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Is Someone Lying in the Gates Case?

Just when you thought it was safe to move on, maybe even grab a beer, here comes another question about the Gates Affair. The woman who made the original 911 call, Lucia Whalen, said that she didn’t mention race at all when she reported suspicious activity at Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s house.

The 911 tape released by Cambridge police is consistent with Whalen’s account. She is heard to say that she has “no idea” if a break-in is actually taking place, acknowledging that it’s possible that the men she saw “live there and just had a hard time with their key.” Only when the dispatcher asks whether the men are black, white or Hispanic does she say that one of the men looked “kind of Hispanic, but I’m not really sure” and that she really didn’t get a look at the other guy at all.

Whalen also said today that when Sgt. James Crowley arrived, she never said anything about anybody’s race. She said that her only exchange with Crowley was to identify herself as the 911 caller, and that he told her to “stay right there.” End of conversation, according to Whalen.

So why, then, does Crowley’s official report say that Whalen told him she had seen “what appeared to be two black males with backpacks” on the porch of the Gates house? Is it Crowley’s position that Whalen is lying? Is Crowley lying? Or did the sergeant, or perhaps his dispatcher, just assume that if a break-in was taking place, the perpetrators had to be black?

Just asking.

By Eugene Robinson  | July 29, 2009; 5:53 PM ET
Categories:  Robinson  | Tags:  Eugene Robinson  
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Comments

As a white person I have been racially profiled. I was profiled by black teenagers who objected to my riding my bike through their 'hood.' They knocked me off my bike, injuring both me and my bike. This is real racial profiling, not the baloney that blacks talk about. For this reason and others like it I don't trust blacks and never will.

Posted by: ravitchn | July 29, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

It wouldn't have been racist for her to mention the individuals' race, anymore than it was sexist for her to mention their gender. It's information, and relevant if not particularly helpful.

If there's one person whose conduct has been laudable in this affair, it's Ms. Whalen. If this is a teachable moment, maybe she should be there for the beer ceremony and to offer some instruction.

Posted by: Seytom1 | July 29, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

There are inconsistencies between Cowley’s report, the 911 caller, and the despatcher. The false report vilified the character of Whalen. This was really more than a shouting match. It is a matter of civil liberties. What will happen to the next person who is falsely arrested in his/her home and does not have prestige of Gate? Race smoke clouded other aspects of the incident and Cambridge Police Department has decided not to have an internal investigation.

Posted by: lydialdurham | July 29, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"

As a white person I have been racially profiled. I was profiled by black teenagers who objected to my riding my bike through their 'hood.' They knocked me off my bike, injuring both me and my bike. This is real racial profiling, not the baloney that blacks talk about. For this reason and others like it I don't trust blacks and never will.

Posted by: ravitchn"

The difference, however, is state action: the police are acting officially on behalf of the government. The black hoods are acting on their own.

Posted by: thrh | July 29, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I fear blacks more than government officials, even black ones.

Posted by: ravitchn | July 29, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

As a white person I have been racially profiled. I was profiled by black teenagers who objected to my riding my bike through their 'hood.' They knocked me off my bike, injuring both me and my bike. This is real racial profiling, not the baloney that blacks talk about. For this reason and others like it I don't trust blacks and never will.
=============================

And you're part of the problem. YOU assume that 1) the black teenagers wouldn't do that to a black person who was riding their bike and 2) that white teenagers wouldn't have done the same thing to you if you were in THEIR neighborhood.

Posted by: slackermom | July 29, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget to include the MEDIA who lies by committing sins of omission. You are part of the problem and not the solution!

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | July 29, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Having witnessed numerous cases of overt Black racism, I think the Gates case should be a signal to hold Blacks responsible for their varying degrees of racial prejudice against whites, Jews, Koreans and others.....starting with OBAMA and MICHELLE

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | July 29, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Or did the sergeant, or perhaps his dispatcher, just assume that if a break-in was taking place, the perpetrators had to be black?
-----------
You sure the summary wasn't written after the event?

BTW, why is it that on you commentary page the mozilla browser starts to suck up processing memory...Its odd.

Posted by: DD163 | July 29, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

blacks like to get in your face, perhaps it's a cultural thing...
yet I see no reason why anyone has to put up with it...
everyone has the obligation to obey the police...
and obama has the obligation to support them...

Posted by: DwightCollins | July 29, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

And, of course, ravitchn, while having been beaten up (which is terrible), does not have an arrest record that will haunt him/her for the rest of his/her life, as is often the case when police racial profiling occurs, which ravitchn refers to as "baloney". I am sorry for his/her racist attitudes.

Posted by: michaelmilburn | July 29, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

So, by your logic, Whalen also was "lying" about being told that the two men had backpacks. She apparently didn't tell him that, either, yet it's in his report. Why would he "lie" about backpacks? Maybe nobody is "lying," maybe they just remember things differently. Clearly, neither Whalen nor the neighbor expected their words to be so scrutinized at the time. Did you ever consider that?

Posted by: Smith22039 | July 29, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

This whole thing is a bit much. Forget the racial question but does one have to extend deference to a damn cop when you're on your own property and violating no law? I know from experience that I wouldn't and I high-five Gates for having the spine to do what he did.

Posted by: wolfvorkian1 | July 29, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

QUOTE:

"As a white person I have been racially profiled. I was profiled by black teenagers who objected to my riding my bike through their 'hood.' They knocked me off my bike, injuring both me and my bike. This is real racial profiling, not the baloney that blacks talk about. For this reason and others like it I don't trust blacks and never will."

Posted by: ravitchn

Maybe if you had been beaten with your bicycle before a weapon was planted in your knapsack so you could be framed for a felony crime that would land you in prison with a pack of black and white racist murderers, you would understand.

"I was profiled by black teenagers."

The baloney here is what sounds very much like whining on your part. You met young black criminals. Police who illegally profile are adults with badges.

Go visit some blacks who aren't criminals -- business leaders, pastors, middle-class workers. You will be lucky to find one in ten who does not have several stories to tell about real police profiling.

Mealy, mealy, mealy-mouthed whining about being beat up by juvenile delinquents. Betcha didn't know they come in all colors. Stop it. It isn't grownup.

Posted by: Ripley123 | July 29, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

This just in from the Boston Globe:

"An officer in the Boston Police Department was suspended yesterday for writing a racially charged e-mail about Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr...

"...Officer Justin Barrett referred to the black scholar as a 'jungle monkey' in the letter, written in reaction to media coverage of Gates's arrest July 16."

That's just peachy. Barrett is 36 years old -- no kid.

It really speaks more to police pay than any other issue. You get what you pay for, and with police work, it is either idealists or bums. Boston seems to have its share of bums.

Some white racist clown is bound to say it is unfair to call the Boston cop who called gates a "jungle monkey" a bum.

Posted by: Ripley123 | July 29, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Based on my review of the 911 tape, I believe Ms. Whalen's character is unquestionable and feel she has no reason to apologize. I don't believe she should address the so-called idiotic accusations against her. What confuses me is I did hear a Police Officer responding to the dispatcher that he had seen Gates' ID confirming his address, but yet he still asked that Harvard Police be summoned to the home. My question is why wasn't a statement extended to Gates at that moment that we have made a mistake, sorry to bother you, but it's policy and we must investigate every call such as this. Did these officers look around the house for other "suspects" and in doing so see family photos, the suitcases, etc; or anything corroborating the fact that Gates is the homeowner. Further, police and fire depts. have capability to do phone # searches that could also assist with confirming residency. I'm not harping on RACE; let's forget that issue. Mr. Gates had returned from a long trip, has a pain issue I imagine due to the cane, and studies race for a living. It's hard to believe he simply fantasized that his rights were abused. I do believe that if Gates yelled out statements involving Crowley's mother, then he owes Crowley an apology. Sooooo, I raise the question of whether the Officers thoroughly analyzed and assessed this situation before it reached a crisis level. We frequently pray for the protection, wisdom and the needs of our troops and law enforcement officers (on the local, state and federal level), so this is in no way a put-down of Officer Crowley or any other Officer. I agree with Mr. Robinson, there is more to this story than has been told.

Posted by: chatterbox3 | July 29, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Eugene. Nobody else has really addressed this issue. Falsifying an arrest report is a crime. Several cops in Hollywood are about to be fired for just discussing falsifying an arrest report.

Posted by: Frigistan | July 29, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

The color divide in this incident is not black and white--it's blue versus anything else. Cops quasi-military training demands obedience and control and trains in such a way that every non-cop is a suspect. Trained how to testify, trained what to say on reports----we wouldn't put up with this for a minute if we didn't have a tv-show based idea of what cops. Yes, it can be a difficult job--you're dealing with people. I believe farmers have a greater chance of injury and death.

Posted by: lomness | July 29, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Lying??? Perhaps more likely someone made a mistake.. she mentioned Black but didn't remember it.. Crowley thought he heard her say Black but was wrong.. what's the point?? Crowley walked up to the front door to ask a few questions.. if Gates was White he would have asked the SAME THING.. to see some ID. Fact is he was at the RIGHT HOUSE.. she was there to point it out. He went to investigate, what does it matter if there was a mix up to the race of the person who lived there???

Posted by: sovine08 | July 29, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

May be another bystander offered the info as he walked up the steps....It's a reasonable assumption. Good luck getting a statement from anybody else that was there with the fear of death threats

Posted by: DD163 | July 29, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

As the various comments posted here show, we Americans of various racial and ethnic background have deep seated suspicion, fear and prejudice about each other. Unfortunately, what should have resulted from the incident of Dr. Gates' arrest is a national conversation about our racial divide, and how to begin bridge it.

All we've seen so far from the media is lots of useless commentary about the fuzzy facts of this case. How much more useful it would be if Americas of all races would talk with each other honestly about their assumptions and fears about race relations and how each of us is impacted by it. Unless we can find a way to begin to have tens of millions of honest cross-racial conversations, we can expect nothing more than the type of fearful accusations we can read here.

This is an excellent opportunity that's being wasted.

Posted by: JAJ1957 | July 29, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

We all know that Crowley LIED. I was able to read a copy of the revised Police Report, before it was snatched off the internet. Anybody in their right mind knew that he was lying.

And Robinson, do you think that fueling this issue is going to get those who use racial profiling, or bigots and racist to admit their wrong doings, or apologize. I seriously doubt it.

It's called PRIDE and/or DENIAL, so forget it!

Just keep bringing us honest journalism.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | July 29, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Eugene,
I say you on the TV last night and you were so obviously smug and contemptful when you commented on Sgt. James Crowley's report and his "yo' mama's" comment. This police report was written before Obama put his foot squarely up his a*ss. "Skip" Gates followed out Crowley from his house ranting like a maniac. He provoked a confrontation with a civil servant who was trying to prevent Gates's house fron being burglarized.

Posted by: reegospamoni | July 29, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Robinson, is shuck and jive race baiting a-hole.


Posted by: dashriprock | July 29, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, the lady had no incentive to lie, and the tape released by the police department confirmed what she said.

The cop, on the other, had a motive to provide inaccurate information to cover his ass. Does it happen quite often in our police force?

Posted by: shihfen | July 29, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Neujene, Are you really telling all you know or just the good parts that will sell copy for you and persuade the liberals reading the articles that this was all a major conspiracy to racial profile an poor old crippled absent minded professor who lost his keys and just happen to dress like transients with back packs and look Hispanic for the general public. Was the conversation between Whalen and Crowley taped so all the facts would be used?

Are you sure this is not because James Crowley sounds a bit like Jim Crow? There is probably a lot of good innuendo if you keep looking.

