I can't know exactly what happened on the scene, but Gates looks in a rage even in the photo of him being led off in handcuffs. The police were summoned and had to make some kind of sense of the situation. When the police try to identify and question someone who flies into a rage and refuses even to provide identification, isn't it perfectly normal for them to arrest him? Should he get a pass where another person would be arrested because he's black, or because he has a prestigious job, or should he be treated like any other hostile, aggressive, uncooperative person who yells and refuses reasonable requests?
On the contrary; according to both Gates' report and the police report, Gates did provide ID upon request. The officer, however, did not comply with MA law and provide his identification upon request.
What may have happened is that Gates originally refused to show ID but later did. If it is true that Gates immediately became very belligerent and refused to comply with reasonable requests, then arresting him for disorderly conduct would seem like a common police reaction.
You are simply incorrect, Brandon. Why don't you try reading the actual documentation?
Here is a summary Gawker put together based on the two reports the men gave and two interviews the men gave - this is just an excerpt -
This account is based on the police report, a statement from Gates' lawyer, interviews by Gates given after the arrest, and a radio interview that the arresting officer gave this morning.
At around 12:45 p.m., Lucia Whalen called 911 to report two African American men wearing backpacks attempting to break into a house on Ware St. in Cambridge. Whalen works at Harvard Magazine, the offices of which are located a few doors down from Gates' home. She told Sgt. Crowley when he arrived that "her suspicions were aroused when she observed one of the men wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry." The man wedging his shoulder into the door was Gates' driver, and the other African American man with him was Gates. The men had just returned from Logan Airport, where Gates had landed after a trip to China. He found the lock broken on his front door"apparently as a result of an attempted break-in while he was away"and his driver was helping him get the door open so he could get his luggage in. Up to this point, both Gates and Obama say the whole thing is kosher: "I'm glad that this lady called 911," Gates has said. In recounting the story last night, Obama said, "There was a report called into the police station that there might be a burglary taking place " so far, so good, right?"
Sgt. James Crowley arrived at Gates' house shortly after the call. He was alone. He walked up onto the porch, saw Gates standing in the foyer through a glass pane in the door, and asked him to step out onto the porch. According to the accounts of both men, Gates refused. Is that illegal? Massachusetts law makes it a crime to disobey the order of a police officer if you're operating a motor vehicle, but we couldn't find a similar statute that would have required Gates to obey Crowley's request. Even if there is one, Gates was never charged with violating it.
According to both men, Crowley"still standing on the porch"told him Gates was there to investigate a break-in. According to Crowley, Gates interrupted him, saying, "Why, because I am a black man in America?" At this point, according to Crowley, Gates didn't strike him as "someone who would break into a house." Still, he found "the way [Gates] responded to [his] routing inquiries peculiar" and accused him in the police report of "yelling" and "exclaiming."
According to Crowley, Gates "demanded to know who I was." Gates phrased the request differently: He says he asked for Crowley's "name and badge number." The distinction is important: Crowley claims that he complied with Gates' request by identifying himself as "Sgt. Crowley," while Gates says "he did not produce any identification nor did he respond to Professor Gates's request for this information." It's clear from the accounts of both men that Crowley did not provide Gates with a complete answer to his question"Crowley doesn't say that he told Gates his badge number or first name, nor did he turn over the identification card bearing that information that police officers in Massachusetts are required to carry and, by law, "shall be exhibited upon lawful request for purposes of identification." (Crowley said he was prepared to furnish the card, but that Gates turned away from the door and walked to his kitchen before he could hand it over.) - bullshit there, but the cop knows he could be in trouble for that - cyclo
Badge numbers are assigned for a reason, and Massachusetts requires its cops to carry ID cards for a reason: Cops can lie about their names, making it difficult or impossible for citizens to file complaints about their behavior after they've departed a scene. If every police officer was assumed to be honest and forthright in all instances, those laws wouldn't be on the books. What's more, there are a lot of people in the Boston area named Crowley, and a lot of them are police officers. Gates asked Crowley to comply with Massachusetts law by furnishing his full name and badge number, and all Crowley told him was that he was a sergeant and that his last name was Crowley. In other words, he did not comply with Gates' request.
Inside the Home
According to Gates, while still on the porch, Crowley asked Gates to provide ID to prove he lived there, and Gates turned to retrieve his Massachusetts driver license and Harvard ID from his wallet in his kitchen. Crowley then followed him into the house. According to Crowley's account, it's unclear how Crowley came to enter the home: At one point he is on the porch, and then Gates turns to pick up a cordless phone, at which point Crowley radioed his dispatcher to say he was "in the residence with someone who appeared to be a resident but very uncooperative." It's not clear who Gates was calling on the cordless phone, but according to Crowley, Gates was asking asking for "the chief" and said he was dealing with a "racist police officer." He was apparently trying to go over Crowley's head and make a complaint. During the entire time he was in Gates' house, according to Crowley, Gates was agitated and angry, telling him "you don't know who you are messing with."
It's obvious that Gates was belligerent, but he did not fail to show his ID upon request.
Leaving the House
As soon as Gates provided a Harvard ID, Crowley says he "radioed and requested the presence of Harvard University Police." Why? What reason would he have to call more police officers to Gates' house after he'd received definitive proof that no crime had been committed and the 911 call was caused by a misunderstanding? Crowley doesn't say. But bewilderingly, he says that after requesting the presence of Harvard police, he prepared to leave. But Gates continued to demand his name, and Crowley says that as he tried to answer, Gates yelled over his "spoken words" with accusations of racism. Gates says that a bronchial infection he picked up in China prevented him from yelling. (A photo of Gates immediately after the arrest, however, appears to show him with his mouth open wide, in mid-shout.) When Gate's asked again for Crowley's name"remember, at this point according to Crowley's account, all Gates still doesn't know Crowley's first name or badge number"Crowley told Gates that if he wanted to continue talking, they would have to do it outside of Gates' home. Crowley's explanation for this is that the "acoustics" in Gates' kitchen and foyer, where the men were arguing, made it difficult for him to communicate over his radio.
The 'acoustics' issue is obviously bullshit. Crowley asked him to leave the house so he could arrest him, period. Gates was stupid enough to do so.
The predictable nature with which Conservatives have lined up to protect the peace officer is telling. I haven't seen a single Conservative on this board admit that Crowley acted pretty stupidly, which he obviously did, if for no other reason than the fact that he is trained to ignore insults and de-escalate situations, not make them worse through bullshit arrests.