July 29, 2009

Commentary: Why race still matters

Posted: 07:47 AM ET

By Daria Roithmayr & Guy-Uriel Charles. Roithmayr is a law professor at the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law, where she teaches on race and law. She worked for Sen. Edward Kennedy as special counsel on the Clarence Thomas and David Souter confirmation hearings. Guy-Uriel Charles is a law professor at Duke Law School where he is the founding director of the Center on Law, Race, and Politics.

No one was surprised when the subject of race dominated the public conversation during Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings. What was surprising was how unwilling both sides of the aisle were to talk about race openly.

Republicans tried to argue that race should be completely separated from judicial decision-making.

For their part, Democrats tried to minimize the importance of her race to her decision-making by focusing on her record, to show that her race had played no role in her decisions.

Judge Sotomayor herself suggested that life experiences are an important part of the process of judging, but then sought to minimize the difference that those experiences might have made to a particular result.

Most people understand that life experiences and racial identity do affect the decision-making process. But is this something to be lamented or celebrated? We think the latter.


Filed under: Politics • Supreme Court

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Geraldine   July 29th, 2009 8:36 am ET

Dear Larry, please note a copy of my email message I just shared with the Mayor of the City of Cambridge, MD this am....

Dear Ms. Mayor of the City of Cambridge, MA


Wed. July 29, 2009...


I just heard on Bill Bennett's, Mornings in America Talk-Radio show, that B. Bennett, planned to get in touch with the Black, African-American, female police officer, "Kelly King," who stated the Gates arrest incident was not racially motivated, and she had supported President Obama in the past, but will not do so in the future.

Bennett now wants this woman to appear as a guest on his radio-talk show, to declare her future non-support of the president as a Black, police officer. He's going to use her to press the GOP's point to: "GET THE PRESIDENT."

I myself am a Black, African-American, and I am also female. And given what was reported, I do not believe the Gates arrest incident was in no-way, racially motivated, and I emailed the White-House and the President right away, telling him I did not believe it was, and how the entire matter should have been resolved without the initial parties both over-re-acting. I also stressed my thoughts that as a Black man, I am sure he related to what was told to him concerning the arrest of his friend. However, based on the President's follow-up actions, I believe the President already knew, he should not have interjected with his own personal thoughts on the subject, as he is now in the process of quietly resolving the matter.

But the GOP plans to use this police officer, "Kelly King," who Bennett stated her name is, to "GET AT THE PRESIDENT," and this should not be allowed to happen !

With intelligent minds, and acting above the child-like tactics used by the conservative Talk-Heads, trying to stir things up, our country can get pass issues such as this. We certainly have come a long way since Dr. King's time, but we still have a way to go yet. I am just proud of Officer, Crowley, Professor Gates, and the President coming together to sit down to resolve and give America a positive point to an issue that really should be brought to light, helping all of us to understand, and treat one-another better.

Thank you for taking the time to read my message here, and I pray you give thought and understanding to my words here, and not let anyone use this matter to create additional discord for our country... May God Bless you all...

Geraldine N. Washington
Philadelphia, PA

Vallary   July 29th, 2009 11:33 am ET

Why can't people change their mind set. It is a shame that race as to be a factor now. we have bigger issues at the for front and they need to have this time. WAR, HOUSING,EDUCATION, JOBS. HEALTH, and now this clown that is well educate gets invited to the white house for beer... Please for something he did wrong and Right ON Powell for saying there should be adults there.

Ted   July 29th, 2009 12:56 pm ET

Geraldine, you are right, the Republicans are not interested to help solving the very great problems we face, they just want to cause a stink and hinder President Obama at every opportunity. They are the main enemies of this nation, not the Taliban.
As a european decendend citizen, (do not call me white, because I am not an albino!), who had many friend over the years from your decend, I am proud to have a president like Mr. Obama, well educated, with poise and a head that is not filled with popcorn. The world is watching and we may lose all respect if we turn this presidency into a battleground between bigots and liberals.

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 29th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

Let’s make something perfectly, crystal clear; You or I or anyone else can argue with an officer at anytime they want. Period. That is not up for debate. They can do so WITHOUT persecution and prosecution, UNLESS they incite a riot.

