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Author Topic: A new crime: Getting your key stuck while black
kenmeer livermaile
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"...maybe Gates just mistook a thick skulled cop's bad manners for racism?"

Again, TommySam, you are The One.

I bow.

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kenmeer livermaile
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""We all know that race and sex explain the difference in the way Sgt. James Crowley treated Professor Gates" and "Sgt. Crowley's report almost certainly contains intentional falsehoods"?

While the former is a sort of canard, assumptive hyperbole, the latter is clearly expressed as opinion. Hence the "almost certainly".

I am curious to know of, given the chance, Huessler would have rephrased it as 'based on my experience of police testimony in such events, Sgt. Crowley's report almost certainly contains intentional falsehoods"?

Cops lying in testimony is, to borrow from William Gibson, "so popular it's almost legal">

Not that I unqualifiedly berate this. Cops function entirely within the fabric of the law. They are, in effect, on trial every day. CYA would naturally promote a string tradition of fudging the facts, and historical record of court testimony, old and contemporary, supports this notion.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Drop it? Hah! If Gates had "dropped it" when the officer was leaving his home, we wouldn't be discussing it. What a surprise another of Obama's friend's is a radical leftist. A race baiter in this case. Drop it? Don't think so!"

OM: do something with the troll, already.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"He sure isn't milking this for all it's worth. "

I would be curious to hear why attempting to make positive gain, in public policy awareness terms of a basically silly and probably very common event that has become a national story, is not milk worth squeezing.

If that's what you are implying. I don't know, although you strongly suggest that tenure at a prestigious college is enhanced by prolong the story.

Perhaps Gates was told by his superiors that he needed to make something good of this after all the craziness (behold this thread! behold 6447 news stories in 24 hours!) it has inspired.

Also, one can only assume at this point that Gates is doing an either/or switch of 'behaved like ass' with 'consciousness raising'. Perhaps Gates will publicly state he behaved like an ass, while striving to explain to the American public how decades of being a black man and being aware, and probably experiencing, racial profiling, exacerbates his (and Crowley's) willingness to behave as asses during a confused and tense situation.

But what do I know? Maybe this is designed to give him a big fat raise. Or maybe just to minimise damage to his career.

And what do I know? Maybe Crowley wants a big fat raise? Or maybe just job security?

Or maybe, just maybe, both of them want to make this thing into something useful for the American public beyond the chewtoy of opinion it currently seems to be? Maybe being invited to the White House will provide transcendental opportunity for both of them?

Maybe, in the bigger picture of improved civics (which, BTW, is the sine qua non of Ornery's mission statement), both of these guys want to make something good of a bad thing, something good not just for their personal selves but for the social environment in which those selves personalize?

But then, what do I know?

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Wasn't even man enough to apologize..."

I'm certain that you, on the other hand, are just such a mighty enough man.

OM: get this clown out of here.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I don't understand why a police officer on the beat, who's trained to deal with people in some very charged situations, shouldn't be expected to have a thicker skin than her."

My answer would be that it is because being a police officer is a helluva crazy-making job.

While I don't like a lot, make that LOT of what cops do, I believe their job is a form of managed impossibility.

yes, we have a right to expect more. But in the IRL you mentioned, what we feel we have a right to subordinates to circumstances and human volatility.

People are ****ing crazy . I present as Exhibit A. (The image is the Crazy Horse memorial. Guy thought he was a horse. How crazy is THAT?)

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I'm pretty sure the shouting and ultimate outcome are all about, erm, measurements."

That is the first crass statement I've seen you make at ornery. Next time you feel invaded/threatened in your own home by a woman with blatantly superior armament and legal propriety, we'll boil it down to an ovarian pissing contest.

Frankly, when it comes to my home, self, security, it is my sphincter that is central, not my sexual member. My nuts suck up right next to the wee rosebud and hide. My poor pecker, alas, just had to dangle and hope it doesn't caught in the ruckus.

Or have you never thought of your social/security/survival terms outside of your sexual allure?

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Did you ever raise your hand and say the Pledge of Allegiance? That obligated you to respect the Law of the land, and support those whose job it is to uphold it."

Yeesh. It's a totally non-binding recitation of doggerel we foist on innocent children.

