By Kyle | July 20, 2009
For trying to enter his own home and being excessively
uppity er, “tumultuous.” I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more about this story: An acclaimed 58-year-old black academic says he was arrested solely because he is black.
UPDATE: The more details emerge, the more it becomes clear that Gates was arrested for yelling at police. Why do police have the right to arrest people for (perhaps justifiably) shouting? They claim he was “alarming” passersby. Can they produce these allegedly upset individuals? Too many cops think the badge is a right to push people around. This charge will obviously be tossed but in addition to that the police owe Gates an apology. There has to be some price to be paid by police for overzealousness.
UPDATE 2: Jonah Goldberg has a thoughtful post on conservative reaction to Skip Gates’ arrest–says it’s evenly divided. (7:52 am on July 21.) Like Goldberg, I’m inclined to give cops wide deference to exercise their judgment. But “wide” and “unlimited” are not the same thing. I see no reason in this case to believe the cops acted reasonably. When they far overstep their authority, they need to be corrected.
UPDATE 3: Charges dropped! Non-apology apology issued by CPD. Not good enough! Of course this incident reflects badly on the Cambridge Ceystone Cops.