Posted by: longbow65 | July 29, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I apologize to officer Crowley he is obviously a reasonable man
you can tell by the BEER that was ordered at the summit
OBAMA- bud light uninspiring safe
GATES- red strip 'traditional"black mans beer from Jamaica
CROWLEY-blue moon YES!! AN INSPIRING CHOICE A SMOOTH REALLY GREAT BEER LOVERS BEER!

WHY OH WHY did gates just have to pick RED STRIPE its a watery taste less beer its ONLY known for being drinkable in large quantities in the heat it being from Jamaica

GATES CLAIMS he is part irish descended from naill of the nine hostages by 10 of 11 DNA markers
Guinness is a great irish beer and not such an obvious PROTEST DRINK

gates gates gates he just HAS to be an A$$ EVEN IN A MAKE NICE MEETING

I really hope obama UNDERSTANDS HIS FRIEND IS A TOTAL JERK not the cop

Posted by: JudgeAlan | July 29, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Crowley falsified the police report.

Posted by: FutureJumps | July 29, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please ... "just saying." Robinson is obviously trying to paint Crowley as less-than-honest about what happened. In hopes of maligning him since nothing has convinced the majority of people that Gates' reaction was reasonable. Now everybody's jumping on the 911 call bandwagon in search of some smoking gun to make us all agree on one perspective here. Just grasping at thin air.

Posted by: LK2008 | July 29, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Now that Robinson asked this question (in defense of the black man involved), how about asking him why it is he is not also asking why, right after Obama said he did not know the facts he went on to basically pronounce Gates innocent and the white officer a racist? Then there is the question; Why didn't Obama do anything to calm the situation in Iowa during the primary when Obama absolutely needed a win to prove to blacks that it was possible and Hillary was pronounced a racist (egged on by his campaign) because of a remark about MLK that was twisted. Considering accusations in the primary of racism, this incident and the fact that Obama attended a black separatist church for 20 years, would it be safe to wonder if it is Obama that is actually the racist because of his "life experiences"? Even so, he sure managed to rise pretty high with all those evil white men beating him down day after day.

Posted by: cjones210 | July 29, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

It has been my experience that when a man stands up for his rights and bucks authority, right or wrong he pays the price. It seems Mr. Gates doesn’t mind the authority part, he just doesn’t like paying the price for standing on his hind legs barking like a man.

Go for it Gates, tell the racist pig where to get off but just man up to the consequences instead of crying like a little girl to big brother Obama for some sympathy.

Posted by: longbow65 | July 29, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

The following message is for all the RACISTS who don't think they are, and for all the ones who know they are. Like Hitler there are some people (more than I can stomach) that have a need to blame others for their shortcommings. You know the ones, the individuals that think or say "If it wasn't for blacks our streets would be safer." or "If it wasn't for mexicans taking our jobs, I'd have one now." Here are a few facts, you know what facts are don't you? Statements or an assertion of verified information about something that is the case.

1) FIRST DRIVE-BY SHOOTING ... The Old West when the "drovers" after a long cattle drive came riding into town whooping it up, shooting their pistols in the air (most of the time) and snatching up any woman careless enough to "walk on the outside closest to the street or road" (it's one of the reasons gentlemen walk on the outside of the sidewalk with a lady friend). I won't get into the mob during the 1920-50's and prohibition, you know the real (machine gun) deal.

2) FIRST CIVILIZED SERIAL KILLER ... It's a toss-up, you can go with Henry the Eighth or Jack the Ripper. Bundy, Son-Of-Sam, the Zodiac, Hill-side-strangler, Texas Tower killer, Columbine, etc., etc., etc, they're "johnny-come-lately's". You know what 99% of the serial killers had in common. They were "white males", who'da thought?

3) FIRST "REAL" ORGANIZED ACT OF GENOCIDE ... The United States in their attempt to eradicate the "Native Americans", and they almost succeeded. SECOND PLACE ... Hilter. What is it with "Whites" and their superiority complex?

Of course the list goes on and on but the point of this comment is that most Americans really don't know the sorid history of their country or their countrymen. Yet when they pick up the papers and read about the "Madoffs, the Dillingers, the Lt. Callys, the Meyer Lanskys, the Ivan Boeskys, The Charles Keatings and on and on, they enter some sort of psychotic state wherein the perpetrators of these heineous acts are mere aberrations and not indicative of the entire race as a whole (I'm willing to argue with you on that point, throwing down fact after fact, I'll bet my list is much longer than yours). Yet you will look at one black (Prof. Gates) and place him in the same category as a common street hoodlum AND YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW ANY! Most of the posters who "automatically" side with the police seem to have forgotten about "Serpico", "The LA Ramparts Station fiasco", "Mark Furman", "The Cleveland Police Corruption Scandal of 1995", "The Philly 39th District Corruption scandal", "The Miami River Cops scandal", "The New Orleans Killer Cop scandal" and the list goes on and on. These are not just a few bad apples, this is indicative of a "mind set". I have always felt that those who want to be cops shouldn't, and those that don't should.

JUST A LITTLE SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT......

Posted by: Taylorsucram | July 29, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Crowell was not so much lying, evidently, as embroidering the standard 'disorderly conduct' story that's always told in the case of a spite arrest. Ignorant, he sincerely expected no consequences. Why haven't we heard the 911 tapes yet? No mystery there. They'll dribble out over the next week or so, merely factual and too late to affect the settled narrative.

The only surprising thing is the depth and durability of anti-black feeling in this country, and its increasingly public character (witness this very comments section). Who could have believed otherwise for a minute?

Posted by: hquain | July 29, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Your question Who is lying was answered when a Boston Policeman sent an email calling Gates a Jungle Monkey and will most likely be fired. There are many racist in all feels of work and stuff happens. Yes Racial Profiling is done to all races.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | July 29, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who continue to defend Crowley, here is a copy of the police report that I finally found on-line on another site.

Make sure that you read the part about where he says, "She went on to tell me that she observed what appeared to be two BLACK males with backpacks on the porch of ## Ware street".


http://www.scribd.com/doc/17512830/Gates-Police-Report

Posted by: lcarter0311 | July 29, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Taylorsucram wrote:
The following message is for all the RACISTS who don't think they are, and for all the ones who know they are.
================================

That was funny! Do you watch a lot of TV or movies maybe? You need to get out more in the public. Go to a shooting range and enjoy yourself with an AR-15.

I was raised in the Deep South and worked with blacks all my life. The working southern blacks are the most honorable and un selfish people alive. Most have good manners and will do anything to help a black or white neighbor out. Then there are others that are not as tolerant and helpful. I wonder which one Skippy is?

Posted by: longbow65 | July 29, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

You've got to be kidding me. How does this matter at all? In case it does, the most likely scenario is that Crowley meant that Whalen told him she had seen “what [was apparently] two black males with backpacks”. Crowley is a cop, not an English major. It's entirely possibly he didn't write up a the report on a meaningless misdemeanor using the most precise language.

Mr. Robinson, you need to read EJ Dionne's column from today.

Posted by: varmau | July 29, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

even with this fudged police report the prosecutor dropped the case. it was a false arrest. he arrested gates for talking back. since when is talking back illegal? nobody should have the authority to arrest someone for talking back.

Posted by: iquitos | July 29, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

In response to:
Eugene,
I say you on the TV last night and you were so obviously smug and contemptful when you commented on Sgt. James Crowley's report and his "yo' mama's" comment. This police report was written before Obama put his foot squarely up his a*ss. "Skip" Gates followed out Crowley from his house ranting like a maniac. He provoked a confrontation with a civil servant who was trying to prevent Gates's house fron being burglarized.

Posted by: reegospamoni | July 29, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse
------------
Now you're lying, reegospamoni. You're just making stuff up to be racist. The cop lured him out onto the porch in order to arrest him because he couldn't do so in the house without a judge-approved warrant. Gates in no way "followed him out of his house ranting like a maniac." That is a lie. That has never been reported. Why would you write it that way? What is your problem?

Posted by: Urnesto | July 29, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

A police report should be accurate. It is the officer's version of fact that forms the factual basis for an arrest and subsequent prosecution. Clearly Officer Gates embellished the report and has now been exposed as a lying cop. In fact, the report as it reads contains insufficient evidence to sustain a disorderly conduct prosecution. Obviously the D.A.'s office concluded this and dropped the case before it came to trial. It was a stupid act on the part of the Cambridge Police(Crowley) to arrest Dr. Gates. Officer Crowley is the one that should be apologizing and disciplined for lying and "acting stupidly" in arresting Dr. Gates.

Posted by: ellislawoffice | July 29, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Alright I think I got you figured out now...You just like pulling everyone's chain...that's pretty funny...You won't get me again.

Posted by: DD163 | July 29, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Somebody is lying, and it wasn't the 911 caller or the police, since they all have recordings and transcripts to prove it!

Posted by: Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief | July 29, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

You're on a roll, Eugene. I'm thoroughly enjoying and appreciating your take on this issue, in print and on the tube. Thank you.

Posted by: pasc1 | July 29, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Traitor:

You are an idiot and a hater. Let's see what else you reveal yourself to be.

Posted by: ellislawoffice | July 29, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

It says something about American police culture that, even *after* the whole nation saw how Sgt Crowley arrested Dr. Gates on a bogus 'contempt of cop' charge, Crowley still indignantly claims he did nothing wrong. And the Blue Wall is standing shoulder-to-shoulder behind him.

If there is one lesson from this "teachable moment", it is that the police have successfully redefined their routine abuse of authority as being "normal."

Posted by: DupontJay | July 29, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I love those Brinks Home Security commercials. They always show a white guy breaking into a house before the alarm goes off. If they used a black guy, which is more likely to happen in the real world, Robinson would go berserk.

Never pass up a chance to cry racism.

Posted by: davidkarl | July 29, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

From Canada: the cop may just have been a sloppy writer with a sloppy memory. You put a microscope on the work of most junior officials and you see a lot of messy writing/thinking that was not intended for prime time scrutiny. Afterall; cops have more important things to worry about. Ever see a hero cop in the movies that LIKED paper work?...nobody should have their life wrecked over this and YES you all should keep working on your race relations until it gets fixed because it's been broken for a very long time and it diminishes you in the eyes of the world.

Posted by: steve7446629 | July 29, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Eugene, I'm so sick of you speaking with a different voice in print than you speak on tv! You allowed Mika Brizinski and Mike Barnicle to treat that police report as fact when it merely is only the account of the police officer. It is no more factual than Gates' account. The MSM has been treating that police report as sacrosanct. The only thing that is sacrosanct in this matter is the US Constitution which guaranteed the Gates protection from unreasonable search and seizure and the right to free speech especially in his own home.

Posted by: NMP1 | July 29, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I am a 55 yr old white female who finds this white supremecy balogna appalling as all get out. This was OBVIOUSLY a frame by the neo-con's to discredit our President and to attempt to instill fear into the American public regarding racism. We are so past this however the neo-cons are not! They call themselves Christians then attack like a pack of wolves! This is BLATENT LUNACY and equivelent to what the Nazi's did to innocent people during WWII. This makes me absolutely SICK! Regarding Crowley’s, he is oviously not reporting the facts accurately which is what I see way too often in police reports during my investigations. Wrong names, dates, times, descriptions, addresses, auto's, etc. are consistently reflected in these reports.

Posted by: LKM2 | July 29, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Eugene!! Eugene!!! Let it go please. The entire episode was STUPID!! Supposed educated people acting like fools.

The door jammed and it had happened before-hell fix it.