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kenmeer livermaile
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'Gates's attitude was, to put it mildly, poor. But that is completely irrelevant; the officer had no authority to act on it and only served to justify Gates's fears by acting instead to escalate the situation.'

A very neat observation, the kind I would expect from a qualified bench of judicial review.

Touche.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I think someone who feels "servile" probably has some complex reasons for feeling that way."

Not complex: simple: they have way more power. It comes under that monopoly of violence thing that rule of law is based on.

Personally, I think the reason you feel the way you do about police has to do with possibly disturbing aspects o your relationship with your mother.

But I won't try to arrest you for it.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"It's a highly abnormal reaction, and (while I agree his arrest was not warranted) he shares some of the blame for the end result."

I agree with the second clause of this sentence but the first is so subjective as to be whimsical nonsense.

I've dealt with cops in all kinds of situations. There IS no normal reaction. I've tod a police officer, in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, that if he didn't pull that flashlight out of my eyes so I could see HIS hands, I'd ram my backpack (aluminum pole frame with upper pole ends serving as very effective weapons if you lift it up and ram it hard into a human's chest) where the sun used to never shine.

He complied, and I wasn't arrested. He was a decent cop, and had decent sense, and saw that his behavior was the threatening element.

I've also yelled, with extremely contemptuous and pedagogic hostility, at the top of my lungs, at a cop in daylight in public (Chicago Belmont L platform) after coming *this* close to taking his life. He knew it; I knew it.

He was in the wrong, I was in the right, and he'd almost cost himself his life for behaving, to quote our president, stupidly.

All he did was grab my shoulder and spin me around as I was attempting to board an L train. In a rather dicey neighborhood. As I explained to him, vehemently.

Tell me about abnormal.

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Pyrtolin
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VL- There's one important additional corollary to that ACLU sheet. It's somewhat implied, but not outright stated:

Don't accept any bargains the police try to offer you; only make such arrangements through a lawyer.

"Admit to this minor thing and we'll go easy on you," is, in fact an underhanded way to get you to consent to a search or otherwise surrender your 5th amendment rights, and the police are under no obligation to honor such verbal offers.

Stand on your rights and don't let yourself be weaseled into letting go of them.

Add also this consideration:

There are two primary people that become police officers- noble minded folks who want to try to improve society and small minded bullies who see it as the best path to sanctioned power.

Even if you think you're dealing with the former, you have to act as if you're dealing with the latter, because such stiffly proper adherence to your rights is the only thing that can protect you from most abuses.

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Viking_Longship
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Pyr
quote:
There are two primary people that become police officers- noble minded folks who want to try to improve society and small minded bullies who see it as the best path to sanctioned power.


Unfotunately sometimes both are embodied in the same individual depending on his mood.

If Crowley had been training fellow officers on racial profiling being accused of racism loudly and repeatedly may have flipped the Mr Hyde switch in his head. "all the work I'm doing and this jerk said what? that's it smart guy!"

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kenmeer livermaile
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Cops Acting Stupidly

"(07-16) 13:27 PDT SAN CARLOS -- Police in San Carlos who heard that a man had been in a minor traffic accident and may have been drinking can't justify charging into his home with guns drawn by claiming they feared he was in a diabetic coma, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday."

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Gaoics79
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quote:
"He sure isn't milking this for all it's worth. "

I would be curious to hear why attempting to make positive gain, in public policy awareness terms of a basically silly and probably very common event that has become a national story, is not milk worth squeezing.

Oh I don't disagree, which is why I would have still been inclined to believe Gates' story, had the cop not had the credentials he has. That's the part that tipped the scales a little bit. Had this guy been a Mark Furman type I probably would have gone the other way.

Keep in mind it wasn't just the fact that Gates took advantage of this incident to further his career, but also the speed and ferocity of it. The guy was in the spotlight faster than Al Sharpton. I couldn't even tell him apart from the other pundits. It was pretty disconcerting.

quote:
Also, one can only assume at this point that Gates is doing an either/or switch of 'behaved like ass' with 'consciousness raising'. Perhaps Gates will publicly state he behaved like an ass, while striving to explain to the American public how decades of being a black man and being aware, and probably experiencing, racial profiling, exacerbates his (and Crowley's) willingness to behave as asses during a confused and tense situation.