For anyone, officer or otherwise, to presume to dictate the feelings and actions of innocent people, or to assume that no indignant feelings should or may exist, or to presume that such feelings are subject to permission from an officer is, frankly, assinine.

We hold officers to a higher standard because officers have a privilege to arrest. In altercations like this, it is the officers duty and obligation to take the lip they are given from innocent men, and walk away.

Citizens, on the other hand, are bound by no such obligations. It is preffered, but not obligated to them. Any arguements to the contrary are merely excuses for abuses, as are policies and procedures to intelligent, reasoning, and reasonable men.

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 29th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

Officers play the contempt of cop card, and ignore their own contempt of educated citizenry.

If you would liek an even tone from the people you detain then it is your obligation to present that even tone yoruself from the outset.

Mark in St. Louis   July 29th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

Obama was quick to defend his racist friend Gates. Obama went to an anti-white church for a very long time. Racist Wright was his mentor. You all are misguided if you think that the Republicans are the ones who throw race into everything. The libs play that race card all the time. When Estrada was up for Supreme Court nomination, he was filibustered by the Libs and was looked at because of his race. Nice hypocrite. Wake up.

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 29th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

A little education for the men on your panel Larry....

Privilege to Arrest- Officer may arrest for felony if reasonably believes that felony committed and person arrested committed it. A citizen may arrest for felony if felony in fact committed and reasonably believes person committed it. Officer and citizen may arrest for misdemeanor breach of peace [[if committed in their presence]] (but deadly force never used for misdemeanor)

Self-Defense- ∆ reasonably believes he is about to be attacked and may use reasonable force. (most states require retrieval if can be done before using deadly force, defense not available to initial aggressors, reasonable mistake allowed).

Everyone is bound by these explanations of the law. Including officers. Officers are human after all and so prone to human error.

What bothers me most is that the officer, as well as skip gates, will "Never Apologize." Because they are both stubborn, obnoxious people with huge egos and who have no sense of humility.

How much bravado and machismo do you think we can bottle from this incident?

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 29th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

Mark has just proven my point about bringing an even tone to a subject...

and he's an idiot and an oblivioid.

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 29th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

TO further educate you Mark

Gates actions were not that of a racist, but of an educated and experienced professor, and black man, not to overstate the obvious. Reverend Wright said something negative as a black man? Having experienced racism and abuse himself? Really? What a shocker.

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 29th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

TO Ben Stein...

Oh boo hoo.... cry me a river. Let's ask the parents of Cara Knott about poor, picked on officers. Poor, picked on CHP officer Craig Peyer. What a hard life he led before he decided to rape and slaughter Ms. Knott off of the 15 highway in southern California.

And to the other gentalman,.....

It IS a moral equivalent.

Iyapo Kontar   July 29th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

Race doesnt matter but every black man should as white people do own a gun.
and protect themself and family.
fox news is bringing the clan back.

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 29th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

To tell you the truth this whole incident reminds me of Senator Larry Craig flashing his senate card to the detective in his stall.

RN   July 29th, 2009 9:38 pm ET

Why race still matters:

There is no racism in the US if you think positively. Differentiation can be found everywhere around the world to some extent.

Sandra   July 29th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

This is my two cents. Police Officers are here to serve and protect. That officer did not do his job. Esp. if he was suppose to teach about racial profiling. If he so, he would have had empathy for Dr. Gates. Anyone would feel put upon to have to show proof that they live in their own home. And here you have a man, who has just traveled God knows how many hours from a long trip to China, arriving home to find his door jammed and having basically to break the door down to get in and then finding out that someone has called the police thinking that he had broken into the home. Well, I would have probably been tired and angry too. But, the officer should have kept his cool, apologized for any inconvenience he cause Professor Gates and quietly and politely left his home. No arrest, no misunderstanding, no foul. But to call him out of his house, just to arrest him, well that is not called for and the officer should be disciplined and get someone else to train the racial profiling course because this officer needs SENSITIVITY TRAINING!!!

That's all I got to say about that!

