Cambridge Police Caught 'Testilying' in Gates-gate Police Report
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and President Bill Clinton
The Cambridge Police Department has changed its story twice regarding where they got the information that the two people on Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s porch were Blacks. As reported here yesterday, they first said the information came from a 911 call made my Lucia Whalen, a neighbor. But, according to the Washington Post, the audio tape of the call proves that the caller never mentioned the skin color of the 2 people on Professor Gates' porch. Audio Tape of 911 call.
When that claim was proved to be false, Office James Crowley changed his story and said that Lucia Whalen had told him in a face-to-face conversation before Crowley's encounter with Gates that two Black men were on Gates porch. However, Lucia Whalen says she never told the officer any such thing. Needless to say, if Officer Crowley seeks to rely on Lucia Whalen during his rumored civil suit for defamation against Prof. Gates based on Gates calling Crowley a "racist," it will become apparent in any such trial that Officer Crowley's statements have directly contradicted the 911 tape and the statements of the witness after the fact.
And then the question will become, "What other details is Officer Crowley failing to tell the truth about?"
The risk remains that Crowley played fast and lose with the truth in order to implicate two men in association with the color of their skin. If "racist" means "engaging in behavior that's aroused by emotions and ideation associated with the color of someone's skin, it seems apparent that Officer Crowley had some "two Black men" ideation in his head, and in his report writing behavior, and he tried to attribute that "two Black men" ideation to a witness. But those words did not come from a witness; they actually came entirely out of Officer Crowley's ideation.
Cambridge police Commissioner Robert Haas acknowledged that the police report contains a reference to race, but said the report is merely a summary of events. The arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley, has said his information on the race of the suspects came during a brief encounter with Whalen outside Gates' house; she contradicted that Wednesday, saying she made no such description.
The arrest of Gates for disorderly conduct in his own home by a white police officer sparked a national debate over racial profiling and police conduct. The controversy intensified when President Obama said police "acted stupidly" when they arrested Gates, his friend.
Gates has said he was outraged and has demanded an apology from Crowley; Crowley said he followed protocol and responded to Gates' "tumultuous behavior" appropriately. WaPost
Is the skin color of a person suspected of a crime relevant? If so, then how can America ever become a "color-blind society" when skin color is an essential part of suspect's identification and when others' reactions to suspect's skin color remains central to the conduct and resolution criminal cases? If Americans are becoming color-blind, why don't we remove all references to skin color from driver's licenses and birth certificates?
The United States of America cannot and will not become a color-blind society until and unless police stop using skin color as a partial means of identifying suspects. And since skin color is one of the most obvious physical features of human beings, we can simply forget about becoming a "color-blind society". It's an unworkable, illogical fantasy.
What we can do is work toward the day when Americans' perception of the brown skin color of a person will not automatically lead to the ideation that the person must be guilty of something. We must also work toward that day when the white skin color of a person is no longer considered de facto evidence of their innocence.
We can work toward the day when the mere perception of anothers' skin color will not lead to an angry determination to arrest and convict that person of something - anything - based on the color of their skin.