A cold one at the White House

Not a lot to say about the president’s beer call with Prof. Gates and Sgt. Crowley at the White House — except that when I saw that they included the veep, I wondered how anybody else got a word in. (And I mean that in a nice way. I like Joe. I enjoy listening to him talk just as much as he does. I’d enjoy a beer with him. Or two, if he was buying.)

Sgt. Crowley didn’t have much to say about it, according to the NYT:

Crowley’s News Conference | 7:30 p.m.

During his short opening remarks, Sgt. Crowley said that he had a “cordial and productive discussion” with President Obama, Mr. Biden and Mr. Gates. He also said that he and Mr. Gates planned to have a telephone conversation in the future.

Afterwards, Sgt. Crowley took several questions from reporters. He declined to go into specifics of what was discussed during the event but did say that there was “no tension” between him and Mr. Gates.

And with that, we are wrapping up this blog post. Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting.

And neither do I.

60 thoughts on “A cold one at the White House

  1. Brad Warthen

    … except to share this silly thought that occurred to me.

    Say you’ve been invited to the White House for a beer. Then, just as everybody’s finishing their brew and the pres has a look in his eye like he’s going to say, “Well, I’ve gotta go call Putin…,” you say, “Man, that hit the spot! Let’s have another…” I’m thinking Biden would second that, and the pres, wanting to be a regular guy, would go along. Then, when the president’s about to say, “I think I hear the secretary of State calling…” You say, “Ever notice how the second one always tastes better? Let’s go another round!”

    I wonder how far you could take that. It would all depend on your timing…

    I think I just foreshadowed an SNL skit. Or maybe I should pitch it to Robert for a cartoon…

  2. doug_ross

    A staged photo-op worthy of Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” farce.

    They had to bring in Joe “Token White Guy” Biden to balance out the table.

    Notice how they set up the table so there was racial balance at all corners? You think that was a coincidence.

    Obama, Bush.. it doesn’t matter. It’s all a scam.

  3. Randy E

    There’s a 50% chance of having the two white guys sitting side by side.

    Sitting at a table for reconciliation and staging a farcical ending to a war of choice are hardly compatible.

  4. Randy E

    This thread reminded me of an observation I made about beer preference. I worked at Applebee’s in Columbia and Anderson. Easily the most popular beer in Anderson was Natural Light. We hardly sold any in Columbia.

    Obama chose Bud Light. I have to believe he did so for political reasons. Interestingly, the man who may be the least academic of the four chose the most complex beer – “almost a craft beer.”

    Sam Adams is a very tasty beer.

  5. Randy E


    Crowley’s Blue Moon is “almost a craft beer.”

    I threw in the Sam Adams point as an after thought.

  6. Lee Muller

    SGT Crowley made a mistake to go without apologies first from Obama and Gates.

    They refused to apologize to him after he went, so he came away offended.

    That is the teachable lesson to everyone about the lack of character of Barack Obama and his friends.

  7. Birch Barlow

    Blue Moon is not close to a “craft beer!” It’s made by Molson-Coors. Not that I wouldn’t drink it…

    Sorry, Randy, I just had to disagree.


  8. Lee Muller

    Sam Adams beers and lagers long ago ceased being “craft beers”, either. Most of their production was done in the same breweries which produced Iron City and Rolling Rock.

    Only recently did they develop enough internal capacity to produce 1/3 of their own products, and most of that is in North Carolina, not Boston.

  9. Maude Lebowski

    “Crowley, speaking afterward with reporters at the AFL-CIO nearby, called the meeting “cordial and productive” but said no one offered apologies and he and Gates “agreed to disagree.” He declined to share many details, saying it was “a private discussion.”

    Crowley said he and Gates are planning their own follow-up meeting, to talk more about their different perspectives and try to make something constructive of the incident.”

    Came away offended?

  10. Burl Burlingame

    I noticed that Biden had a non-alcoholic beer, which made me wonder — are Obama and Biden “allowed” to consume alcohol at the same time? To make sure that the current administration has a clear head?

  11. Lee Muller

    As if working drunk could make Obama and Biden any more prone to mistakes.