Bob diamond   July 29th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

If Officer Crowley took Professor Gates' explanation with no proof AND left the house and subsequently found it it was indeed a burglary I can only imagine what Officer Crowley's lack of investigation would have led to!!!

Susan   July 29th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

To James in Idaho,

Must be nice to live in a place where everyone is innocent, and the 911 folks are always in the wrong. May your home be invaded one day by a person, or persons who may not be so benign, and may you, or a concerned neighbor call 911 and have them reply "we can't, we'll be called racist".

Guem   July 29th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

In twenty years I think it is, all whites (by the classic US definition) under the age of forty will be a minority compared to all others under forty, if not sooner.
Discrimination, persecution, and hate crimes against whites are already going on at a large scale in various areas of the nation. It is only going to accelerate and become hideous unless it is recognized and reported, and justice be demanded by all ethnic leaders, despite the media puppet masters.
Racism is always about looking at the few and saying everyone of that race is like that. It is just as cruel and unjust for the media to portray that because most of the wealthy and powerful are white it means that most whites are wealthy and powerful. It is the same as it is to portray all black folks as gang members or muslims as jihadis. For decades everyone knew that most of the poor are made up of whites, but it was only paraded out by the media when it served to defend what they thought of as a minority political position and never brought out to show that there are many whites in very vulnerable positions. The redneck, hillbilly, white trash appearing people are just as profiled and abused as any black folks or muslims in many places in the USA, but it is virtually never brought up by the media unless it is as a story to be laughed at.
Whites are going to be the next largest minority group. It is time that that transition and the situation of the large numbers of poor whites be recognized. If not, everyone is going to have hell to pay in them electing strange political representatives, riots, terrorists, and the huge financial drain of building more prisons and hiring more law enforcement just to maintain a workable society.
If the USA is a sane, logical society it will take all that it has learned about race relations and prepare in advance instead of indulging in petty gotcha revenge behavior encouraged by the media for the sake of ratings. It can work towards being a strong nation that celebrates unity and equality or it can descend into a never ending cycle of ethnic tribal skirmishes that will eventually destroy the nation.

Paula in Albuquerque   July 29th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

I am a 65 year-old, so-called "woman-of-color"...retired from law enforcement and psychiatric counseling...and the issue of "race" has NEVER mattered to me! It is a red herring, and a lame excuse for those who are lazy, and who opt for "the path of least resistance", in order to "make it", in this world...It is used as a crutch, and a cheap excuse to "fail" without consequences. It is a crashing bore, and a non-issue.

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 29th, 2009 10:13 pm ET

1. The 911 guys are not always wrong, just in this case and cases like this.
2. I feel a great swell of pity for anyone who attempts to invade my home.
3. They already do... they already do.

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 29th, 2009 10:16 pm ET

and susan, if fairytale land is occupied by you or I... it's definitely you. You who think the cops can do no wrong. You who believe them incapable of error, and that everyone they arrest at every time MUST have done something to deserve it.

I pity you and any nephews you may have.

Liz   July 29th, 2009 10:55 pm ET

America likes to play a game of wishfulness with itself–
We would love to have a country where race does not
dictate where you grow up or life experiences, languages, and extended families but it is just not true. We all seek out people who look like us and act like us in our neighborhoods–It makes us feel like we belong no matter who we are. There are as many American experiences as there are Americans. We can not look at each other and say I know what you have been through. We can only hope that we all want peace for each other and happiness. Race does matter- it just isn't a bad thing.

Laura   July 29th, 2009 11:00 pm ET

Look, Clarence Thomas was 'passed' to the bench amidst allegations and proof of sexual harassment of his own employees in non other but the department of Human Rights. WHAT type of group of (brace yourself!) white men approve such a thing to happen???
That was a sexist issue. As is the controversy surrounding Ms. Sotomayor, in my opinion. As a successful hispanic American and a teacher, I see absolutely no bias or inappropriateness with this judge encouraging her students to strive for their dreams, regardless of their backgrounds. And why wouldn't she be able to express her pride as a Hispanic American any less than German or Italian Americans?
The women of the country fought for the right to vote for over 100 years.
We know all about discrimination. When agism, sexism, racism, and religious piety and judgmentalism are arrested from our everyday lives, then we will have achieved our founding fathers' dreams of Amercia. This discussion is good. I feel in the end , we are talking more than we were before and more openly and civily. There is room to learn for all of us. We won't understand another until we walk several miles in their shoes or join in a shared experience. Some of these experiences cannot be shared, obviously. But bottom line, we are the human race, and we are ONE.

