WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Friday, July 24, 2009

THE GATES ARREST

Update: Professor Gates and Sgt Crowley have accepted an invitation to the White House to sit down and have a beer. Politico reports here.

Rumpole notes: This is what makes this President different. He will do things like this.

Lets take a look at the Gates arrest.

What do we know?

1) A neighbor calls the police after she sees Gates on his porch with a backpack trying to open his door. An afro-american driver is assisting him. (With neighbors like these, who needs....)

2) The police arrive to a call of a burglary in progress. A white police officer sees a black man in the house. Gates is agitated and supposedly speaks sharply to the police officer, immediately raising the issue of race as the officer makes appropriate inquiries.

3) The officer does not arrest Gates for burglary or trespass. However Gates continues his verbal assault on the officer. The officer steps out of the house to get better communication with his department. Other officers arrive as Gates continues his disrespectful verbal comments towards the officer.

4) The officer then makes the standard arrest for disorderly conduct, with the ridiculous allegations that individuals, including other officers were stopping to gather and observe Gates as he continued yelling at the officer.

5) Gates committed no crime. But did he cause this, and what role if any did race play in this?

Lets switch the roles here and ask if a white professor, irate and upset at not being able to get into his house would have been arrested if he spoke in a similar manner to a black police officer? The answer is probably, but that does not mean race did not play a role here.

The answer to this contretemps is a complicated one.

Black men are unfairly targeted by police officers. That is a fact and Professor Gates' race did play a role in this incident, either from the neighbor calling or the officer being more on alert when he arrived when he saw Gates.

The real issue is the role of a citizen versus a police officer.
Aren't the police supposed to be trained to do their job and not let their emotions get the best of them? The title of the article links to a NY Times article on this issue.

In theory yes, but you try walking up to a cop and telling him to "go fuck himself" and see what happens. We don't recommend it, especially in most areas of Miami Beach, Hialeah, and the City of Miami.

It appears Professor Gates was having a bad day. He probably regrets over reacting to the police showing up. But isn't his home his castle? If wants to tell an officer to got to hell, can't he do it when he is lawfully in his home? The answer is yes.

Gates was arrested not just because he was black. Race played a role. But so did the lack of training in police officers who are supposed to understand that as regrettable as it is, not only is the possibility of losing their life every day a part of the job, but absorbing the ad hominem attacks of an upset citizen who has committed no crime and is having bad day is also part of the job.

We don't say Gates was right. We just say the officer was wrong.


Many years ago, having done an excellent job on cross examination during a motion to suppress, the lead officer approached us in the hallway of the courthouse. He was not happy the way we had treated him in court. (It's not pleasant we suppose, to have a judge repeatedly laugh at your answers.)

We told him in no uncertain terms that he was liar, not a very good one, and perhaps he should return to writing tickets, although we were not sure he would be very good at that.

The detective reached for his handcuffs. Several lawyers were watching. I reminded the detective, in a rather loud voice that by calling him a liar I was committing no crime, and there were many lawyers watching so he had better be careful what he did next. The detective's supervisor came over and grabbed him and led him away.

What we did was not smart. But the detective was a liar and deserved to be called one.

In the final analysis police officers do an extraordinarily tough job. They wake up every day and go to work to a job that may kill them. We understand that. We advise everyone to help make their jobs a little easier if possible. But all of that does not imbue them with some special status that places them above the constitution.

It's not against the law for a client to curse at his attorney (and we should know).
It is not against the law for a citizen to tell a police officer in no uncertain terms to get the hell out of his house, leave him alone, while hurling a few well chosen adjectives about the officer's ancestors. It's not nice and not advisable, but it's not a crime.

See you in court.

45 comments:

The Straw Buyer said...

"...try walking up to a cop and telling him to "go fuck himself" and see what happens."

I've seen this happen. A young detective goes up to a mortgage broker involved in a mortgage fraud investigation and the guy tells the cop to "go fuck himself". The cop turns around and walks away, making his case without the broker and never brings charges against him.

"But the detective was a liar and deserved to be called one."

But no one does and they go on and get promoted with a trail of wreckage that was peoples lives behind them...

