July 29, 2009

Breaking into your own house

Throughout StupidGate, whenever anybody rhetorically says, "Officer Crowley should have left as soon as Professor Gates showed ID demonstrating he'd broken into his own house!" I've had in the back of my mind a vague recollection that I've heard something somewhere about a man who broke into his old house after his wife had changed the locks on him.

Therefore, a cop shouldn't just leave, especially when the angry, agitated man is acting much like a man whose wife has changed the locks. And, when the man won't answer the cop's question about who else is in the house, the cop has to hang around while Dispatch checks the name of the householder he called in for restraining orders, warrants, and the like. (Maybe they should have thicker skins, but cops really don't like it when you loudly hurl abuse at them while they're on the radio checking on these matters.)

I couldn't remember the story, so I kept coming up with thought experiments scenarios in which a rich Texas oilman breaks into his old house in order to hurt his future ex-wife.

But then it finally occurred to me that this isn't just a thought experiment. In fact, it was not only one of the most notorious crime stories of my lifetime, but , heck, I even worked for the man's legendary Houston defense attorney Racehorse Haynes in 1980 as a research assistant, pulling together his scrapbook on this case for use in an autobiographical book Racehorse planned to write with Rice sociologist William Martin.

It's the story of oil heir T. Cullen Davis, who may still be the richest man ever tried for murder in the United States. In 1976, he broke into his former $6 million dollar mansion and settled down to wait for his separated wife and her new boyfriend to get home.

When his young stepdaughter surprised him, he took her to the wine cellar and executed her. He then waited for his primary targets. When the couple walked in, Davis shot both, killing the man but only wounding his tough, gold-digging wife.

Two young people who were friends of the family walked up the driveway of the 180 acre estate. Davis shot one, and the girl ran off and flagged down a passerby. The wounded wife crawled off down the hill on the other side. Both witnesses immediately and separately told neighbors, "Cullen's up there shooting everybody."

Racehorse Haynes got Cullen Davis acquitted.

A few years later, Davis was back in jail for paying a hitman $25k to kill the judge in his divorce settlement case. The man went to the FBI, who got the judge to climb in the trunk of a car, covered him with ketchup, and took a Polaroid. They then wired the supposed hitman for sound and filmed him on video as he showed Davis the picture of the supposedly murdered judge and accepted the cash in return.

Racehorse got him off again.

I lost track of Cullen Davis after that, although I do recall one year the Forbes 400 issue did a Where Are They Now? feature on former members. Davis was now recognized as America's Poorest Man based on having the most negative net worth of anybody in America. The funny thing is, though, that when you are worth $-800 million, you still live pretty well.

Racehorse is doing fine in his early 80s. He told the ABA Journal:
For instance, he’s represented three doz­en women in what he refers to as “Smith & Wesson divorces,” which are cases where the husband had been abusive, leading the wife to kill in self-defense. “I won all but two of those cases,” he says. “And I would have won them if my clients hadn’t kept reloading their gun and firing.”

I remember some of those very Texan cases from my job summarizing Mrs. Haynes' scrapbook of his newspaper coverage: like Sicilian grand opera set to the twang of steel guitars.

After a meeting at Racehorse's house in Houston in 1979, he insisted on driving me back to my car, which was only parked a block way. That's because he had just bought a whale-tail Turbo Porsche. He floored it and we accelerated down his quiet street (in River Oaks?) for three blocks, topping out at 85, then, like a rocketship in a Robert Heinlein novel, decelerated for three blocks back to zero. I pointed to some random car, got out, thanked him, then, after he had turned the corner, walked the five blocks back to my Datsun 310.

Sen. Fred Thompson played Racehorse in a 1992 miniseries "Bed of Lies" about a doctor client of his who was accused of poisoning his wife, the daughter of a very rich, very angry man. Racehorse got the doc off, but a hit man rubbed him out later. Haynes and Thompson are equally charming, but Haynes is a high-energy bantamweight, while Thompson, as we saw in the Presidential primaries last year, is not.

Dennis Franz of NYPD Blue played Racehorse in a 1995 miniseries about Cullen Davis, aptly entitled "Texas Justice." Once again, curious casting.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gates could have had a restraining order on him! The only way the cop would have known that is if Crowley called in his license.

Anonymous said...

"Racehorse Haynes" and "T. Cullen Davis"? They sound like characters from a novel or movie (about Texas).

Jeff008 said...

"Oh Dear, I Seem To Have Locked Myself Out": http://kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com/2009/07/oh-dear-i-seem-to-have-locked-myself-out.html#more-17152

Billare said...

One of the most entertaining crime stores I've ever read. Still, it's worth noting that a divorce settlement proscribed by the judicial system precipitated all of it.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
I had never heard of this case or lawyer until this post... what a fascinating man the lawyer was! I googled him to learn more and he seems to be a man of uncommon intelligence.

What was it like to work for him? It can't be coincidence that you worked for him; he must have realized how intelligent you were. How did you two cross paths?