    I remarked to a German friend that these guys must be screwing things up intentionally – no one could be that dumb.

    “You give them too much credit!”, he laughed. “They have never held a real job, much less run even a lemonade stand. They actually believe they can just wish things into vague laws, and it will be so.”

  12. Lee Muller

    It’s the racism you see in SGT Crowley and his black fellow officers which doesn’t exist.

    Gates and Obama play the victim game, just like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. They are race hustlers.

  13. slugger

    The below post by Lee Muller is dead on the money. Sgt. Crowley should never have gone to have that beer.
    SGT Crowley made a mistake to go without apologies first from Obama and Gates.

    They refused to apologize to him after he went, so he came away offended.

    That is the teachable lesson to everyone about the lack of character of Barack Obama and his friends.

  14. Travis Fields

    Just on a hunch, I googled “most popular american beer”.

    Guess what I got?

    Hint: not Red Stripe or Blue Moon.

    (Blue Moon’s a pretty good beer, btw.)


  15. Mike Toreno

    Slugger, yep, Gates is certainly uppity, all right. Even after Crowley falsely arrested him and filed a false police report, Gates still doesn’t know his place. But Crowley already knew that Gates was too uppity to apologize for being falsely arrested, so Crowley went into the meeting with his eyes open; if Crowley’s not complaining, I don’t see why you are.

    And yeah, Obama is uppity too. I mean, who does he think he is?

  16. Randy E

    Slugger’s right: that mean ol’ black man was yelling mean things at that poor officer.

    I’m with you slugger, that silly ol’ freedom of speech thing is a bunch of bull.

  17. Maude Lebowski

    Thanks for the laughs Mike and Randy.

    I’m still amazed that someone was arrested for shouting from their front porch and the neolibertarians are blathering about race hustling. What a hoot.

  18. Lee Muller

    The same radical clowns who suddenly discover the sanctity of the Fourth Amendment for racists, cop-haters, and socialist radicals, didn’t give a damn about the warrantless raid on the Branch Davidians and murder of dozens of women and children.

    They don’t think blacks in Washington, DC have a right to keep and bear arms in their own homes, either.

  19. slugger

    Why did Obama even think that sitting down with Gates and Crowley and having a beer on a boiling hot day outside of the air-conditioning with both men in suits and Biden and Obama in shirtsleeves, would settle anything. That was stupid to begin with. Number two stupid was when Obama opened his mouth and got caught up in the dispute.

    The whole thing was not presidential. That is, if this administration could be considered presidential in the way he attacks anything or anybody with money. He has a bias against anyone having money except him. He could invite his poor friends to come have a beer and sit in the hot sun. Sure he says that he is going to be paying much higher taxes and that will make him happy. That is giving with the right hand and taking with the left hand.

    Sgt. Crowley apparently did nothing wrong. By going to sit in the sun and drink beer was a way for Obama to make it look like Sgt. Crowley was asking for forgiveness.

  20. bud

    “They don’t think blacks in Washington, DC have a right to keep and bear arms in their own homes, either.”

    Absolutely Michelle Obama should have the right to “bare” arms. She looks terrific in those sleeveless dresses. It’s also ok for folks to have hairy looking “bear” arms. After all it’s a free country. However, assault rifles are another story.

  21. bud

    Sgt. Crowley apparently did nothing wrong.

    There are exactly 2 people in this world who know what really happened that day, Crowley and Gates. According to one of them Crowley did nothing wrong. According to the other Crowley was rude and unproffessional and perhaps violated the law by refusing to show his police identification. So to suggest “Apparently Crowley did nothing wrong”, is to believe only half the evidence.

  22. Lee Muller

    Don’t forget the 3 other officers who were there while Gates was yelling racial insults from the front porch and yard of his rental house.

  23. Lee Muller


    You can’t answer directly, can you, “bud”?

    Do you or don’t you think black people in Washington, D.C. have the same Constitutional right as anyone in SC or Montana to keep and bear arms?

    Or is it just the rich white people, like Diane Feinstein, Teddy Kennedy, Dan Rather and Jay Rockefeller who can keep weapons in DC?