So you teach racial behavior and how to react-go get a refresher course-we're taking the previous certificates back.

Dispatcher and Neighbor-Community Watch meeting serious review and Tolerance Training in review for all.

Mr. President-look before ya leap. And that beer will not be paid by taxpayers and go to Joe's Ribs and Beer Joint not Martha's Vineyard-they did not win a reward but, Community Service; Anger Mgmt. and some serious counseling.

So, Eugene-get a grip. The Country has been upset enough. Americans have more issues that need attention than this Ego; Pride; Arrogance; Me, Me, Me Crap!!

Posted by: Scar1 | July 29, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't mean to be a pollyanna, but I think everyone involved had a bad day. Gates, just back from a long, tiring trip understandably gets his back up (his knowledge of how race works intensifies his reaction) when a cop challenges his right to be in his own home. The cop resents being screamed at by a professor who (sorry guys, but since I am one and have seen this many times and most profs I work with feel entitled to all kinds of deference, so imagine how much more a Harvard prof feels that) the cop sees as acting as if he {Gates}feels that he is better than a mere cop and understandably but incorrectly decides to get payback. It all escalates too far, too quickly for anyone to pull back. I know someone out there must think that somehow there's a lesson here for all of us, but for the life of me I think that's balderdash. I'll bet anything that when they meet tomorrow, both Crowley and Gates will sheepishly agree that they were both idiots.

And yes, I know you have the right to scream at a cop without being arrested. But do I think that's usually an appropriate way to handle a situation. No, not really. Crowley's attempt to humiliate Gates by arresting him was to me the more egregious action, but Gates by no means gets totally off the hook.

Posted by: lab-lady | July 29, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Interesting comment on Gates matter here: How to Assert Constitutional Rights Politely: What Gates Should have Said: http://redgenesbluegenes.com/

Posted by: box175 | July 29, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

If you look at page 3 of the report (link below), Officer Figueroa says he questioned Ms. Whalen separately, too, at the scene. I feel sorry for Ms. Whalen because she didn't ask to be thrust into the spotlight. How many good citizens seeing a crime will think twice about reporting it after this mess?

As a retired paralegal, I worked on many cases where the facts looked one way but the evidence at trial proved something entirely different and many times the truth lay somewhere in the middle.

Typically in our entertainment driven media, there have been been few facts, but those have been reported repeatedly to the point it seems there's a mountain of verifiable evidence. Plus, the media treats emotionally-charged opinion as fact, has commentators who take sides to inflame the passions and keep the story alive longer, and who wins in this minidrama that started as two stubborn, childish men who'd rather talk "at" each other than "to" each other? Maybe tomorrow that will change for them, but the racial and class divides are wider than ever.

Teachable moment? It's the same old crap, finding a reason to reaffirm our own prejudices. Today, Crowley/Gates is the excuse. Tomorrow it'll be something else.


http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0723092gates1.html

Posted by: IndependenceDame | July 29, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

No one really cares what the njqqers think anyway. They get lip service and welfare checks to keep them voting for Democrats.

Posted by: Dionysis | July 29, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

The sergeant is doing what cops do best -- LIE !

Consider that the woman in this story has ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to lie,

and,

at the same time, the sergeant has EVERY REASON to lie.

And we all know, seriously, that cops lie all the time.

If you don't believe it, you haven't looked at YouTube.

.

Posted by: swanieaz | July 29, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Dionysis, your redneck and ignorance is showing !

Posted by: ellislawoffice | July 29, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I would make two comments. (Disclaimer -- white female, age 75, raised in western New England, Irish ancestry, Quaker education -- go figure..)

First, I suspect in all honesty that Prof. Gates, with all the respect and honors that he has justly earned, may nonetheless had a moment (understandable) of "Don't you know who I AM??" (Mr. Robinson sort of suggested this in a TV comment, I believe-- )

Second, most likely Officer Crowley "doesn't" know who Prof Gates is. More to the point, and especially if he has --as I believe I heard -- actually taught some training program about "racial profiling" -- I suspect he is not "racist" in the sense that we now usually use the word. He probably has made a sincere effort to overcome whatever prejudices and automatic responses that he most likely heard as a matter of course early in life --and ever since. (Think "Southie", for example -- and I don't mean "Solid South" here. ) But things that get into our minds early on have a habit of resurfacing at stressful moments despite our best intentions, and especially when we aren't walking on eggs because we figure this is just some routine incident.

We all like to think we are enlightened and fair -- but I honestly have to admit for myself that my black friends and colleagues are that -- black friends and colleagues; no matter how much I like and enjoy them, the reflexive concept "black" is still buried deep somewhere: not as a negative, but simply as something that I am not "blind" to. I hope and pray for the day when that reflex just doesn't exist for most people, but meanwhile I think we have to be willing -- from both sides -- to gracefully accept an honest effort at fairness, even if imperfect.

I'm willing to extend that possibility of honesty to Officer Crowley and hope it proves right. And I hope to be able to respect his response. And for the moment, I think we all need to have an occasional moment of honest self-examination, sharing, and reaching out.

Posted by: icyone | July 29, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

The report does not matter on the issue of whether or not the persons who were suspected of breaking into the house were black or not. The minute the officer showed up and heard Gates speak (from behind a closed door that he refused to open, according to the police report also), the officer would have known Gates was black from his accent, and would also have known that he was not Hispanic, again from accent. That would have been before he even saw gates. So, this particular part of the discussion is pointless.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | July 29, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yes, you're just asking, aren't you Gene? Just throwing things out there, aren't you Gene?
Just being helpful, aren't you Gene? "Can't we...Can't we all just get along?......At least until a Washington post writer can come along and apologize for us and throw out hypotheticals?...So we can go back to crying 'Race! Race!'.
Gene, old boy, I'm so glad I don't have a Pulitzer Prize I can't BEGIN to tell you.

Posted by: chatard | July 29, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

"Or did the sergeant, or perhaps his dispatcher, just assume that if a break-in was taking place, the perpetrators had to be black?"

I don't know, Eugene. Did Gates just assume that because Crowley was white, he had to be racist?

I know Gates is (racist). I've seen his work on PBS.

Posted by: liam358 | July 29, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, we know Gates is lying... he claims he wasn't loud and it's impossible that he was since he had bronchitis, but you can hear him all over the background on the audio every time Crowley calls dispatch.

Posted by: kemurph | July 29, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Gene's Pulitzer is only one of the many rewards of cleverly playing up black victimhood.

Posted by: liam358 | July 29, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I watched Ms. Whalen's press confernce today and reached the same conclusion as Eugene. Her attorney would not let her answer any questions about the conflict in the police report and the 911 call.I think SHE is planning a defamation lawsuit against the police officer! Now there!

Posted by: mrobertson011 | July 29, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

The elephant in the room is that they both lied. Crowley lied to cover his a$$ for any possible interpretation of poor judgment and Gates lied to exploit the situation on behalf of his speaking tours and new books.

They both lied, OK? No can we move on, or would you and Colbert like to continue to throw gasoline on the fire?

Just saying.

Posted by: coloradodog | July 29, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

The question is not necessarily who is lying but why Ms Whalen could not recognize her neighbors.?

Posted by: pbarnett52 | July 29, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

I read Ms. Whalen's quote describing how she has been harassed and vilified as a racist for making the call.

If Officer Crowley lied on his report and his story why didn't she say so sooner.

Maybe Crowley didn't "lie" until after people got to Whalen with their harassment.

I can't help but notice the focus of Gates' version of the story keeps changing as time passes.

The teachable moment here is that a preeminent Harvard professor can't be trusted to tell the truth.

After studying and writing about race relations all his academic career he quite simply overreacted and created his own racial incident.

Just apologize Mr Gates, pick up what is left of your integrity and honor and trudge on out of the media.

Posted by: krankyman | July 29, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

As a white person I have been racially profiled. I was profiled by black teenagers who objected to my riding my bike through their 'hood.' They knocked me off my bike, injuring both me and my bike. This is real racial profiling, not the baloney that blacks talk about. For this reason and others like it I don't trust blacks and never will.

============================
How much did the your republicans pay you to write this??

Posted by: Fei_Hu | July 29, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Whalen should have been the person responding to the 911 call instead of Sergeant Crowley. She obviously has the better judgment and a better temperment than Sergeant Crowley. President Obama was correct when he said that the police acted stupidly. It is just political correctness to say otherwise. Professor Gates might have acted like a jerk but a truly professional cop would not have let it affect him and just walked away when he determined there was no crime.

Posted by: exbrown | July 29, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Okay it's official KARL ROVE KOOKS ARE BACK...I don't care about anyone writing about how much they don't like Black People. It's a lot of Black People who don't like white people either!
Having said that...Someone is paying kooks again to come out with all this crap they pulled when Bush was in office....

REPUBLICANS DO NOT BELIEVE THE HYPE THAT THESE COKE-UP BOURBON DOWN METH TAKING KOOKS...THEY ARE THE REASON YOU WON'T MAKE IT IN 2010 AND 2012

Posted by: danson1 | July 29, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised that the 911 tape conflicts with the police report. I've thought all along that Officer Crowley's veracity was at issue. Further, the police chief and police department simply protested too loudly too quickly, even after the charge had been dropped. I felt from the inception that the real story was in what was not being said. Too many questions were, and continue to remain, unanswered.

Suitcases in full view? C'mon, give me a break. Why would robbers appear at a house with suitcases? No doubt Crowley manufactured the "back packs" description to try to justify his actions after the fact, because mentioning the suitcases would have cast doubt on his judgment right away.

Officer Crowley is looking quite suspect here (I don't believe he made a mistake at all), and the police chief and other officers also appear disingenuous.

The President was right to say what he said, and he is being most too charitable by catering to the police in this instance. Sure, police officers deserve our appreciation for what they do, but they also need to know that we are on to them as well, and they need to be exposed.

Posted by: vscribe | July 29, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

What is with all the beer references ? Who would you rather have a beer with , and what of beer do you like , and lets have a beer and resolve all the false allegations of racism ? I think it is an anti-irish bias . They are o'bunch o'drunken o'racists .

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | July 29, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

If Gates were White and Crowley Black, many of the posters here would be screaming about a police state. Screaming about the jack booted thugs and the black helicopters and folks coming to take their guns and civil rights away.

What's good for one, is good for the other.

Posted by: cfeher | July 30, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

This is becoming the making of a mountain out of a molehill. You can find anything you want in a list of details about a complex event, such as an arrest. If the officer made a racist assumption (likely true), all that would mean is that, like all white people, the officer has a bit of racism in him. In the same way, all men have a bit of gender bias within them. What counts in an individual case is the overall effect, which is nill.

Racial profiling is complex and difficult because one must protect both the public and the rights of the accused. It is assuredly true that one should not target African Americans in any way. On the other hand, skin color is an important means to identify, and hopefully apprehend, criminals. If you say "two white men, one brown, curly haired, the other blond, straight haired, roughly 5'11'' each, shot a policeman and ran off with the car", that's completely legitimate because it helps identify who the criminals are. With this information, the police will be on the look out for a pair of white men in a police car.

Apart from racial profiling, all want to reduce arrests that get dropped. By concentrating on this matter, which would save government a lot of money, racial profiling would be less prevalent de facto. One should order the different crimes by the fraction of arrests that are dropped, thereby finding the ripest targets for arrest reduction. Perhaps disorderly conduct is one of those crimes where one could increase the stringency of the criteria for arrest.

Posted by: Martial | July 30, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Robinson, just give it up, please.