Also, Ed Morrissey at Hotair.com has, by the looks of the title, done a God-awful take on Gates and civil liberties. What a disgrace.
I just couldn't click on it, no blogger on the entire Right is as "precious".

Anonymous said...

The success of Racehorse is proof positive to me that our judicial system is a failure. If they couldn't convict this guy in these situations merely because he had competent counsel, and absent allegations of bribery or jury tampering Racehorse is merely 1)competent in law and 2) a good salesman, it's a system that should be done away with.

Military courts-martial for all their flaws are more just.

Anonymous said...

I even worked for the man's legendary Houston defense attorney Racehorse Haynes in 1980 as a research assistant

Baby boomers tell the coolest stories.

my Datsun 310.

And have the coolest rides (too good for the B-210, guy?)

Uncle Steve, tell us a story!

Car story, or 70s story?

Both!

K, my wingman and I take the El Camino to Denny's one night in 1975 and who do we see in the parking lot but Gregg Allman and Linda Ronstadt! Anyway...

stari_momak said...

Cullen Davis -- to Celtic names right there.

Anyways, talking of killing, maybe Steve would like to expound upon one Lily Burk, seeing as she was murdered in his neck of the woods.

stari_momak said...

I missed the 70's, but I did have a hand me down b-210. Great car, I had the hatchback which meant I could put the back seat down and crawl back there and sleep. Used to go up and down the coast that way, gotta be careful were you park though, or the cops would hassle you.

Truth said...

"I've had in the back of my mind a vague recollection that I've heard something somewhere about a man who broke into his old house after his wife had changed the locks on him...."

I always love those "vague recollections;" Kind of like vaguely remembering what the cutest girl in the second grade looked like.

"Therefore, a cop shouldn't just leave, especially when the angry, agitated man is acting much like a man whose wife has changed the locks."

Or like an arrogant professor at the world's most prestigious University; who isn't married.

And, when the man won't answer the cop's question about who else is in the house, the cop has to hang around while Dispatch checks the name of the householder he called in for restraining orders warrants, and the like."

There was no suspicion of this, there was suspicion of breaking and entering, the policeman found out this was a mistake: Besides does he have to wait for dispatch INSIDE THE MAN'S LIVING ROOM?

(Maybe they should have thicker skins, but cops really don't like it when you loudly hurl abuse at them...... while they're on the radio checking on these matters.)

Eliminate the last 9 words of bullshit and you have the gist; cops don't really like it when you loudly hurl abuse at them. It took a while Steve but you got down to it, I'm proud of you.

Now I wouldn't like to be verbally abused either, but guess what, I did not sign up for a job at which I expect it. Crowley got into a "who's dick is bigger" contest with Gates and they both came out looking like fools; as does anyone who disagrees with this.

Anonymous said...

"Cops Cunning Arrest of "Uppity" Gates Shows Racism Still Lives"



Thats the title of the DeWayne Wickham column on the Gates arrest,
http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090724/OPINION/907240315




As Ive tried to warn people, if the dispatcher tapes don't get released, the left will claim this incident as a "little-Emmitt-Till-P.R.-victory" in as little as 12 months. It will be referred to in the future as a "eminent black professor arrested, cuffed, and humilated in his own home by a racist white cop" in universities all across America for years.

The dispatcher tapes would effectively slam-dunk that once and for all. Those little recorders on the grills of police cars can help clear officers of all sorts of unfair charges, and also keep themselves in line when urges to deliver street justice to some very deserving thugs do strike.

Mark my word, in coming years, leftists everywhere will refer to this incident as proof of overwehlming racism and Skip Gates will be a mini-martyr in many lefty-quarters, and to bring up the truth, one will be treated with silent scorn and social ostracism and accusations of racism.




Now off to sharpen the points on my various pitchforks, M

pouffiassei said...

Gatesaquiddick: also there is the problem that while Gates lived in the house, he didn't own it; Harvard did. That means you have to find out whether there is some situation between Harvard and the nutty locked-out guy your dealing with. Crowley played it straight, unfortunately he's now knuckling under with this B.S. photo op. Hopefully he'll cash in a little on this with something that pays; maybe he and Gates can revive Crossfire!

Chief Seattle said...

Fantastic story, Steve. A nice break from your other important but depressing posts lately.

AmericanGoy said...

From a yahoo article written by a member of the beautiful sex:

"Some ousted season 8 American Idol top 36 semi-finalists--including Felicia Barton, Kendall Beard, and Ju'Not Joyner--participated in an online chat with the Idol website AI Now today. And during his frank online conversation with fans, Ju'Not came right out and said that the TV talent show is in fact rigged, and that its contracts are unfair to contestants.

"It's a fixed thing if I ever saw one," he boldly declared--much to the shock of many naive chatters, who responded with capslocked interjections and frowny-faced emoticons."

I figured y'all needed a laugh.

This spurred me to write a whole damn article about American pop culture.

Oh, damn, I am off topic, again.

I will now go outside and scream at a policeman, calling him a racist and shouting "It's because I am white!".

