(opposing view to previous 2, by coulter and shapiro)
By Jacob Sullum
* Wednesday, 29 July 2009
A few minutes into the police encounter that ended with his arrest for disorderly conduct, Henry Louis Gates Jr. reportedly exclaimed, "This is what happens to black men in America!" It would be more accurate to say this is what can happen to anyone who makes the mistake of annoying a cop.
Whether or not race played a role in the incident, Cambridge police Sgt. James Crowley clearly abused his authority, retaliating against the Harvard professor for his disrespect by hauling him away in handcuffs. The highly publicized arrest illustrates the threat posed by vague laws that give too much discretion to police officers who conflate their own personal dignity with public safety.
Crowley, responding to a report of a possible burglary in progress from a woman who saw
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