You've made your point, repeated it, and maybe have written about it again. If I did care about Harvard Professor Gate's hurt feelings and damaged self-esteem, I certainly have gone past caring.

Professor Gate's was Cop-Baiting Police Sargent Crowely. Gate's was asking for trouble, he got it and then exploited his being arrested as a racist thing, giving him the national media attention that he sought.

Then, as an added bonus, Harvard Professor Gates got the knee jerk support from former Harvard Professor and now President Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., a fellow African American.

Then you decide to exploit this in the best tradition of Reverend Al Sharpton who was quick to accuse the Cambridge Police of Racism.

In that sense, these African American characters -- including you -- are little different from Obama's former Pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah what's-his-face, who loudly proclaimed from his pupit to his Congregation, "God Bless America? No! No! No! God Damn America!!"

Posted by: leochen24551 | July 30, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

One thing as far as racial profiling, when I was a kid in DC I was thrown off my bike by a big black teenager and he stole my bike that I had worked for months delivering papers to save up for. This experience left me afraid to ride my bike to school for a few months. My wife was held up at gun point by black guy when she worked at a bookstore when she was 17. I'm not sure I follow the logic that only whites are racist.

Mr. Robinson's perspecitve almost seems to be that USA is basically racially balkanized place where every group needs to defend it's own and his job in his columns is to only take "black" point of view and stick up for blacks.

I'm not going to take those two experiences though and extrapolate that all people of certain skin color are out to get me or that I should then mistrust all people of that color because I ran into a couple of ones that didn't treat me well. I don't think you should assume all whites are racist or that whites are evil because you had some trouble with whites throughout your lifetime.

Posted by: optik_b | July 30, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Robinson, do us a favor and get off of it, please.

If I was sympathetic to Harvard Professor Gates for having his feelings hurt or for having his self-esteem damaged or his right to loudly Cop-Bait Cambridge Police Sargent Crawley, I'm way past that now.

Black victimization is a poor rationalization for the dismal Black Track Record in America, year in and year out, decade after decade, century after century.

Posted by: leochen24551 | July 30, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

As one who has been subject to racial profiling for being the first black resident in an all white affluent neighborhood, being stopped by police officers who wanted to know "what was I doing in this neighborhood, and was the car that I was driving (cadillac) mine? I am all too aware of the conduct of some police officers. As one who was also involved in law enforcement(retired) I am also aware of the writing and submitting police reports that are embellished in order to impress your superiors, because you are a minority officer.

Posted by: Truthandlight | July 30, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

On Monday Laurence O'Donnell on MSNBC also played the police recording of the incident and lo and behold, there was no "shouting" coming from Gates as Crowley says in the report, which was the whole story about why he had to arrest him. In addition, yelling at an officer is not legal grounds for arrest to begin with.

Added to the nonsense in Crowley's report about getting the 911 call about "two black males with backpacks" that we now know wasn't true, it seems that Crowley wasn't telling the truth about this incident in several very important aspects.

Posted by: BillEPilgrim | July 30, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

The fact that a policeman who had taught training classes in diversity did not apply any of those skills in defusing a clearly volatile situation is very troubling. The Cambridge police said the 911 call would speak for itself. It does. The police acted stupidly.

Posted by: tobia | July 30, 2009 5:39 AM | Report abuse

It occurs to me that the good Professor Gates maybe took a page out of Rahm Emmanuel's playbook: "Never let a crisis go to waste"
with his 'loud and tumultuous behaviour"

Posted by: Mecarswell | July 30, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson, I wish you wouldn't keep stoking the racial fires here. It's irrelevant whether or not the alleged perpetrators were identified as black. Officer Crowley was responding to a report that there was a breakin in a home. Regardless of whether the color of the perpetrators were specified, either in the 911 call or when Officer Crowley talked to Ms. Whalen outside the home, he had a duty to investigate. If he is given a report of a breakin and then sees a person in the home, regardless of the color of the person, Officer Crowley has to verify that the person is not a criminal. that involves establishing the identity of the person and whether that person has a lawful right to be in the house. THe one part of the report that no one disputes is that Officer Crowley left the home and Professor Gates followed him outside. The presumption is that if Professor Gates had stayed in the home, Officer Crowley would have continued his exit and gone about his business. If Officer Crowley truly intended to pick on a black man, he wouldn't have left the home without Professor Gates in the first place.

Finally, over the past week or so, many (President Obama, Colin Powell, even Kathleen Parker) have talked about the understandable suspiciousness that black people have of the people as a way to justify Professor Crowley's behavior. I wonder how many previous times, Professor Crowley has been arrested by the police "for being black" and why he has that suspicion. We are taught as kids in school that to judge all members of a group by the actions of a few is wrong. so even if some cops racially profile, why assume all do? Why be suspicious of all white cops? Isn't that just as wrong as a white person looking at a few black criminals and assuming all black people are criminals (which is what racial profiling is)? so why is racial profiling wrong but occupational profiling right? I would like to see Mr. Robinson or some other Professor Gates defender answer that question.

Posted by: adifferentpointofview | July 30, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

"This whole thing is a bit much. Forget the racial question but does one have to extend deference to a damn cop when you're on your own property and violating no law? I know from experience that I wouldn't and I high-five Gates for having the spine to do what he did.
Posted by: wolfvorkian1"
============================
The answer is yes, the authorities do have a right to be in your home or on your property and expect deference and compliance to what the law considers legitimate orders in performance of their duties.
And people who have been violating no law have been arrested in their own homes on domestic disputes, neighbors complaints of loud partying, etc...even if facts show they were Not in Anyway Responsible for any crime or infraction...right up to the point where they became belligerant and disorderly to cops, city inspectors, firefighters, EMTs performing official duties.
The classic is a bogus domestic dispute which was actually an apartment full of people in various degrees of inebriation talking loudly but violating no law. And which results in mass arrests as investigating cops are cursed at by the offended partygoers, people refuse orders to show ID, break the party up.
And cops take control and drag them all off to jail. Whereupon, after that "teaching moment" has been accomplished, charges are routinely dropped if the hostile drunks show even a shred of remorse.
I'm no cop lover. Given that I was in an exact such party that we had done nothing wrong and was the only man not arrested during the confrontation as cussing young white punk after punk was manacled (my inebriated friends)...and the cops were far too arrogant and bossy for my tastes. BUt smart enough to know the trashtalkers, including the homeowner, his two sons living there - had made their own bed.
However, as a volunteer firefighter, I have seen enough accidents and people behaving stupidly and endangering others by not complying with legitimate instructions of emergency personnel - to know that if cops have their authority diminished and people feel free to defy anything they order - that collective public safety will be similarly diminished.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | July 30, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Mr. Robinson can provide us the link to his article about Senator Roland Burris's lying to Federal investigators.

Posted by: someguy7 | July 30, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Why is it, in Washington, that every time two people disagree, no matter how trivial, we accuse people of lying? Is it to distract from the real issue? Also, perhaps Mr. Robinson can provide us the link to his article about Senator Burris lying.

Posted by: someguy7 | July 30, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Agree with Seytom1: Whalen should have been invited. Maybe because she's a woman....nah...

Posted by: martymar123 | July 30, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

This story is important in that it addresses several complex issues which I'm afraid some folks who usually read the NY Post and make stupid comments have logged onto the WA Post in error. The issues are: 1) racial...in that Gates has, as a Black person, a narrative which came home to him in his own home. 2) Crowley has his own narrative and he is a police officer with all that that job entails. The two met bringing their own expectations and baggage and sparks flew. Crowley, in his narrative, neglected to observe an older, somewhat handicapped man, but instead simply saw an enraged Black male who disrespected him and his badge. Gates, in his narrative, saw a white police officer disrespecting him in his own house. Sparks flew. 3)Once someone, anyone, identifies themselves the reason for the police being there have ended. We are not, yet, a police state. Having been around awhile, I dare to say that Crowley would not have arrested the man if he had been white. He bowed to his narrative in a fit of anger. I doubt he'll rise to a high level in the police department because he didn't use his intelligence, eyes and ears but instead bowed to his 'narrative'. Gates, on the other hand bowed to his narrative and helped push the situation over the top. The difference between them is that Crowley is a public official paid by us to do a job and not let his narrative get in them way of that job.

Posted by: vjfevp | July 30, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

More if Robinson's rantings. Gate's was wrong when the facts are adequately put forward. The race card continues to be used.

Posted by: ernest121 | July 30, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Yes racism is alive and well in the USA.

Yes police frequently act heavy handed and over react to make an arrest.

Yes the sun set's in the West.

Yes it's time to move on with real news.

Posted by: dfdougherty | July 30, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Now it becomes convenient for Mr. Robinson to use the words of a terrified white woman to impugn Sgt. Crowley's integrity. The "racial profiling" scenario must be propped up with any rationalization at hand. We haven't heard from the elderly woman who prompted Ms. Whalen to dial 911. What about the limo driver who assisted in "breaking and entering?" The dispatcher had a black accent to my ear. Is she a "profiler?" Am I?

No matter how you churn this pathetic spectacle, we need to dispense with the "profiling" nonsense. On the day in question someone entered a house publicly and suspiciously. Whatever "profile" Sgt. Crowley expected or sought--in his or anyone's possibly prejudiced imagination--it was his real misfortune to encounter one Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, Jr., Professional Racialist Agitator with an attitude and an agenda. The rest is tediously predictable.

The reason Mr. Robinson and other media types can't seem to get a handle on this non-event is that they work in an insulated environment not unlike the academic cocoon which incubates their views. Those like Sgt. Crowley, who work at street level,
struggle daily to sort out continual contentious personal transactions, usually between and among strangers. They strive to provide service and maintain order equably; on the street there is ultimately nowhere to hide. Snipers in towers--ivory or ebony--indulge themselves in cowardly sport.

Posted by: elgropo1 | July 30, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

"She is heard to say that she has “no idea” if a break-in is actually taking place."

so the real question is, why was she calling the police in the first place? the real lesson here is that people should mind their own business, and she SHOULD apologize for being a busybody neighbor with nothing better to do than peep out her window. and here's a crazy thought, how about you learn what your neighbors look like? it's not like he was new in the neighborhood. or god forbid you walk over and ask "hey, having trouble with your door?"

just saying.

Posted by: emperor_ju | July 30, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Freedom of speech is not against the law.

Freedom of speech in your own home is not against the law.

Nothing Crowley can say or do, nothing anyone can say or do will negate the bare fact that after the cop knew the person in the house lived there, he arrested him.

However you look at it, a man was arrested in his own home for being indignant. It was a false arrest.

Crowley can't undo what he's done. But he can become a standard for what we don't allow to continue.

Posted by: dutchess2 | July 30, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Explain why if blacks are 10% of the population, but 90% of all those who are stopped, arrested, prosecuted, sentenced, and incarcerated?

Large segments of our population have learned they don't need police.

Let everyone carry guns, booby trap their homes, and get rid of police.

Or deal with the problem.

Posted by: dutchess2 | July 30, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

for heavens sake! Gates is a know loudmouth, and has for years been the kind of person who 'looks' for a reason to be insulted - if a cop knocks on your door, and asks for your ID, why not just show it to them, stay calm, and resolve the problem conflict free? Crowley may have taken umbridge to being called a racist simply because he was doing his job; let's recall he did give mouth to mouth to Reggie Lewis, hardly the kind of thing a Klansmen would do right? Bottom line, if Gates avoids the 'do you know who I am?" crap, this would never have even become a story, period. Jebus!

Posted by: paulserrano | July 30, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Talk about making a federal case out of something. With 1,000 problems, let's create a bunch more. Chronic pain is a real disease. Go sit on your beefs.

