Release the Crowley/Gates tapes.

[UPDATE]: Welcome, Instapundit readers.

This comment by Jack Dunphy over the entire Gates brouhaha resonates with me:

So, since the president is keen on offering instruction, here is what I would advise he teach his Ivy League pals, and anyone else who may find himself unexpectedly confronted by a police officer: You may be as pure as the driven snow itself, but you have no idea what horrible crime that police officer might suspect you of committing. You may be tooling along on a Sunday drive in your 1932 Hupmobile when, quite unknown to you, someone else in a 1932 Hupmobile knocks off the nearby Piggly Wiggly. A passing police officer sees you and, asking himself how many 1932 Hupmobiles can there be around here, pulls you over. At that moment I can assure you the officer is not all that concerned with trying not to offend you. He is instead concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

When the officer has satisfied himself that it was not you and your Hupmobile that were involved in the Piggly Wiggly heist, he owes you an explanation for the stop and an apology for the inconvenience, but if you’re running your mouth about your rights and your history of oppression and what have you, you’re likely to get neither.

…because I was actually in a situation like this once. A couple of friends of mine and I were coming back from a play, and the cops pulled us over because a car just like my friend’s had been involved in an armed robbery; and my friend unfortunately looked a little like the suspect. Fortunately, we were all scrupulously polite, none of us had robbed a retail establishment, and we all had identification indicating that the three of us were two doctors and a library studies grad student, not an armed and dangerous criminal gang – which I’m sure was as much a relief to the cop as it was to us. Given that he was risking his life, and we weren’t.

That’s the point: the cop didn’t know that he was dealing with three people who meant him no harm. And at the time, we didn’t really think about how this entire situation (which ranged for us from annoying to funny) looked to him.

There are a bunch of people out there who would like to see the tapes of the incident released; I’m one of them, simply because at this point it’s probably the only way to resolve this matter one way or the other. If the material on them is unfavorable to Officer Crowley, best that we find this out now so that we can do something about it; if it’s not, then the sooner Gates can go back to being a moderately obscure Harvard professor. I assume that by now there’s going to be allegations of a coverup/whitewash either way that the story resolves. I also assume that releasing the tapes will help make sure that said allegations aren’t widely named.

So, release the Crowley/Gates tapes.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

19 thoughts on “Release the Crowley/Gates tapes.”

  1. I think they should release the tapes also. Before the Police Union came out and talked saying they were going to back Crowley, the Union slipped and said the tapes made Gates look really bad. They wanted to release the tapes and now Gates seems to be backing off. Seems suspicious to me. If I felt like I was in the right I would have DEMANDED they release the tapes.

    It now also appears that the 911 caller didn’t say they were ‘black men’ who were forcing their way in.

    So someone is conveniently interject race into this local matter and it is not the police. I am a Latino and I always know you don’t argue and fight with the police.

    My friend, who is white, was also arrested by the police in his apartment years ago and it was because he yelling and screaming at his neighbor and then making a scene when the cops got there. He was arrested for disorderly conduct.

  2. You don’t argue with police doing their job. You let your lawyer argue with the police. Duh. Why anyone would want to be a police officer is beyond me. But thank goodness, some people do. God bless them… every one.

  3. I suspect that Gates, the mayor, the governor, and Obama do not want the tapes released, especially in audio format. I sure hope they are being kept safe, otherwise they may go the way of the Duke LAX tspes. As long as they are safe, I would think FOIA requests should be able to get them released.

  4. From the opposite perspective, I’ve been considering from Gate’s view of “what its like to be a black man in America”. As a white male, I think I might understand what he means. You see, when I was 18-25, cops looked at me with suspicion just because I was in that age group. You get a closer look while driving, while getting a bit boisterous in the park, hanging with friends at the burger joint, you name it. But that’s becuase cops know that males in that age range cause more trouble than their numbers in the population. Is it maybe worse for blacks in America as Gates implies? Maybe for some, but not for him by his own comment that he never thought it would happen to him. Maybe it does happen more for other black men who live in less upscale digs and/or are in a younger demographic than it did to Gates (apparently this was the only time in his life if I imply correctly from his comment above). But then its not really a black & white thing after all, is it? Because I guarantee that white guys who live in less upscale digs and are younger get a second look from police more so than their older white counterparts living in Greenwich or Santa Barbara.
    I read that Gates is a professor of African American studies. When I read that, his quick assumption of racial animus by Crowley reminded me of the saying that if your only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail. Courses of study like his, if they’re not careful, could easily marinate their students into that closed mindset. But there’s an entire industry reliant on perpetuating racial division (Sharpton being the most public example), so it seems we’re stuck for some time with minor things like the Gates/Crowley dustup being pumped into some big racial affair.

  5. Unless Sgt. Crowley brought a portable recording device with him, I doubt the police have any footage that will shed any light on who is most responsible for the escalation.

    It’s my understanding that the bulk of the exchange took place inside the house (including the “I’ll speak with your mama outside” remark), and that it had already spun out of control by the time things moved out onto the porch.

  6. I had a similar experience in high school. I am tall and blonde, and my friend was short and dark haired. We were in his 15+ year old car, when a cop pulled us over, ordered us out of the car, and made us “assume the position.” We were bewildered.

    As it happens, a couple of guys matching our descriptions and driving a car of the same make and model had bolted from a restaurant without paying the bill. Fortunately for us, the restauranteur’s son, who was also in our high school class, came by and told the cop we were not the ones.

    I had not thought about that in a long time until I read this post.

  7. >Unless Sgt. Crowley brought a portable recording device
    >with him, I doubt the police have any footage

    No need for a portable recording device. My understanding is that at some point during the interaction, Sgt. Crowley keyed his microphone and kept it open on one of the alternate police channels. If this is true, then everything that followed would have been recorded by the equipment in the police department.

  8. We are learning more and the tide does seem to be shifting away from Crowley in light of the 911 tapes from the caller along her attorney’s comments. Apparently the police report diverges from the caller’s account. Interesting times are ahead.

  9. I was met one morning (after a night out a g-f’s house) by the FBI. It turns out that just by being in town I was okay. A former acquaintance along with a carefully chosen accomplice (to resemble me) had kidnapped and held a bank manager’s family with intent to rob said bank. They did and got away but not without scaring the crap out of the family and me.

    It turns out the bank robber was a particularly nasty piece of work who used me as his patsy.

    Goes to show you that you never know what the real story is until the cops tell you so.

  10. Let me just nip something in the bud, here: folks, you can believe one side or another of the story as you please; but making up stuff just means that your comments don’t make it to the light of day.

  11. @CBKiteflyer
    Ive never read about that, only that Gates called 911 at some point and they keep recordings of those calls even before the 911 operator person picks up the call so they might be able to find out some of what was said through background noise.

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