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Thread: Black scholar's arrest raises profiling questions

  1. #121
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Cambridge police: Race not mentioned in 911 call - Yahoo! News--



    BOSTON The 911 caller who reported a possible break-in at the home of black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. did not mention race in the call, according to a statement issued by her attorney and backed up by Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas.
    Lucia Whalen placed the 911 call July 16, saying she saw two men on Gates' front porch who appeared to be trying to force open the front door. The call led to the arrest of Gates by Cambridge police on a disorderly conduct charge, and the resulting national firestorm.
    In the statement issued Sunday by attorney Wendy Murphy, Whalen who has not spoken publicly said she only saw the backs of the two men and did not know their race when she made the call. Murphy said Whalen, who works nearby, called because she had been aware of recent break-ins in the area and wanted to correct "misinformation" suggesting that she placed the call because the men on the porch were black.
    "Contrary to published reports that a 'white woman' called 911 and reported seeing 'two black men' trying to gain entry into Mr. Gates home, the woman, who has olive colored skin and is of Portuguese descent, told the 911 operator that she observed 'two men' at the home," Murphy's statement read.
    "It was very clear that she wasn't sure what the men's race was," Haas said in an interview with The Boston Globe Sunday night.
    Haas said Whalen, after questioning by the dispatcher during the 911 call, speculated that one of the men who turned out to be Gates and a black car service driver may have been Hispanic.
    The 911 tapes have not yet been made public, but Haas told the Globe that he expected some version of the tapes to be released within the next few days.
    The commissioner acknowledged that in the police report the caller is said to have observed "what appeared to be two black males" on the porch, but he said the report was a summary and not necessarily the based on the initial call.
    Supporters of Gates called his arrest by Sgt. James Crowley an outrageous act of racial profiling.
    The disorderly conduct charge was dropped, but interest in the case intensified with President Barack Obama said at a White House news conference that Cambridge police "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates.
    Obama later sought to tamp down the uproar. He spoke to Crowley and Gates during separate telephone calls Friday and declared that Crowley was a good man.
    The president invited the officer and the professor to the White House for a beer. He conceded his words had been ill-chosen, but he stopped short of a public apology.
    Gates said he hoped his arrest would lead to a greater understanding about racial profiling in America.

  2. #122
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    i hate cops. i like how when you know the law and use it with them when they show up to a house party trying to cause shit their response is, "what are you a lawyer?!" um no, i just know my rights and fuck you very much!

  3. #123
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    What? a race card got thrown? NO WAI.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  4. #124
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    I love how the race angle keeps changing in this story. First, the woman said 'two black men,' then it became 'appeared to be black,' and now it's 'two men.' And now she wasn't white, but olive colored, and the driver goes from black to Hispanic. When will this clusterfuck end?

  5. #125
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    well now that lawyers are involved; um NEVER!

  6. #126
    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    I thought this was a good essay on the Gates incident, particularly on the police:
    That was a good article, but a part of the other article was taken out of context:
    But some of what he wrote reinforced my belief that something has gone wrong:
    The judgments of policing are obviously difficult and subjective, and are often marred when they are made in the face of people issuing inflammatory comments even as the police are rendering routine services with an obvious cause. It is in the collective interest of citizens and police to promote an environment where the police can conduct an investigation calmly and with mutual respect. It cannot become commonplace for people to be allowed to scream at the police in public, threatening them with political phone calls, deriding their abilities, etc. Routine acts like rendering aid to lost children, taking accident reports and issuing traffic violations could be derailed at any time by any person who has a perceived grievance with the police. The police service environment is not the best venue for the airing of such grievances.
    This is a form of blackmail similar to the CIA threatening to let terrorists kill us if they are held accountable for lawbreaking. It says that the police will not be willing to rescue lost children if they have to put up with yelling citizens. That is an abdication of their duties and the idea that they should then be given carte blanche to shut up all citizens by means of arrest, because it creates a social environment where someone might cause a distraction in the future, is Orwellian double talk.
    They left out the beginning of that statement, which said:
    The police need to foster an environment in which they can deliver public safety without being subject to obscenities, accusations and yelling from any party, even innocent parties.
    So the 2nd author really isn't advocating anything close to blackmail. He's saying that the police need to be able to do their job, and not have an investigation derailed by empty threats. Of course, there's a line there. We've all seen Cops, where they go to arrest someone and they person is blathering on about aliens/evil cops/society hating them/their evil SO being the one who should be arrested, etc. The cops usually just tell them to sit on the curb, handcuffed and let them ramble so they can get on with the investigation. That seems an appropriate way to handle such a situation (not that it would have been warranted here). I agree with the officer that they do need to be able to conduct their investigation without someone else getting in their way. And he isn't saying that the police won't serve if they are allowed to be bullied.