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 29th, 2009 11:25 pm ET

I gotta tell you that the best thing Gates did, was bring up that he stipulated that he wanted certain aspects of what was in the police report retracted and cleared up.

Officers are notorious for adding subject matter that simply did not exist. Among them are lending credibility to incredible things. Attempting to paint the suspect as belligerent and uncooperative are among the favorites, and ad libbing things the suspect supposedly said are another… example, saying something to the effect that the suspect stated that “I don’t have to and you can’t make me.”

Look up the instance and frequency of the words Belligerent and uncooperative as indicators of a suspects attitude, along with indignant and you’ll see what I mean.

ESPECIALLY in the instances of complaints against excessive and unnecessary use of force by an officer.

What Gates arrest amounts to is a kidnapping under color of authority. Moving him greater than a distance accepted by law, to a place unsafe o9r unappealing by reasonable standards, for purposes other than proper law enforcement.

Mary T   July 29th, 2009 11:41 pm ET

Sandra, why is it when a black man is involved the white man needs sensitivity training? I believe it is high time that the black man went to sensitivity training!!!

James, what the "h" are you going on and on about? None of what you have commented even makes sense.

judith reidel   July 30th, 2009 12:22 am ET

I am so sick of this black issue...I am not black and never thought of it one way or another ... but we all have suffered one way or another...If u are German you are called a Natzi ...If you are a jewish You are called a Jesus hater...if you are Irish you are a drunk...If you are Italian you are in the mob etc etc etc...This is such bull !!!

All this anger is just an excuse to get what they want..Well I am not black and i was crucified not loved... couldn't get where i wanted..becuause i was different...I had to work hard to be where i am and it has nothing to do with race...And the president should have minded his own business..He is playing the role of an enabler..Not a good role model..We are all pushed around by policeman not just blacks...

Monica Lee   July 30th, 2009 12:27 am ET

I am dissapointed Larry, that you do not give Larry Elder the same opportunity to speak as the others guests. Larry Elder is a well spoken, articulate, sensible man, and it would benefit all black and whites to listen and learn from him
We do not need to hear the same old rhetoric we have been listening to for years, but let the Colin Powels and the Larry Elders have their say.
Larry, a little respect, please.

Michael Angelo de Castro - Tucson   July 30th, 2009 2:34 am ET

When will CNN speak on how much info a police car has on the address where an officer is dispatched?

What is the likelihood the cop had the description (PICTURE?) of Gates before seeing him?

Any city can lie about this by claiming they are not that technologically advanced!

How then does a computer in a police car access the address of a person who has a state identification card and not a driver license?

I don't want to hear the police has to put in a name first, because this is not required when entering a license plate number!

Will the public ever know the truth whether our picture snapped for a state identification card or driver license is in a police car computer?

I know! Do you?


Sandyvdz   July 30th, 2009 3:35 am ET

I want to back up what one of your guests kept saying. As a white woman, I am intimidated by the cops, and I think they like it that way. Most of them, especially the troupers, have a major power trip. I don't think most of them sign up to serve, I think they sign up to carry a gun. Now maybe it's because I live in NYC, but I went to private school and grew up on Park Avenue. They are not too different down south, where I spent my time in college. Anyway, plenty of white people are intimidated and it doesn't matter what socio-economic class one hails from either!
Thanks, Sandy in NYC

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 30th, 2009 3:55 am ET

Mary T Learn how to read and follow along with a conversation.

If what I have written doesn't make sense to you, it's mos tlikely because you don't comprehend what you read.

Bottom line: Police officers are allowed the privilege to arrest on the assumption that they won't abuse that privilege. Officer Crowley abused his privilege by taking his frustration and anger and embarassment out on an angry, indignant, and yet innocent man.