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Gates Arrest Report .....

http://www.amnation.com/
vfr/Police%20report%20
on%20Gates%20arrest.PDF

All of us that are criminal defense attorneys have seen this case a thousand times. A police officer wears a uniform and a badge and carries a gun. For some reason, on occasion, they forget that just because they do wear those above mentioned items, it still does not give them the right to arrest someone for being rude, obnoxious, or in more simpler terms, just a plain old asshole.

Was Gates wrong with the way he acted - read the PC and decide for yourself?

Any of us on the criminal defense side would find that Gates' actions were certainly not "criminal".

Did the arresting officer arrest Gates because he was black - I think not. When you act like Gates did, you always stand the chance of ending up in handcuffs.

I recall an incident many years ago, in the Grove, outside a popular nightclub. I was waiting in line, and noticed that the person in front of the club, deciding who was getting in, was a uniformed cop. I did not like what was happening and began to tell him so. I saw his attitude immediately change, and remembered that, while I was not violating any laws, he had the cuffs and he could arrest me. I decided to shut up and get back in the line. Gates' decision was to ride this officer right out the front door, on to the porch, and on and on, until the officer decided to pull out of cuffs and arrest him.

Obama, who is the latest one in this mess that acted "stupidly", (can you say foot in mouth), probably finally got it right today when he invited the police officer and the professor to join him at the White House for a beer.

Captain Out .....

Anonymous said...

I know who you are Rump..........

And, yes, I am surprised.

ddadmin said...

Wow!! I never thought that this will be such a big news. It went from Gates arrest to Obama apalogy. This has become more interesting than what I thought. So, I collected all the sites or articles (more than 250 sites or articles) related to this hot topic "Cambridge Police Unit Demands Apology from Obama". If you are interested take a look at news, video coverage, people views and reviews on this topic at the below link.
http://markthispage.blogspot.com/2009/07/all-about-cambridge-police-unit-demands.html

Anonymous said...

Many years ago, I got a call from a Detective with MDPD who says "You need to pay your bills", and proceeded to tell me that my company was late in paying some outstanding invoices (about 30 days late). I was reselling product for a profit and doing this legally through my company. Plus I was having trouble getting my own customers to pay my invoices and this caused a domino effect. Add in that an immediate family member had died leaving me with 100% of the funeral expenses. I was in no mood to chat with police about a past due bill.

I told the Detective in a rude loud upset tone "Since when is the Miami Dade Police Department a collection agency", I slammed down the telephone and never spoke to him again. A week or so after the call he arrested me (with no warrant) at my home and said "Had you not been such a smart ass on the phone I would not be arresting you".

Arrested on felony charges and the case was dismissed. The Detective knew the end result, but got the full satisfaction of arresting me, embarrassing me by arresting me at home, and caused me hours in Miami Dade County Jail waiting to get bailed out.

Anonymous said...

Saying "fuck you" to a PO is protected by the 1st Amendment to the US constitution.

The DA never filed charges against Gates. I see arrests in Miami like this everyday......Resisting arrest with or w/o violence charges without a substantive arrest charge filed for them to be resisting.

Gates may have overreacted, but the cop used his power to overreact and arrest him.

Obama got it right the first time: Stupid cop.

Anonymous said...

Slippin! I now, know who Rumpole is, because I was one of the attorney's obeserving the exchange between you and the cop.

Rumpole said...

Really? You were in the San Diego Federal Courthouse in 1993? How would have thunk it? Wow. I'm sunk now.

Anonymous said...

Race was not the issue. Bad police work. What kind of jerk cop makes a n arrest for dc in the guys house? We are all sick of cops doing that stuff.

Did you notice how cops all over the country were upset with obama? Why were they not apologizing for the bad arrest?

I agree with obama.

Anonymous said...

I allege a great Calumny
in the use of the name Shumie

Word of the days guyz said...

Calumny: Great Word!

a misrepresentation intended to harm another's reputation

Etymology: Middle English calumnye, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French calomnie, from Latin calumnia, from calvi to deceive; perhaps akin to Old English hōlian to slander, Greek kēlein to beguile.

