it's getting it wasn't really all that 'smart' a career move, was it? You can argue semantics about what is 'right' and what is 'smart' all you want, but it won't change the fact that the officer's in a whole lot of trouble, and that trouble's not going to go away.

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has nominated a clearly racist judge for the Supreme Court

Please. You must have the lowest possible standards for calling someone a racist.

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"He's still wet behind the ears."

The voice of experience.....

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"Obama surprised at reaction to his comments"

He's still wet behind the ears.

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LFA, I already said I didn't know you could do that and said I'll try and see how far I get when I get pulled over or stopped. I am not sure if I'd get up in their faces though. And again, Gates has his version and the cop has his. We can only choose a side now on who you personally trust. Neither you nor I have all the facts, just our prejudices. And that's what was wrongg with Obama's statement in calling the police stupid, when he is the highest enforcer, while at the same admitting he didn't have all the facts as well as admitting that Gates is a personal friend.

My prejudice is I that I feel you had a power struggle with a guy who is the personal friend of the President. Now before you get down on me, you are aware Gates will come out of this smelling like a rose and most likely make a bundle out of it.

You version of this story is different from the Boston news story in regards to how things transpired.

Had Gates been nobody, black, white, or anything else, you know this wouldn't even have had made a local newspaper..

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Skip,

A U.S. citizen has EVERY legal right to ask for the name and badge number of an officer that has approached them. Unless, of course, you think the police have some sort of right to annonymity in the course of doing their jobs? Like a sort of "secret" police? Yeah, that would do wonders for the body politic.

The officer, in refusing to provide this information, was obviously trying to cover her ass as she realized the mistake she had made. No harm, no foul in making a simple mistake, but the officer should have been big enough and mature enough to adjust her posture as the situation warranted and apologized to Mr. Gates for taking up his time.

When Gates provided proof of residency, that should have been all there was to it. Instead, she escalated the situation by ordering Gates out of his own home for NO legal reason whatsoever. And Gates got angry. I would have, too. You would have, too. Regardless of our skin color.

Did Gates blow things out of proportion with his claim of "racism?" Yeah, I'm pretty sure he did. He was stressed at having to break into his own home, and that stress was further compounded by a police officer showing up and suggestion you were a burglar. He let his temper flare out of control.

But what the officer subsequently did was absolutely stupid - as well as unprofessional and worrisome. She's the pro here. It's her job to assess situations for threats and dangers. Quite frankly, I would have expected a police officer with the rank of "sergeant" to have a kind of practical experience under her belt in preventing just this sort of escalation that befits the rank.

All she demonstrated here, on behalf of the “deeply pained” Cambridge Police Department, is an inability to remain cool under pressure. And that should cause everyone in Cambridge some concern.

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President Obama said "Police was doing exactly what he was supposed to do up to that point" Obama probably has a concrete evidence of knowing exactly what the conduct of the Police Officer took place inside the residence of Mr. Gates, when he used the term "Stupid" referring to Police Officer. This was intentionally done to get a message across. What this means is that they have strong evidence of history in Cambridge of excessive racial profiling and abusive problems and that they are being watched carefully by Federal Government (FBI) . This is a big heavy weight, a hammer going down big time. Obama is also saying to other cities that have similar racial profiling problems, were watching you, you cannot do your business same as usual in you old boys network. It's really a wake up call for many of the Police Department with history of conduct problems. The FBI is probably conducting extensive investigations and you will probably see fallouts (fired) from this.

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the professor followed him to the porch, repeatedly demanding the sergeant’s name and badge number " The next time I go home, I'll drive up there and visit a few friends. I gonna try that, ask them for their badge and number (regardless if its on their chest). I want to see how far I can get.

anyway, I am only pointing out that I do believe gates tried using his political power. how many friends does Obama have who are going to go out threaten people with law suits every time there is an incident? Gates knows he can call Obama at any time and knows he's got his back, whether right or wrong.

But here is where you really got me: we need to start holding police officers to a higher standard." and not a professor of the nation's most famous college making almost 200k a year? I'd probably side with him if he were some drunk in Jersey. Still trying to get a higher standard, well in doing so would probably require a lot more intelligence as well as a higher salary. Neither fit cops

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"Also, where is it written that a police man must say his name and badge number?"

It's the law in Massachusetts, skip. It's also departmental policy for police in many locations.

Frankly, I am surprised by the tone of many of the comments in these threads. It is fairly clear that Gates behaved badly. It's also clear that the cop excersised poor judgement. Hauling people to jail because they don't "respect athourity" (otherwise known as "contempt of cop") is a common practice, but not something we should be encouraging. (Note the trumped up charges which are dropped immediately afterward - another common tactic). I have great respect for the police, but officers are given great power and the potential for abuse is enormous. As such, we need to start holding police officers to a higher standard.

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How can he show his name and badge number to an upset unreasonable person? Just like the gaijin here that go off the deep end because a cop here inquired about them. Now I see why many gaijin here support Gates in his moment of temper tantrum.

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the professor followed him to the porch, repeatedly demanding the sergeant’s name and badge number " he said he said that.. you choose to believe him or not. Now, I believe he did ask for his badge number and name, which should have been visible, but how do you know how coherent he was, I mean he's salivating in that photo. Also, where is it written that a police man must say his name and badge number? And if there is such a law, does every city have such a law, including this one? I am not trying to down you, I've just never heard a policeman was obliged by law to give you his name and badge number verbally.

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the professor followed him to the porch, repeatedly demanding the sergeant’s name and badge number

Are the police not obliged by law to have a visible badge number and identify themselves when required by the citizenry? If so, oh look, a policeman overstepping the law. Who"d have thought it.

But if this is all the right have to try and show Obama in a bad light, they really are on a sticky wicket.

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No one should be surprised by Obama's calling the police officer 'stupid'. His mentor for two decades (Rev. Wright) is a racial bomb-thrower, he has been an adherent of black liberation theology, he has rejected the white side of his own heritage, and has nominated a clearly racist judge for the Supreme Court. The President is just surprised that the media isn't just overlooking this like everything else during last years election. Not only is it a fact that blacks and other minorities have been treated badly by the police, but blacks also have been shouting "racist" at the slightest perceived offenses as well. That seems to be the case with Prof. Gates. Gates is himself a professional race-baiter and was likely looking for an excuse to make the claim that all police officers are racist - whether they are or not.

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yeah, I catch that too. Just read that the officer happened to have been a racial profiling teacher, and was hand picked by "former police Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is black"

If you look at the photo, the one whose seems to be out of place is gates.

now we have the white house qualifying Obama's remark.

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I agree. After knowing the facts that his buddy was a wanker then he seems to have changed his tune.

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Obama didn't have all the facts, and yet he publicly degrades a police officer. I suggest that next time, Obama should get the facts before making public comments that could damage another person's career.

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