But what do I know? Maybe this is designed to give him a big fat raise. Or maybe just to minimise damage to his career.

I suspect it's more about pride than anything else. I think Funean had it bang on: both of these men had a bit of testoserone poisoning, and both are probably regretting the incident. Gates is certainly benefitting from the incident, which I'm sure influenced how he rationalized it to himself, but I still think it's as much about saving face with him as anything else. Deep down I think he knows that he's at least partly to blame.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
I suspect it's more about pride than anything else. I think Funean had it bang on: both of these men had a bit of testoserone poisoning, and both are probably regretting the incident. Gates is certainly benefitting from the incident, which I'm sure influenced how he rationalized it to himself, but I still think it's as much about saving face with him as anything else. Deep down I think he knows that he's at least partly to blame.

Actually, given his credentials, Crowley is in a good position to turn the incedent to his profit as well. He's got some good first hand material now to add to his courses about how he reacted there and how, perhaps, to catch such before it escalates into something, especially when inflamed by expectations of racism.
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The Drake
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The very idea of a cop being able to take you into custody because you shouted something at them should have the founders rising from their graves in outrage.

"Contempt-of-cop" is a de-facto misdemeanor that will get you chucked in jail - sometimes even when you aren't black!

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Ron Lambert
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Gates was not arrested on suspicion of being a burglar, nor because he was black. He was arrested for disorderly conduct. Spouting off loudly and with profanity, especially in a residential neighborhood, is a misdemeanor virtually everywhere in America. If Gates had just wound down and shut up, maybe they would have just given him a ticket, maybe not even that. The only reason they would have arrested him is because he wouldn't quit.
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hobsen
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Ron Lambert, you can certainly suggest what you think should be the law regarding disorderly conduct, or what it typically is in the United States; but Crowley had a duty to follow the law in Massachusetts. Three citations taken from the discussion of this case on The Volokh Conspiracy:
quote:
Arrest under Massachusetts “idle and disorderly person” statute was unlawful under Massachusetts law, where defendant was arrested for yelling, screaming, swearing and generally causing a disturbance but, though the yelling was undoubtedly loud enough to attract the attention of other guests in hotel, it did not rise to level of “riotous commotion” or “public nuisance.” U.S. v. Pasqualino, D.Mass.1991, 768 F.Supp. 13.

And –

Defendant who did not physically resist his arrest arising out of a domestic violence incident could not be convicted of disorderly conduct based solely on his loud and angry tirade, which included profanities, directed at police officers as he was being escorted to police cruiser, even if spectators gathered to watch defendant; defendant did not make any threats or engage in violence, and his speech did not constitute fighting words. Com. v. Mallahan (2008) 72 Mass.App.Ct. 1103, 889 N.E.2d 77, 2008 WL 2404550.

And –

Defendant's conduct, namely, flailing his arms and shouting at police, victim of recent assault, or both, after being told to leave area by police, did not amount to “violent or tumultuous behavior” within scope of disorderly conduct statute, absent any claim that defendant's protestations constituted threat of violence, or any evidence that defendant's flailing arms were anything but physical manifestation of his agitation or that noise and commotion caused by defendant's behavior was extreme. Com. v. Lopiano (2004) 805 N.E.2d 522, 60 Mass.App.Ct. 723.

According to those precedents, a citizen may not be lawfully arrested simply for yelling loudly, obscenely or profanely at a police officer, or for gesturing wildly. He can be if he threatens violence himself, attempts to incite a riot among others present, and probably for other causes I do not know. But the City of Cambridge has a legal obligation to make sure its police officers follow appeals court's rulings as to when arrests are lawful, and it has no legal right to set up a different standard than that established by the Massachusetts courts.

[ July 27, 2009, 03:11 PM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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RickyB
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"maybe they would have just given him a ticket, maybe not even that."

Um, what did he deserve a ticket for, again?

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DonaldD
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General uppitiness. Insolence towards authority.
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Aris Katsaris
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A recent twist to the story, against Crowley.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/us/28gates.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=crowley&st=cse

Crowley claimed that the woman had told him of black men with backpacks.