Word of the Day Guyz: "Spanning the Web to bring you the constant variety of words..."

Anonymous said...

The moral of the story is: introduce yourself to your neighbors so that they know what you look like.

Anonymous said...

I was searching for the L.A.T. v. State, 650 So.2d 214 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995),(which would be on point had this arrest taken place here) and found that Mark Eiglarsh already made an analysis of it:

http://www.eiglarshlaw.com/lawyer-attorney-1113206.html

I would add that, given the long history of use of the disorderly conduct statutes to supress or abridge protected speech, it is time to repeal them because judicial narrowing through case law, has not worked and bad disorderly conduct arrests continue to pop up.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a lack of common sense on both sides of this issue.

The professor should not have taken the officer's presence there to be racism. The officer was only doing his job, after all. The prof should have been grateful for the quick police response because it could very well have been a burglary in progress. All that the prof had to do was identify himself as the owner and thank the officer for responding so fast and that would have been it. Instead, he antagonized him with a knee jerk reaction to what he thought was an instance of police racism. The professor's behavior shows that higher academic education

The officer should have been accustomed by now to abuse from the public and should have a thick Teflon coating to let this kind of insult slide without bothering him. It's something that comes with the job. He should've been better versed on the First Amendment and on the restrictions that it imposed upon the traditional disorderly conduct statues. Once the officer was satisfied that the professor lived there and was not a burglar, he should have gone on his way leaving the prof yelling in the porch. I don't think the cop was being racist, he was just displaying the us-versus-them attitude so typical of modern policing.

While Obama's initial reaction was also kind of stupid since he didn't know all the facts, his latter reaction to invite both men to have a beer is the best and most commonsensical way to resolve this issue and actually make something good and constructive come out of it.

Anonymous said...

Just when I'm regaining respect for you, you post something ridiculous like this. Here's what should have happened:

Gates: Hello officer. My name is Gates. I forgot my key and broke into my house, Here's my ID. Of course i'll step outside with you while you check it out.

(5 mins later)

Gates: Thank you officer have a nice day.

Remember that before Obama called the officer stupid, he admitted he didn't have all the facts. It's no wonder his approval numbers are dropping everyday. He is a no class, no experience, immature, smug person.

You know what the arrest does at a minimum? It keeps the next idiot from doing the same thing. Cops enter every situation, even a traffic stop, with the possibility that they could be killed. If I were a cop, I'd violate everyone of your constitutional rights if I had to to make sure I made it home to my family.

Wise up

Anonymous said...

Rumpole
Sometimes attitude , or simple curtesy and politeness can aleve many stupid situations. Yes Sir and No Mamam could save alot of people BS arrests.
It aint nice, and many not be FAIR, but manners does work.
D. Sisselman

Wise Warren said...

"Should" ... "should" ... "should" --the problem for us is, we were not there to see or sense what was going on, we can only study the wreckage of the relationship between a professor and a police officer. BOTH are authority figures. BOTH have considerations of observers to figure in, on the fly. That was a limo driver, with the professor--so wasn't there a nice car at the curb? Did the officer pay any attention to the signs that this was not likely a burglary in the middle of the day? Was he invited in when he knocked, and then he asked for ID? (And, if an officer walks into my house without invitation, and asks me for ID, am I supposed to cooperate the same way that I would out on the curb? In front of an audience not known to the officer?) The officer could have tried an extra dose of nice and respectful, had he chosen to do so. He may not be a racist, but he got off on the wrong foot, and needs the wisdom to know when that has happened. The professor may have a thin skin and a large ego, but neither of those is a crime. That said, I think the President's choice of the word "stupidly" put his foot in his own mouth. Supposed he had said "rudely" instead? I do expect more thoughtfulness of word choice from this excellent author, law school graduate and father of impressionable school-age children.

Rumpole said...

Your comment was not posted. I agree the individual is self serving and conniving. But your post was a bit too much, unless you want to sign your name. Then have at it.

Fake Joel Denaro said...

When I South Beach for all my "Yip" needs I go to Ms. Yips just off Lincoln Road.

