Saturday, July 25, 2009

Obama eats crow on police Sergeant Crowley. Doesn't like taste.

"You can't make me eat my own words. I don't wanna."

Oh, how bitter even a non-apology apology tastes to the Narcissist-in-Chief.

Obama Seeks to Clarify 'Stupidly' Comment, Praises White Policeman.

President Obama stopped short of an apology to Sgt. James Crowley for saying he "acted stupidly" for arresting black Harvard scholar Henry Lewis Gates Jr., but said he should have chosen his words more carefully.

President Obama stopped short of an apology to Sgt. James Crowley on Friday for saying he "acted stupidly" for arresting black Harvard scholar Henry Lewis Gates Jr., but said he should have chosen his words more carefully.

At an impromptu appearance at the daily White House briefing, Obama said he spoke with Crowley over the phone, and said he wanted to share a beer with Crowley and Gates at the White House.

"Because this has been ratcheting up and I helped contribute to ratcheting it up, I want to make clear that in my choice of words I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department or Sgt. Crowley specifically and I could have calibrated those words differently."

"My sense is you've got two good people in a circumstance in which neither of them were able to resolve it the way the wanted to resolve it," Obama added.

Earlier in the day Friday, the Cambridge and area police unions voiced their support for Crowley and called for an apology from Obama for his statement.

"His remarks were obviously misdirected but made it worse yet by suggesting somehow this case should remind us of a history of racial abuse by law enforcement," Dennis O'Connor, president of the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association, said at a news conference.

O'Connor also referred to statements made by Governor Deval Patrick -- the state's first black governor -- who called the arrest "every black man's nightmare."

"Whatever may be the history, we deeply resent the implications and reject any suggestion that in this case or any other case that they've allowed a person's race to direct their activities. However we hope they will reflect upon their past comments and apologize to the men and women of the Cambridge Police Department," O'Connor said.

Obama has said he was surprised by the controversy sparked by his comments. White House spokesman Roberts Gibbs said early Friday that the president regrets that the media have gotten all worked up over the controversy and been distracted from other more substantive issues such as health care.

Obama's remarks sparked outrage among many police officers who say the criticism could make it harder for police to work with people of color and set back the progress of race relations that helped Obama become the nation's first black president.

Gates was arrested July 16 by Crowley, who was first to respond to the home the renowned black scholar rents from Harvard, after a woman reported seeing two black men trying to force open the front door. Gates said he had to shove the door open because it was jammed.

He was charged with disorderly conduct after police said he yelled at the white officer, accused him of racial bias and refused to calm down after Crowley demanded Gates show him identification to prove he lived in the home. The charge was dropped Tuesday, but Gates has demanded an apology, calling his arrest a case of racial profiling.

Obama was asked about Gates' arrest at the end of a nationally televised news conference on health care Wednesday night and began his response by saying Gates was a friend and he didn't have all the facts.

"But I think it's fair to say, No. 1, any of us would be pretty angry," Obama said. "No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And No. 3 -- what I think we know separate and apart from this incident -- is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately, and that's just a fact."


Anonymous said...

As the Imposter-In-Chief, aren't there better, more important things he should be attending to?

On the other hand, maybe this micromanaging and ridiculous, petty involvement is a good thing--at least it is keeping him from continuing to screw up the economy and healthcare.

Mattexian said...

Seeing as how he was on that "world apology tour" just a short while ago, I'm surprised he hasn't come out with a full kowtow to the officers. Maybe he's planning on saving it for a speech at the Fraternal Order of Police convention.

drjim said...

It's a typical tactic of Dear Leader Chairman MaoBama. Notice how he took some heat on this topic to deflect the real questions about his ObamaCare program?
After all, you wouldn't want to "waste" this newest "crisis", now would you?

suek said...

A side note about Obama and the Cambridge police...

parapacem said...

Hey, any chance to mount the racist politics soapbox must not be overlooked, as his mentors Sharpton and Jackson taught him.
What an ayhole!

The true moral of the story - if you see two black men with backpacks, jimmying open the front door in a nice neighborhood, don't be silly and call the cops - just assume that they forgot their key, and they really live there. All is well.
And likewise if if you see guys back a van up to someone's door and start rushing out from the house carrying TVs, stereos and computers, be assured, they're just sending them out to be cleaned and upgraded.
Nothing to see here, folks - just go about your business.

chris horton said...

I think what's being missed in this whole debacle is the fact that this man QUESTIONED the police.

His "race" means nothing to me. It's a huge "only ones" edict.

How dare you question ME! WE ARE THE AUTHORITY! What crap...


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Chris Horton. I care not that Mr. Gates is black, nor that he is a 'renowned scholar' nor that he was a complete jerk. What bothers me is that it appears that he was arrested because he wouldn't 'calm down' and was 'yelling' at the Only Ones.

Whether or not he actually showed his ID is in dispute, from what I've read of the story. I'm a bit mixed as to whether or not he should have been asked...after all, there was a report of two people breaking into the house. A simple verification of who he is and that he is the homeowner doesn't seem all that intrusive. A random check would be uncalled for, but there was definitely suspicion of a crime in progress.

So, though there are definitely some unanswered questions (and more to think about), it does indeed sound to me like the arrest was most definitely unwarranted (heh). But it's also highly unlikely that it was motivated by racism.

straightarrow said...

The cop would have been derelict in his duty if he had not investigated the report. It turns out that Gates produced two forms of ID, one, his Harvard ID, and his DL, which did not give the address of the home in question.

It also appears that Gates was doing his best to instigate just the treatment he got. The cop fucked up.

After Gates showed his ID and stated he was in his own residence, despite the disparity on the DL, the cop could have asked for a piece of correspondence, utility bill, anything with Gates' name and the current address. He did not, because he was angry by that time and fell in the trap Gates had set. He fucked up.

He should have done his job, despite Gates race-baiting. Then left, once he had established that Gates really was in his own home. Gates was basically hauled to the station for "contempt of cop".

That is not a crime and one can be as loud as he wants in his own home, but Crowley lost sight of his job and his good sense because he let Gates successfully bait him into doing something stupid. The arrogance of most police being what it is, I doubt that Gates ever had any idea his stratagem might fail.

That Gates is a prick is not the issue, although he is a racist prick. Racism cannot be laid at the door of Crowley, but cop arrogance that gives them the us v. them mentality can.

Neither of these men are poster boys for tolerance but only one of them was a racist. Both were stupid, but cops have a higher duty than loud mouthed racist college professors.

Luke (alias "Lines With Chrome") said...

Straightarrow: "He should have done his job, despite Gates race-baiting. Then left, once he had established that Gates really was in his own home. Gates was basically hauled to the station for "contempt of cop"."

Precisely. There was one guy present there for whom keeping his cool when people are being nasty is part of the fracking JOB DESCRIPTION. And it wasn't professor sorehead.

This was a pissing contest. It was incumbent upon the officer to be the bigger man, and he FAILED.

"Creating a disturbance"? Please. The cop had to know the charge would never stick when he made the arrest, Massachussetts case law is VERY clear that protesting one's (percieved) unjust treatment at the hands of a public SERVANT is protected free speech. Hell if that ain't what is? Or was the cop seriously going to argue that he was afraid the "crowd" of seven nieghbors in an upscale neighborhood was being incited to riot by Gates?