  24. Randy E

    Slugger, you certainly go to great pains to paint the beer summit and Obama in general as some elitist. Are you reading Palin talking points or did you hear this on Rush’s show? Case in point, Obama apologized for making a mistake. How does inviting BOTH parties result in making just Crowley look bad?

    Making a mistake on national television, admitting it publicly, then trying to resolve the issue is certainly two steps beyond what your boy W was able to handle. I can understand how you are confused by a president handling himself this way.

  25. slugger

    Why did Obama have the beer party? To try to cover his butt. He opened his mouth when he should have kept it closed. No teleprompter to put words in his mouth.

    Sgt. Crowley should never have accepted the cover-your-butt beer party provided by Obama that was not good enough for the oval office that had to be in the hot sun in the Rose Garden.

  26. Bart

    bud, I agree with you that only two people know exactly what was and was not said in the exchange between Crowley and Gates. And, the same can be said about the exchange between Crowley and Ms. Whalen after he arrived at the scene. There is no recording of their conversation either. We may never know the actual truth of the matter on either point. It is pointless to call any of the participants a liar as some are prone to do.

    Should Crowley have arrested Gates for being disorderly in public? Again, none of us where there, we only have accounts as told by each party. It would have been the prudent thing for Crowley to walk away and let the Harvard police handle the situation but he didn’t. Charges were dropped as they should have been. It was not the first time charges have been dropped after an arrest was made and it won’t be the last. Crowley may have been within the limits of the law as he interpreted it at the time, but I think he made a poor choice. As others have said, it is not against the law to be a jerk.

    Both had the opportunity to be the better man, using a cool head in a difficult situation. Gates had it to begin with, Crowley afterwards. Neither one made the right choice.

    Obama threw fuel on a small fire by making a comment after admitting he didn’t know the facts. Some have said he apologized but he didn’t. He only said he didn’t “calibrate” his words very well. Why not just come out and say in simple terms, “I apologize for saying the police “acted stupidly” before I knew the facts in the case”?

  27. Randy E

    Bart, based on Crowley’s report Gates should not have been arrested. Again, in MA disorderly conduct means to attempt to annoy or alarm the public “with purpose.” There was no purposeful purpose evident based on Crowley’s police report. His supporters go even farther by suggesting Gates “had it coming” as if Crowley could arrest someone to teach a lesson.

    Slugger, Obama didn’t have a teleprompter for the entire press conference as he fielded questions. Unlike W, who had one press avail a year, or Palin who had to debate by reading note cards, Obama took on all comers.

    And seeing that the recession is ending (Fox Noise even reported this), Obama took care of the pirates and Iranian issue with critical acclaim (other than tea bagger paranoia), and the country’s infrastructure is finally being addressed on a large scale it’s clear that O is clearly up to the challenge. One rash comment hardly sways evaluation the other way (unless your a tea bagging birther).

  28. Mike Toreno

    Bart, in order to believe Crowley, you have to believe Gates is lying. If you say that Gates “had the opportunity to be a better man” and didn’t take it, you are calling Gates a liar. Gates says, flat out, Crowley’s report is a lie and he didn’t do the stuff Crowley says he did.

    And unless you deliberately turn a blind eye, it’s clear that Crowley’s report is a lie. You say we can’t know about the exchange between Crowley and Lucia Whalen at the scene, but we can, because Lucia Whalen told us.

    Lucia Whalen held a press conference in which she said she never told Crowley the men were black.

    So, in order for Crowley to be telling the truth, Gates and Ms. Whalen have to be lying.

    In addition to Ms. Whalen’s remarks, an analysis of the circumstances shows us that Crowley is lying. She never said anything about backpacks to the dispatcher, she said suitcases. What do you think she did, invented a false detail *after* giving the correct details to the dispatcher? She couldn’t have seen the backpacks after getting off the phone, because there were no backpacks to see.

    In addition, Crowley’s claim that Gates’s shouting kept him from giving his name and badge number is a lie, because he was required to give the information by handing over his ID card. No amount of shouting keeps you from handing someone a card.

    In order to believe Crowley you have to deliberately choose not to examine his statements and the surrounding events, and believe, contrary to all the evidence, that both Gates and Ms. Whalen are liars.

