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racial profiling?: black scholar arrested in his own home


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renowned black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested in his own home. Gates had trouble getting into his house so he pushed the door in. a nearby neighbor thought someone was breaking in so she called the police. The police arrived at the home and they wanted to check to see if gates was the owner of the house. Gates showed the proof but was arrested anyway. Now the police says he was arrested for disorderly conduct but Gates wasn't acting disorderly. He was a little agitated over the whole matter but not acting in a manner where he should have been arrested. Anyway after the arrest, the disorderly conduct charge was dropped. President Obama weighed in on the matter and said he didn't know if race played a role but the police acted "stupidly" for arresting him. Was this a racial profiling case? if he were white would the police have demanded identification or arrested him? keep mind his home is in a white neighborhood.


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There's an alarming amount of racism in some parts of Boston, just across the river. But this is pretty bad considering Cambridge is supposed to be a big time liberal city, all these premier colleges attended heavily by international students, and more racial diversity than 99% of the country.

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this is much ado about nothing. It would appear to be a he said-he said shouting match at one point. Granted, cooler heads should have prevailed and the cop shouldn't have arrest him after proof of identification was established. On the other hand, Professor Gates should be thankful he has neighbors concerned about his dwelling enough to call 911 and officers who responded in a timely fashion. After reading the bio of the cop, IMHO, I doubt he was racial profiling.

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This ordeal bothers me a bit. I hate that race gets involved in things like this, and it shows where we are as a society at this time.

a: was the neigbor being a bit of a profiler by calling the cops?

b: could the neighbor have just called out the window to see who the man was.

c: how dow they not know who lives next door? I know all my neighbors and I live in a condo.

d: how did the cop handle innitial contact? likely the same way cops always do...

e: how did the professor react to the cop doing what cops do?

f: how long did it take for everyone to realize it was a misunderstanding?

g: why didnt cooler heads pervail and everything get settled calmly after the facts were apparent?

h: why did anyone go to the media? what were their motivations?

i: are race relations better by this being a public issue or would they have been better served if the professor and the cop made nice?

I recently called police on someone for something quite simular.

I kind of felt like an ass because I might have been racial profiling as well.

it was a young black male dressed like a thug.(not at all an uncommon sight in the Hartford area)

he was on the property of a historic mansion not far from my condo complex. I was near the end of my run when I saw this kid looking in the windows of this mansion (its got a huge lawn and was too far away for me to just say something, or even really yell to him)

I have watched a builder renovate this 7000SF historic mansion, and know this kid is not associated with the owner/resident.

I called the cops

I felt guilty doing so

I even asked a buddy at work if I was being unfair I felt so damn guilty.

truth be told I am too concerned with being unsensative that I concidered not calling the police while a potential crime was being committed.

Our overly sensative society has made us this way.

no less than a dozen times I have had cops come up to me and ask me what I was doing here, and I never got offended, and always kept a cool head.

it sucks that we give up some of our personal freedoms in order to be protected by the police, but I would much rather someone called the cops on me (while I was trying to break into my own car after locking my keys in it) than to have people pretend its not happening.

struggling to get into your own house is a perfect time for someone to get the cops on you.

if you are innocent the cop will help you get in. Its happened to me

Black cop, latino neighborhood, white me.

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From what I've read, it was someone who was walking down the street, not a neighbour. Secondly, when police arrived (the policeman at hand here is actually involved with, as I remember, something regarding teaching people the dangers of racial profiling), the police first requested Gates to step out of the house. Understandable.. as within the home it would be much easier for Gates (at this time, his identity is still completely unknown to police) to grab an object in the home and use it as a weapon. However, Gates immediately began shouting at the cops and accusing them of racial profiling. Gates eventually provides his identity, and the cops go to leave, but Gates follows after them continually flinging insults and accusing them of racial profiling, at which point they arrest him for disorderly conduct.

Gates (although innocent of breaking and entering, technically) doesn't seem like such an innocent man. As to whether or not the cops should have arrested him in the end, I do not know. However, it seems quite apparent that Gates brought this down onto himself and that this isn't really an issue of racial profiling at all. The cop's history should stand by that, as well.

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If that is the case then the cop's police report does not match what was on the tapes. Furthermore, he even acknowledged that Gates was the owner of the house on the 911 tape. This whole racial thing was drumed up, and then gasoline thrown on the fire by the idiotic media in this country. It's just like the ridiculous coverage of Michael Jackson and the fact they can't let a day go by without doing some sort of story on Palin even though the election was over months ago.

Now that it has come out that race wasn't involved, watch the media drop this story like a hot potatoe, or quickly change the subject, except to cover the beer drinking with Obama. The lesson here is don't let the USA corporate media and nationally owned newspapers be your definitive source of news. They should have said, we won't report racism until all the facts were known. That isn't good for ratings.

Bill Moyers answered this perfectly when asked about these things. He basically told Wolf Blitzer (one of the guys that is at fault here) is that America is stupid for believing this crap.

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The cop's police report mentions that he spoke to the caller in person and that she identified them as two black men. There's a whole paragraph dedicated to this specific conversation. But the thing is that Whalen's (the caller's) attorney states that Whalen never had a conversation with the officer in person. In addition, tape of the 911 call show that Whalen could not identify the race of either of the two. This leads me to believe that the cop fabricated his report to make it look like a straightforward arrest.
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..... However, after reading more about this "case" and the police report, he was well within his right to do so. Professor Gates brought this upon himself. To me, it's a classic case of an ego driven HARVARD professor looking down at people who became belligerant and acted like a spoiled child when he didn't get his way.
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Can you explain the details of what you mean? Mass. law does not define disorderly conduct as yelling at a police officer in your own home. In fact that isn't a definition of it all there. The police dept. immediately dropped the charges because they knew they were on legally bad grounds.
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