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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-23-09 08:47 PM
Original message
Obama Defends Criticism of Cambridge Police in Arrest of Gates
Edited on Thu Jul-23-09 08:48 PM by kpete
Source: ABC

Obama Defends Criticism of Cambridge Police in Arrest of Gates
ABC EXCLUSIVE: Obama Says 'Cooler Heads Should Have Prevailed'

President Obama today stood by his comments that the Cambridge, Mass., police department acted "stupidly" in its arrest of Henry Louis Gates, telling ABC News that the Harvard University professor should not have been arrested.

"I have to say I am surprised by the controversy surrounding my statement, because I think it was a pretty straightforward commentary that you probably don't need to handcuff a guy, a middle-aged man who uses a cane, who's in his own home," Obama said.

In an exclusive interview with ABC's Terry Moran to air on "Nightline" tonight, Obama said it doesn't make sense to him that the situation escalated to the point that Gates was arrested.

"I think that I have extraordinary respect for the difficulties of the job that police officers do," the president told Moran. "And my suspicion is that words were exchanged between the police officer and Mr. Gates and that everybody should have just settled down and cooler heads should have prevailed. That's my suspicion."

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=8153681&page=1
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tomm2thumbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-23-09 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. and meanwhile, health care blows in the wind aimlessly

(making wind noises)
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Fearless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-23-09 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Indeed. And the rethugs are AGAIN laughing at our infighting!
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Lucky Luciano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-23-09 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. I am incredulous that there was any flap?!?!?!!! nt
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Zavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-23-09 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
4. If he didn't know all the factsand only had a "suspicion," what possible good could come from
commenting early?

The media set a trap for him and he walked right in, acting as stupidly as the police he was talking about. Bush never would have been asked a question like that, but Obama was and failed to do the common sense thing by saying that it would be unwise to comment until he had all the facts.

If I were a cop and heard such a comment by someone who admitted that he didn't know the facts, I'd be pissed. As it stands, I personally will wait to have all the facts before making my call. For example, did the ID the cops were shown have a photo and an address on it?

There's too much unknown to comment intelligently, and if an average guy like me knows that, the President of the United States should have as well.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. Nope. By the time he commented, the charges had been dropped
and the mayor had apologized to Gates. Not early in any way.
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #4
16. oh please, Obama qualified his statement from the beginning
and then made the perfectly reasonable assertion that something wasn't handed very smartly if a guy breaking himself into his own house is taken away in handcuffs when there's no evidence he did anything to warrant charges.

if he can't say that, then we are all fucked because you can't say the simplest thing.
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Zavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
29. Without knowing all of the facts,
the assertion is not perfectly reasonable. "I don't know everything, but they acted stupidly" may be reasonable to you, but it struck a lot of people (and not just cops and Republicans) as uninformed and stupid.

It was also an unnecessary distraction from the health care debate, so it was actually stupid on several levels.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
20. A 58 year old disabled man who committed no crime other than
supposedly raising his voice in his ownhome was arrested for "loud and tumultous" behavior. A policeman, having determined no crime was committed, should simply have left the scene. Instead, he put the homeowner under arrest.

Even if you believe the police report (Version 1) and nothing else, that's stupid.
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-23-09 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
5. Time to let it go, Barak. The pubes want you to keep digging a hole on this one.
Think about it, Obama... you qualified your original statements carefully, saying that you were basing your comments on what Gate's claims were, and that you didn't know all of the facts. Nothing more needs be said.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
22. Barack is not the one perpetuating it. The media, Officer Crowley, the Cambridge PD and the
Union are the ones beating this drum.
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qwertyMike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-23-09 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
6. Get back to work
bigger fish to fry
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-23-09 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. Good..I'm glad he's standing
by what he said.

<snip>>>

"Obama is friends with Gates and responded to a question about what the incident says about race relations by first saying, "I might be a little biased here." The president then recounted reports about how Gates had jimmied the lock on his door and remarked that if he tried the same thing at the White House, "I'd get shot."

But his tone quickly turned serious.

"I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That's just a fact," Obama said.

Obama went on to note the incident doesn't lessen "the incredible progress that has been made" in race relations and cited his presidency as an example. But he added a long history of African-Americans and Hispanics being stopped in disproportionate numbers by police "still haunts us."

"Even when there are honest misunderstandings, the fact that blacks and Hispanics are picked up more frequently and often time for no cause casts suspicion even when there is good cause," Obama said. "And that's why I think the more that we're working with local law enforcement to improve policing techniques so that we're eliminating potential bias, the safer everybody is going to be."


<more>>
http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/9055
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #7
25. +1
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Joshua N Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
8. I so greatly admire Obama's courage

I think some of you may fail to understand the great courage it took for Obama to say what he did. It is hard for any black man in a position of authority which was conferred on him by whites to say such a thing as this. It's unbelievable, really, and I know it took so much conviction and determination to be honest in this situation that I admire him all the more.
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BunkerHill24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 05:27 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. Thank you for putting it so simple, understanding, and smoothly
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watrwefitinfor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #8
17. Thank you.
I think you should post more often.

