The Arrest of Gates
A couple of good articles are John McWhorter’s “Gates is Right–and We’re Not Post-Racial Until He’s Wrong,” and Lowry Heussler’s “Nightmare on Ware Street.” The full police report is at “Gates police report.”
I think PHB’s comment on Michael Froomkin’s post is quite interesting:
You are all missing a rather significant fact, this is the Cambridge Police force, an organization that has a most peculiar relationship to the community it polices.
Houses in Cambridge cost a fortune, so it is not a city where cops live. So the city is a rich, liberal town policed by a conservative working class police force commuting in from other towns. You do not have to be black to have the Cambridge police act boorishly.
I am trying to avoid talking about the subject with my Cambridge friends as they all want to give their own litany of complaints.
When my apartment in Cambridge was burgled in 1999, the responding officer didn’t even want to get out of his car. When he finally did, he didn’t want to bother to physically examine anything, the one item that I pointed out had a grimy fingerprint was shattered and returned in pieces, and his report failed to document either that the front door was ripped from its hinges, or that a stack of currency from four countries had gone missing.
Sorry, PHB was trying to avoid that. I suspect that both the race and class cards played into this. There’s a strong echo of that in Crowley’s statements reported widely:
“I know what I did was right,” Crowley said in an interview with Boston-based WEEI Sportsradio Network. “I don’t have anything to apologize for.”
There’s one other element of this, which is that the police are separated from communities by a foolish and unwinnable war on drugs. Our last three Presidents have smoked pot, the last two snorted coke. But as long as the police are charged with impossible duties, they will be separated from whatever community may exist.
Please keep the comments civil and respectful of Gates, the officer and one another.