I highly recommend it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Saturday, July 25, 2009 1:29:00 PM:

Unfortunately, your attitude is one that we see far too often on the streets. That attitude is one that breeds contempt for authority, making a police officer's dangerous job even more dangerous.Thanks, but they are your constitutional rights just as they are mine, and having the power to violate one's Constitutional rights doesn't mean that the officer should do so just so they can go home at night.

So what have we learned by Gates v. Cambridge Police Department?

1. FOR CITIZENS: Never curse or berate a cop, even within the confines of your own home, even if the cop is wrong (although the cop wasn't wrong in this case).
2. FOR POLICE OFFICERS: "Sticks and stones" baby. Sometimes it is better not to get your macho up and stick to someone just because you can. Sometimes the best way to handle a loud and obnoxious person is to say "Have a nice day!" and then to be on your way.

Anonymous said...

If you hassle the cops: You can beat the rap, but seldom can you beat the ride.

MILFY UPDATE said...

MILFY JUDGE- PD UPDATE

OK Rumpolium- many many judges and lawyers have spent Thur and Fri exchanging emails, cell phone calls, and whispered pointing in many of the local coffee spots around Miami.

Over the weekend there has been intense negotiations but what people are missing is that is is NOT about the Judge, rather the PD- for he is the one wanting to be left alone.

Apparently Rump, our young lothario is decent looking BUT in two important areas he is apparently a Hall of Fame player. First, as we alluded to- he possess well above average hmmm...tools necessary to perform. And he is in great shape, so 45 minutes of ....hm...motion...is not unusual.
BUT what really makes him special is his...how do I say this? ORAL ADVOCACY.

In this regard, he is considered a once in many lifetimes find. Several woman of the over 40 set have raved that "hours and hours of constant ecstasy" are the norm.

And this is apparently the problem. Our young PD has moved on to a very very wealthy partner of a very very well know civil firm. And it is HE that is begging to be left alone and it is our MILFY Judge that does not want to relinquish jurisdiction.

What the PD and his lawyer have been trying to make clear is that he never had any intention of using any cell phone pics, video or sex-texting- and he and his lawyers only raised the specter of that in response to the very aggressive behavior of the spurned Judge.

Negotiations are now down to the issue of "if we give you these originals, how can we know for sure the harassment will end?"
As the pics, messages, and texts are the only proof the PD has to the fact she started this and she is pushing it. He feels that if he turns over all evidence he is open to her charge that he is stalking her and since she is a judge, no one will believe him.

Negotiations continue.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole said...
Your comment was not posted. I agree the individual is self serving and conniving. But your post was a bit too much, unless you want to sign your name. Then have at it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009 7:20:00 PM


Just curious who was it about? Give up a name at least. I hate when you don't publish something and instead mention some brief description of a post gone wrong.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole- I want to start this comment by saying I have NO IDEA who the parties are here. But I have my strong suspicions about the PD.

I am a young defense lawyer working for someone else. A short while ago I was taking some depos at the PDS office on a Friday that ran late. This PD intern was covering and after we were done we went for drinks and discussed the case. Drinks turned into dinner and then he came to my apartment because he was looking to move and there were several available in my complex.

OK. Obviously things progressed and just before the real fireworks he got real strange and said something like "if I do this, you need to promise me we will stay just friends" And I asked what he meant and he said something about women getting weird after he had sex with them because he was very very good. I laughed and told him I was not a virgin but he made me promise and I was thinking that he was a little too arrogant for my tastes and i would have no trouble kicking him out later. That was around midnight. At around 4 am, having passed out from sheer pleasure a few times, i was holding on to him for dear life. I never wanted him to leave. He stayed the weekend and it remains a highlight of my sex life i am sure will never be duplicated. This guy had no quit in him. He makes you beg to stop and then continues for another hour.

We are friends, but we don't speak much. I am going to send him a text to see if this is him (it has to be) and if he is aware of what is being said.

What I can confirm is that i have no surprise that women, especially older women, are fighting over him. I am under 30 and as he walked out that Sunday night I was sure i had just hit the sexual peak of my life and that was a sad thought.

