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Do you think Obama should have interfered?





deanhills
Obama seems to have interfered in a matter where a policeman had arrested someone. Regardless of what it was about, do you think Obama should have made comments about something as sensitive as this, given that this really had nothing to do with him? He made public comments about this to ABC News:
Quote:
President Barack Obama elevated the dispute when he said Wednesday that Cambridge police "acted stupidly" during the encounter. Obama stepped back on Thursday, telling ABC News, "From what I can tell, the sergeant who was involved is an outstanding police officer, but my suspicion is probably that it would have been better if cooler heads had prevailed."


More information about the incident that prompted Obama's comment appears in the article below:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090724/ap_on_re_us/us_harvard_scholar_arresting_officer
Voodoocat
Obama had no business butting in on a local police issue. I'm amazed that even after he admitted that he did not have all of the facts he had the audacity to state that the police acted "stupidly".

In my opinion Obama acted stupidly, not the police.
liljp617
It's a lose-lose situation. If he didn't, a number of people probably would have been on his case for not commenting on the issue. He did, and a number of people are on his case for "butting in."

Anyway, there are certainly more important things to discuss in regards to his Presidency at the moment. People get too caught up in minor things (yes, this is a minor issue to me).
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
It's a lose-lose situation. If he didn't, a number of people probably would have been on his case for not commenting on the issue. He did, and a number of people are on his case for "butting in."
And rightly so. He is presently President and this position needs to take precedence over anything he says. It was very wrong for him to have made a statement like that. He, in effect, took sides as well without having the facts in front of him.

liljp617 wrote:
Anyway, there are certainly more important things to discuss in regards to his Presidency at the moment. People get too caught up in minor things (yes, this is a minor issue to me).
Exactly. The President should focus on his own agenda with matters of high priority in the national interest, instead of getting involved and commenting on issues that have nothing to do with him.
Vrythramax
I think he was totally out of line. As the countries Chief Executive Office just about anything he says publically will have direct consequences good/bad. he shouldn't be making public statements about individule cases unless he feels ready to comment on them all...case by case.
liljp617
deanhills wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
It's a lose-lose situation. If he didn't, a number of people probably would have been on his case for not commenting on the issue. He did, and a number of people are on his case for "butting in."
And rightly so. He is presently President and this position needs to take precedence over anything he says. It was very wrong for him to have made a statement like that. He, in effect, took sides as well without having the facts in front of him.


In the end he would have caught flak for speaking out or not speaking out, or taking either side. To repeat, a lose-lose situation for him, so I don't think it makes much difference what he did.

I'm not supporting the decision he made. I don't think what he did matters that much, so I'm not going to get dramatic over it. I'm just saying the position he was in was one of getting criticized regardless, so his decision only effected which side that criticism would be coming from.
handfleisch
Somehow, Obama-bashers find it strange that a president would comment on the apparently wrongful arrest of a Harvard professor friend of his, and that the first black president would comment on the case when it may have had racial undertones.

Funny thing is, conservatives used to care about this is the type of threat to our liberty, this abuse of police power that allows them to pretty much arrest anybody (of any race) under the "public disturbance" law, and to use it against people who are simply standing up for their rights. It appears obvious from the police report in this case that the officer tricked the professor into stepping out of his house and into the public area, so the charge of public disturbance could be made. As a person who cares about individual rights and liberty, I think it's really a good, brave thing that the president is helping shine a light on it. Of course the Obama-haters went ape; they do no matter what he says or does.

Interesting column on the law, this incident and the individual right aspects: http://www.samefacts.com/archives/crime_control_/2009/07/nightmare_on_ware_street.php
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Somehow, Obama-bashers find it strange that a president would comment on the apparently wrongful arrest of a Harvard professor friend of his, and that the first black president would comment on the case when it may have had racial undertones.
Referring to Obama-bashing is unkind Handfleisch. People who criticized him for his behaviour included some of his own supporters. If the "wrongful" arrest (note: this still has to be proven) was a friend of his, that makes his public comments even worse. I am very disappointed in the message it has sent to the police. Which is that Obama is watching.
ocalhoun
Yes, there are channels for this sort of thing... take it up with the courts, with the supervision and leadership of the police department, with the local government... There's no reason it should go directly to the president, unless every link in the chain of command from that police officer to the president is corrupt.
Nick2008
Obama definitely shouldn't have, not without the proper facts. He acted stupidly, not the police, as Voodoocat said.
handfleisch
I say it again, Obama took brave and principled action in speaking out on this. He showed he is on the side of regular people when the police overreact. What a great difference from Bush, whose privileged family never had to worry about such thing, and who would side with the police powers every time
Nick2008
handfleisch wrote:
when the police overreact.