President Obama merely stated an obvious fact that makes most people uncomfortable. The Cambridge police department acted stupidly in arresting a man for being upset about being treated liek a criminal for getting stuck out of his own house, and getting upset about being wrongly accused by a person whose race historically is known for subjugating that man {gates} race, and in particular, those who have law enforcement careers.

Your comments only emphasize your ignorance of social history, or perhaps your unwillingness to accept the facts of history, and present social conditions you are unfamiliar with.

And I assure you, it isn't about a white man needing sensitivity training, but officers needing a good lesson in common sense and empathy. And that lesson goes for Sandra as well.

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 30th, 2009 4:03 am ET

In order to get this point across accurately and to drive it home, I suggest that all officers go to jail, and go through all of the procedures [start to finish], and be held over night, and for a period of no less than twenty-four (24) hours, in protective custody if necessary, so that they will firmly grasp the magnitude of their actions. It will help them "Empathize" with the people they intend to put there. This should be implemented immediately as a part of training. Not a makeshift, secured cell, but an actual cell with actual inmates.

What will his or her charge be? Obstruction of justice and/or Contempt of court. He must make up his, or she must make up her, own story. He or she must be given three days to prepare for the ordeal, but it should be done. The applying officer must be told of this on his or her application, and should be given a questionnaire on the facilities and treatment. Jail guards should not be informed as to who is who until AFTER the 24 hours, and then given evaluation papers from the applying officer and the warden of the jail or person in similar office to a warden (Head Marshall maybe). First, this will likely give officers a healthy dose of reality, and second, it would likely end the idea that officers "don't know what it's like." The likely result: greater support from the public; even the difficult people.

As an added recommendation to help these officers along, I have 4 book Titles for them to consider picking up: "How to win friends and Influence People", by dale Carnegie, "Verbal Judo", by George J. Thompson, a former police officer and a Ph.D., "Exploring Social Psychology; Third Edition", by Baron, Byrne, and Suls, and last, but definitely not least, "The Shaping of the American Past; Fifth edition", by Robert Kelley.

The first two books will show how proper police work is executed, as well as illustrate time tested and researched techniques in obtaining compliance with 98% of the public in non aggressive, peace engendering ways.

The third will show that in 1961 a test was given devised by Arnold Buss where teachers were told that they would "instruct the learner by administering non lethal, but potentially painful, electric shocks to the learner whenever the learner made a mistake." "Two measures are often obtained: the strength (severity) and the duration (Length of time shock is administered). These findings have been replicated with other, more realistic measures of aggression (in other words: verbal aggression, cutting in line in front of others, horn honking, ratings of overt aggressive actions)."

One of the top reasons for aggression is past history of violent behavior, and the knowledge norms concerning aggression. Police officers are in normally violent situations; I am not (though to tell the absolute truth, just because a person has a violent past, doesn't mean that violent past will come up again. Once a thief, always a thief is the worst possible reason to misjudge someone). The book also shows that the strength and duration of these non-lethal, potentially painful, shocks was higher and longer when the person was first insulted, and when no explanation was given prior to the shocks and sounds, as to why such treatment happened.

The third and fourth will show precedence, and remind them of why we need them, why we count on them, and why we appreciate it when they do things right. I recommend Chapter 4 in that fourth book. Concentrate on the dealings of William Penn. Maybe you've heard of him; former owner of the Pennsylvania colony and civil rights activist, 1674.

As an added bonus, looking at a dictionary every once in a while might help too. I have stated previously that correlations are not necessarily causalities. However, I am not so dumb as to be unaware of the fact that they become popular dogmas if not put into check. That is the reason for my recommendations.

judith reidel   July 30th, 2009 4:10 am ET

Dear Sandyvdz....We need to feel that fear...It is good fear...It is what I know as respect for Authority...This country does not have the respect it once had for this country and our leaders...and that is because you are right the leaders have taken advantage of their Authority...And that is a problem..How we solve that is going to take some doing..judith reidel

R W   July 30th, 2009 10:23 am ET

The right wing commentators are making fools of themselves with this event and they are the ones who are sounding racist. I'm a right leaning moderate and don't agree with many of Obama's fiscal strategies and didn't vote for him, but he did handle this situation very well. He quickly admitted that he jumped the gun and misread the situation between the cop and the college professor. Even presidents make mistakes – so what. We finally have one (first one in my memory and I'm 60) that "fesses up" and moves on. Largely because of this kind of attitude (I believe "ethical" is the term) I've come to the conclussion that it is a good thing that the guy I didn't vote for won the election.