  29. Lee Muller

    Given Gates’ history of playing racial victim, making racist comments about whites, and yelling at other authority figures, I think SGT Crowley’s story is quite plausible.

  30. Burl Burlingame

    I still don’t know why pointing out that Gate’s home is a rental makes a difference. It’s still a legal domicile, is it not?

  31. Bart

    Toreno, are you off your meds again? Are you not capable of reading, comprehension, or understanding the meaning of words?
    From the contents of your post, you are incapable of following logic or reason and somewhere in that maze of twisted illogic, you come up with comments that would have some people committed to an institution. You’re a freaking nutcase!

  32. Bart

    Randy, are you a scholar on the legal system in MA? Do you practice law there or anywhere else? I know for sure I don’t and unless someone can say otherwise, Crowley, as I said, “Crowley “may” have been within the limits of the law as he interpreted it at the time, but I think he made a poor choice…” Now, what part of my comment did you not understand or are you of the same order as Toreno, a freaking nutcase? Apparently so because you agree with him on everything so far.

  33. Bart

    Burl, I cannot comment on MA since it is in Randy’s neighborhood but in most states, if you legally occupy a residence, you are considered to be the legal resident with all of the rights and protection that goes with it. Unless the property owner has your permission to enter the residence unless you are home, it can be considered as breaking and entering.

  34. Bart

    For all of Gates’ defenders, one liberal has the balls to speak up about the man.

    Sally Quinn, not a conservative, who works for the Washington Post, had this to say about Gates in her column. “…But I do know about Skip Gates. What nobody will say publicly, for fear of being called a racist, is that he is notorious, especially among many of his colleagues (black and white) at Harvard, for being short-tempered and arrogant. I have had personal dealings with him in which his behavior was not honorable….”

    Wonder if a couple of people on this blog thinks Quinn considers Gates to be “uppity” as well?

  35. Maude Lebowski

    “Wonder if a couple of people on this blog thinks Quinn considers Gates to be “uppity” as well?”

    Who knows? But I bet it chaps her ass that he had a beer with the President.

    Short-tempered and arrogant? A Harvard professor? Really? Last time I checked it wasn’t illegal to be a pretentious asshole. I’ll admit it would’ve been tempting to call the law on some of my profs if that were the case…

  36. Mike Toreno

    Bart, you don’t actually describe any of the supposed deficiencies of my post, so why don’t we just accept that you are offended because it blows apart your carefully cultivated pretense of objectivity. You are pretending that the facts are unknowable, but they’re not.

    As for Sally Quinn, yeah, “uppity” is what “arrogant” is code for. To someone like Quinn, “arrogant” is code for describing a black person who feels entitled to the same respect as does a white person.

    The motivation of Huckleberry Graham’s anonymous sources in complaining about Sotomayor’s temperament is the same; she’s also “uppity”. A nonwhite person who fails to sufficiently defer to a white person has a temperament problem.

    But thank you for making your motivation clear. First, you pretend that what happened is unknowable, then you drag in irrelevant personal attacks from Sally Quinn. But Sally Quinn wasn’t there; her not liking Professor Gates doesn’t tell us anything about what happened. The fact that you thought it was worth bringing up tells us everything we need to know about your character that we didn’t already know from your talk about how “drunks and drug addicts” should be kept from voting.

  37. Randy E

    Bart, your pettiness highlights the lack of substantive defense for your position.

    I looked up the legal definition of disorderly conduct in MA. It jibes with the analysis I heard. Are you suggesting that only scholars can understand law? If so, how can you take a position on this matter?

    Maude makes THE point of the matter. It is not against the law for Gates to be arrogant, uppity, or an ass. You suggest that Crowley “may have been within the limits” so back it up with some analysis.

    Set aside your sophomoric comments and stick to the issue.

  38. Lee Muller

    Burl, are you sure you are journalist?

    And you still don’t grasp the basic fact that Henry Gates broke into a house owned by Harvard University, and refused to provide identification that showed his address, that he was the legal resident?

    He was standing outside the house, screaming and berating the police from Cambridge and Harvard University, black and white.

