The President vs. the Police Officer: PETER WEHNER


“I have to say I am surprised by the controversy surrounding my statement,” President Obama said in an interview with ABC News Thursday night, “because I think it was a pretty straightforward comment that you probably don’t need to handcuff a guy, a middle-aged man who uses a cane, who’s in his own home.”

Surprised, are we? Let’s see: the president of the United States decides to insert himself into the middle of a racially charged conflict between an arresting police officer, Sgt. James Crowley, and one of the most prominent African-American scholars in America, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard. Gates accuses the officer of racism, a charge Sgt. Crowley adamantly denies, apparently with the backing of other officers on the scene. According to Obama – who admits he wasn’t on the scene, doesn’t have all the facts, and only has “suspicions” about what went on – the Cambridge police acted “stupidly.” Why on earth should Obama’s comments be viewed as “controversial”?

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