sonnyrice   July 30th, 2009 11:29 am ET

President could have forwarded this letter instead of speaking to nation:

My Fellow American’s, Sgt. Crowley And Prof. Gates,

Please listen before you alter fates. Do not let one’s pride, Restart this great nation to divide. Look at what is happening in such a short time, What this is undoing is really the crime. All across America people are upset, Now I ask each of you what good will all this get? A learning lessons already taught, So many people’s mending has been for naught.

A man has risen to lead us all, Do not be a part of America’s fall. This is the year of our lord, two thousand and nine, So please do what you all know to be divine. One planet, one race, as one beating heart, The world may end some day, please do not be the start. We lead the world with freedom first, Do not let racism quench it’s undying thirst. To not enslave us all at last, Lets look forward away from our past. The mistakes we make and continue to do, Could spell the end of more then me and you, by bringing down our great nation, All of this for the sake of sensation. I ask you not to let our enemies see, such things may still live in the land of the free.

Yes America there is a change across our land. People are Worried that nothing is going as planned. I know it looks as if everything is turning out wrong. America has endured hardships before and again became strong. We have an advantage over the rest of the world, our nation stands side by side with our arms curled. As one we breath the air others can smell. Our freedoms a tale no other land can tell. Our strengths in unity given with free will. For though its forbidden , to protect it we will kill. In self defense only throughout our proud history. So why others seek to harm us is a true mystery. We open our boarders to all who exist. We die in their lands helping others to resist.

We have always supplied aide to those in need. America grew from an idea that all of its people should be freed.. Tyranny and oppression belong in the past. For to fight against freedom no enemy could last. No chains in the womb, our path to life. So let no one be able to cause another strife. No nation stands as America for freedom. Proven to our enemies as we soundly beat em. The light of America may flicker in some eyes, to them truth and justice, are nothing but lies.

Our fore fathers brought forward a race unseen on this planet for all time. One that believes that to deny freedom is a universal crime. So no matter the troubles that may come our way, The flag of America will gallantly lead the way. Together we stand, never to fall, so remember we are the greatest nation of all.

I love the different colors of man, We were created according to plan. So different and the same, All of us with our own name. Man and woman free to combine, To create new life is so divine. Able to mix and mingle, No one has to be single. Banding together to survive, I for one am happy to be alive. If we all looked alike it would not be nice, I’m so glad to be the only Sonny Rice.

Sandra   July 30th, 2009 11:40 am ET

Mary T, I believe all officers need sensitivity training, no matter what color they are because we all have biases based upon our social upbringing and cops have biases because they see more negativity then most. However, when you have a position such as a police officer you should be careful not to bring those biases into your workplace.

Alberto   July 30th, 2009 1:37 pm ET

Hi Larry,
I was driving the morning of 06/28/2008 in Sayreville, NJ, 535 North Bound and was approaching to Winkler St, the light was green, suddenly a truck was entering the way, without yielding. Because I was not looking for an accident I moved my car to the farthest point and at this time the light changed to yellow to red.

Because I was looking at the mirror, I saw the individual giving me two hands full of fingers, and I opened my hands like asking "what's that for"??. The individual open up the door of his car and got down. The person was dirty, sweaty, wet, with very deplorable aspect, with a blue-gray dirty shirt and blue-black short pants.

I saw the individual trying to pull something from his car, so I got scared and my reaction was to call the police as I did, meanwhile the person finish the pulling a got a wallet.

He came to me , shows a badge (87) and angrily told me: "Pull over in the parking". I did and after stopping in the parking lot, he was yelling at loud: "Show me your license and registration" and I said: No.

And I asked him, "Who you are??" he said: "I am cop, and off duty". And was not believing about what he said and asked him to "show me some proof of identity", He went back to his car, got a wallet and shows me from the distance a driver license. I was not satisfied, so I call 911 again.