After all, it is not illegal to scream at a police officer.

Hey, what can happen?

Great - even when I am on topic I am off topic.

I blame high fructose corn syrup.

Coke is a hell of a drug.

Anonymous said...

In Texas, a police officer will ask for a drivers license, required by law to have proper address withing 15 days of permanent address change. If one cannot produce it, no officer will stand by an individuals claim they live there and will not intervene unless they have confirmation.

An ID (I read Gates produced a University ID and Crowley then notified University Police)which doesn't have an address is no indication of "living there" even if it identifies one as the pic on the ID. Unless it had a valid address, there is no evidence for an officer to have it proven to them that the aforementioned individual is the homeowner and negating his investigation of a citizen call of a possible break in.
Also, the home is allegedly owned by Cambridge University, so there may have been nothing confirming that individual as the homeowner amd that is critical to an officer confirming tenants as "living there" as homeowner.

But those possibilites are not the issue. Forgive and .......forget?

Anonymous said...

"Truth", the points you make are all are poorly conceived.

(1) Steve lays out a very detailed recollection - not vague at all

(2) Cop had no idea Gates was single without doing a check. I've heard the guy a number of times and have family teaching in his dept at Harvard had no idea he was single or rides a tricycle - who knew?

(3) A cop is not limited to acting only on suspecions arising from the initial 911 call. If cop saw dismembered limbs through the front door he could act upon new suspecions. Gates' belligerent and abusive behavior was way out of line and atypical for law abiding citizens to engage in - it was certainly reasonable to see if he was a danger to himself or others.

(4) Yes, cops demand civility and cooperation to do their job just as doctors need full disclosure from patients to do their jobs well. What kind of imbecile tries to out macho a cop doing his job or out fox a physican doing a medical history? That's self-defeating, ignorant, and ultimately renders cops and doctors pretty useless under such standards of behavior.

I think your just hurting, grasping and lashing out over the indefensibility of Gate's meltdown and public exposure as a race hustler. It's a real-life inverse equivalent of the fictional "Do The Right Thing" moment when even the purportedly most nobel character turns out to harbor the basest racism.

outlaw josey wales said...

I was so right when I said Steve would use this incident for days on end. In the end, this story proves nothing, or alternatively, in some minds, proves everything. There is still racism in America. This incident may or may not be an example of it. Not everything that criticizes black people is racist.


To anonymous stating we should do away with our system: right to jury in criminal cases is in the Constitution. How quickly some people, who presumably believe in the rule of law when the "right" side is victorious, are happy to toss it in a fire when things don't go how they think they should.

Anonymous said...

Will you write about the Lily Burk case? How horrendous it is!

Patung said...

"When his young stepdaughter surprised him, he took her to the wine cellar and executed her."

Ugh, you mean murdered or killed her...

Anonymous said...

Steve -

Reread the police report - Gates stated that his front door couldn't be "secured" due to a previous break in. It didn't seem to matter until a cop showed up.

Who leaves on a trip without locking the front door?

The neighbor had reason to be concerned based on prior break in attempts in the neighborhood.

Hmmmmm......

Anonymous said...

cops don't really like it when you loudly hurl abuse at them.



Neither do judges, but I don't see any of the morons on the left sneering about "contempt of court" the same way they do "contempt of cop".

Steve Sailer said...

Ugh is right. Carefully murdering his 12 year old stepdaughter in cold blood first in order to be able to effectively carry out his plan to shoot his wife and her boyfriend later is just about the worst thing a man with a gun can do. For years, I've made the point that the death penalty can deter witness-murdering, and this is the worst case of witness murdering I've ever heard of: his own stepdaughter, and he had't even committed the crime yet! He could have just said to his stepdaughter that he broke in to take something of sentimental value to him, and walked away without killing his wife. There would have been hell to pay with the lawyers and restraining orders and what not, but he could afford it.

That's what, besides the J.R. Ewing-style money involved, is what lifts this above all the other Smith & Wesson Divorces I've ever heard of.

Steve Sailer said...

"I was so right when I said Steve would use this incident for days on end."

Hey, this is my beat. What's every other pundit doing horning in on my turf for days on end? I've been off on the FDNY for the last few days while all the newbies have in the press have been amateurishly masticating Gatesgate.

Could it possibly be that everybody else is personally interested in the same sectors I take a professional interest in?

Truth said...

"(1) Steve lays out a very detailed recollection - not vague at all"

Fair point: I misread the connection between the "childhood recollection and the Cullen Davis story the first time.

"(2) Cop had no idea Gates was single without doing a check."

IT was a BREAKING AND ENTERING suspicion! Maybe he broke into HIS OWN apartment with his wife in order to put her into the fridge?

"Gates' belligerent and abusive behavior was way out of line and atypical for law abiding citizens to engage in"

We don't know that Gates was "belligerent" or "abusive" that's hearsay and the terms are highly subjective anyway.

"and atypical for law abiding citizens to engage in"

So you're a police psychologist now?

