July 24th, 2009
12:25 PM ET
5 years ago

Police group: Obama should apologize

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) – President Obama should apologize to members of the Cambridge Police Department for saying they acted "stupidly" in the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., said Dennis O'Connor, president of the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association, at a news conference Friday.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (297 Responses)
  1. Anny

    When the police office apologizes first for taking things a little to far after the Prof. showed his ID, thats when the office should have been professional enough to back off.........the President need not apologize .........what is this white man wants his way, bend the black man to make the 1st step to saying SORRY.....don't think so......I am white and I think the white officer owes the Prof. an apology........then one to the President, then one to America.......I have seen to many cases in my own home town of racial profiling........

    July 24, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. George

    We all get yelled at all the time. A Cop is not superior to any one. They are there to serve and not to get served.

    It is never a crime to yell at a Police Officer. The arrest of this Prof is nothing but an ABUSE of the Police uniform. The next time I get yelled at, I will surely call a Mass Police to come make a quick arrest.

    July 24, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. Doug

    The police were and still are out of control in this case. The Police work for the public and under civilian rule of elected officials and governments supported by law. Today, they showed up out of uniform and challenged the legal authority of the State of Massachusetts and the President of the United States. They should be removed from their jobs immediately, I would fire them for treason.

    July 24, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Jean 2

    Who is hungry for a fight on race? At the news conference on health care the question was introduced by a "journalist" what did she expect?

    The media then preceeded to make sound-bites of statements and played them over and over.

    Americans we can destroy our selves with our own mouths!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 24, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Ben

    Ther is no reason for Obama to apologize AT ALL!!!
    Obama was exceptionally fair when he relayed his opinions about the matter.

    July 24, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. PA Voter

    You mean everybody on this ticker has the right to spout any opinion they please in any tone they please no matter how ridiculous or ugly, but the President of the United States has no right to give an opinion when asked? Crazy. NO he should not apologize.

    July 24, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. brian

    Everyone got heated. However, are we not allowed to get upset in our own homes now without being arrested? Did he physically threaten the officer? While Gates may have acted like an arrogant Harvard prof. he was lawfully in his own home and once the police knew this they had no legal basis for being present. Amendment IV still exists, no?

    July 24, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Kiana's Mom

    Facts:
    1) Gate's showed police ID
    3) Police entered the premises without a warrant even after seeing Gate's ID
    3) Charges against Gates were dropped

    My opinion:
    Police acted stupidly - if they didn't, the charges would have stuck!

    PERIOD!!

    July 24, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. Mark L.

    And if President Obama chooses not to apologize, what is the Cambridge Police Department going to do?? Arrest President Obama next?? Give me a break !!

    July 24, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. June in FL

    Here we go again....the news media has found another subject to pound into the gound, calling it newsworthy and inflating the subject WAY out of proportion. Anything to keep the Dems & GOP infuriated at each other, just for the sake of what they call......news. This isn't news. This is scrounging for something to talk about besides Palin.

    July 24, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Shirley In California

    Either do your jobs or lose them. He's the president – he doesn't need to apologize to any of them. If they fail to do their jobs by him or with him / they will go to prison. It's that simple.

    July 24, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. frank, pennsylvania

    The police officer actually acted stupidly by arresting somebody he suspected to be burgling his own home for disorderly conduct. He is actually more interested in his personal ego than in the welfare of an elderly man who was angered by an erroneous suspicion!! An intelligent and truly caring officer, should have defused the whole dram immediately he saw the identity of his suspect.

    He should actually be arrested for disorderly conduct, for his actions when he saw the Identity of his suspect, showed complete lack of focus and intelligence. It does not matter whether the suspect is a black, white or red man, the most important point here is that a man was being suspected for burgling his own house, his yelling could have made an intelligent officer to suspect that something must be wrong with the whole situation.