Houton's Menu try the Steak or Ribs said...

Houston's is in the house and fire's back at the hack who runs this two bit blog!

Next time don't be such a cheap loner of sorts and order the lowest price item on the menu. Kick it up a notch and try the Steaks, Ribs or something from the sea.

Our menu can be found here, it is easy to read, next time try it!

http://www.hillstone.com/pdf_menus/houstons/Houstons_Coral_Gables.pdf

You ordered --
ROTISSERIE CHICKEN $18
Half a roasted chicken with black beans, goat cheese and fresh cilantro.

Houston's Menu said...

Links to the menu.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a bunch of b.s.

Anonymous said...

dude this is turning into a porn wesbite. someone has got to cough up the name

Anonymous said...

Do consider that, as an academic at Harvard, Gates is certainly as arrogant as Milton Hirsch, and as unlikely to handle with grace, patience, and aplomb a situation that pit him against a police officer who failed to defer to him.

Anonymous said...

This intern must have been a porn star in a prior life.

Anonymous said...

Try some steak!

Anonymous said...

What is MILFY?

Anonymous said...

Rump we need more on the porn star pd, fuck all this high minded shite like the gates arrest

Anonymous said...

Obama didn't need "all the facts" to accurately declare the police acted stupidly. Read the officer's report online. Gates was arrested for giving lip, constitutionally protected activity that does not amount to criminal behavior. The danger posed by police to law-abiding citizens is seen in the knee-jerk reactions of police commanders and associational brotherhoods to Obama's claim: the President is out of line, police are always right. Period. THAT is some stupid and uncritical thinking that allows police to place themselves above the law. The arrest cannot be justified under any proper theory of law enforcement or criminology. Attempts by police brass to do so should frighten any right-thinking person who would rather support police than bad guys. Police arrogance and intransigence makes it so difficult to do so...

Anonymous said...

F.O.B. Gates must have been drinking some MD 20-20 before he started fumbling with his keys trying to unlock his door. Needed help to unlock your own front door? Time to "move on" brother Gates. Crowley ought to tell them to keep their Old English 500.

Anonymous said...

Dear 10:28:
Thank you Mark. Do you need still more attention? Does the self promotion ever end?

Anonymous said...

Rumpole:

I don't understand your editorial policy. How can you allow an utterly racist post like that of 2:57 but kill posts like the one I sent 2 days ago mentioning possible Rumpole suspects running over the Rickenbacker Causeway Bridge? Is possible personal pain worse than blatant racist stereotyping?

Anonymous said...

Wait, there's a practicing lawyer who thinks this PD intern story is true?

Ha ha.

Anonymous said...

eiglarsh never stops promoting himself. he should donate his ego for medical study when he dies

Rumpole said...

3:50- the simple answer is yes. I won't permit personal attacks beyond a certain point. However, racist commentary (which I abhor) on public figures will be allowed to a certain point. There is a difference- the racist diminishes himself or herself when I publish their moronic views. Your mean spirited commentary serves only to hurt others- unless you're brave enough to sign your name and let those individuals confront you.

Anonymous said...

mark eiglarsch is everywhere on tv! he is one of the very best trial lawyers and apparently the rest of the nation agree. he will have his own show, like larry king live one day. "mark" my word - will be the name of the network prime time show....

friend of the trialmaster said...

friend of the trialmaster. It is my understanding that the trialmaster will be in the building this week.

Anonymous said...

2:44, you are a scary true believer. You must have had your ass kicked a lot as a child.

Anonymous said...

Sorry professor, I'm a white male and if I give lip to a police officer, I'm getting arrested also. If you're "breaking into" your own house, you wont get arrested if you can spare five minutes of respect to a police officer. But instead, you escalated a random police encounter into "racial profiling" and looks what happened.
Book 'em Dano.

Anonymous said...

The 911 tape is now available which blows out of the water a lot of the preceding jibberish. But like the Pres., why wait for tha facts to unleash your opinions? I am very sorry to say that Mr. O is no longer a community organizer, he is the The President. PS I contributed to his campaign so I have no ax to grind.