"it was certainly reasonable to see if he was a danger to himself or others."

The latest in the long line of dangerous 60-year-old, gray-haired, MacArthur Fellowed college professors with permanent limps... inside their own homes!

"(4) Yes, cops demand civility and cooperation to do their job..."

Yes, in Russia, North Korea and Cuba. Cops don't "demand" civility here, they "desire" civility and when they don't get it, they go about their jobs in a professional manner which occasionally involves swallowing their pride and not attempting to asses punitive damages. That is a judge's job.

"What kind of imbecile tries to out macho a cop doing his job"

The arrogant, famous successful kind who believes that his you-know-what does not stink. Again, Gates is not paid for civility, he's paid to write books, Crowley is paid for civility

"or out fox a physican doing a medical history?"

Schedule a trip to the ranch tomorrow, Bud, you're running out of straw.


"(3) A cop is not limited to acting only on suspecions arising from the initial 911 call...."

You're right there, why he didn't call the K-9 unit to sniff for drugs having not assumed this 60 year old man was the drug scion of Mass. is just bad policework. He should have also called a SWAT bomb expert just in case Gates was an Al-Queda terrorist...

Yup, that's exactly how ridiculous all this "there could have been a (white) woman cut up in the fridge" sounds.

"If cop saw dismembered limbs through the front door he could act upon new suspecions...."

Straw man...he didn't.


"That's self-defeating, ignorant,..."

I have no argument.

"and ultimately renders cops and doctors pretty useless under such standards of behavior."

Only bad cops and bad doctors. It renders good cops and doctors "slightly less effective."

"I think your just hurting, grasping and lashing out..."

I'm not hurting,and I certainly wouldn't describe discourse as "grasping and lashing out." Gates strikes me a class-A prick, as I'm sure are many of his contemporaries at the "world's greatest university."

The issue is, he should not have been arrested. We do not live in a police state, it's really as simple as that.

"over the indefensibility of Gate's meltdown and public exposure as a race hustler."

What do Michael Savage, Limbaugh, Glen Beck, JP Rushton, Don Black, Pat Buchannan, Michelle Malkin, and even our own Steve-O have in common? They're all race-hustlers, Sport. The only difference is that you happen to prefer the race these guy's hustle.

"It's a real-life inverse equivalent of the fictional "Do The Right Thing" moment when even the purportedly most nobel character turns out to harbor the basest racism."

This is what is known is psychology as "projection." You're the racist here and "Deep Down (as a Barry Goldwater for president poster once so famously said) You Know I''m Right!"

Truth said...

"Carefully murdering his 12 year old stepdaughter in cold blood first in order to be able to effectively carry out his plan to shoot his wife and her boyfriend later is just about the worst thing a man with a gun can do.

Oh stop with the hyperbole already Steve. a black man murdering his blonde-white 12 year old stepdaughter in cold blood first in order to effectively carry out his plan to shoot his beautiful-blonde-white wife and her handsome-young-blonde-white boyfriend is the worst thing a man with a gun can do. Everyone knows that.

king obama said...

Uh, oh. Looks like a Boston cop is getting fired because he wrote an e-mail calling Gates a banana-eating monkey.

Sound the alarms. The story is below:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090730/ts_alt_afp/usracismarrestuniversitypolice

John Seiler said...

Although Gates is a race hustler, something has to be said about the increasing abuse of powers by police -- in general. Gates said, "This is what happens to a black man in America."

He should have said, "This is what happens to a citizen in an America."

Why, after all, was a middle-aged professor arrested just for, in essence, arguing with a cop?

Check out William Norman Grigg’s column, “Praetorian Presumptions,” on the July 30, 2009 LewRockwell.com site: http://www.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-w104.html

He writes: “As things presently stand, any reaction to police other than immediate, unconditional submission is treated as a threat to ‘officer safety’ and grounds for arrest or the exercise of lethal force. ‘The rule is, if a police officer stops you in a car or on the street, he’s the captain of the ship, and whatever he says goes,’ insists Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police. ‘If you’ve got something to address, do it later. Do what he says, or else only bad things can happen.’

“Do what he says, or else only bad things can happen.

“Isn’t that the essence of any illicit demand made by a criminal or terrorist?”

Anonymous said...

The cop was out of line. A man SHOULD have the right to break into his own house, especially if his wife locked him out. Any woman who locks a man out of his own home deserves what happens to her. If women still had to live in fear of their husbands like in the old days, then western civilization wouldn't be dying today.

Anonymous said...

I think Gates was banking on Obama being in charge now. I doubt he would have thrown this tantrum under Bush or Clinton. But he did himself a disservice. He reinforced the prejudice that many whites have of black “academics”. Even his Harvard cred won't help because most people recognize him as another AA case.

Anonymous said...

Troof sez:
"Or like an arrogant professor at the world's most prestigious University;"


Huh, because you or the NYT (TM: ST) say so. Sorry pal, many Europeans or Japanese do not recognize Harvard as being the world's most prestigious uni. In Europe, Japan, Russia and most probably China there are many excellent Unis which do not have the media hype, but are technologically at least as good, probably better.

