The fall out over the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates continued after President Obama made a comment about the incident at his Wednesday press conference. President Obama said that Cambridge Police acted stupidly in making the arrest. The president of the Cambridge Police Patrol Officer’s Association, Stephen Killion, said the comments were disgraceful and he was disgraced that Obama was commander and chief. Killion and others are blowing the President’s comments out of proportion.
Basically what happens is that police sometimes arrest people for disorderly conduct because they either are a threat to themselves or others – like if they are intoxicated and not driving a car – or if a cop gets pissed off.
They use that particular arrest to end the situation instead of just walking away or trying to defuse the issue.
From all reports Gates was pissed off and got into an argument with the police over his treatment. They thought he was breaking into his own home.
I’m sure Gates shouldn’t have got into the argument but the police should have defused the situation and left the scene as soon as possible. I’m sure the police officer felt defensive because Gates was complaining about how he was doing his job. Obviously there was a war of words or else they would have charged him with assault.
In my customer service training, I was taught not to get into an argument. Let the person vent and then end the contact as quickly as possible.
The whole incident reminded me of a video I saw sometime ago of a trooper writing a speeding ticket and the driver was insanely angry calling him all kinds of names and threatening to have him fired etc…. Here is the video:
Stephen Killion on the other hand has no excuse. He said something stupid. Its fine if you don’t agree with what Obama said but don’t say you are disgraced that Obama is commander and chief.
It gives away his political bias and isn’t even relevant to the incident or Obama’s comments.