Wat
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #8
24. +1
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
9. Stand tall, Obama.
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John Kerry VonErich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 02:25 AM
Response to Original message
10. Remember the brew ha ha that Nixon caused after commenting on the Manson murders?
nt
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #10
21. No. nt
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 06:06 AM
Response to Original message
13. Good forr Obama. Time to rein in our police state.
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BumRushDaShow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 06:27 AM
Response to Original message
14. Catch-22
If he had blown the question away, then the vulture-like RW nutjobs who own all the media would have made just as much a fuss. You all know the headline - "Obama dodges the question on blah blah", and they would have then hounded him to the ends of the earth and raked him through the depths of a hell of their own creation, to force some sort of comment. Knowing this, he gave his opinion, the end.

His Presidency has been made into one big "trap" by the RW batshit crazy lunatics running the media, so knowing that, a strategy has had to be devised with the hope that comments (if any are made) produce the least amount of fallout, and then he can move on.
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Would have?
As long as the nutjobs have the birth certificate "issue" they need no traps or strategies, just volume. :crazy:
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
18. Cops act stupidly all the time, and they certainly did in this instance
These idiots in the media know exactly what Obama's talking about but instead they try that damned outraged by proxy bullcrap. They should really leave that crap for Rush Limbaugh. The escalating hyperbole from the police and its union isn't helping the matter from any side.

The bottom line is as Obama said, "It doesn't make sense to arrest a guy in his own home if he's not causing a serious disturbance." There is absolutely no "professional pride" in the way this situation went down. If the cops can't put up with somebody yelling at them or calling them names, they are in the wrong profession. The quick and sudden drop of the charges shows that there was a massive error in judgment by the police.
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Baclava Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
19. Looks like he changed his mind - Obama backs off defending Gates
LA Times: Obama eases stance on arrest of black Harvard professor


Reporting from Washington -- A day after saying that police "acted stupidly" in arresting a black Harvard University professor in his own home, President Obama appeared to soften his stance Thursday, spreading the blame more equally between the police and the arrested man.

Obama had previously implied during a news conference Wednesday that Henry Louis Gates Jr., his personal friend and one of the nation's preeminent African American scholars, had been a victim of racial profiling by the police. But Thursday, the president praised police officers and couched the incident as an unfortunate clash of tempers.

"I have extraordinary respect for the difficulties of the job that police officers do," Obama told ABC News on Thursday in an interview for "Nightline." "And my suspicion is that words were exchanged between the police officer and Mr. Gates, and that everybody should have just settled down and cooler heads should have prevailed."

Obama also called the arresting officer in Cambridge, Mass., Sgt. James Crowley, an "outstanding police officer."


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-ob...
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #19
23. Is he now saying Crowley did not act stupidly? If not, that's a misleading headline.
The facts speak for themselves. Crowley arrested a man in his own home who had not committed any crime, AFTER determining that Gates had committed no crime. Crowley did not feel he got the deference his copdom deserved, so he arrested Gates.
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Baclava Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. I think he's saying the whole situation could have been handled better
from the article:

"He acknowledges 'the difficulties of the job that police officers do' and suggests 'cooler heads should have prevailed' on both sides in the Cambridge, Mass., incident that he commented on Wednesday."

"While he stood by his initial criticism of the Cambridge police, he downplayed the racial profiling issue during his ABC interview."
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pink-o Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
27. As usual, white people don't fucking GET IT!!!
...and I say this as a white woman. I know I don't get it! I have no idea how it feels to be Driving While Black, Walking While Black, Drinking While Black, Shooting Hoops in The City While Black, et al. But I've seen the inequality with my own hazel eyes: My friend's ex husband helping us move was carrying our TV down the street, and immediately was stopped by police. Their tone changed with alacrity when I came along and explained the situation to them--which pissed me off more than the African American man in question. He was inured to it--I never have been! Also, I would hail the taxis in Manhattan, the ones that wouldn't stop for my Caribbean friends. I've seen so much blatant and obvious racism--none more so than since Obama was elected President.

Yes, as an African American man, President Obama had every right to weigh in on the Living Your Life While Black situation that went on in Cambridge. Anyone who begrudges him that comment, might want to imagine what it's like to always answer for your skin color before you get a chance to be known for anything else. I know I would hate it--how 'bout the rest of you?
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JayMusgrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. This white guy agrees with you 100%.
I have never had any of those things happen to me, nor my friends, but I might just be luckier than you and your friend.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. Well Said
:toast:
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-25-09 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. You are to be commended for your honesty. Refreshing. n/t
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-26-09 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
32. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
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