Thursday, July 23, 2009


As I saw reports of this incident my mind went back to many of the same situations I became involved in as a police officer of some 30 years duration. As a white male police officer you are targeted for complaints in a very high percentage of interactions with minority citizens.

In most of these situations the police are guilty until proven innocent. I worked in an area for years that has over a 98% African-American population. As a district we were accused of arresting and citing an unacceptable percentage of blacks. Over 25 years later I'm still trying to figure that one out.

In typical appeasement fashion our department went into CYA mode and promised to train the officers in our district about racial profiling and how to avoid it. At the training I suggested that the way to avoid arresting and citing an unacceptable percentage of black citizens may be to pull the police off the street and allow the criminals to prey on the law abiding citizens in the district more than they already did. Otherwise, interactions/confrontations will occur.

The paid consultant's response was that my attitude was just the type that needed to be eradicated from the PD to make it more sensitive to the community. He never was able to account for that 98% thing. I'm sure he made good money, though. I know I did because I was on overtime for the training. Ah, government in action.

We had an incident in a public housing project in which a medic was dispatched to tend to a female having trouble breathing. Her son was well known to the police as a felon and all-around ***hole. The medic arrived on the scene before the police, which in that neighborhood is not a good thing. A confrontation occurred between the medics and the lady's son that culminated in the son striking the female medic with a closed fist. When we arrived we saw the medic and she was really messed up. She was barely conscious and the lady's son and another guy had the medic's male partner backed up against the medic's vehicle. He looked a little scared.

My partner and I got in between the people and sorted things out. We decided sonny had to go to jail. In the meantime, another medic unit arrived to remove the injured medic to the hospital. Other police crews arrived as we called for back-up and the crowd started growing. Long story short, the situation ended when we arrested about seven or eight people who were intent on getting in some free shots on the police. The crowd numbered, by this time, about 100. As we cuffed and stuffed the suspects the crowd's mood got a little surly. We got out of the area and went to the city jail to book the prisoners.

In the meantime, the mayor of the city, who was black, arrived and got an earful of how brutal the police had been while we arrested numerous people who were merely out for an evening walk enjoying the night air. The mayor proceeded to condemn the police in front of a local TV camera for our brutal and unwarranted actions. He stated he was apprised of the situations by the citizens there and was "appalled," "appalled" he said, by the brutality of "his" PD. BTW, the mayor demanded we apologize for our actions. He's still waiting for that apology, although he can surely apologize to us. After all, I'm a forgiving kind of guy. I fervently hope the Cambridge officer never apologizes to Gates. Let the PD appease him and do it, the mayor apparently already has. Gutless pansies.

The mayor got raked over the coals by some of the media for jumping the gun and condemning the police before he had all the facts. Imagine that. The suspects all plead guilty in court. For his "appalling" behavior the mayor suffered the slings and arrows of much of the citizenry in letters to the editor, etc., and really, his political career never recovered.

That brings me to my point. If a local politician was lit up for this conduct, what does it say about the POTUS to make a statement like this in a nationally televised news conference when he has little or no information about an incident that occurred only a short time before. How dare he use the power of his office to verbally trash a police officer, who apparently is well thought of, without facts to back it up. Isn't the president an attorney? What the hell happened to sifting through the facts before coming to a conclusion? What the hell happened to the federal government leaving a local matter to the local authorities? If the federal government is to be involved, isn't that the Justice Department's job? Is the president's desire to involve the federal government in every level of American life so strong that he can't help himself?

Why didn't the lackeys in the press conference call him on his ridiculous and childish statements? I feel for the police in this incident because Obama has needlessly and thoughtlessly injected himself in this incident and because of him, the job of the Cambridge PD just became infinitely more dangerous.

The president of all Americans? Right.


Anonymous said...

When I first heard of this story, I thought of you, and what your take on it was. I was really disgusted when Obama took sides and surprise, surprise, who did he pick up for. It's not his place to comment on a situation that had nothing to do with him. He went over the line.

I used to be an EMT and I too worked in a town with a large African American population. We were told that we didn't get out of the vehicle until the police were there and could make sure the scene was safe. It was very difficult sometimes to sit and wait but we knew that it was in our best interest. It used to piss me off when we got the "your doing this cause I'm black" mantra when we were following policy. I understand the frustration of being labeled a racist when we were only doing our jobs like the cop in this case! It was interesting reading your views on this with your experience as a cop!

Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks for the visit and thanks for taking it easy on an old guy whose vanity sometimes gets the best of him when it comes to wearing glasses (not where). Our medics usually did the same thing, but they picked a bad day to strike out on their own. She was OK, but much more cautious after that. I think was new at the time. Nice baptism, huh?

PRH....... said...

Obama is a Racist hack...what else can you say. As far as the number of blacks and hispanics being arrested, Barry needs to look no farther than the fact, they are committing crimes that far outnumber their population percentages...Nothing racist about it, whether it's poverty, family make up/break down, or whatever, it's a fact. This so called professor/friend of Obama's appears to be a Al Sharpton wannabee. The guy is a well educated, highly paid public servent, still be held down by the man...if you ask him that is.

Average American said...

What pissed me off the most about this whole incident was the fact that the police dropped the charges! No way that asshole would have walked had I been in charge!

I don't envy anyone their job as a cop or any other emergency service. You guys earn every penny!

James' Muse said...

My brother in law is a police officer in ohio, and I am trying to get on the force here in Oregon. Obama's reaction has absolutely floored me. Not to mention the reaction from many in the public taking Gates side because "police are bad" is ridiculous.

Police Officers are victims of discrimination quite a bit, it seems.

Law and Order Teacher said...

What the hell has happened to our country? Everything we counted on is really out the door. I don't ever recall ripping into anybody who wasn't a criminal. It looks like your visit was really good. I wish I could have been there.

Thanks for the visit.

Thanks for the visit. It puzzles me that they dropped the charges. I think it was another example of a gutless city buckling under to politcal correctness. What a shame.

Good luck with your career and thanks for your visit. Where to begin. When it's all said and done, you will be glad you had the balls to be a cop. It is a very important job and don't let anyone tell you differently. Without cops........I don't even know what to say.

Ducky's here said...

Well, I don't know about the national scene but locally it's been pretty interesting.

The mayor of Cambridge (shouldn't matter but she's a black woman) made an initial statement and has dropped out of sight. Her police department was clearly going to make things so hot that even she knew to drop it.

The Lovin' Reverend Al dropped plans to show his face here.

Governor Patrick (again, shouldn't matter but he's black) piped up about profiling and now that it has been revealed that race was NEVER mentioned in the initial 911 call he's back pedaling.

Obama (again, shouldn't matter but it's worth noting he's black) can't ditch this one fast enough.

So Gates, in a town with a black mayor, in a state with a black governor, in a country with a black president is yelling discrimination. But it ain't flying.

It's really too bad, because Gates in his "Do You Know Who I Am) moment pushed a potentially important story out of the news cycle. The incident at the swimming club in Philadelphia deserves to be reported but instead we continue with this insipid celebrity mentality we have in this country.

As an aside, Merce Cunningham died the other day. A man who knew just a little bit more about dance than Michael Jackson but did anyone notice? We live in a country whose idea of culture is "American Idol" and this tabloid mentality spills over into all aspects of our news and media.

The country is in the dumper. Palin 2012. Let's make it a quick death.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I'm sorry about the late reply. I was on vacation. I am always grateful for your replies. It is always gratifying when those who play the race card are hoisted on their own petard. Life is sometimes good.