Posted by: Dermitt | July 30, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't she have seen the men in the house after she hung up the phone and went outside, and then told the officer she thought they were black? I'm just saying that a lot of the time the facts are very confusing in these situations, which happen very quickly. This is why the President made a big mistake in weighing in the way he did.

And enough already with this false question of whether or not racial profiling exists. It does. Minorities are more often profiled by the police for race, sometimes with devastating consequences. As another recent Post columnist pointed out, minorities are also profiled when they apply to college, or many government grants, as these programs assume they are more likely to have been disadvantaged. It's wrong in either situation.

Yes, whites, women, men, children, dogs (e.g. Berwyn Heights) and everyone else are profiled too.

As another worthless anecdote, I am a young white male and last month I was pulled over driving home through a majority black area in Northeast DC.I'm not going to state the cop's race because it's irrelevant since cops of all colors profile. He came up to my window, shined a light all around and then told me he just pulled me over because it looked like I wasn't wearing my seat belt, but since I clearly was, I could be on my way.

More likely than not I was pulled over because of my youth (there was a group of cops stopped in the shoulder while I was at a stop light) and maybe because I had musical instruments in the back? Who knows? Either way it was pretty obvious he just wanted to try to find me with drugs or alcohol, probably because of the area I was in.

I really like your columns most of the time Eugene, but in this case you've really got to give the cops a little bit of discretion since neither you nor the President were there. Cops get shot all the time pulling people over and responding to burglaries. So while I was really annoyed that I got pulled over, I didn't make a stink with the cop. I've watched enough episodes of COPS to know that the best thing you can do in an interaction with the police is SAY NOTHING. I kept my mouth shut, handed him my license and was on my way. Yes, I was a little annoyed and felt a little violated, but at least I didn't get thrown in jail that night by acting unreasonable. And hey, it's a good thing I keep my pot in the trunk!

...(kidding)

Posted by: H-Bomb | July 30, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

1. If you have ever made a 911 call, try to remember EVERY word you said.
------
2. This woman is being punished for doing the RIGHT thing. She's the one that should go to the White House for a free Bud Lite.
------
3. IT'S A SAD DAY IN AMERICA WHEN SOMEONE CALLS IN A SUSPECTED CRIME THEN NEEDS A LAWYER TO KEEP HER OUT OF TROUBLE.

The Obama era is getting Facist.

Posted by: jagqueenva | July 30, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Eugene!! Sorry-Blast away-after comments by another white officer-hell no! That police unit needs a real awakening. Racial Profiling-now I know the deal-they are racially divided. And to think of the Black officers who supported them. Gates probably did have to say some things. I said some stuff too and was upset and had gone back to the 60's in my mind-throwing bricks.

And although the lady who called did the community thing she still made a mistake so it wasn't two Black men but she thinks they may be Hispanic-golly gee?

This whole thing is crap!! Did you see Larry King and Mr. Dum Dum-Elder. I thought Dyson and Judge Joe Brown would have a "hissy fit". However, Joe Brown hit it with the Law-solid case closed. Amen!! You go honey Brown and Dyson.

Yes sir-they laid it down. Elder-please, OMG-where do these guys GOP clones come from? Tell me Eugene- please!! Glory!!

Posted by: Scar1 | July 30, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to you Taylorsucram for your intelligent, realistic true comment (July 29, 2009 8:20 PM) Our Nation is a scary place now as it is being invaded by a very corrupted lying group known as the NEO-CONS. This is akin to the Hitler invasion and war crimes of WWII.

Posted by: LKM2 | July 30, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse


And I am tolerate but, now sister really got some issues with this Police Dept. there in Cambridge. This guy sends out e-mails-jacka.s.s.!!! And people were trying to settle down and be tolerate to all. Now, I am like "Let's March" and get these guys straight right now.

Posted by: Scar1 | July 30, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Judge Joe Brown-vote him moderator for this whole group of knuckleheads. Yes sir! Honey got my vote. Now he is the one to straighten it all out!! Go Joe!

Posted by: Scar1 | July 30, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson, let it go. Who cares who was lying. You are the one lying when you daily write about race, and then say that you look at the issue objectivily Why don't you take a long vacation.

Posted by: gsms69 | July 30, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

If the professor would have given the police officers the respect that he demands for himself none of this would have happened.

President Obama was wrong to comment, in any way. He seems to lack discretion.

So, the President and the professor are engaging in a self-serving "dialogue" about race expressly to give the prof cover and get the President's foot out of his mouth, and the police officer is going to be stuck in the middle. There will probably not be much discussion about bad manners, disobeying lawful orders from a police officer in the performance of his duty, or disparaging the officer's mother (do that to a black guy's mom and see how many words you get out of your mouth).

So, I don't see this 'as much' about race as about the professor's bad manners.

Posted by: steveroake | July 30, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Wapo for these posts. they have truly been eye opening for me. I though that this country had really progressed and was getting better regarding race. However, some of these post have shown me that there are some really mean, evil spirited WHITE people still out there who are just consumed with hatred. It is sad to see it but it is what it is. How can you hate so much that your mind actually stops seeing things rationally? SAD, SAD, SAD.

Posted by: sickofit3 | July 30, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm...folks don't want to hear the truth...unless IT's THEIR CAREFULLY WROUGHT TRUTH. Now the 911 tape of Ms. Whalen's call is what? A fake? Does Ms. Whalen have an accent? Is it possible that the police dispatcher decided to INTERPRET Ms. Whalen's call? And the "two blacks with backpacks" were what the dispatcher concluded from " MIGHT HAVE BEEN HISPANIC"? AND THEY HAD TWO SUITCASES, THEY MAY LIVE THERE? Officer Crowley's official police report or the incident is at variance with Whalen's 911 call. How can that be? Unless that is the information he took over his car radio? Did he assume that is what Whalen told the dispatcher and that is why he said that is what she told him? According to her, he never really spoke to her. What amazes is that many of the people writing an opinion on Mr. Robinson's column seem to have real problems with Robinson, Gates and Obama. What do these three men have in common? But these same writers are fairly unanimous in their response to Officer Crowley...so can we play the pre school game...Which of these four things is NOT like the other ...Crowley, Gates, Obama and Robinson....just saying

Posted by: anghiari | July 30, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I must say this, and I really don't care whether it is believed or not. I have met Professor Gates several times and he is one of the nicest, calmest one least arrogant people you could meet. Now I am not with him 24/7, but I am pretty adept at reading arrogance having worked 30 years in politics. This right wing hullabaloo about arrogant Harvard Professors is just that. And its a fact that every cop is not some dumb jock who gets off on pushing people around. Not one of us knows what happened in the Gates' home between Office Crowley and Professor Gates. At this point, it's he said, he said. But we can start to get a toe hold when we listen to the 911 call and read the official police report of the Gates' arrest. An audio tape and a written report. No hear-say here... Now Gates/Obama bashers and Crowley supporters...spin this!

Posted by: anghiari | July 30, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I was ready to believe Sgt. Crowley because he knew he was being recorded, so if he was lying, we would all know about it. Well, now we all know about it. He was lying.

The entire 911 call can be heard here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=385×343538

It confirms that no mention of black men or backpacks was made. Caller said maybe Hispanic and suit cases. She also said it might be the homeowner, and it was.

So, where did Sgt Crowley get this wrong information? Did he make it up after the fact or is that what he really believed. Was the yelling also in his imagination? Dr. Gates cannot be heard yelling on the tape and he had bronchitis which probably prevented him from raising his voice ‘in a tumultuous manner’. Maybe he was just arrested for having angry body language…which I believe is an arrestable offense (but not a actual crime) for all those citizens who are not white males over age 30.

Perhaps Sgt Crowley was suffering from a delusion…a flashback of some traumatic episode. Wouldn’t be unusual in his line of work. Sgt. Crowley may need a psychological screening for PTSD.

Perhaps it was the lousy police radio system that finally drove him over the edge. Their radio reception was horrible. If you listen to the 911 call, all the police sound a little pissed off. The guy who is taking the 911 call is a real charmer. Lucky he works for the department or he might be arrested for his disrespectful (tumultuous) tone.

Posted by: Rivera555 | July 30, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Get a real issue, Mr. Robinson. An elitist Harvard scholar bad-mouthing a cop trying to do his job is the biggest non-issue of the decade.

Posted by: spamagnet987 | July 30, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

is it possble that by the time the cop arrived the 911 caller could have gotten a better look? i wasn't there (and neither were you) but while talking to the 911 operator see couldn't quite make out who was there but by the time the cop arrived she did. but i can't say i wasn't there (neither were you).

Posted by: fred720 | July 30, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Two days before the Iowa Caucus Michelle Obama said on national TV, "Black people in America better wake up".

Well they did...and with the help of white soccer-mommies Obama got elected.

Now maybe White people in America had better wake up. The Sotomayor "latina" comments and the Gates "hysteria" are simply the opening shots in Obama's War of Racial Revenge.

Health care restriction to pay for the un-insured blacks is nothing compared to the "slave reparations" he and the NAACP have planned.

As Obama said at the NAACP Convention, "When we stick together we can accomplish anything".

He's right! Blacks stick together while the whites fight with one another. Guess who wins?

Posted by: anderson2 | July 30, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

For Obama, every word is also a mask. Yet over ninety percent (90%) of Black Americans are for Obama, regardless, and that's what wrong with "Father Divine America" today ... Racism is now a 10 cents problem, yet it touches the soul of president Obama's Kenyatta's psyche at a moment - off guard.

Why are so many confused with president Obama persona? Have you ever noticed the similarity with Fidel Castro ? They are both lawyers, tautologists with "forked tongues", and dialectical materialists...

For Obama - "Every philosophy also conceals a philosophy; every opinion is also a lurking place, every word is also a mask."
-Nietzsche-

Posted by: hasinc67 | July 30, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

For Obama, every word is also a mask. Yet over ninety percent (90%) of Black Americans are for Obama, regardless, and that's what wrong with "Father Divine America" today ... Racism is now a 10 cents problem, yet it touches the soul of president Obama's Kenyatta's psyche at a moment - off guard.

Why are so many confused with president Obama persona? Have you ever noticed the similarity with Fidel Castro ? They are both lawyers, tautologists with "forked tongues", and dialectical materialists...

For Obama - "Every philosophy also conceals a philosophy; every opinion is also a lurking place, every word is also a mask."
-Nietzsche-

Posted by: hasinc67 | July 30, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

One thing that bothers me in the Gates case is how an experienced police officer can allow a dispute with a college professor, in his own home, to get so out of control that it results in an arrest. Crowley needs retraining and hopefully his gun will be taken away from him until his mental stability is tested. I wouldn't want to meet this man in the dark. Obama was wrong to apologize. This was a really stupid act, if not worse, by a police officer with an inability to exercise his authority with restraint.

Posted by: Dogsbody | July 30, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

..or maybe since arriving on the scene and finding Gates he assumed that she meant "black"
Regardless, a person cannot be arrested for verbally abusing a police officer in the state of Massachusetts, there have been several court cases in the state that have created and upheld this precedent.

Posted by: JRM2 | July 30, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"since nothing has convinced the majority of people that Gates' reaction was reasonable"
---
A person cannot be arrested for verbally abusing an officer in the state of Massachusetts, several court cases in the state have upheld this precedent.

Sure, Gates was out of line, but Crowley broke the law by arresting him.

In the end, both were unreasonable.