Anonymous said...

"and atypical for law abiding citizens to engage in"

So you're a police psychologist now?


Lol. There's Troof's "truthiness" for you.

Hey Troof, so you'e a professional debater now? Oops, sorry, I should know better than to use your own logic against you.

~Svigor

Bret Ludwig said...

Only Californians wax nostalgic over Japanese cars. In the Midwest, the memories are of the rust that caused the car to be driven under its own power to the crusher. Nissan and Yoyota made great engines and mechanicals, but the bodies would not take salt.

The one Japanese car that did not rust was the first series Mazda RX-7. They undercoated it so well I've never seen rust penetration on one. But its rotary engine went bad as soon as it had a period of disuse so it got hauled in on a hook and crushed since rebuilding the rotary outside California is unheard of.

You just can't win.

Anonymous said...

Of all the pathetic, angry rants you've posted on this site, Truth, these are the dumbest.

To call Steve a race hustler demonstrates an absurd level of ignorance. Steve may indeed be a race man, but he's not exploiting anyone. He hasn't parlayed his race and racial views into a six-figure professorship on the taxpayers' dime or a million-dollar lawsuit. He isn't trying to bully anyone into giving him unfair racial preferences or to get someone fired for saying something he doesn't agree with. To compare him with self-centered hacks like Tim Wise or Skip Gates is idiotic.

John Craig said...

My favorite Racehorse Haynes moment during that trial came at the beginning, when he first arrived at the courtroom, and the assembled journalists crowded around him and one of them asked, "What is your aim in this trial, Mr. Hanes?" (At this point the trial was widely considered to be hopeless for Davis as the evidence against him was so overwhelming.)

Racehorse, in true Haynesian style, held one finger up in the air and solemnly replied, "To seek the truth."

Big Bill said...

@Truth: "There was no suspicion of [a restraining order], there was suspicion of breaking and entering, the policeman found out this was a mistake: Besides does he have to wait for dispatch INSIDE THE MAN'S LIVING ROOM?"

If he is waiting to find out whether Gates really lives there, why should/would he wait outside?

Even more to the point, the phone call from the informant, the jimmied door and Gates' totally irrational freakout was enough probable cause to do a Liberal-judge-approved (tm) Terry stop-and-frisk.

On the basis of the the circumstances, Crowley was within his rights to order Gates against a wall, spread 'em and pat him down ... yet he didn't.

Instead, he kept the guy in sight where he couldn't run for it and waited for radio confirmation that Gates was rightfully there.

I really am surprised at the amount of routine forelock tugging and cringing that liberals expect from the police. They don't have to do that.

My goodness, you'd think they would read their own judge's decisions, wouldn't you?

ben tillman said...

Isn't Texas fascinating? I used to hang out occasionally with Cullen's son Brian. A nice, normal guy, whose mother-in-law had a great potato salad recipe.

Anonymous said...

"and executed her."

Are you saying that he had the sanction of the law? Which is what the word "executed" means.

Anonymous said...

Truth,
I don't think you realize the effect of your blathering.

I'm not sure if you really believe everything you say, or it's a political tactic to push back against absolutely everything... but every time I read your posts, "flight" is an overwhelming response... away from Blacks. It's just too stressful and life is too short to put up with irrationality. My husband and I were moved to move from Charleston, SC in our early 20's because we were so tired of seeing the NAACP constantly on t.v. seeming antagonistic towards whites. This episode brings so much back and has reminded me of how glad I am not to live there though it was such a beautiful city. Most of the black people were good and decent and I have fond memories of *them*; they were my co-workers and friends. I rubbed shoulders with them constantly *and even received an impromptu blessing with hands being laid on me in a Goodwill thrift store!* Their racist spokespeople, not so much.

Anonymous said...

Truth,

Two consecutive posts over 5 screen pages long, one “sport” and one summary accusation of “racist”. Yeah, you’re hurting. It’s OK… I feel your pain.

I like that you check the low-brow WN that occasionally pollute this site. However, your signal-to-noise ratio drops precipitously when you more frequently try punching above your weight here.

Anonymous said...

Truth wrote:


"What do Michael Savage, Limbaugh, Glen Beck, JP Rushton, Don Black, Pat Buchannan, Michelle Malkin, and even our own Steve-O have in common? They're all race-hustlers, Sport. The only difference is that you happen to prefer the race these guy's hustle."



Truth I vehemently disagree with this. Jesse Jackson, Sharpton, et al want special rights, special set-asides, scholarsip advantages, and legal and financial equality over "others" (Asians, whites) even if those groups have outperformed academically and economically of their own accord. Limbaugh, Savage and their ilk simply argue for true equality before the law. The immigration situation, in which something keeps happening despite the public's not wanting it, muddies the situation in this area.

Keep in mind Truth, if we wreck America and turn it into a salad bowl of competing hyphenated groups, blacks will probably end up being poorer and worse off than they are collectively now.