    July 24, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. Julyienn

    What did the black policeman have to say about the incident? He was standing there, just off the porch? Did anyone ask him what he saw or
    heard? Why should Obama apolize, when the main two that started this refuse too? If the policeman would bend a little, I'm sure Mr. Gates would also. The policeman could have walked away from the situation, after all isn't he being paid to teach ways of defussing incidents before they occur? And Mr. Gates, being the educated man that you are couldn't you have just let him have the last word? The repucussions from this mess is going to make you feel worse. You've done great and accomplished much, Mr. Gates. Don't stoup to their level. Be better than the naysayers and move on.

    July 24, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. Joe

    The cop did act stupidly hence no apology.

    July 24, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. fielding mellish

    No doubt Gates overreacted, as most of us would have in similar circumstances. Nevertheless, Gates is the only one capable of judging whether he was cuffed and arrested because of his skin color. If the cop was trained for this kind of situation, he could have handled it "smartly" and let it come to a peaceful stop.

    July 24, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. PA Voter

    WOW, feel the hate oozing from some of these comments! It's starting to look like a corn field everywhere I turn on the internet these days for all the scary, scary straw men being set up.

    July 24, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. Shirley In California

    They are just mad he exposed their dirty little secret. Shoot first and then say you were doing your job. Nothing has ever been done about it. Now, the whole world is watching. Thank you once again President Obama for letting this dirty secret out of the closet and focusing attention to this matter. Those of you yelling and screaming about this matter – should have your sons shot down then it would be a whole different reaction.

    Stay firm and tough President Obama.

    July 24, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. Tony in Maine

    The cops are certainly a thin-skinned bunch aren't they?

    I taught school for a number of years and deeply resented being told that those who can, do, and who can't, teach or that I was overpaid and underworked or that I worked just five hours a day, 180 days a year. All are gross inaccuracies and all were repeated fat least in spirit by the smirking chimp who occupied the White House from 2001-2009.

    I don't recall righteous indignation and a rush to find a microphone by teachers or administrators or school board members.

    When you come right down to it, I don't recall CNN or Fox or NBC or anyone paying any attention except to run endless loops of Dubya's attempts to be one of the guys.

    July 24, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. frank, pennsylvania

    The police officer actually acted stupidly by arresting somebody he suspected to be burgling his own home for disorderly conduct. He is actually more interested in his personal ego than in the welfare of an elderly man who was angered by an erroneous suspicion!! An intelligent and truly caring officer, should have defused the whole drama immediately he saw the identity of his suspect.

    He should actually be arrested for disorderly conduct, for his actions when he saw the Identity of his suspect, showed complete lack of focus and intelligence. It does not matter whether the suspect is a black, white or red man, the most important point here is that a man was being suspected for burgling his own house, his yelling could have made an intelligent officer to suspect that something must be wrong with the whole situation.

    July 24, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Copman

    The police union might want to wait until this case is dealt with through the courts before asking for an apology. Any first year law student knows that arresting a person for being disorderly in their own home is not a valid charge. Once the owner has identified his/her self, the police have a duty to leave unless there is warrant or other court issued document, which apprently is not the case in this matter. While the owner of the property likely irritated the officer, it still does not rise to a level of the officer placing Mr. Gates in custody by handcuffing and removing him from his home. Mr. Gates will have a very solid false arrest case in this matter without question.

    July 24, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. J.C.

    As this thing gets overblown, more fictions are written online. Why don't people get all the facts before judging anybody? Everyone is talking based on their personal past experience, which may or may not be the same as those facts in this incident.

    We should be more concerned about Health Care Reform at this point. I have coverage, but I want everyone to be covered and everyone should contribute according to their incomes.

    July 24, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. Julyienn

    30pm........Reverend White didn't teach Obama anything. The President was asked a question, he answered it. Rush and Hannity can say whatever they want and not be asked to apolize. Double standards shouldn't apply here. Obama is not like Mr. Steele.

    July 24, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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