Posted by: JRM2 | July 30, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know, Eugene. Did Gates just assume that because Crowley was white, he had to be racist?
Posted by: liam358"
-------
A person cannot be arrested for verbally abusing an officer in the state of Massachusetts, several court cases in the state have upheld this precedent. The police report was altered to include two black people in the supposed "break in".

I'd say given the facts that it does point to racism.

Posted by: JRM2 | July 30, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I just watched you on Hardball and you did not say one thing about this question you have posed. I would like to have an answer also. It was bad enough that the officer stormed out inviting Prof. Gates to follow if he wanted to talk more, and then arresting him. I am seriously disturbed at the report I have read which indeed does identify suspects (two) according to race which was filed by the officer, who attributed this statement to the caller who then denied this in her press conference which was run by her terrible celebrity lawyer. What gives? I thought this was your job as a journalist?

Posted by: catellyne | July 30, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Additionally, if there were two black men identified as supposedly on the scene, where is any other reference in the report to the other who should have either been interviewed or accounted for? Or is this just going to be chalked up to a badly written report? Again, the arrest.

Posted by: catellyne | July 30, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I am sorry Mr. Robinson, but President Obama is a friend of Professor Gates, and there was no reason on earth why he should not have stood up for him in this circumstance, he was asked a question (if you will recall) by a newsperson and answered honestly. Just look at how the officers union stood up for the police officer. Get a grip ! Again from your wimpy performance on the updated Hardball.

Posted by: catellyne | July 30, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson: After reading and watching you all through the pre-election period, shall we count the number of times you were wrong or said something you thought to be true or whatever at the moment and then realized afterwards.............I see you are quick to call someone or anyone and everyone except Gates a liar. It almost seems as if it is almost the same as when either you and other black commentators or reporters just had to raise the race card when people didn't support Obama.
I don't usually read your comments anymore since you are usually so predictable in your responses but have you ever said Gates might be at fault somewhere here or is he just to be considered the damaged party because he is a respected black professor? How about the black cop on the scene who is now, as was reported on CNN, being called an "Uncle Tom" by other blacks because he said he told the truth and stood up for the actions of Crowley? What does this say about the state of race relations in the black community itself?

Posted by: justmyvoice | July 30, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

One of the easiest way to differntiate people is by their skin color. But from the TAPES of the call, it's obvious that this woman (who was conveying the concerns of another, older woman) didn't have a clue. She was just alerting the police about another citizen's concern.

However, if she identified ONE of the suspects of being MAYBE Hispanic, and NOT mentioning "black" at all, a policeman who was NOT racist should have eliminated a BLACK man at moment one.

Apparently, the ONLY color that relieves you of suspicion at moment one is WHITE.

That is what this is all about. Why did the police NOT eliminate Gates as a suspect? Because he was not white.

Any color = all color. White = no color.

Posted by: theRealCalGal | July 30, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Freedom of speech is not against the law.

Freedom of speech in your own home is not against the law.

Nothing Crowley can say or do, nothing anyone can say or do will negate the bare fact that after the cop knew the person in the house lived there, he arrested him.

However you look at it, a man was arrested in his own home for being indignant. It was a false arrest.

Crowley can't undo what he's done. But he can become a standard for what we don't allow to continue.

Posted by: dutchess2 | July 30, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

_____________

What we can do is to use this particular instance to try to improve the system. There is a big difference between a public space and a private one. In your own house, you can become as drunk as you like and not be arrested for public drunkenness.

The same thing might be applicable to disorderly conduct. Perhaps the law should be changed to disorderly public conduct. That way when a policeman happens to enter your home while you are inebriated, to search for a criminal in the neighborhood you won't get arrested because you said something foolish to the police officer. Unless you actually take a swing at the police officer in your own home, it might be wisdom on the part of society to say that no offense is committed. After all, police officers are a tough lot, used to dealing with all kinds of scurrilous characters. Surely they can take a few curse words from a citizen in the privacy of his or her own home.

Did not read about Professor Gates swinging his cane at the officer in question. Had this rule been applied, he might not have been arrested.

The point, after all, is to protect society, not necessarily to inspire awe towards police officers in your house.

Posted by: Martial | July 30, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson,
I would like to commend you on your insightful commentary on the Prof. Gates issue. Prof. Gates and I share a West Virginia heritage and we hillbillies stick together! When a law man abuses one of us, he abuses all of us; and we all are ready to come a brother's aide. Prof. Gates extraordinary accomplishments have been well noted in the WV press and we are all very proud of him. He has been named, "West Virginian of Year" by the Charleston Gazette.

All jesting aside, his arrest draws stark and blinding light to the tragedy of racial profiling and abuse of police power. If the revered Professor can be subjected to such police abuse, imagine the abuses that occur to ordinary folks everyday on the streets of our country. Combating crime is a serious and complicated matter and I know police officers face extreme challenges everyday. But arresting a middle aged man in his own home was an extreme waste of resources, time and energy. Considering that the charges were immediately dropped, it appears the officer did in fact acted stupidly.

I also suggest everyone watch Professor Gates' PBS series "African American Lives" parts 1 & 2, one of the best and most riveting pieces of television I've ever seen. It will give the viewer a greater appreciation for our tragic and sorrowful shared history of slavery, a revelation that its influence is still with us today and hope that we can live better today and move forward together.

Sincerely,
A Humble and Hopeful WV White Boy.

Posted by: johnkwv | July 31, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Instead of being only a newspaper investigative reporter; maybe the drafting
of legal briefs is in your future. this was
a very good analysis of the facts. If Gates
wanted to get ugly, he could pursue false
report, false arrest, illegal detention, and
kidnapping charges against Crowley, CPD, and
The city of Cambridge.

Posted by: blacknight1 | July 31, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Robinson,

The idea that Sergeant Crowley was lying is implausible. One of two things likely happened. We may not know everything that witness said to him. Perhaps, after she called the 911 she got a better look. Or perhaps, Sergeant Crowley conflated something he later learned with what the witness had told him. People often don't remember exactly when they learned something. This was a highly stressful situation. What doesn't make any sense is that he made it up as a lie to cover himself. You would have to believe that Sergeant Crowley made up the idea of two black men trying to break into the house and that he just happen to get lucky that indeed two black men did try to break into the house. It does not serve his interest for the witness to have said that she saw two black men. He has no motive. He was trying to capture the details as best he could.

What is disturbing is the rush of Professor Gates powerful friends, including you, the Mayor, the Governor, and President, to back him up. If Sergeant Crowley had not done everything by the book, Professor Gates would have been able to carry out his threat of political retribution. All the witnesses and the audio tapes generally confirm Sergeant Crowley's version of the facts, primarily that he acted professionally and Professor Gates was abusive, and yet you are still searching for some small discrepency to hang on him. Your last column even suggested that Professor Gates was entitled to be condescending and abusive, becuase that is what Harvard professor do.

Posted by: chazmull | July 31, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

Crowley is lying. He abused his badge in retaliation for Gates' foul language. Crowley, in his report, described Gates behavior as "tumultuous". Tumultuous? Not "disturbing the peace", not "menacing behavior", but "tumultuous". What's that supposed to mean?

As far as I'm concerned, had I just returned home after an endless flight from China to find that my lock is jammed, I would have been really annoyed. And I certainly would have given an earful to a cop harassing me on suspicion of trying to break and enter in my own home. And I am Caucasian, and no, I'm not a Harvard professor.

Posted by: Gatsby10 | July 31, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

The last person (2 AM) wrote:

"All the witnesses and the audio tapes generally confirm Sergeant Crowley's version of the facts, primarily that he acted professionally and Professor Gates was abusive, and yet you are still searching for some small discrepency to hang on him"

The reports and tapes do not even "generally" corroborate Sgt. Crowley's version. The report was written by Crowley to justify his actions after the fact. It is not so surprising that he would "tart" it up a bit, this is standard procedure for police reports the world over. Why he came up with "back packs" and "two black men" in his report is anybody's guess now. We'd really have to ask Sargeant Crowley himself. Such discrepencies may sound minor but they help to build up his narrative. That is his reasons for assuming it was a break-in and his call for (now I hear six) squad cars from the Cambridge PD and the Harvard police. Everything seems to point to a broken lock story. The witness Whalen's call, the suitcases, the taxi driver, Professor Gates' demeanor.

Another minor point or discrepency is the idea that someone (let's say the much maligned Whalen) informed Sgt. Crowley that there were two men on the scene. I would imagine she would have seen the driver who brought Professor Gates home drive off if he was no longer present when Sargeant Crowley arrived. I wonder why this bit of information was not noted by Sgt. Crowley in his report? His version seems to suggest that he only spoke to Ms. Whalen after walking up to the Gates residence. Did he walk away from the house? Did she shout out to call attention to herself? Questions abound and the report answers none of them.

It's interesting that people seem to see what they want to see in this story, ignoring facts and excusing poor behaviour by Sargeant Crowley and Professor Gates as they see fit. It would be nothing but water under the bridge by now except for the heated slanging match that the arrest of Professor Gates has engendered. I can't believe the business of a Cambridge police officer calling someone a "jungle monkey". How much worse can it get?

I wonder what kind of a terrorist attack a Cambridge police officer would make of a cat up a tree?

CB in Hamburg

Posted by: chrisbrown12 | July 31, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

It is sad that it is so difficult for some people to understand other people's experience. The person who was attacked on his bike by black 'hoods' uses it to ridicule Gates who was arrested in his own home by an officer who didn't just leave when he discovered there was no crime. Is it impossible to understand that both incidents are wrong? Why is it that one victim insists that his harm negates another's. If Gates were white, he would not have been arrested unless he tried to strike the officer. If the bike rider were black and knocked over in a white neighborhood, he wouldn't mention it because it is so common. Any progress we can make on race is going to depend on compassion. There isn't much compassion in the comments on this page.

Posted by: jonthes | July 31, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

arent you the guy who got the hooker before Super Bowl 33?

Posted by: panthro1234 | July 31, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't the lady across the street recognize her neighbor? Why are we a nation of strangers? Maybe it is time we all got to know our neighbors. Shame on us.

Posted by: okmary | July 31, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The harder you push back, they more they know they have to win the exchange; it is the nature of a cop and most of the time benefits a civil society. Sometimes it doesn't turn out so good.

I've also seen white people of money and social status get locked up for the, "do you know who I am" antagonisms.tarian (sp), demanding, and ask a lot of questions that are none of there business, in my opinion.

The harder you push back, they more they know they have to win the exchange; it is the nature of a cop and most of the time benefits a civil society. Sometimes it doesn't turn out so good.

I've also seen white people of money and social status get locked up for the, "do you know who I am" antagonisms.

Posted by: dcmenefee2 | July 31, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm white as a ghost, and I have never had a good experience with a cop. When they've pulled it over, it is not usually to find out if I'm having a good day. It's not a "customer service" type of thing. It's usually because you've done something wrong.

When investigating calls, they usually confront you with a playbook of questions. It is normally a good idea to cooperate.

I attempted to break in my city home years ago up a fire escape, when I lost my keys.

The cops came and asked me to climb down the fire escape. When I said, "let me get in first and I'll let you in." They demanded I come down right away, one officer had his hand on his revolver.

He was investigating a call. He asked for me some ID and then grilled me with a few questions to prove I lived at my residence. Another officer knocked a neighbor's door so she could identify me.

And guess what, the cops were white and black.

It was by the book; however unpleasant.