    He was playing racial bully, because he is an arrogant racist, just like Jeremiah Wright, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Barack Obama.

  39. Lee Muller

    You can’t answer directly, can you, “bud”?

    Do you or don’t you think black people in Washington, D.C. have the same Constitutional right as anyone in SC or Montana to keep and bear arms?

    Or is it just the rich white people, like Diane Feinstein, Teddy Kennedy, Dan Rather and Jay Rockefeller who can keep weapons in DC?

    Judge Sotomayor says the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to blacks in DC.

  40. Bart





    Chapter 272: Section 53. Penalty for certain offenses

    Section 53. Common night walkers, common street walkers, both male and female, common railers and brawlers, persons who with offensive and disorderly acts or language accost or annoy persons of the opposite sex, lewd, wanton and lascivious persons in speech or behavior, “idle and disorderly persons, disturbers of the peace,” keepers of noisy and disorderly houses, and persons guilty of indecent exposure may be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than six months, or by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

    Chapter 272: Section 54. Apprehension for certain offences, without warrant; custody

    Section 54. Whoever is found in a public way or other public place, committing any offence or disorder set forth in sections fifty-three and fifty-three A, may be apprehended by a sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable or police officer or by any other person by the order of a magistrate or any of said officers, without a warrant and be kept in custody for not more than twenty-four hours, Sundays and legal holidays excepted, until he can be taken before a court or trial justice having jurisdiction of such offence.

    Randy, if this is the law you are referring to, I read it over before making my comments. Now, can you point out to me where Crowley did not have the authority to arrest Gates under the law as presented here? As I said previously, I am not a legal scholar and do not have training on the laws of Mass. but I can read and comprehend the written word. I also read many opinions from attorneys, prosecutors, and judges on the subject matter before commenting. They vary just as opinions do on this blog. Most agree that even though a police officer is within legal boundaries, based on his or her evaluation of the situation at the time of the incident is when the decision is made to initiate an arrest. However, when it comes to prosecution of a case like this one, the charges are almost always dismissed or thrown out of court.

    Finally, not one of the three of you were at the scene either. Anything you say is just as speculative as what anyone else may say on the subject. If any one of you can produce documentation of the conversations that took place between Crowley and Gates or Crowley and Ms. Whalen, proving Crowley is not being truthful, I will concede the point willingly. I am not referring to a Gates interview with the Root or Gayle King or a press conference called by Whalen and her attorney. I am referring to a recorded conversation between the parties. Positive proof.

    In closing, Crowley was probably annoyed, pissed off and used the “POP” reason for arresting Gates. Again, if you bothered to actually READ my comments, I made it clear Crowley made a bad move. By the way, Gates, in his Root interview, said he couldn’t have yelled or spoke in a loud voice because of a throat ailment. Does this make the other officer’s statement a lie as well?
    Refusal to acknowledge the possibility that Crowley’s report is accurate is a sure sign of intellecual dishonesty. I prefer to be “sophomoric” than dishonest.

  41. Lee Muller

    The Massachusetts statute casts a broad definition of disorderly conduct, leaving a lot of discretion to the police.

    In addition, cities and towns can have their own ordinances.

    Dozens of men and women are arrested in their homes and apartments every day for domestic disorderly conduct, where a dispute with their spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend became no more boisterous than the insults shouted by Henry Gates.

  42. Bart

    This is from an attorney’s website concerning Mass. law. I think I will defer to their comments.

    Section 59. Ordinances or regulations relating to streets, reservations, or parkways; alcoholic beverages; profanity; arrest without warrant (top)

    Section 59. Whoever remains in a street or elsewhere in a town in wilful violation of an ordinance or by-law of such town or of any rule or regulation for the government or use of any public reservation, parkway or boulevard made under authority of law by any department, officer or board in charge thereof, whoever is in a street or elsewhere in a town in wilful violation of an ordinance or by-law of such town or of any rule or regulation for the government or use of any public reservation, parkway or boulevard made under authority of law by any department, officer or board in charge thereof, the substance of which is the drinking or possession of alcoholic beverage, and whoever in a street or other public place accosts or addresses another person with profane or obscene language, in wilful violation of an ordinance or by-law of such town, may be arrested without a warrant by an officer authorized to serve criminal process in the place where the offence is committed and kept in custody until he can be taken before a court having jurisdiction of the offence.

