Monday, July 27, 2009

Some Final Words on Gates-Gate

My final blast of steam occurred in my reaction to Bill Starlin's article over at Planet Ill, but for a more tempered and just response, I'll pass the mike to Sully:

"...I do think it's necessary to remember that policemen are our servants, not our masters. We pay their salary - and they'd better treat us right. And I find the many comments that we should always show deference to the man with the gun and the badge and never publicly criticize cops to be alarmingly authoritarian in its implications.

"If a cop gives you trouble in your own home after it is perfectly clear that no crime has taken place, you have every right to tell him to get the hell out of your house; and he has no right to hang around. You also have every right to give him your opinion of his police work or his haircut if you so wish.

"There is a distinction, in other words, between a deference to cops based on trust and a deference based on fear. I find the idea that mouthing off to a cop in your own home is enough to get you arrested a disturbing feature of the post-9/11 police state. My gut sense of the interaction is that Crowley - used to total deference and fear from those he interacts with - was simply appalled at being harangued so vituperatively, especially by a black man (but race was not the only factor), and quickly realized he had no grounds to arrest Gates in his home, and so lured him outside to get the pretext of "disorderly conduct" in front of seven people. Yes, Skip over-reacted after a long flight and an embarrassing battle with his door; but Crowley - a cop who declared that he was a Republican to the media for no apparent reason - got the man who didn't kowtow to him in cuffs as revenge. The very fact that the charges were dropped tells you who was in the wrong, according to the Cambridge police.

"I don't know about you, but I prefer societies in which the exercize of free speech in your own home does not lead to being arrested - especially just to teach you a lesson on how to be deferent to police"

I think it's laughable and sad that the party whose members think that Obama is going to open up socialist concentration camps to "educate" our children, and who take him to task for taking away our civil liberities seem to have no problem with officers violating a person's home and arresting them for no reason. It really, really worries me.

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