Many bloggers whose hard drives I am not fit to defragment have commented on Prof. Gates’s arrest for the dastardly crime of Residing While Black. Others are no doubt compiling enough links to create a definitive record of commentary on this case. I humbly submit for the archives this analysis by Lowry Heussler which cross-examines, as it were, the arresting officer’s own report.
As so often happens with documentary evidence, a person seeking to create a false impression spends lots of time nailing down the elements he thinks will establish his goal, but forgets about the larger picture. Under color of law, Crowley entered a residence to investigate a possible break-in, and after his probable cause had evaporated, he continued to act under color of law, but without any justifiable purpose. And he covered it up with false charges. Figuring that his best defense was a criminal charge, Crowley did what bad cops do. He decided he would look better if Gates looked worse. Perhaps one day cops will figure out that trumped-up charges worsen a case of investigating something that turns out not to have been a crime. It is horribly wrong when police officers falsely accuse an injured arrestee of A&B PO (“assault and battery on a police officer,” a felony) but at least there is some logic to the lie. If a disorderly conduct charge follows an investigation of a non-crime, chances are pretty good that the cop handled himself badly….
If Crowley lied about Gates’ statements, he should not be permitted to investigate crimes ever again. Investigation for the government is a sacred responsibility. Unless Cambridge investigates and acts properly, we’re ratifying his actions. We’re also putting the public at risk of false arrest and police persecution. Lying cops are like biting dogs. After the first bite we can’t say we weren’t warned. Conservatives love “zero tolerance” for crime. Could we have zero tolerance for testilying?