    in Virginia, Maryland, D.C. & Massachusetts
    There is virtually no state in the United States that does not have some form of law regarding disorderly conduct. This law is commonly described as a catch-all law. The disorderly conduct law in Virginia, Maryland & Massachusetts prohibits people from being drunk in public, disturbing the peace, etc. The law is designed to try and prevent people from making a nuisance of themselves in public. When a person is doing something that the police consider a nuisance in Virginia, Maryland or Massachusetts, they usually charge the person with disorderly conduct. What many people do not realize is that simply being a nuisance does violate the law of disorderly conduct as written in most states.

    There are cases where the courts handed down “decisions” on what constituted disorderly conduct and under freedom of speech, political dissent, and insulting a police officer was among those “decisions”. But, if you read the statutes, the “decisions” are not there. Therefore, “decisions” are made by judges but until a statute or law is revised to include the court’s decisions, they are not considered to be law. They are used by attorneys to argue their cases before the court and in almost every instance, the arrest is either overturned or the case is dismissed if the circumstances are similar to the Gates case.

    “In Law, a previous decision, rule or practice which, in the absence of a definite statute, has whatever force and authority a Judge may choose to give it, thereby greatly simplifying his task of doing as he pleases. As there are precedents for everything, he has only to ignore those that make against his interest and accentuate those in the line of his desire. Invention of the precedent elevates the trial-at-law from the low estate of a fortuitous ordeal to the noble attitude of a dirigible arbitrament.” — Ambrose Bierce

    I rest my case.

  43. Randy E

    Bart, documentation? I used Crowley’s own incident report.

    Your “case” makes no sense. Are you suggesting the state law regarding disorderly conduct is something other than “purposeful?”

  44. Lee Muller

    Randy, when police respond to neighbors calling about a couple yelling at each other, and they arrest one of them, how is that any different than neighbors calling police for a burglary and arresting the resident who is yelling and screaming?

  45. Bart

    Randy, as I said before, I rest my case. It makes a helluva lot more sense than anything you have presented so far. If you cannont comprehend the law, then don’t bother responding. Crowley’s report was just that, his report, based on state law and statutes as they stand today and when the incident took place. And, by the way, I used Crowley’s incident report as the basis for my research on the law and statutes as they stand. If all you used was Crowley’s report and drew your conclusions from it alone, then your assumption is that Crowley is lying and the arrest was illegal. There was nothing illegal about the arrest under MA law. Unwise yes, illegal, no.

    You can’t have it both ways. Crowley acted within the law. As far as documentation, Crowley’s report is sufficient unless you know absolutely sure he is not telling the truth and the only person or persons who are in conflict have no proof to back up their positions either.

    Maybe you need to brush up on Curtilage. If you don’t have time, here are some facts about it.


    A warrantless intrusion onto premises is constitutionally permissible if the resident gives consent or exigent circumstances exist, such as: 1) an officer’s reasonable belief that evidence may be imminently destroyed;(31) 2) hot pursuit of a suspect whom officers reasonably believe is in the area to be searched;(32) 3) a search where there is an immediate need to protect or preserve life;(33) or 4) a protective sweep of premises where officers reasonably suspect there is a threat to their safety.(34)

    Areas Within the Curtilage that are Implicitly Open to the Public

    Not every physical intrusion onto a curtilage will be viewed as a search. Generally, the courts will not give the same level of protection to a home’s front yard as they would give to a home’s fenced backyard. The design of many front yards, with walkways leading to the front door, implicitly invites the public to walk onto the front yard, at least insofar as the walkway allows them to get to the front door. In United States v. Tobin,(38) the full bench of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit stated that “there is no rule of private or public conduct which makes it illegal per se, or a condemned invasion of the person’s right of privacy, for anyone openly and peaceably, at high noon, to walk up the steps and knock on the front door of any man’s ‘castle’ with the honest intent of asking questions of the occupant thereof – whether the questioner be a pollster, a salesman or an officer of the law.”(39)

    I can keep this up as long as you want and you still cannot change the laws as they stand in MA.

