The right has been raising all sorts of flack over the recent incident involving Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and a Cambridge police officer.
But their sense of outrage doesn't bear closer inspection. To begin with, they questioned President Obama (who acknowledged that Gates is a friend of his) defending Gates by saying that the Cambridge police acted 'stupidly.' But then they always preface this by saying that 'nobody knows what happened' before trying to claim that the officer was right.
Only if in fact 'nobody knows what happened,' why are they assuming that the police report is right? It's a fact that in America there are good cops (who I think are the majority of officers in fact) and bad cops. However police reports always paint the officer in the best light and the person who was arrested in the worst light. That may be accurate, and it may not. But to start off an argument with 'nobody knows what happens' and then go from there by one version of events is hypocritical.
Ignoring the obvious question of whether Gates would have been confronted in this way if he were white, one wonders what a police officer was doing inside the foyer of Gates' home once in fact Gates had produced proof that he owned the house. Certainly the President was correct that the police acted 'stupidly' just based on the fact that the officer stood there and argued with Gates for awhile before turning to leave.
He then says that Gates followed him outside and continued the argument. Gates denies this, but even if it were true it's reasonable to ask why not just leave the grounds. If an angry man standing on his porch is hurling insults at the police, then the easiest way to defuse that, given that no crime was committed in the first place would be for the police to just pile into their cars and drive away.
And here I'm being generous and (as I noted earlier) assuming that the police report version is correct and Gates is not.