David said...

A policeman should run within the bounds of ordinary science. At every step, his actions should be guided first by his observations. He should not make any wild leaps goaded by his understanding of theoretical statistical probabilities or what happened on "Cops" last night. "To see what is before one's nose is a hard struggle."

The Gates case is simple. A woman says she saw a break-and-enter. The responding policeman has grounds to check the property out, not to go inside. If he sees no broken windows or splintered doorjams, he asks the accuser to produce photographs, video, or other concrete proof of her words. Should such be absent, he hangs out for a while, observing the house - mostly to soothe the accuser. He might call headquarters to get a "trouble history" for the house, depending on the neighborhood - for example, are other things up with this house? If not, and if nothing happens, he splits.

That is how it has been handled, quite properly, for, like, ever.

Immediately a storm of objections blows up, with splutterings of indignation.

These splutterings all follow the form "But, WHAT IF...??"

But, WHAT IF...the house complained of contains some kind of wife-killer who shot his step-daughter?? Isn't it reasonable to conduct a thorough search of the house, including the attic and basement and under the floorboards, and even call in the Canine Patrol - to sniff out stiffs? Shouldn't an officer demand a drivers license, social security card, two forms of picture ID and all mortgage papers, originals not copies, with signatures matched, and a drug test on top of that - just to be safe?

But, WHAT IF...the occupants are terrorists?? You never can tell, these days. Shouldn't the officer call for backup, for the helicopter, for the tank, and shouldn't they surround the house? There is no such thing as overreaction when the lives of police officers are potentially in danger. Besides, the force has to justify its tank budget.

But, WHAT IF...the occupant is that SKUNK who raped that girl - you know, that pretty one - last week, downstate? And what if he fled up here? And what if he's hiding out in THIS house? And what if he's using it as a base of operations for a rape ring, or even for white slavery? What if he's in there raping a helpless underage girl right now? ARE YOU JUST GONNA STAND THERE? Nancy Grace would be so ashamed of you!

But don't statistics say the average X dude is X times more likely to be involved in Y-type crimes than the average Z dude is? Therefore, depending on the break-and-enter perp description, shouldn't the officer beat on the door and demand ID, and make an arrest if he meets with any Surly Attitude?

No. Not all X are criminals, nor are all criminals X.

Police officers do not (should not) arrest on statistical trends, but instead on concrete evidence in the specific case they're dealing with. It's Steve's business to predict on stats. That's different than deciding whom to threaten with physical force - unless we want to replace the Bill of Rights with a statistical graph.

Unless he heard gunshots, or heard several neighbors reporting gunshots, or smelled a corpse, or was following up on a missing persons report involving verified threats to some party etc., I don't see that an officer of the law has any objective ground to imitate the Stasi.

Anonymous said...

The police are not bouncers. They don't get paid to back down. They are paid to investigate crimes.

David said...

(cont'd)

Another breed is the but-if-only'er. But, IF ONLY...

But if only the cops had searched everyone coming out of the bar, they would-a found the gun later used in a murder, or prevented someone from driving boiled and killing that old gentlemen everyone likes.

But if only the cops had arrested everyone driving a light-colored van in X city, later stabbings would have been prevented.

If only we got rid of the pesky Constitution or what's left of it, and forcibly inject everyone with the right narcotics, they would be healthier, and happier.

If only...if only...

One frequently detects this mentality operating when one hears the statement, "If it saves ONE LIFE, it's worth it!" If the legislature outlaws all alcohol, and has anyone manufacturing it gunned down (if necessary), isn't it worth it - if it saves our children from dying of the Demon Rum? Why not drop a bomb on a bad neighborhood where a suspected murderer is said to hang his hat?

If we can kill ONE bad guy, isn't it worth it to destroy the lives of almost everyone else?

Such, I'm afraid, is the attitude of the typically overzealous Amerikwan.

Chip said...

Regarding Gates-Gate, I agree with Truth in every particular. By all available evidence it appears that: 1. the incident was not racially motivated, and 2. Gates should not have been arrested. So close the books. I look forward to the day when the whole imbroglio is but another vague recollection. Shouldn't take long.

But Steve's tic about how the "death penalty can deter witness-murdering" is more interesting. It seems to me that there's strong intuitive reason to suspect the opposite might turn out to be true -- that the death penalty could increase witness killing, since the killing of witnesses provides a last-resort high-risk strategy for those who have already committed a capital offense to elude capture and avoid the possible consequence of being killed by the state. Is there evidence in either direction?

albertosaurus said...

Yes, there is racism today in America. That's not the problem. The problem is how that racism is taught.

American citizens pick up their knowledge of racial differences "on the street". They should be taught racism in the public schools.

Unfortunately the government has a very poor record of teaching about race. Consider Black History Month. When the public officials lie or exagerate a topic it tends to bring disrepute and disbelief to the whole message. We know this from the drug war propaganda. Black History Month is the new "Reefer Madness".

