Thursday, July 30, 2009

Boston police officer calls Gates racial slurs

If only more incidents could happen with Boston police, oh wait here's another story that includes the whole Professor Gates incident. Boston Police officer Justin Barrett sent a mass email to some National Guard members and the Boston Globe where he referred to Harvard professor Gates as "banana-eating" and a "bumbling jungle monkey".

The columnist, Yvonne Abraham, supported Gates' actions, asking readers, "Would you stand for this kind of treatment, in your own home, by a police officer who by now clearly has no right to be there?"

In his e-mail, which was posted on a local Boston television station's Web site, Barrett declared that if he had "been the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana-eating jungle monkey, I would have sprayed him in the face with OC [oleoresin capsicum, or pepper spray] deserving of his belligerent noncompliance."

Barrett used the "jungle monkey" phrase four times, three times referring to Gates and once referring to Abraham's writing as "jungle monkey gibberish."

He also declared he was "not a racist but I am prejudice [sic] towards people who are stupid and pretend to stand up and preach for something they say is freedom but it is merely attention because you do not get enough of it in your little fear-dwelling circle of on-the-bandwagon followers."

According to a statement from Boston police, Commissioner Edward Davis took action immediately upon learning of Barrett's remarks, stripping the officer of his gun and badge. Barrett is "on administrative leave pending the outcome of a termination hearing."

...

Davis wants Barrett, a two-year veteran of the Boston police force, fired, a source close to the investigation said. But Barrett will continue to be paid while on administrative leave, and no date has been set for his termination hearing.

Barrett, who identified himself as a veteran and a former English teacher, also took issue with Abraham's journalistic ability, calling her "a hot little bird with minimal experience in a harsh field," as well as "an infidel." The rambling e-mail also suggested that she "should serve me coffee and donuts [sic] on Sunday morning," later returning to that line of thought with, "I like a warm cruller and hot Panamanian, black. No sugar."
Source


Wow this is just shocking in one way, but then not shocking in another. How could someone like this be a police officer? He says he's not racist but says these things. Let me guess he also probably says that he has black friends, right? Yes please fire this jerk. He gets to go on leave/vacation and get paid wtf. And what about the comments he said about Yvonne Abraham, about serving him "coffee and donuts" - wow just ignorant. Hopefully this guy gets what he deserves.

You can read Yvonne Abraham's article on Boston.com, Conduct unbecoming.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Obama calls cop who arrested Gates

Today President Obama said he chose unfortunate words when saying that police "acted stupidly" in arresting HarvardProfessor Gates at his own home.

He stopped short of a public apology. But the president telephoned both Gates and the white officer who had arrested him, hoping to end the rancorous back-and-forth over what had transpired and what Obama had said about it. Trying to lighten the situation, he said he had invited the Harvard professor and police St. James Crowley for "a beer here in the White House."

"This has been ratcheting up, and I obviously helped to contribute ratcheting it up," Obama said of the racial controversy. "I want to make clear that in my choice of words, I think I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department and Sgt. Crowley specifically. And I could've calibrated those words differently."

The president did not back down from his contention that police had overreacted by arresting Gates for disorderly conduct after coming to his home to investigate a possible break-in. He added, though, that he thought Gates, too, had overreacted to the police who questioned him. The charge has been dropped.

Obama stirred up a hornet's nest when he said at a prime-time news conference this week that the officer, who is white, had "acted stupidly" by arresting Gates, a friend of the president's. Looking back, Obama said he didn't regret stepping into the controversy and hoped the matter would end up being a "teachable moment" for the nation.

"The fact that this has garnered so much attention, I think, is testimony to the fact that these are issues that are still very sensitive here in America," Obama said.

Obama wryly took note of the distraction from his legislative efforts.

"I don't know if you've noticed, but nobody's been paying much attention to health care," the president said.

Obama, who has come under intense criticism from police organizations, said he had called Crowley to clear the air, and said the conversation confirmed his belief that the sergeant is an "outstanding police officer and a good man."
Source

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cop is a racial profiling expert

Following up about the Harvard Professor Gates arrest, the cop who arrested Mr. Gates at his home has taught racial profiling classes for five years. Read more about it below.

Cambridge Sgt. James Crowley has taught a class about racial profiling for five years at the Lowell Police Academy after being hand-picked for the job by former police Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is black, said Academy Director Thomas Fleming.

"I have nothing but the highest respect for him as a police officer. He is very professional and he is a good role model for the young recruits in the police academy," Fleming told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The course, called "Racial Profiling," teaches about different cultures that officers could encounter in their community "and how you don't want to single people out because of their ethnic background or the culture they come from," Fleming said.

Obama has said the Cambridge officers "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates last week when they responded to his house after a woman reported a suspected break-in.

...

Obama was asked about the arrest of Gates, who is his friend, at the end of a nationally televised news conference on health care Wednesday night.

"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."

In radio interviews Thursday morning, Crowley maintained he followed procedure.

"I support the president of the United States 110 percent. I think he was way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts as he himself stated before he made that comment," Crowley told WBZ-AM. "I guess a friend of mine would support my position, too."
...

"This isn't about me; this is about the vulnerability of black men in America," Gates said.

He said the incident made him realize how vulnerable poor people and minorities are "to capricious forces like a rogue policeman, and this man clearly was a rogue policeman."
Source

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Harvard Professor Gates arrested

So what do you think, was this racial profiling or not?

Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, Jr., professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Studies, was arrested on Thursday at his Cambridge home for disorderly conduct, according to a Cambridge Police Department report.

The report, obtained from the Cambridge District Court, said that the 58-year-old professor was arrested by Cambridge police shortly past noon for "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior," during which he allegedly accused police officers at the scene of being racist. The report said that a woman had called police to the scene after seeing a man "wedging his shoulder in the front door [of Gates' house] as to pry the door open."

When a police officer arrived on the scene to investigate the tip, Gates was reportedly already having an altercation with another sergeant inside the home. The professor allegedly shouted "[t]his is what happens to black men in America" when asked for identification and repeatedly told the police officer that "[y]ou don't know who your [sic] messing with," according to the report.

The two then moved to the front porch, the report said, where Gates continued to shout that the sergeant was racist, catching the attention of roughly seven "surprised and alarmed" onlookers.

...

Ogletree declined to comment on whether he believes Gates was racially profiled, as some media reports have suggested, instead saying that his statement of events "speaks for itself." But other prominent black Harvard professors, including medical school professor S. Allen Counter and social sciences professor Lawrence D. Bobo, have suggested that race influenced the police actions. According to the Associated Press, the Reverend Al Sharpton has vowed to attend Gates' arraignment.

"This arrest is indicative of at best police abuse of power or at worst the highest example of racial profiling I have seen," Sharpton said. "I have heard of driving while black and even shopping while black but now even going to your own home while black is a new low in police community affairs."
Source