The professor overreacted when the police asked for identification. The police didn't overreact first. Had the professor shown proof he was not robbing the house and he was in fact the owner of the house, all would be fine and nothing would've happened.

Why would the police overreact, if they didn't have anything to overreact over? The police had to arrest him because he refused to show proof that it was his house.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
I say it again, Obama took brave and principled action in speaking out on this. He showed he is on the side of regular people when the police overreact. What a great difference from Bush, whose privileged family never had to worry about such thing, and who would side with the police powers every time
Obama made an opiniated and careless comment to the press that was completely unbecoming to his office. He used his office to take sides in the matter. That is wrong.
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
Obama made an opiniated and careless comment to the press that was completely unbecoming to his office. He used his office to take sides in the matter. That is wrong.


Amen. It's very rare for a sitting president to involve themselves in a situation like this. It reeks of "Micro-management".
kutekitten
Obama should have definitely looked over the facts before making any comment whatsoever, he behaved quite childish in calling the police officer stupid, I do believe that he should realize that things he says are not overlooked, he has an entire country listening and he cannot take sides without reasonable proof.

handfleisch wrote:
I say it again, Obama took brave and principled action in speaking out on this. He showed he is on the side of regular people when the police overreact.


It was neither brave nor principled, as before he spoke out he should have had more information. In order to talk about morals, you must ask yourself whether what he did was right or wrong. I believe that by putting his friend above those people in the country he serves, he did an unjust thing. Friends should be before others, but not by using powers that are supposed to be used to make things just among ALL people. And what does bravery have to do with this? It was childish and not should have been handled better, and certainly not a sign of bravery.
handfleisch
kutekitten wrote:
Obama should have definitely looked over the facts before making any comment whatsoever, he behaved quite childish in calling the police officer stupid, I do believe that he should realize that things he says are not overlooked, he has an entire country listening and he cannot take sides without reasonable proof.

handfleisch wrote:
I say it again, Obama took brave and principled action in speaking out on this. He showed he is on the side of regular people when the police overreact.


It was neither brave nor principled, as before he spoke out he should have had more information. In order to talk about morals, you must ask yourself whether what he did was right or wrong. I believe that by putting his friend above those people in the country he serves, he did an unjust thing. Friends should be before others, but not by using powers that are supposed to be used to make things just among ALL people. And what does bravery have to do with this? It was childish and not should have been handled better, and certainly not a sign of bravery.


You're wrong, the facts and information support Obama's tough decision to take a stand on this national issue, especially since he knew from his Harvard professor friend that the police behaved stupidly. (And for the police to arrest a Harvard professor for so-called disorderly conduct on his porch in this situation is just plain stupid, no matter what.)
handfleisch
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Obama made an opiniated and careless comment to the press that was completely unbecoming to his office. He used his office to take sides in the matter. That is wrong.


Amen. It's very rare for a sitting president to involve themselves in a situation like this. It reeks of "Micro-management".


Rare? Are you aware of the Bush administration micro-managing the arrests inside the USA so their timing could be used for propaganda purposes? Now that's micro-managing, and pretty totalitarian on top of it. In fact off the cuff I cannot remember reports of White House conversations on who to arrest and why since the Nixon days. It's not the White House's job to arrest people. And Cheney wanted to call out the military to make arrests, in clear defiance of the Posse Comitatus Act and the foundations of democracy in general! (More about this on this thread http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-108816.html#906490)

In this context, we should all be glad and proud to have a president doing just the opposite, and publicly coming down on the side of citizens and their liberty.

On edit, here is part of the reality of the background of this issue. This article is about the racial aspect, but overpolicing is a problem for all.
Quote:
Professor’s Arrest Tests Beliefs on Racial Progress

CHICAGO — Ralph Medley, a retired professor of philosophy and English who is black, remembers the day he was arrested on his own property, a rental building here in Hyde Park where he was doing some repair work for tenants.

A concerned neighbor had called the police to report a suspicious character. And that was not the first time Mr. Medley said he had been wrongly apprehended. A call Mr. Medley placed to 911 several years ago about a burglary resulted with the police showing up to frisk him.

“But I’m the one who called you!” he said he remembers pleading with the officers.

Like countless other blacks around the country, Mr. Medley was revisiting his encounters with the police as a national discussion about race and law enforcement unfolded after the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard’s prominent scholar of African-American history. Professor Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct July 16 at his home in Cambridge, Mass., as the police investigated a report of a possible break-in there. The charge was later dropped, and the Cambridge Police Department said the incident was “regrettable and unfortunate.”

In interviews here and in Atlanta, in Web postings and on television talk shows, blacks and others said that what happened to Professor Gates was a common, if unacknowledged, reality for many people of color. They also said that beyond race, the ego of the police officer probably played a role.