    If you are so confident, show me where in the state laws of MA where Crowley acted in an illegal manner when he arrested Crowley.

  46. Mike Toreno

    Bart, the problem with your legal research is that your conclusions are idiotic. If a court decision invalidates a law or states how a law is to be interpreted, that decision is binding on those who are trying to enforce the law. The law doesn’t simply stand as it is until the legislature gets around to changing it. Instead, the law is construed in accordance with the court decision. The police don’t get to keep arresting people under an invalidated law and dragging them into court and having the court rule in each individual case that the law is invalid. I don’t care how badly you want to allow Crowley to arrest Professor Gates for being uppity, the arrest was illegal under Massachusetts law.

    And Crowley’s report is all lies. I know it. You know it. Your demand that we have to have recordings in order to show that the report is a lie comes from your desire to shut your eyes to the truth. By your reasoning, Crowley’s report is insufficient to show grounds for arresting Professor Gates. Professor Gates says he didn’t yell, refer to Crowley’s mama, or do any of the other stuff Crowley’s report says he did. Crowley doesn’t have any recording of Professor Gates doing those things, so by your reasoning it is impossible to claim that he did them.

    The truth, though, is that recordings aren’t the only way to know if somebody’s telling the truth or not. We have a recording of Lucia Whalen telling the dispatcher, two men with suitcases, maybe they’re having trouble with the door, I don’t know. Crowley says she told him two black men with backpacks. There’s nowhere she could have gotten the backpack detail from. And she denies saying it. You’re asking us to believe she told the dispatcher what she saw, later told Crowley she saw backpacks she didn’t see, and is now lying and denying she told Crowley she saw backpacks. It just doesn’t make any sense.

    We know Crowley’s claim that Professor Gate’s yelling kept him from furnishing his ID is a lie because it is impossible for Professor Gates’s supposed yelling to have kept Crowley from giving his identification. Crowley was supposed to hand over his identification card, and no amount of yelling would have prevented that. It is impossible for Crowley’s statement to be true. You don’t need a recording to know that something is false when it is impossible for it to be true.

    But you know that. You aren’t claiming we don’t know whether or not Crowley is lying because you believe what you’re saying; you know he’s lying but you think it’s OK.

  47. Lee Muller

    SGT Crowley’s name was displayed on his uniform name badge.

    His badge number was right there on his chest.

    Gates has a history of playing race victim. He has been living his whole life for this sort of moment.

  48. Bart

    Toreno, you are so predictable! I could have cut and pasted your reply from your previous offerings.

    Lucia Whalen is an employee of Harvard Magazine. Now, do you suppose she may have a reason to deny making the comments to Crowley over fear of losing her job and the way her community turned against her and called her a racist for simply describing the race of the two men on the porch, trying to get in the house? No, for goodness sake, it could never, ever happen in a million, billion, trillion years -could it?

    You depended on the recordings that exist to confirm conversations didn’t you? Now, is it unreasonable to have the same expectations to confirm the “other” conversations as well? Why, no it isn’t? Because there is no way Gates and Whalen could ever be lying. Only Crowley – why? – because he is a white cop, thats why. Never mind that a black cop heard Gates yelling and included it in his report. Well now, this black cop must be an oreo, a traitor to his race, or just another lying cop since his report supports Crowley’s report about Gates’ behavior. Why don’t you address his comments? Why haven’t you called him a liar? Afraid of being called a racist?

    Are you familiar with acoustics at all? Older houses like the one Gates uses generally have hardwood floors, high open ceilings, and not much furniture or wall hangings in the entrance hall or foyer. Any noise is amplified and if one raises their voice, it is very difficult to hear. They become reverberation sound chambers. I know, I used to live in one very similar to the one Gates uses.

    You really need to think beyond your narrow interpretation of your truth for the world. It might open your eyes but I doubt it.