They sent another police-woman, Morales, she was more like nobody, because she was following orders of 87.

He, 87, told me that I was in the way to pay a big fine and added that "I was blocking the intersection" and was on his way to charge me for that. I explained to him that the light was green for me and he was supposed to stop, because he has a stop side on his driving.

Also, he charged me for holding an out of state driving license. I was a contractor working in NJ at the time been and I was pleased to have a job, but in his arrogance and fanatic follower of the law did not listen.

Also he charged me with using the cell phone while driving. I was not using the cell phone while driving. I used the cell phone to call the police because I was scared of a dirty man trying to pull something from his car, that's was I called 911. I have to hire a lawyer to get through this ordeal.

My lawyer, Andrew, subpoena the cell phone company to get the phone records because 911 calls do not show up in your cell phone.
The records showed, that my last call was +-20 minutes before the incident and the last phone call, was an incoming phone call, +-10 minutes after the incident.

I was in the need to go three times to the court, one because the change the venue, next because the judge was in absent and the next for other excuse.

I lost money in this business: to paid a lawyer $500; three days off to assist to the courts (3x45x8); plus $450 to the court.

And also I lost my confidence in the police system and the justice. In the police because the are abuser of their power, and the justice has a balance and it is not in equilibrium.

Now, I understand, I do not have to cross words with a police, you must let them do what they want, because they are abuser and the system is supporting them because even if you come out clear you must pay for the bureaucracy.

The police, 87, got a misdemeanor for the "fingering"

I do still believe I did nothing wrong, and still the feeling that have been robbed and assaulted.

Susan   July 30th, 2009 2:02 pm ET

To James in Idaho,

I don't need or want your pity. I think you need to get out of spud land and live in the real world for awhile. And please...don't breed. I have 1 nephew, in the USAF..proud of him, and 2 nieces, both in college & working too..proud of them also.

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 30th, 2009 2:57 pm ET

Not giving you pity susan... just observations of fact and a proper education

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 30th, 2009 3:06 pm ET

Truth be told, You need someone's pity. And I do live in the real world. Where do you live? You see susan, in the real world humans are prone to error. That includes cops. Period. You have no arguement against that. Being human their feelings get hurt, and they too are subject to irrational bursts of emotion. Or don't you regard them as human?

Officers are still held to a higher standard. Once again, for good reason; they are granted the privilege to arrest on a regular basis and as a paid-for career,[[[ under the condition they do not abuse that privilege]]]. Officer Crowley CLEARLY abused that privilege by arresting a man for his own personal gain. To stroke his own ego.

but thanks for saying spudland... shows how intelligent you are. Next time, concentrate on trying to aargue against my point rather than make hasty generalizations, liek that cop did, and attack a straw man.

James In Kamiah, Idaho   July 30th, 2009 3:13 pm ET

What's really odd is the person who attempts to paint Barack Obama as an enabler, when, in all honesty, it is citizens like that person and Susan, and Mary T. that enable bad behavior by officers and have no genuine reasonable criticism of them.

Your mothers wisdom about "If oyu have nothing nice to say" does NOT apply in regards to any authority figure. Officers and presidents included. We need to be careful to make sure that our criticisms are warranted though, or we morph into that which we say wwe are against.

Patricia Watson   July 30th, 2009 4:13 pm ET


In the course of the controversy concerning the death of Micheal Jackson. I have not heard that his doctor used a defibulator to jump start his heart. Can you ask your guess if this instrument could have saved his life?

Grand Rapids Michigan
Aunt of Dekia Hill
CNN Employee

judith reidel   July 30th, 2009 9:04 pm ET

You said it right...You said what I wanted to say but didn't Yea!!!! Susan

Mark in St. Louis   August 1st, 2009 9:37 am ET

James –

Wow, you are so educated, you know the law in Cambridge, you know that all the cops were somehow wrong, you have the right response for everyone that disagrees with your point of view. I was even more impressed with your extremely high I.Q. when you called me an idiot.

By the way, you can be arrested for refusing a reasonable order from the law enforcement official and disorderly conduct.

Also the history and evidence suggest racial bias from Gates, Obama, and Wright.. So, you'll need to educate yourself further.

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