Cambridge Cop Refuses to Apologize for Unconstitutional Arrest of Black Professor

So President Obama sat down today for beers in the Rose Garden with professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the cop who arrested him for being uncooperative and making loud insulting remarks to the police while inside the comfort of his own home.  Apparently, Obama felt bad for having called the Cambridge police ‘stupid’ after receiving news of the arrest for what the police call ‘disorderly conduct’.  Many disorderly conduct laws have actually been ruled to be unconstitutional and the idea that a person could be arrested for insulting a police officer while on his own property is frightening.  Anywhere in the United States, a person is free to insult police officers without fear of arrest.  Such speech is fully protected by the U.S. Constitution.  We are also free to not cooperate with a police officer when asked questions or when asked to step outside of our homes.  We can refuse totally without any fear of arrest whatsoever.  Any police officer who arrests someone under such circumstances is breaking the law and is denying someone their clear constitutional rights.  I would not have any beers with such an officer.  I would not attend any meetings with him and the president.  The officer said in his press conference that both men had agreed to ‘look forward, rather than backward.’ I’m really not sure what forward he could possibly mean.  It would be more productive to look squarely backward at his illegal and shocking arrest of a man who simply didn’t like him.

I watch the officer in the video above and I see a person of limited intelligence, with no understanding of his unlawful act.  Harvard University needs to move itself the heck out of Cambridge if this guy is an example of how the locals are thinking up there. What an embarrassment.

Christopher Hitchens has written an excellent short article about why race is not as important a factor in this episode as one’s constitutional right to mouth off at police officers.

Also, in Washington, D.C. this week a young attorney was out with his friends discussing the Gates arrest.  He decided to have some fun and test the constitutional principal which gives protection to people to who express their dislike of police.  He walked past several police cars that had stopped another vehicle and he chanted ‘I hate the cops. I hate the cops.’

According to him, he was immediately rushed by an angry D.C. police offer who pushed him against a utility box and said, “Who do you think you are to think you can talk to a police officer like that?”  The officer arrested the young attorney for disorderly conduct.  The young man now has an actionable claim against the police department and is probably going to sue them and win because, contrary to what the cop thinks, the young man does have the right to talk to a police officer like that.  Many police seem to think that because they protect security they have rights and privileges beyond what the U.S. Constitution provides.  This problem is getting worse, not better.  The fundamental right to freedom of speech and the right of free assembly in this country is under direct and heavy assault from police who see their responsibility to protect security as trumping all other rights and constitutional safeguards.

Police who do not understand that people can insult them and dislike them and say nasty things to them should be dismissed immediately from duty wherever they serve.  And our president should feel free to call them stupid.

3 thoughts on “Cambridge Cop Refuses to Apologize for Unconstitutional Arrest of Black Professor

  1. As much as I hate racism and fully understand that at times it as been institutionalized in our country, I can’t bring myself to think that this was a racist act or to think that the officer acted stupidly. He was responding to a call about someone possibly breaking into a residence. Given that, I think the professor should have fully cooperated and shown his ID and not been rude and ill-tempered. It seems that the professor is the one who jumped to the conclusion that he was being singled out for his race.

    I am white. One time I was house-sitting and accidently set off the alarm to which the sheriff responded. I did not get angry, moved slowly and showed my ID as requested. I think the situation is similar here.

    • Yes, you are largely correct. Most people would react to the arrival of a cop with more caution and better manners. But not all. And the point is that you have the right to react rudely and not to cooperate. It is illegal to arrest people for being rude and uncooperative with police. It is not only unconstitutional to arrest people for that behavior, but it is also largely forbidden by a host of federal and state laws across the country. So if a cop does arrest someone for behaving the way professor Gates did, the cop is either poorly trained or simply not intelligent enough to absorb or remember his/her training. Cops are trained to put up with nasty rude comments and abusive people. They are drilled in this over and over. They have to be because they carry guns.

  2. People want to get every right they want without ever having to give up any freedoms, but with every new law, there is some one who will have his rights infringed upon. The question you should be asking is, who should have their rights taken from them?

    The policeman arrested a man who was acting like a fool, most states give police men a right to secure any situation that they deem dangerous. Police men are hurt most often when they get involved in home situations. So it is no wonder that the professor was arrested,his being black had nothing to do with it. All this race card pulling has to stop. And it won’t stop until some one grows a spine and tells any one pulling that card to stick back where it belongs, in history.

    But if we choose to remove the authority of the police, so that they are unable to enforce any laws. Then don’t be surprised when the corruption in your states goes out of control; when the criminals in the states become as blatant and murderous as Mexico’s criminals.

    Have your freedom and your fools, but expect crime and law to fade with it. When morality in a society wanes it is then that freedom becomes the chains which kill you. Our second president, John Adams, said in his address to the military, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

    His words were a warning of what would destroy our nation. What you see on the news now is only the beginning of what is to come. I love America, and I wish that her people were not so bent on destroy the foundations that built her. But what can you say when they choose rulers who deny the very beliefs of the founders?

    I live in China now but despite the lack of freedoms people have here, at least I know where the government stands. And I know in WHOM I should put my trust.

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