The actual tapes of the phonecall however show that she told him of men with suitcases, that she wasn't sure of the race, but one of them may have been Hispanic. And she actually indicated that the men might be living there, she didn't know if a crime was being commited.

So, what's the penalty for a cop falsifying a report?

[ July 28, 2009, 04:01 PM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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DonaldD
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Well, what she said on the phone and what she said to officer Crowley could have been different.

Just saying.

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hobsen
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Aris Katsaris misunderstands. The taped 911 phonecall he mentions was between Lucia Whalen and a female police dispatcher, not Crowley.

Edited to add: A transcript of that call indicates Lucia Whalen made it while standing outside with an elderly neighbor who had called her attention to the possible B&E. She reported seeing two men with suitcases, one possibly Hispanic and one of unknown race, forcing the screen door and front door of the house. She made it clear she did not know whether it was a crime in progress or residents with a door stuck. That raises the question of why she did not recognize Gates or see the taxicab which must have been somewhere nearby.

[ July 28, 2009, 07:26 PM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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hobsen
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quote:
Female dispatcher: Respond to 17 Ware Street for a possible B and E in progress. Two SPs (suspicious persons) barged their way into the home, they have suitcases... One may be a Hispanic male, not sure.
quote:
(Crowley): I’m up with a gentleman who says he resides here (background voice) but uncooperative. But uh, keep the cars coming.
As a comment, Crowley made a mistake entering the house before he had backup. So he could have been alone confronting two men with guns. Instead he faced an agitated black man, and was afraid he was agitated because he expected his partner to jump out with a shotgun, so he wanted other officers on the scene.

What else was said on police radios may never be fully known, as they were using several channels and having trouble being understood, so the fact someone said something does not mean it was heard. And if Crowley forgot exactly what was said afterward, I do not see that was necessarily worse than the mistakes made by others.

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RickyB
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None of this changes the fact that after Crowley was absolutely certain that no crime had taken place, he still insisted on arresting the man.
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hobsen
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That I do not mean to dispute, RickyB. How the Cambridge Police Department chooses to treat Crowley should be a matter for them to decide, but so far as I can see Gates has grounds to file a civil suit against the City of Cambridge for false arrest. But as he was held a relatively short time, and so far as I know does not contend he was mistreated during that period, a settlement of perhaps $5000 plus court costs would seem to me sufficient to prove he was in the right and compensate him for his humiliation and inconvenience. Considered objectively the events reported probably did violate the laws of Massachusetts, but they do not amount to enough to qualify this case as a major legal injustice. And since Gates probably does not need the money, he could just as well settle for an apology and a handshake, although that choice should be entirely up to him. Anyway the courts can decide what is equitable, should Gates choose to seek such relief, without any need of input from me.
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0rnery
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DISORDERLY CONDUCT

The defendant is charged with disorderly conduct. In order to prove
the defendant guilty of this offense, the Commonwealth must prove three
things beyond a reasonable doubt:

First: The Commonwealth must prove that the defendant involved
himself (herself) in at least one of the following actions: he (she) either
engaged in fighting or threatening, or engaged in violent or tumultuous
behavior or created a hazardous or physically offensive condition by an act
that served no legitimate purpose of the defendant’s;

Second: The Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt
that the defendant’s actions were reasonably likely to affect the public; and

Third: The Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt
that the defendant either intended to cause public inconvenience,
annoyance or alarm, or recklessly created a risk of public inconvenience,
annoyance or alarm.


I'd love to hear the opinion of a dispassionate, third-party observer, who they thought was behaving stupidly during that event.

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DonaldD
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Acting stupidly is not, in and of itself, a crime.

'Disppassionately' looking at the three prerequisites provided, it's clear that two of the three were clearly not met, and the other was only met if you stretch the word "affect" to meaninglessness.

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KnightEnder
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Talk about a no-good guy scenario. Cops have rabbit ears and power corrupts, but he had to answer the call. It's not like he pulled him over of his own volition because he was black. If anybody should be accused of racism it would be the neighbor. But since he was renting and she didn't know him I think she should probably get the benefit of the doubt. And the Professor seems to have a 2x4 on his shoulder and a superiority complex the size of Texas.

Also I think the President was way out of line and stupid to boot for making the "stupidity" remark. Very disappointing.

