Harvard Prof Henry Louis Gates Jr is an Idiot
First of all, the headline "Harvard Prof Arrested Trying to Enter Own Home" is not accurate. He was arrested for being a belligerent idiot. When you are seen by neighbors trying to pry open a locked door it doesn't matter what color you are, you will be reported to the police. And when the cops come and ask you to identify yourself you don't get all uppity [yes I said uppity] and refuse to do so because you think everything is about race.
This moron, instead of supplying a simple proof that he was indeed in his own home called the officer a racist and said, "This is what happens to black men in America," according to the Associated Press (1). How dare the police not recognize that Gates is the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research!
As for the rest of us mere mortals, the proper thing to do, quite simply, is to tell the cop, "Yes, officer, here is my driver's license, thanks for responding so quickly. Sorry, for the inconvenience I caused you." And that would have been that.
Instead this racist imbecile, despite his academic credentials, hasn't learned one thing about law enforcement: they are on your side unless you give them attitude. When he finally presented his id, the cops started to leave, but he couldn't leave well enough alone - he just had to turn this into a racial incident so he followed them out where he started screaming and ranting. That is why he was arrested - he was being abusive and disorderly.
So he was not, as some morons like Ben Smith wrote that he was "reportedly detained for breaking into his own home."
Al Sharpton has vowed to show up to defend the Prof (2), but that won't be necessary: all charges were dropped (3) against this race-baiting moron.
A detailed police report is available at the Smoking Gun.
How a White Boy Responded
After a few minutes my son saw a police car approach. They rolled alongside and after noticing that he was a white boy in an expensive car sitting outside an apartment building in Harlem, they pulled in front of him and got out to question him.
I have no doubt that he was being racially profiled; that is to say, because he looked like a rich white boy, he had no business being in Harlem unless he was there to buy drugs. They asked for his ID and questioned why he was in Harlem at that time of night.
My son could have gotten all white-with-attitude and started calling the cops racist for assuming he was buying drugs just because he was white. But he showed them his driver's license and politely told them that he was waiting on his friend. When asked if he wouldn't mind them looking in his trunk he obliged without hesitation. He could have demanded a search warrant and started yelling and screaming. But based on police experience of this particular circumstance (99 times out of a hundred rich white boys are indeed buying drugs this late at night) they would not have had a problem getting a search warrant and my son would only have delayed himself unnecessarily.
When Damien finally came out he saw the cops and started to act nervous. When one of the cops asked him for his sister's name, Damien started stuttering and couldn't remember her name. When the cop asked, "You don't remember your sister's name?" Damien told the officer he was really nervous. I guess the cops were experienced enough to be able to tell if someone is nervous because they are guilty of something or simply just nervous around cops. They let my son and Damien go. No problems.
Damien has been a good friend of mine for years and he's never had any problems with the police. He lives in Bayonne where there are no racial tensions. When I asked him why he got so nervous, he said that he was already nervous just being in Harlem and when he saw the cops all he could think about was all those TV shows he saw about cops beating blacks in Harlem. Instead, he found the officers to be quite polite and courteous.
Of course, that could have turned otherwise if Damien had instead pulled an Al Sharpton: "You racist pigs, why you asking me my sister's name? Cause I'm black - this is how blacks are treated in America - F*CK You! I ain't tellin' you sh*t!"
Yeah, get into an officer's face - that's the smart move.
Boston Globe, Harvard professor Gates arrested at Cambridge home
Police arrived at Gates’s Ware Street home near Harvard Square at 12:44 p.m. to question him. Gates, director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, had trouble unlocking his door after it became jammed.
He was booked for disorderly conduct after “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior,” according to a police report. Gates accused the investigating officer of being a racist and told him he had "no idea who he was messing with,'' the report said.
Gates told the officer that he was being targeted because "I'm a black man in America.''
Friends of Gates said he was already in his home when police arrived. He showed his driver’s license and Harvard identification card, but was handcuffed and taken into police custody for several hours last Thursday, they said.
The police report said Gates was arrested after he yelled at the investigating officer repeatedly inside the residence then followed the officer outside, where Gates continued to upbraid him. "It was at that time that I informed Professor Gates that he was under arrest,'' the officer wrote in the report.
Boston Herald, Al Sharpton rips Cambridge cops
The Rev. Al Sharpton is taking up the banner of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., accusing Cambridge cops of racism for arresting Gates, and vowing to stand by his side at an arraignment next month.
“I’ve heard of driving while black, and I’ve heard of shopping while black. But I’ve never heard of living in a home while black,” said Sharpton, a New York minister who has made a national name for himself by seizing on cases of alleged racism.
A witness, 40-year-old Lucia Whalen of Malden, had alerted the cops that a man was “wedging his shoulder into the front door” at Gates’ house “as to pry the door open,” police reported.
A law enforcement source said Gates apparently had locked himself out. When Sgt. James Crowley arrived, he said Gates already was inside. But when he was asked to provide identification, Gates allegedly snapped, “No, I will not!”
Police said Gates’ front-porch tirade about racism “alarmed” passers-by drawn to the uproar outside his Cambridge home.
As Crowley tried to question him, police said Gates bellowed, “This is what happens to black men in America!”
Crowley claimed in his report he tried to calm Gates, but wrote that Gates “shouted, ‘You don’t know who your (sic) messing with!”
After calling Crowley “a racist,” according to police reports, the professor was charged with disorderly conduct and released for a $40 fee. Gates is scheduled to be arraigned on a single charge of disorderly conduct Aug. 26 at Cambridge District Court in Medford. The maximum penalty Gates faces if convicted is a $150 fine.
“I think it’s indicative at best of an overreaction by police,” Sharpton said. “At worst it could be profiling. Either way, it’s wrong.”
Even more disturbing, he said, is that such an incident would occur in the nation’s progressive bastion, popularly known as the People’s Republic of Cambridge.
“If this can happen at Harvard, what does it say about the rest of the country?” Sharpton said. “Henry Louis Gates is the pre-eminent African-American scholar in the country. If they can do this to him, imagine what they can do to a kid in Roxbury.”
Boston Globe, 21 Jul 2009, Charges to be dropped against Harvard professor
The Middlesex District Attorney's office plans to drop criminal charges against Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who was accused of disorderly conduct on Thursday and arrested at his Cambridge home.
"The City of Cambridge, the Cambridge Police Department, and Professor Gates acknowledge that the incident of July 16, 2009 was regrettable and unfortunate," the statement said. "This incident should not be viewed as one that demeans the character and reputation of Professor Gates or the character of the Cambridge Police Department. All parties agree that this is a just resolution to an unfortunate set of circumstances."
The confrontation between Gates, 58, and a police sergeant occurred on Thursday when the professor returned home from a trip to China filming a PBS documentary. Gates set his luggage down and beckoned his driver for help because his front door refused to budge.
The scene -- two black men on the porch of a stately home on a tree-lined Cambridge street in the middle of the day -- prompted a passerby to call police to report a break-in.
A Cambridge police report described what followed as the police sergeant stood at Gates’s door, demanded identification, and radioed for assistance from Harvard University police when Gates presented him with a Harvard ID. Gates became visibly upset, according to the report, when the officer said he was responding to a report of a break-in. “Why," Gates asked, according to the report, "because I’m a black man in America?’’
“Gates then turned to me and told me that I had no idea who I was ‘messing’ with and that I had not heard the last of it,’’ the report said. “While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me.’’
When the officer repeatedly told Gates he would speak with him outside, the normally mild-mannered professor shouted, “Ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside,’’ according to the report.
Gates was arrested after “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior’’ toward the officer who questioned him, the report said. He was led away in handcuffs.