    In this case, I think we are forgetting that there is a whole host of other reasons that the police investigation needed to continue past the point when Gates provided ID. What if Gates was getting a divorce and had a restraining order against him, barring him from entering the house? Or he was evicted, and breaking back into the place to recover his belongings? Or he was breaking into his house because his kid had locked him out so he could attempt suicide? I know those are extreme examples, but its the sort of stuff that the officer would need to look into after getting Gates ID, and before leaving the premises.

  7. #127
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliceInWonderland View Post
    well now that lawyers are involved; um NEVER!
    If Gates doesn't file a lawsuit then that's pretty much the end of it. People can still complain about it, but it's going to end at some point.

  8. #128
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    does anybody else find that picture unintentionally hilarious? It's almost a LOLcat !
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  9. #129
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Does this mean the caller gets a beer too?



    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  10. #130
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    does anybody else find that picture unintentionally hilarious? It's almost a LOLcat !
    yeah i laughed

  11. #131
    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    does anybody else find that picture unintentionally hilarious? It's almost a LOLcat !
    Yep, I laughed too. It's just begging for a funny caption.

  12. #132
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Gates: Entrapment, bitches! Fuck the police!

    Black cop: I'm gettin' too old for this shit


  13. #133
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I think a big ol "HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALP!" is called for
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  14. #134
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Does this mean the caller gets a beer too?
    The last thing the caller needs is a beer. Her eyesight is already faulty when she's sober.

  15. #135
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Well, here's the 911 call:

    The Cambridge Police Department has released the 911 call that led to the arrest of Henry Louis Gates. The caller didn't say the men were black, and she said they could have just been having trouble with their keys.

    Lucia Whalen, the Harvard Magazine fundraiser who called in the report of a break-in at Gates' house after she saw two men forcing the door open, makes it very clear that she wasn't sure a crime was being committed—she apparently had been urged to call the police by another neighbor she passed on the street, and didn't seem to want to be involved at all. From the call:

    Whalen: I noticed two suitcases, so I'm not sure if these were individuals who work there—I mean, live there.

    911: You think they might have been breaking in?

    Whalen: I don't know, because I have no idea... I don't know if they live there and they just had a hard time with their key, but I did notice that they kind of used their shoulder to barge in.

    911: Were they white, black, or hispanic?

    Whalen: Well, there were two larger men. One looked kind of hispanic, but I'm not really sure. And the other one entered, and I didn't see what he looked like at all.

    So the possibility—even likelihood—that Gates was just trying to get into his own home was present at the very inception of this whole kerfuffle, and somehow he still wound up getting hauled off to jail. We're sure that the absence of a racial description in the call will be played as race-blindness on Crowley's part—if he didn't even know the suspects were black going in, how could he be stereotyping?—but we'd remind observers that his police report made reference to "what appeared to be two black males" entering Gates' home. Crowley sources that information to Whalen, whom he met standing outside the residence when he arrived. But if Whalen refused to answer that question to the 911 dispatcher, we wonder how she came to change her mind only minutes later, when Crowley arrived. Or did Crowley try to put a thumb on the scale when he wrote the report by IDing the suspects as black, so that his initial suspicion of Gates would seem more justified?

    One thing is clear: We owe Whalen an apology. Relying on Crowley's report, we called her a racist for dialing 911 just because she saw two black men struggling to open a front door. It's obvious from the call that she didn't know that they were black, that she was calling out of an excess of caution, and that she expected that if it was their home, then a police officer would simply check their ID and be on his way. Which is what should have happened.
    Strange they didn't ask about Asian, considering it's Cambridge. But the bottom line here is that the cops put in the report that she reported two black men breaking in and she absolutely didn't.

    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mZpVHdKXac[/YOUTUBE]


    Love the guy making hte commentary at the end. He's hilarious.

    Here's the dispatch call. At about 1.40 he says something about Gates being uncooperative and 'keep the cars coming'. I guess handling a grumpy old man was too much for him.

    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TDapglzINc[/YOUTUBE]


    Read this comment somewhere and thought it kind of summed it up nicely.
    Keep those cars coming boys. And send in a SWAT team. We got an uppity 150lb 60yo elitist Nigra here who needs an attitude adjustment. The nerve of this guy! He didn't kiss my shanty paddy a$$ after I pounded on his door and demanded he come outside and show me some ID.
    Last edited by buttmunch; July 27th, 2009 at 11:14 PM.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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