KE

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Spouting off loudly and with profanity, especially in a residential neighborhood, is a misdemeanor virtually everywhere in America."

Behold, I misdemean: **** OFF!!!

Someone call 911?

[ July 29, 2009, 04:12 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Obama: "If I'd been a cop before running for Prez and did what that cop did, my campaign manager would have told me what I'd done was very stupid."

How well this works for Crowley's career remains to be seen, eh? (I'm feeling Canoockian today, eh?)

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cherrypoptart
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Did Gates use any profanity? I hadn't heard that.

By the way, the crime wasn't trying to get into his house as I'm sure we are all aware.

Just like the crime isn't "driving while black."

It's speeding, channging lanes without signaling, not wearing a seat belt, running a red light, etc.

The funny thing is I heard that red light cameras must be racially profiling too because they are sending out disproportionately more tickets to black and Hispanic Americans, and the extra funny thing is that it's in the same proportion as the cops ticket people too.

I heard that on the radio. It's probably just an urban myth, but it'd be funny if that's actually true. I looked it up a little bit but couldn't find much except that even if it's true it must be because the red light cameras are in areas where there are disproportionately more minority drivers.

That or something like it absolutely must be the case because there is no possible way that minorities just ignore more traffic laws, or at least ignore them and aren't alert enough to avoid getting caught at it more often.

---------------------------------------------

I think maybe the next time a cop is passing by my house I'll run out onto my front yard and start yelling at him and calling him a racist. I'm sure it'll be quite amusing to see what happens. I'll be sure to have it filmed for my own "jackass" video. Hilarity is bound to ensue.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
It's speeding, channging lanes without signaling, not wearing a seat belt, running a red light, etc
which, except for runing a red or gross violation of the speed limit the police usually ignore.

By massachusates law Gates had the right to yell at a police officer who was at that point a tresspasser, illegally remaining in Gate's home.

For a man who fears the current administration you have an illogical love of its enforecers.

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Aris Katsaris
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Supposedly Obama wants to create a police state.
But as in so many other cases, it seems to be the conservatives who love the power of the police to arbitrarily detain people. Especially non-white people.

The *supposedly* 2nd-Amendment-loving conservatives somehow never suggest that Gates' proper response would have been to defend his home against police intrusion by the force of guns.

Well, here's me suggesting it: The cop was a tyrant who kidnapped a law-abiding citizen with a trumped-up charge. The moment the cop ascertained no burglary was taking place, he wasn't investigating a crime anymore, and he had no moral authority to arrest Gates.

So can we expect the supposedly 2nd-Amendment loving conservatives to have defended Gates, if he'd simply blown the bastard away, as he was morally entitled to?

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I heard that on the radio. It's probably just an urban myth, but it'd be funny if that's actually true."

Yeah, it would be funny, I suppose. Not sure what kind of humor is involved other than 'See? Blacks and Hispanics are inherently less law-abiding' makes you chuckle.

But that jackass video would be priceless.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I heard that on the radio. It's probably just an urban myth, but it'd be funny if that's actually true."

Yeah, it would be funny, I suppose. Not sure what kind of humor is involved other than 'See? Blacks and Hispanics are inherently less law-abiding' makes you chuckle.

But that jackass video would be priceless.

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0rnery
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A little off topic, but perhaps this could be a "racial teachable moment."

Don't know if it's true, but would any younger people here be surprised or offended to learn that a disproportionate number of red light camera tickets are issued to younger drivers? Would the males here be offended to learn the same about male drivers getting more of those tickets than female drivers?

No gripes from me about red light cameras. They don't profile, and they allow patrolmen to concentrate on more important issues. If you don't like them being revenue tools, don't run red lights!

Policy of Enforcement: Red Light Cameras and Racial Profiling

Using data from cameras at intersections matched to census data, we find that although citations from the red light cameras are issued to a disproportionate number of minorities based on the racial composition of the population surrounding the location of the infraction, the racial composition of the violators is consistent with the racial composition of the block group in which they reside.

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The Drake
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At least once we have footage of Obama drinking a beer, we will know that he is not a secret Muslim like he was portrayed by some during the election and beyond.
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edgmatt
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Unless its not really a beer... [Eek!]
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