Cambridge PD & Dr. Gates


I felt like I had to write about this story because it’s been ubiquitous this week.  If you haven’t heard a black professor from Harvard was arrested on the doorstep of his own house.  The story is that this older professor of African American Studies, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, PD*30233165came home from a trip abroad and the front door of his Harvard provided mansion was swollen shut from the humidity.  It sounds like he and his driver tried to force the front door open with their shoulders.  A neighbor saw two men trying to force open the door and called the Cambridge PD.   Doctor Gates went around back and crawled through a window.  He then came around front and opened the front door.   By then the PD were there.  He showed his ID that proved he lived in the house.  Maybe the cop wasn’t satisfied.  Who knows.  Dr. Gates mouthed off to the cop.  It’s reported that he said such things as: ‘this is because I’m black’ and ‘do you know who I am’ and ‘I’ll talk to your momma out front’ meaning the cop’s momma.  Dr. Gates is black and the arresting officer is white.

Dr. Gates ended up being arrested for disorderly conduct. The cop wrote in his police report that Dr. Gates was out of control.  I know the Police fabricate and stretch the truth in their police reports.  They know what they need to write and what they need to include in their reports in order to help the DA convict. The Police are only too happy to oblige.

I have no doubt that Dr. Gates may carry a chip on his shoulder AND RIGHTFULLY SO.  Which means all the more reason to be careful when mouthing off to the Police.  Always remember the Police are the sole of the jackboot of Government.

So there has been all of this talk on the Internet, newspapers, Big M Media and radio talkshows about whether the Police were right or whether Dr. Gates was picked on for being black.

I don’t see it as a black white thing. I don’t care if it’s a white cop and a black defendant.  Dr. Gates was wrong.  This is all about Authority exerting its Authority. The cop said that he had to deescalate the situation and that the best way of doing this was to arrest the old professor on his own porch.  I think the cop would have arrested a white guy too and that is the crux of the problem.

No the best way to deescalate the situation would have been for the cop to leave once he saw proof positive that Dr. Gates was the occupant of the house and not a burglar.   Instead, the cop being a cop felt as though he had to stay there and argue with this guy.  Just leave.

The cop had to prove that he was right.  I wasn’t there, but I can see it now, because I’ve seen it many times before.  The cop probably told him to calm down and quiet down.  Just leave.  If you  are provoking someone’s behavior STOP IT. Cops being what they are the cop had to prove that he was in charge and the Keeper of the Authority.  I mean why else wear the uniform if you don’t want to exert authority.

So no I don’t see this as a black white thing.  This is about the Police arresting a man on his own porch. If the Police were hassling you on your own porch wouldn’t you tell the cops F&uck Off?  That would drive me nuts too.  The Police coming right into my own private lair and hassling me.   Ruby Ridge anyone?  Branch Davidians?

So don’t get drawn into the headline that the Media feeds you.  This isn’t a racial thing.  This is a Government Exerting Its Authority Against The Governed Thing.  If it can happen to a well dressed, older Harvard professor with a PhD basically on the campus of Harvard in Cambridge than it can happen to you.   It can happen to you on your own porch.

Lessons to learn:

  • Don’t believe the story you are told by the Media.  Try to look at the story through your own eyes.
  • Don’t mouth off to the Police unless you need a place to stay for the night.
  • The Police can come up to your door at anytime for any reason and hassle you.
  • The Police can handcuff you, throw you in the back of a car and spirit you away for any reason or no reason at all.
  • You can be arrested for disorderly conduct on your own porch or front lawn.
  • Check who is at the door before opening.  Better to even look if you can and be silent than announcing your presence by asking, “who is there?”
  • The Government and its agents are getting more aggressive.
  • It can happen to You.
  • Know a good defense lawyer.


Just as the Police are the Police, summer is summer.  And summer being what it is there are so many different plants happening now that I’m going to have to have some posts just on plants.  I want to do one on Purslane in the near future.  Personally I think Purslane is my favorite foraging food. Yummy! I should also do a post on Jewelweed because it’s also useful.   Anyways….

c1I hope your recognize this as beautiful blueberries.  These are lowbush blueberries and are only a foot or foot and a half tall.   These aren’t the big super fertilized blueberries that you buy in a store.  These berries are about the size of a pea, maybe even smaller.  I’ve also been told that you can tell edible blueberries from the non-poisonous ones by the little crown on the blossom end of the fruit.  If you don’t know what I mean look at the following picture.

c3Now if you look at these berries notice how the part of the berry away from the stem end has a little crown on it where the flower used to be attached.  it looks a little like a donut shape.  That’s how I was always told to tell blueberries from pooberries.  A pooberry being one that gives you the shits.