Posted by: dcmenefee2 | July 31, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Regarding "profiling", the only hint of this was the dispatcher's trying to ellicit race/ethnicity information. I thought "profiling" had more to do with a cop seeing an African American or a Hispanic and deciding to roust him just to see what shakes out. Score one for Crowley on the issue of "profiling".
Secondly, at first this story sounded like another arrogant African American howling about "rascism" instead of appreciating that the cops were actually protecting his property by investigating a potential break in of "two blacks". Then President Obama blurts out his "stupid" comment and that seemed uncharacteristic and out of place. Now it looks like, after hearing the actual 911 call and doing a little research on what disorderly conduct actually entails, it looks like President Obama was actually right, this was absolutely a stupid action on Crowley's part and his report of responding to the possible break in of "two blacks" sure looks like an attempt to cover up his stupidity, especially in view of the DA's refusal to prosecute!
Disorderly conduct means your causing a disturbance to other people, not necessarliy the cops themselves, especially when you've already proven that your in your own home! When your being obnoxious towards cops, that's pretty much Constitutionally protected free speech.
Bottom line, this was an abuse of power by Crowley. If he was acting professionally, he would have sucked it up and left the admittedly loudmouthed and arrogant Mr. Gates free from arrest.

Posted by: dospalmas11 | July 31, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I've been stopped by cops twice in my life based on me fitting a 'profile'. In both cases, their first question was to ask if I had an ID. In both cases I said "Yes,Sir", pulled out my wallet, showed my drivers license, they thanked me for my cooperation, and went on their way.

I'm guessing it would have gone a little differently for me if I had initially refused to produce an ID, accused the cop of being a bad cop, and then after finally producing an ID had followed the cop back to his car swearing at him, berating him, and talking about his mother.

There's one undeniable fact the Obama-backers and Gates-sympathizers refuse to admit: if Gates pulls out his ID the first time it is requested, all evidence says Crowley would have turned around, walked out of the house, and this blow-up never happens.

That puts most of the weight on Gates, in my opinion, for this becoming what it has become. That, and our President who did his own "racial profiling" in jumping to immediate conclusions about what the motivations must have been on the part of the 'stupid' white cop.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 31, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I'll bet Mr. Gates has a cellphone. He could have called a locksmith, and waited on the porch. He could have patiently waited and the door would have been unlocked after showing proper ID to the locksmith. Its not like Mr. Gates cannot afford a locksmith. His brain disengaged in that unfortunate moment. Now he will be remembered for this incident, and not his work. It would be better for him if the press just let this issue fade away.

Posted by: AnnsThought | July 31, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Oh yea, this is the smoking gun! When all else has failed Mr. Robinson still can let his imagination run wild.

Earth to ER: The report was written after the fact. At worst, Sgt Crowley got one thing wrong. It does not erase the essentials of the incident. You were defaming Sgt Crowley for what happened on the porch. Now when that all appears to have gone by the book, you switch gears.

Posted by: boog44 | July 31, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"He could have patiently waited and the door would have been unlocked after showing proper ID to the locksmith."

In some reports - he went to the back door and got in then opened the front door from the inside. But few pay attention to that part - it is not good for their theories.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | July 31, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Now why in the world would anybody assume in an urban area that two men breaking into a house are black (or hispanic)? What a ridiculous notion.

Posted by: scvaughan | July 31, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Neither is faultless, the cop out to prove a point, or the little man with an attitude. My point, as a minority (Hispanic) is that among my fellow African Americans, the race card is to loosely dropped, it's like act now and ask questions later, the truth is irrelevant , and as the media scrambles to find dirt on the current HOT issue, racism and profiling enters the picture. Whether right or wrong, the race card now becomes the story, the catalyst for those ill informed to exercise their aggression on anyone. It’s not the fact that the race card is dragged into the lives of those of us who read/live among the African American community, or the fact that every time RACE is a hot issue, tension and minor scuffles occur among poor
Neighborhoods. What bothers me the most is that my African-American neighbors aren’t angry about what happened, their just angry. If a brother goes free, even tho he’s guilty, in my neck of the woods you can hear, horns blasting and yelling, in celebration not for justice but for an ill concept that they won...as we saw in the OJ case.

Posted by: MzSoniaV | July 31, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Dum, Dah, Dum, Dum! "Just give me the facts, Ma'am," says Mr. Robinson, alias Joe Friday.

Posted by: johnson0572 | July 31, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Who, but Eugene Robinson would keep trying to squeeze racism from this non-racially inspired rock?

Posted by: persugram | July 31, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

If the scholar showed ID right away when the Police Officer requested it, there should not have been an issue to deal with. I hope the "beer summit" at the White House will end this issue. What a waste of time for the President.

Posted by: niles2001 | July 31, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I am Pakistani American and a few years ago, right after the 7/7 bombings in London I was in the UK. London is full of Pakistani and Indian men, tan with brown hair and mostly wearing jeans and leather/suede jackets in winters. I was by Picadilly Circus in Central London and proceeded into the Boots Pharmacy there. I saw a police car parked outside investigating an incident in an already jittery London store.

As I went downstairs to the pharmacy, I was asked by a policeman to come upstairs because I was suspected of perpetrating some act (unidentified) and they would like to ask me some questions. The entire process took about ten to fifteen minutes during which the police was extremely courteous and polite with no sign of machoism or heavy handedness which is extremely common amongst the police here in the US.

Naturally, at the heels of the war on terror, and being a Pakistani by descent I was nervous about the treatment that might be meted out to me. I was innocent, of course, but scared nevertheless; however, I was comforted by the fact that the police was apologetic and at ease, my experiences in the US notwithstanding. Any thoughts of my being stopped being racially motivated in a place just the victim of a terror attack a few month ago by men who looked like me and dressed like me were neutralized by the attitude of the police.

In the end, when as I of course knew I was not the person they were looking for, they apologized about ten times, asked me to enjoy my trip to the UK and not to let this incident stop my visiting the UK again or thinking ill of the bobby.

Fast forward to 2009, my understanding of the Gates-Crowley affair is the fact that the police in the US generally needs to tone down its attitude and the machismo it normally exhibits when dealing when the public at large. The general public should not be scared of the police; the police is there to serve us. However, the reality is that most people of color are scared of dealing with the police because of the attitude policemen in the US outwardly portray. Machismo is not to be confused with firmness or professionalism.

It is high time that part of the training process for police here in the UK addresses the need to handle a multi-racial society like the US. Blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Muslims are a reality in America and a growing part of the society at large. It is high time the authorities trained the police personnel to deal with the ground reality in America as well as the historical baggage of our nation's ignominious racial history.

Posted by: SM33076 | July 31, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Chris Ford1 wrote that "yes, the authorities do have a right to be in your home". Absurd and not true, not in the United States. May be in Iran, China, N. Korea or Cuba or Russia! Wake up Ford, the following requirements must be met before an official/police or anyone else can enter one's home.
1. You give them consent to enter, or someone else with authority gives them consent.2. There are "exigent circumstances" which gives them probable cause to believe that a crime is being or has been committed inside of the house.
3. They have a warrant. NONE OF THIS WAS OPERATIVE IN THE CASE OF CROWLEY ENTERING GATES HOME. That is why he lured Gates out of the house! The one who has lied on the police report is CROWLEY. If he can write that a caller told him that two black men with back packs were seen entering Gates home, I can well believe that the police report written by Crowley was a self-serving one. I am not an African-American, but an Asian-American. I have been profiled twice by the police for merely driving a car which the police thought that it was beyond my means to own! I had to prove my ownership by producing the registration before I was allowed to proceed! My sympathies are with Gates and the caller, but not with Crowley nor the President.

Posted by: sudhatri1943 | July 31, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Well... I think the report was "touched up" at least to cover the behind of the officer. It was certainly written in a stilted fashion - several times referring to "tumultous" behavior, nobody talks like that really, it has to be something from the statute concerning disorderly conduct. I think the police do this all the time. Slant the report to make sure they don't get in trouble, but generally not enough you could prove anything.

Legally speaking, I think it is time to leave it alone though. I mean, police tend to close ranks over MUCH more egregious behavior than this, including shooting someone.

Personally? I think it is wrong to be rude to anyone, anytime. Including waitstaff, flight attendants, people on the street, policemen. Even if you are tired. Even if the other person is rude to you. So, any rudeness on the part of Gates I think is wrong. BUT. Being rude is not cause to be arrested. Even if it happens all the time that police will haul you in if you look sideways at them, that does not make it right. And the police have a duty to act properly that is official. So, I find Crowley far more in the wrong than Gates, no matter what he said or didn't say.

Posted by: catherine3 | July 31, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

THIS SHOULD BE STUDIED... HERE IS ONE EXAMPLE OF A WHITE MALE WHO CLAIMS HE WAS PROFILED BY BLACKS.

SO WHEN YOU GROW UP AND BECOMES A COP, PAY BACK IS A BEEEEOTCH HUH?
----------------
As a white person I have been racially profiled. I was profiled by black teenagers who objected to my riding my bike through their 'hood.' They knocked me off my bike, injuring both me and my bike. This is real racial profiling, not the baloney that blacks talk about. For this reason and others like it I don't trust blacks and never will.

Posted by: ravitchn

Posted by: opp88 | July 31, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

biggerjake wrote: I personally hope this story never goes away.
---
CROWLEY NEEDS TO EXPLAIN THIS FALSE REPORT. BELOW IS THE ARREST REPORT.

AND IT SHOULDN'T UNTIL CROWLEY EXPLAINS THIS FALSE REPORT. BELOW IS THE ARREST REPORT.

911 Transcript in Harvard Professor Arrest May Contradict Police Report

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/Police%20report%20on%20Gates%20arrest.PDF

911 Transcript in Harvard Professor Arrest May Contradict Police Report

In his police report, Sgt. James Crowley wrote that the 911 caller told him she'd seen "what appeared to be two black males with backpacks" trying to pry open the locked front door of the home.

On Monday, Whalen's attorney, Wendy Murphy, publicly stated that her client never told Crowley that the men were black.

"She never used the word black and never said the word backpacks to anyone," Murphy said, according to the New York Times.

Uh oh, possible bad news for Officer Crowley...
---
SEND LAWYERS, GUNS AND MONEY...

Posted by: opp88 | July 31, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Okay, if we can only remove the whole aspect of "race" for this incident, I think we'll be avle to see that it's reallya "police mentality" issue. Since when, can't an American citizen of any race raise an objection to a police officer relative to their interaction. I should be able to strongly disagree with a police officer's interpretation of an incident and/or subsequent treatment without being threatened with arrest. I beleive that the officer's actions in the Gates matter was not so much racial as it was an abuse of the power entrusted in by the police whom he is supposed to protect and serve.

Posted by: SonniP | July 31, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

42% OF REPUBLICANS BELIEVE THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS BORN IN THE UNITED STATES. AND THE REST OF THE REPIBLICAN PARTY MEMBERS 32% ARE RETARDED...

Posted by: opp88 | July 31, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

SINCE WHEN HAS IT BEEN LEGAL TO FILE A FALSE REPORT?
-----------------

In his police report, Sgt. James Crowley wrote that the 911 caller told him she'd seen "what appeared to be two black males with backpacks" trying to pry open the locked front door of the home.

On Monday, Whalen's attorney, Wendy Murphy, publicly stated that her client never told Crowley that the men were black.

"She never used the word black and never said the word backpacks to anyone," Murphy said, according to the New York Times.

Uh oh, possible bad news for Officer Crowley...

Posted by: opp88 | July 31, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I SEEN YOU'RE COUSIN LASTNIGHT...50. CENT.


Having witnessed numerous cases of overt Black racism, I think the Gates case should be a signal to hold Blacks responsible for their varying degrees of racial prejudice against whites, Jews, Koreans and others.....starting with OBAMA and MICHELLE

Posted by: Common_Cents1

Posted by: opp88 | July 31, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

That is very black of you, Eugene.