  49. Mike Toreno

    Bart, your attempts at deception are too clumsy to succeed. As you know, my belief that Crowley is lying about his conversation with Ms. Whalen is based not only on her statement, but on the complete set of circumstances surrounding his claim. It’s not impossible that she said at the scene that there were two black men; she could have gotten another look. What is impossible is that she put in the detail about the backpack. She relayed the situation to the dispatcher accurately; she said suitcases. There’s no way she invented backpacks in the space of about 3 minutes. Further observation wouldn’t have led her to say there were backpacks because there were no backpacks.

    There’s a difference between taking information from recordings that exist and pretending, as you do, that the truth is unknowable if there are no recordings. By your standards, any claim that Crowley is telling the truth about his conversation with Ms. Whalen is impossible to believe because there was no recording. But of course, the lack of a recording doesn’t keep us from examining the situation.

    According to you, it’s impossible to know if Carlos Figueroa (are you absolutely certain he’s black?) is telling the truth, because there was no recording.

    But I took another look at the police report. Carlos Figueroa is definitely lying. He and Crowley didn’t get their stories straight, and they misalign in significant ways. According to Crowley, Professor Gates responded “No, I will not” to his request to leave the house.

    According to Figueroa, Gates responded “No, I will not” to the request to produce ID.

    According to Crowley, Professor Gates started shouting after he had given Crowley his ID and upon demanding Crowley’s ID. According to Figueroa, Professor Gates started shouting before giving Crowley his ID.

    Crowley and Figueroa cooked up what they were going to say in their reports, but they evidently didn’t communicate well enough to line it up correctly.

    I’m familiar with acoustics, but the fact that some houses may have poor acoustics is irrelevant because Crowley had no trouble talking on the radio from the house. Check out his report.

    “With the Harvard University Identification in hand, I radioed my findings to ECC on channel two and prepared to leave.”

    Now Professor Gates starts wanting Crowley’s ID, which, according to Crowley, he starts giving in a way other than that required by the law. He then claims that Professor Gates started shouting over him. As I said above, it is impossible for any amount of shouting to keep you from giving someone an ID card, which is what Crowley was required by law to do.

    Now Crowley has forgotten what he already said, and he says “My reason for wanting to leave the residence was that Gates was yelling very loud and the acoustics of the kitchen and foyer were making it difficult to transmit pertinent information to the ECC and responding units.”

    No. Just a few sentences ago he has already transmitted his findings to ECC. He is finished (and he had no trouble communicating with ECC). It is only when Professor Gates started asking for his ID that he wants Gates to come outside. What happened is that he didn’t like it when Professor Gates wanted his ID and decided to arrest him on a bogus charge.

    It’s your interpretation of truth that is narrow, not mine. The difference is that I follow the evidence where it leads, and you make up whatever you need to make up to support the claim you want to make. You actually know that Crowley wrote a false police report to justify a false arrest, but you think that’s OK.

  50. Lee Muller

    Consider the possibility that your distorted perceptions of reality are due to your being a racist.

  51. Mike Toreno

    Bart, if you have some genuine challenge to make to my analysis, let’s have it. I understand you don’t like the facts I present because they conflict with your view that Crowley was justified in arresting Professor Gates from being uppity, but the fact that you don’t like my analysis doesn’t matter. What would matter would be if you had some kind of genuine argument to make.

    You could start by explaining why you’ll believe Crowley without an audiorecording but won’t believe anybody else without one.

    You could also tell where you found out that Carlos Figueroa is black.

  52. Mike Toreno


    Consider the possibility that it is your perception of reality that is distorted due to being a racist, as well as the Mayor of Crazytown.

  53. Lee Muller

    Seriously, “Mike Toreno”, you don’t know what racism is. Like fascism, it is just an charge you automatically hurl against anyone who criticizes the people and policies you are instructed to support by your party.

    It is an undisputed fact that Henry Gates has made a career of preaching a racist interpretation of history, and of all life in America. He has a history of being a rude, offensive bully to those beneath him on the academic and employee ladder, and of making angry outbursts laced with racial epithets.

    The police did not know that when he flew into one of those angry outbursts with them. One of the police was Latino, another one was black, and they all described the situation in the same way as SGT Crowley, who is white.

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