Cops and fire fighters should be taught that blacks have much higher crime rates and much lower civil service test scores. They will come to realize this anyway, but if these truths are supressed then the cop on the beat will be prey to other suspicions. Its a little like sex education. It's better to learn how sex works in the human health classroom than it is from the expert testimony of twelve year olds.

Racism is good because race is real.

Anonymous said...

There is still racism in America.




There is indeed, largely on the part of black Americans such as Gates and "Truth", all of whom would be cheering and laughing if Cheney was arrested for swearing at a cop. This sudden faux concern for "civil liberties" on the part of the totalitarian left moves me to yawn.

Anonymous said...

a black man murdering his blonde-white 12 year old stepdaughter in cold blood first in order to effectively carry out his plan to shoot his beautiful-blonde-white wife and her handsome-young-blonde-white boyfriend is the worst thing a man with a gun can do.



I continue to wonder why Steve allows this garden variety racist to post here. It seems to be simply because he is black, as I can't imagine similar anti-black bigotry being posted.

Anonymous said...

Gates is not paid for civility, he's paid to write books, Crowley is paid for civility




Crowley is not paid for civility, you gibberng lunatic. We don't pay police offcers to go around stroking peoples egos. You'll be claiming that we pay solders for politeness next.

We do pay black DMV workers for civility though, which is grounds for firing the lot of them.

Anonymous said...

Even though I believe Gates is a race-baiting prick, I still think Crowley should have avoided arresting Gates at all costs. Being a race-baiting prick or a prick isn't a crime last time I checked.

I find myself agreeing with the civil-libertarians who believe Gates was wrongly arrested and that the facts suggest there wasn't anything racial about this incident(since it appears Sgt Crowley was one of the most politically correct police officers in the country). It would probably be better for Gates to reframe this incident as a civil-liberties issue, instead of a racial one. In fact, it would set a precedent: Black people can have their civil liberties violated WITHOUT it being about race.

I don't know all the facts, and maybe I am wrong. Maybe Gates was "out of control", but I see nothing indicating this diminutive middle-aged man, who walks with a cane was about to do something violent. Maybe hearing the police tapes would change my mind.

Obama had no business interjecting himself into this situation. But behind Obama's semi-apology and the idea that Crowley was "just doing his job", and even Crowley's black colleagues standing by him, is this disturbing idea that since it wasn't really about race, his civil liberties weren't really violated. In other words, if your civil liberties are violated for non-racial reasons, that isn't as "bad" as if your civil liberties are violated for racial reasons. This I find disturbing.

I've been stopped and questioned by the local police a number of times, all for no good reason(except when I was speeding or for armed robbery). I'm as white as they come. So maybe I am biased. I'd like to think that otherwise law-abiding citizens can be a loud-mouth prick or be uncooperative with the police without getting arrested. I think the police need a better reason to arrest someone than the arestee being a loud-mouth prick.

My 2 cents.

p.s - I was just kidding about the speeding ;)

Truth said...

Well this just gets better all of the time, now doesn't it?

"Sorry pal, many Europeans or Japanese do not recognize Harvard as being the world's most prestigious uni In Europe, Japan, Russia and most probably China there are many excellent Unis which ... are technologically at least as good, probably better"

Interesting you mention China Sport
Here is the yearly ranking of world universities put out by Jiao Tang University in Shanghai. In case you read like you spell, I'll help you out; Harvard is not only #1, but so far ahead of Stanford which is #2, it's not even a comparison. Oxford is rated the world's best European Univ (#10), Tokyo Univ. the best in Asia (#19).

It would not be totally unthinkable to call Henry Louis Gates the most famous professor at the world's best University (although there are others one could make a case for)...and I mean this BEFORE the Crowley incident.

Does he have some reason to be arrogant, you tell me? (wait, let me save you the posting time here: HE'S AA...HE'S AA...HE GOT HIRED BY HARVARD WHEN THE PRESIDENT DROVE BY A DETROIT LIQUOR STORE AND ASKED THE LIGHTEST SKINNED GUY ON THE CORNER TO GET INTO THE LIMO AND BE A PROFESSOR!!!!)

"To call Steve a race hustler demonstrates an absurd level of ignorance. Steve may indeed be a race man,.."

Race MAN - race HUSTLER you say tomato...

Truth said...

"He hasn't parlayed his race and racial views into a six-figure professorship..."

No, but he has parlayed his racial views into a LIVING. Guess what convincing others as to the inferiority" of blacks is what Steve does for a living...it is, in other words, how he makes his mortgage.

He attempts to keep it to an intellectual, logical discussion but he often fails and appeals to pure emotion, i.e. when he said last week that whites should have affirmative action at UCAL schools "because we built the damn things." That, my friend, is race hustling. By the way, one of the things that I admire about our esteemed host is that he doesn't go to great lengths to deny what he is (but then of course, neither do Jessie or Al).

"Lol. There's Troof's "truthiness" for you."

Fourth grade pejorative use of bad spelling? Et tu Svigus?