But more deeply, many said that the incident was a disappointing reminder that for all the racial progress the country seemed to have made with the election of President Obama, little had changed in the everyday lives of most people in terms of race relations.

“No matter how much education you have as a person of color, you still can’t escape institutional racism,” said Keith E. Horton, a sports and entertainment lawyer in Chicago who is black. “That’s what the issue is to me.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2[/quote]009/07/24/us/24blacks.html?_r=1
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
In this context, we should all be glad and proud to have a president doing just the opposite, and publicly coming down on the side of citizens and their liberty.
On the side of whose liberty specifically? And why should he be taking sides when there is already a system available for doing just that? Furthermore, I thought that usually someone is innocent until proven guilty. Until Obama made his public announcement, this policeman stood a fair chance of having his innocence or guilt sorted out by due process, but Obama made it in much more than what it was supposed to be, by choosing to side with a friend publicly in a matter that really should have been left by those authorized to deal with it.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
In this context, we should all be glad and proud to have a president doing just the opposite, and publicly coming down on the side of citizens and their liberty.
On the side of whose liberty specifically?

American citizens getting railroaded by police abusing their powers.
deanhills wrote:
And why should he be taking sides

Because he's a leader on the side of law-abiding citizens and law-abiding police
deanhills wrote:
[Obama made it in much more than what it was supposed to be,

No, it is supposed to be exactly this big. Obama highlighted a case that deserves to be made into a big deal, in order to start the debate that we are now having. It was a gutsy, politically risky move on the side of law-abiding citizens, on the side of our liberty and our right against wrongful arrest by police abusing their powers. That's something most high-level politicians, who come from privileged backgrounds, cannot even understand. But Obama gets it.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
In this context, we should all be glad and proud to have a president doing just the opposite, and publicly coming down on the side of citizens and their liberty.
On the side of whose liberty specifically?

American citizens getting railroaded by police abusing their powers.
deanhills wrote:
And why should he be taking sides

Because he's a leader on the side of law-abiding citizens and law-abiding police
deanhills wrote:
[Obama made it in much more than what it was supposed to be,

No, it is supposed to be exactly this big. Obama highlighted a case that deserves to be made into a big deal, in order to start the debate that we are now having. It was a gutsy, politically risky move on the side of law-abiding citizens, on the side of our liberty and our right against wrongful arrest by police abusing their powers. That's something most high-level politicians, who come from privileged backgrounds, cannot even understand. But Obama gets it.


Even Obama has backtracked on his idiotic comments. The police officer was just doing his job: responding to a possible break-in call. Gates, on the other hand, chose to create a scene. The whole thing could have easily been avoided if Gates would have just explained that he forgot his keys and was trying to break into his own apartment instead of flying into a rage and claiming racism from the get-go. Asking for ID to show that he was who he claimed to be seems appropriate to me. Would you think that a police officer would take everyone's word who said no, they weren't doing anything wrong?

Just because one person is black and one is white doesn't mean it's a racial issue. It's more about an elitist, liberal, Ivy League professor acting like he's above the laws that apply to everyone else. The blue-collar officer was treating him exactly as he would treat anyone else. He's even an expert in racial profiling and has taught on the subject at the police academy.

Obama just opened up his mouth without the facts or any understanding of the situation. Is he going to personally comment every time an individual gets arrested for Disorderly Conduct? I would think the office of US president would be more important than that. He should stick to what they put on his teleprompter.

Quote:

Gates' Arresting Cop Is Racial Profiling Expert

The white police sergeant accused of racism after he arrested renowned black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his own home is a police academy expert on racial profiling.

Cambridge Sgt. James Crowley has taught a class on racial profiling for five years at the Lowell Police Academy after being hand picked by for the job by former police Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is black, said Academy Director Thomas Fleming.

"I have nothing but the highest respect for him as a police officer. He is very professional and he is a good role model for the young recruits in the police academy," Fleming told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Source = http://wbztv.com/local/racial.profiling.expert.2.1098447.html
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
In this context, we should all be glad and proud to have a president doing just the opposite, and publicly coming down on the side of citizens and their liberty.
On the side of whose liberty specifically?

American citizens getting railroaded by police abusing their powers.

Odd that you seem concerned about abuse of government power here, but on every other issue, you seem to be in favor of giving the government more power to abuse...
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
In this context, we should all be glad and proud to have a president doing just the opposite, and publicly coming down on the side of citizens and their liberty.
On the side of whose liberty specifically?

American citizens getting railroaded by police abusing their powers.
And Obama was not abusing his power as President when he was taking sides with his friend Gates, even before the facts of the matter were available? Evil or Very Mad
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