Posted by: columbus1947 | July 31, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

The moral of this story - if you think you see someone breaking into a home, let it go. Don't get involved. If it really is a break in, they are probably just misunderstood and the police will just abuse them. If they are not breaking in, you may be called a racist, or more likely, sued for something. What a great country.

Posted by: kwoberg | July 31, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Hello?

Two black men DID force open the front door to Dr. Gates' house. What does it matter whether Gates did or did not have the benefit of that description? Did it change his behavior? Should it have changed his behavior?

Answer: sorry to disappoint the brown-skinned and/or liberal racists out there, but it had no relevance to what ensued.

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | July 31, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Correction: What does it matter whether [Crowley] did or did not have the benefit of that description?

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | July 31, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Eugene,

You have lost all of my respect with this diatribe against the police officer for doing his job. The police report was clearly written AFTER the events of that day, including where Gates tells Crowley 2 black men DID push open the front door. And it wouldn't have mattered, other than to loony people, whether the woman mentioned "black" men or not. She was describing the suspects. What do you expect her to say?!? "Um, they are about 2 people, average everything, no particular clothing, no particular identifying features like gender or race." You and many others need to GROW UP!!! But assuredly, you wouldn't care so much about this case if somebody from your privileged, elitist class didn't feign a national calamity.

Posted by: TotalRecall | August 1, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

I have been surprised that every white person I know, including some conservatives and some who I suspect are secretly prejudiced, have been on Gates' side since the beginning for two reasons.
They have been mistreated by arrogant cops and/or they resent someone being arrested in his/her own home (including porch) for disorderly conduct.
I think the cop lied.
I admire the brave men and women in law enforcement who keep us safe and risk their lives for little money. I hate the racist, corrupt cops who disgrace their badge.
By the way, I am a 64-year old liberal white woman who has family and friends who are or were in the police force and military so I think I am relatively unbiased

Posted by: drdowling | August 1, 2009 4:03 AM | Report abuse

I got of work from a restaurant in Washington, DC, and walked up to 7-11 to buy a drink. As I was walking across the parking lot a police car was pulling in. Apparently, I did not walk fast enough to get out of the way (I really was just walking normally), and the officer hit me with the car, gently. Next thing I knew I was sliding up the hood of the car. While I was on the hood, the officer sped up, sliding me off the passenger side of the hood. As I slid off, my body hit the passenger side mirror, buckling it into the window. The car stopped, the officer got out, got right up in my face, and said "Fix my mirror or I'm taking you in." I said, "You just hit me with your car." Next, he grabs me, throws me on the car, pats me down, and takes my shoes off, searching for drugs. After not finding anything, he turns me around, get's 1 inch from my face, and repeatedly asks me to hit him. "I know you want to hit me. Just go ahead. Hit me." He says this over and over for what seemed like a couple minutes. I was protesting at first, but I had a realization then and there that this man could put me in the back of his car, take me to the Anacostia river, put a bullet in my head, and dump me in the river. No one would ever know, and he would never be asked a single question. I did that night what I have done with every officer I have dealt with since, swallowed my pride and tongue. I did not follow up, as I was sure nothing would come of it.

I was a 20 year old irish american, and the officer was a mid 30's african american.

Police arrogance and misconduct is something that needs to be addressed by both sides of this issue. We can not just say "I hate cops", because that is not a solution. We hate them as long as we don't need them. We also can not remain silent when police act like criminals. I would think that the police would be the first to want bad cops identified and expelled, but, sadly, this is not the case.

From my experience living in big cities (DC and NYC), many times you really can't tell the difference between the cops and criminals. They both look like thugs to me. Let's increase pay and really demand professionalism and accountability. This seems like the only reasonable solution.

Posted by: patrick29 | August 1, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I never agree with Robinson on anything, but I agree with him here. Very legitimate question, which requires an answer..

Posted by: SMWE357 | August 1, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Sgt. Crowley darling yer the pride of County Wexford. The Sgt. darling, use the pistol the Good Lord gave you and shot Gates for speaking so contemptuously to the good constable standing there irate in Gate's own parlor.

Crowley me bucko, goodly news, goodly news do I bring Whalen of Forth, goodley news to the good men of blue, for the boys march from South to the North with the gathering by the moon, led by Obama the boy from Chicago in the van, like a king in command.

Posted by: hondolane13 | August 1, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Come and help me Sargent Crowley,
The Captain says quick and soon
The door is stuck on mi mud wall cabin,
I need my pike fast by the risin of the moon.

Posted by: hondolane13 | August 1, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

No surprise. What would one expect from Robinson?

Posted by: Kansas28 | August 1, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

For all you arm chair quarter backs that put so much emphasis on the police arrest report, it seemed like someone named Carlos wrote the report using Crowley in a third person. The report is generally a summary of all the facts derived from the complaint. Do we know what the other officers heard or knew that may have been written in the report? I really can not see how Crowley lied or even why he would lie. Disorderly conduct is a personal call and it seems to me Crowley was justified since it did not seem like Gates would shut up.

Both men proved their point and should be satisfied in the results.

Crowley learned if he was thorough and did all he was suppose to and everyone was who they said they were, he would live another day on the police force but may have to put up with some grief from time to time.

Skippy Gates learned that if he got his panties in a wad and threatened a police officer while he was conducting an investigation into a B&E and berated him in public while creating a disturbance for the neighbors, he would be shackled and booked for disorderly conduct just like any loud mouthed criminal acting a fool.

Barry Obama learned that when he opens his mouth spouting racist comments about how a local police department conducts business, his approval rating drops out the bottom and he will wind up eating “crow”.

Mrs. Whaley learned to let all the black thieves steal anything they want to in the neighborhood and keep her mouth shut from now on.

I believe it was an excellent learning experience for all.

Posted by: longbow65 | August 1, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Nobody is interested in what I say or you all say on these stupid blog sites. If you got something to sat go vote. Me, I judge wgeb the Washington Post as a newspaper will fold by the size and tenor of these opinions.

Posted by: hondolane13 | August 1, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Is there an end to this story? Ever? This "national conversation about race" is getting a little long, isn't it? How about a quart of vodka instaead of a glass of beer?

Posted by: howard11 | August 3, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

One has to feel somewhat sad about Taylorsucram's facts about whites. He obviously does not like Whites.
He compares us
First, with the 'First drive by shooting' by whites in the old West. Apparently he has read a lot of western novels and believes them.
Second, First Civilized Serial Killers. Us whites are compared to Henry the eighth, Jack the Ripper, etc, and that 99% of the killers were white ( no sources for his facts). Just how many serial killers were there in our century?
Third, First Real Act of Genocide. We eradicated the Indians so today we are Indian Killers and are kin to Hitler. Just how many Indians did our white soldiers ( and some buffalo soldiers) kill and how many white's were killed, in that era so long ago? I do not believe anyone living today is proud of this part of our past history.
And, He goes on-- "Of course the list goes on and on but the point of this comment is that most Americans really don't know the sordid history of their country or their countrymen. Yet when they pick up the papers and read about the "Madoffs, the Dillingers, the Lt. Callys, the Meyer Lanskys, the Ivan Boeskys, The Charles Keatings and on and on, they enter some sort of psychotic state wherein the perpetrators of these heineous acts are mere aberrations and not indicative of the entire race as a whole (I'm willing to argue with you on that point, throwing down fact after fact,-"
Taylor's reading did not cover WW2 or the 60 million killed ( mostly white's as a result of the war to oust Hitler.
Obviously also has not read of the trillions of dollars spent to bring blacks into the mainstream, that 40 percent of black's are now in the middle Class, that we have a Black President, that there are black Governors, black Mayors, black millionaire's, even black Billionaire's .
"First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known. ..

Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the '60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream.

Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks -- with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas -- to advance black applicants over white applicants.

Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks.

And, Taylor calls us whites psychotic---

Semper Fi


Posted by: bilmul83 | August 3, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The assumption that Eugene Robinson and Henry Gates have is that black men are the subject of racial profiling by police; therefore, the white police officer profiled Gates as a black burglar. This ignores the fact that Crowley had no idea what race the possible intruder had until he saw Gates; that he was quite correct to behave as if Gates were a possible intruder; and that he was faced with a raving nut who had, in fact, profiled him. What Robinson and other black elites have done is condemn racial profiling unless it is done by them. They will protect the rights and privileges of all in the interest of justice, but particularly against white police officers for whom they have a singular aversion. Welcome to the paranoid world of Black Panthers and their elite enablers.

Posted by: hyood | August 3, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

ravitchn:

I have never found black teenagers to be threatening or foul-mouthed in any way. They have always regarded me, a white person, respectfully and soft-spoken. I can't wait until my next meeting with black youths. Of course that may not present itself again. After my joyful encounter with the black teenagers I moved my family to an area that is 95% white.

Posted by: sperrico | August 3, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Emmett Till did nothing but whistle at a white woman. "He loved pranks, he loved fun, he loved jokes... in Mississippi, people didn't think the same jokes were funny." Carolyn Bryant later asserted that Till had grabbed her at the waist and asked her for a date.
---------------------------------
White racism started with white males and his 'insecurities' and his fear of white women being sexually active with black men and as a result start producing black/white babies.

That battle has long been lost. President Barack Obama is a product of that fear.

Just as the white racist who gouged out Emmett Till's eye. You are gouging out you're own eyes, by calling everyone else a racist when that's impossible.

Believe it or not, there is only one group racist here in the United States, U.S. history books prove's it.

Posted by: opp88 | August 3, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Haven't you noticed yet that the ones who are lying are Professor Gates, who denies any and all wrongdoing by virtue of his rant, and President Obama, who insists he never said the police officer was stupid-- which of course he did say.

Sgt. Crowley and Ms. Whalen are the only ones in all this who have been truthful. President Obama and Professor Gates are the ones who "acted stupidly."

Oh, and also Vice President Biden, who had nothing whatsoever to do with any of it. His place at the so-called Beer Summit would have been better filled by Ms. Whalen.

Posted by: AlZee99 | August 3, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Haven't you noticed yet that the ones who are lying are Professor Gates, who denies any and all wrongdoing by virtue of his rant, and President Obama, who insists he never said the police officer was stupid-- which of course he did say.

Sgt. Crowley and Ms. Whalen are the only ones in all this who have been truthful. President Obama and Professor Gates are the ones who "acted stupidly."

Oh, and also Vice President Biden, who had nothing whatsoever to do with any of it. His place at the so-called Beer Summit would have been better filled by Ms. Whalen.

Posted by: AlZee99 | August 3, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Time to give this a rest.

Posted by: jckdoors | August 3, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

It seems the only way all the facts will be on one page is for Prof. Gates to take action against the police and I sincerely hope he does this.I hope too he will not at a later date decide to drop this case in exchange for an apology from the police.
This has become an important issue for the entire nation and reveals a problem which we have too often tried to be coy and be in denial about.
Its much more catartic and therapeutic to discus our racial problems outright than to deny its serious existence.

Our constitution protects the citizen from undue seizure and unlawful arrest and especially in ones own home and his rights to free speech. If a policeman can get away with abusing these rights ,where do we go from here ??!!
I have heard about three judges commented that the illegality of this arrest is a "slam dunk".

It may be time we start rewarding whistle blowers for chipping away at the great blue-wall of silence and collusion amongst policemen. If we regard the rights of citizens as paramount ,we would have done this long ago.

Posted by: florissano1 | August 3, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

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