By the way, I've never heard of a "professional debater." They're usually called "lawyers."


"On the basis of the the circumstances, Crowley was within his rights to order Gates against a wall, spread 'em and pat him down ... yet he didn't."

And exactly how long have you practiced criminal law, or sat behind the bench?

"Instead, he kept the guy in sight where he couldn't run for it"

Well, he's a 5'3" 60-year-old man with a leg injury so bad he has to ride a tricycle. Not exactly a dangerous flight risk now is he?

"but every time I read your posts, "flight" is an overwhelming response... away from Blacks."

Yes, and I'm quite sure you lived in a rose-tinted Shangri-La in which everyone of different races held hands and played together until you started reading my posts.

"Most of the black people were good and decent and I have fond memories of *them*; they were my co-workers and friends. I rubbed shoulders with them constantly *and even received an impromptu blessing with hands being laid on me in a Goodwill thrift store!*"

Honey; some of my best friends are white too!

"Two consecutive posts over 5 screen pages long, one “sport” and one summary accusation of “racist”. Yeah, you’re hurting. It’s OK… I feel your pain."

You've got me there! Normally I try to get a "Sport" in at least every third paragraph. Thank you for calling me to the carpet there...Sport.

Truth said...

"Limbaugh, Savage and their ilk simply argue for true equality before the law."

One man's "truth" is another man's trash, my friend.


"like that you check the low-brow WN that occasionally pollute this site. However, your signal-to-noise ratio drops precipitously when you more frequently try punching above your weight here."

Thanks, uh, I guess. I think you have to understand that most of you go by anonymous anyway and quite honestly; I can't tell the so-called "genius level" anonymi from the idiots maybe it's just me.

"Truth I vehemently disagree with this. Jesse Jackson, Sharpton, et al want special rights, special set-asides, scholarsip advantages, and legal and financial equality over "others" (Asians, whites)"

Yes, and this came from a time in which blacks had to pay taxes on facilities they were not allowed to use where others were. Libraries, pools, public restrooms, private businesses, country clubs, etc. Was this fair?

Excellent dialectic David and Chip.

"on the part of black Americans such as Gates and "Truth", all of whom would be cheering and laughing if Cheney was arrested for swearing at a cop."

Who in the hell is Cheney? Dick Cheney? I'd laugh if he got arrested for anything, lord knows he's broken enough laws.

"I continue to wonder why Steve allows this garden variety racist to post here... I can't imagine similar anti-black bigotry being posted."

What is "racist" or "anti-white" about the scenario I proposed? You people consider a white life, especially that of a white woman, more valuable than a black life, don't you? You also consider a black killer more deplorable than a white killer don't you?

If you don't why is it that you are still thinking about OJ and not Robert Blake?

"Crowley is not paid for civility,"

Oh, is that why they call them "civil servants." And by the way, comparing a soldier to a copy is just plain moronic; soldiers are paid to kill people.

kudzu bob said...

>Guess what convincing others as to the inferiority" of blacks is what Steve does for a living<

Actually, your unrammatical blather does that quite effectively for any fence-sitters who read this blog. You're melting down, and that is the sad truth, Truth.

Anonymous said...

--One man's "truth" is another man's trash, my friend.--


Yes, it is...

Anonymous said...

"One man's "truth" is another man's trash, my friend"

Self-awareness is a great first step.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work, Truth. Some of us agree with you.

And David made some great points too (WHAT IF... IF ONLY...).

I also agree with the Anonymous who said this should be seen as a civil liberties issue rather than a racial issue.

There is a disturbing trend toward more and more police power in this country. We are in danger of becoming a police state. But people think its ok as long as the police power isn't directed against them, but against those "other" people.

But beware: if that power exists it can and WILL be directed at you sooner than you think.

Truth said...

"--One man's "truth" is another man's trash, my friend.--


Yes, it is..."

What are the odds someone could have predicted that retort?

Anonymous said...

*Urban Dictionary*: Troof

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troof&defid=1214406

Anonymous said...

comparing a soldier to a copy is just plain moronic; soldiers are paid to kill people.




Whereas you pretend to think that cops are paid to kiss your black ass rather than to enforce the law.

Anonymous said...

It's remarkable that other peoples comments get filtered out, but Mr Lying Bigots sewage sails through unimpeded.

jens said...

I think, given that the man was innocent, that the T.Cullen Davis story needs a few "alledgedly"s in it.

Interestingly, one of the expert witnesses in the trial (professor Shuy) is also one of the bloggers at Language Log, and his story of the trial (in his book "Creating Language Crimes) is more sympathetic to the defense.

Anonymous said...

Most of the black people were good and decent and I have fond memories of *them*

Easily forgotten, until one rubs shoulders with blacks outside the SE USA; big difference.

~Svigor

Templar said...

Actually, your unrammatical blather does that quite effectively for any fence-sitters who read this blog. You're melting down, and that is the sad truth, Truth.

You must admit though, it's rather amusing to watch.