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Posts Tagged ‘Police’

Sometimes You’re Wrong Even When You’re Right

July 22, 2009 1 comment

By Wilmer Leon

WilmerMain

On Thursday July 16, 2009 after returning from a trip to China, Harvard University scholar Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. had difficulty opening the front door of the home he leases from Harvard.  After he and his driver struggled with the front door Dr. Gates gained entry through the back door of the home, shut off the alarm, opened the front door, and the driver left.

According to Cambridge Police Department Incident Report #9005127, a neighbor called the police and reported a possible breaking and entering at the residence. The woman “…observed what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the porch…”  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 uniformed police officer went to the front door, saw Dr. Gates standing in the foyer and asked him to step out onto the porch.  Dr. Gates refused.

According to the Incident Report, after identifying himself as Sgt. Crowly and explaining that he was “investigating a report of a break-in in progress” at the residence, Dr. Gates opened the front door and stated, “why, because I’m a black man in America?”  After supplying the officer with Harvard University identification, the officer radioed for Harvard University Police.

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“Being A Black Male – 101” Don’t Argue With the Police

July 21, 2009 3 comments

By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

WilmerMain

On Thursday July 16, 2009 after returning from a trip to China, Harvard University scholar Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.  had difficulty opening the front door of the home he leases from Harvard. After he and his driver struggled with the front door Dr. Gates gained entry through the back door of the home, shut off the alarm, opened the front door, and the driver left.

According to Cambridge Police Department Incident Report #9005127, a neighbor called the police and reported a possible breaking and entering at the residence. The woman “…observed what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the porch…” 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 uniformed police officer went to the front door, saw Dr. Gates standing in the foyer and asked him to step out onto the porch.  Dr. Gates refused.

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Your Black Attorneys: Trial Ongoing For Murdered 92-Year-Old Kathryn Johnston

November 20, 2008 Leave a comment

johnston.1121Two years later, the Kathryn Johnston case is back where it started —- with the Atlanta Police Department.

The November 2006 killing of the 92-year-old woman by a rogue drug squad in her own home has been solved. Early on, federal investigators echoed suspicions of the community that such corruption was widespread. But in closing the investigation, they now say the wrongdoing was more isolated. Atlanta police last week said they were starting a task force to investigate internal wrongdoing.

Yet questions persist. Narcotics officers told investigators they cut corners, faked search warrants, planted drugs and raided homes because of pressure from superiors to make arrests. There were complaints from other officers that there were performance quotas, a charge higher-ups always denied.

But there never has been a public explanation about whether allegations about pressure from superiors were accurate, and if so, who was applying it. Also, did any higher-ups know how the drug unit operated? Or why they didn’t know?

“There were thoughts this would uncover a huge ring of corruption in the Police Department. It never did,” said William McKenney, an attorney for narcotics officer Arthur Tesler, who late last month pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with Johnston’s death [...]

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