[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/07/23/gates.arrest.mayor/art.gates.cnn.jpg caption="Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. says he and his attorneys are considering further actions."
Many Americans of all races have been immersed during the past two days by the intense emotional national debate surrounding the interaction between Cambridge, MA, Police sergeant James Crowley and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The first part of my response on the debate concerns the incident itself (which, as I will outline here has, two separate components). The second concerns the comments by President Barack Obama at his prime-time press conference viewed by some 25 million people.
Before the messages start to fly that I am one-sided, let me frame my perspective. As a college criminal justice educator, police expert media commentator, and former police chief, I have commented extensively on police situations. I have done so before on everything from law enforcement’s use of the Taser (which as a Taser instructor I support) to the Caylee Anthony case. In some cases I have defended officers on the scene and explained their perspective. But in others, I have eschewed the ‘circle the police wagon’ mentality.
In short, I call it how I see it based on commonly accepted police practices and an eye on the big picture of policing in America.
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