I thought this would be a good berry year because of all the rain we had, but unfortunately it has been a pretty slim berry year.  Lesson learned here is don’t every count your crops before they’re harvested and cured, pickled, canned, dried or stored safely away.

Anyways, the Indians used to dry these out and mix them with ground dried meat, maybe some ground nuts and some rendered fat to make pemmican.  Pemmican is ultra high calorie and fat survival food.  You can also make tasty juices.  Blueberry is supposed to be a super food.  I used to spend hours collecting blueberries and making wine from them.

8 Responses to “Cambridge PD & Dr. Gates”

  1. EPP Says:

    Once again, I am impressed with your thinking. Thank you – your blog is a refreshing pleasure to read.

  2. Dean in Az Says:

    I agree,we don’t,and never will,know all the detail’s behind this.I do have 2 issue’s though.I’ll assume that Gate’s was probably very annoyed at least,after flying in from china to find he’s locked out.I wouldn’t be in a good mood at that time.Especially after his house was broken into the week before.Did he mouth off due to frustration or racism?After seeing his ID,the cop should have said,”Just checking a call,have a nice night”. My main issue is that a cop is trained to diffuse a situation such as this.Rather than increase the tension,the cop should have realized there was no threat,and walked away.

  3. Says:

    “Always remember the Police are the sole of the jackboot of Government.”

    Excellent prose.

    I have to agree on this. You should be able to say these things to a cop who is standing in your home. If the cop didn’t like it, he could leave.

  4. Reggie Greene / The Logistician Says:

    We have three observations about the Harvard professor incident:

    1. We find it interesting that the fact that this was the professor’s home was evidently not established early on way before the dispute escalated;

    2. We find it fascinating that the versions of two members of society, who most would ordinarily view as responsible and honest citizens (this obviously does not include politicians), would vary so dramatically from a factual point of view.

    3. Finally, considering that the reading and viewing public were not present at the scene (and thus have no first hand knowledge), and that there is no video tape to our knowledge of the sequence of events and what was said, how so many have formed conclusions, and made assumptions, about who did what and who was wrong.

    There are some things which Professor Gates might have considered upon the arrival of the police, no matter how incensed he may have been.

  5. Abraham Says:

    EPP – thank you. Please come back.

    Dean – you would expect the police to be trained how to deescalate. Unfortunately their mere presence usually exacerbates.

    ST – I agree. A man’s home is his castle. GET OFF MY PORCH as Clint Eastwood would say.

    Mr. Greene – #2 re: eye witness testimony is useless. Ten people see ten different things. Reality is perception. #3 re: opinions think how many peoples’ lives are affected every day in courtrooms around the country based on inference and second person testimony.

  6. Ned Puddleman Says:

    It is important to note the context of the situation. Gates’s house had been burglarized recently. In fact, he couldn’t secure the door because of the previous break in. A neighbor noticed two men forcing their way into the house. The neighbor properly called the police to report a possible break in. I would have done the same thing. The cop arrived and asked for identification to make sure Gates lived at the address.

    Instead of Gates handing over his driver’s license he started yelling racism. He even picked up the phone and started yelling he wanted to talk to the police chief. If I’m the cop, I think this guy is mental and I start to get concerned for my own safety. The cop correctly moved the situation outside for his safety. Gates was warned to calm down but didn’t.

    Now, what if the house was being broken into? Would Gates be happy that the cop stopped the robbery or would he call him a racist?

    The person to blame is Gates. He’s got some kind of chip on his shoulder and a big mouth. The officer was acting on probable cause that a crime was being committed. Show your ID and thank the cop for investigating. That would have been the end of the story.

    Any good attorney will tell you to show your ID upon request and then keep your mouth shut and ask for your attorney if you don’t wish to respond to questions. Mouthing off to a cop gets you nothing but a pair of brass bracelets. The simple fact is that Gates showed poor judgement and he brought it upon himself.

  7. Jay Says:

    Well said Ned.

  8. Brickhead Says:


    “You and the Police” by Boston. T. Party

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