Friday, July 24, 2009

Parallel Story

I was not present when police officer, Sgt. Crowley arrested Professor Gates, but I do know that it is better to cooperate with police rather than not cooperate. I am telling story second hand, but I will try to do my best to repeat it as it was told to me.

A few years ago, my nephew was taking a class on the UT campus. While waiting on his bus to arrive after class, he decided to wonder through the new law building with its interesting architecture. Upon seeing my nephew in the halls, a secretary or worker in the building decided that my nephew was not a law student and called the police. By the time the police arrived, my nephew was outside waiting on his bus. The police approached my nephew and asked him for his ID. My nephew, who had recently taken some sort of civil law class told the officers that he did not have to show his ID since he was not doing anything wrong. Then he began to walk away – the police followed, and it turned into a comical chase around a parked car. My nephew managed to call his dad, my brother the lawyer, on his cell phone while avoiding the police. He told his dad that the police were chasing him. My brother told his son to stop immediately and let the police catch him. He did, and was promptly arrested.

Now there is no law against a student walking through a building on campus even if he is not taking classes in that building, but we don’t know what prior instances might have happened to make the secretary call police. Although I think my nephew is quite handsome, he does have long hair, a tattoo or two, and wears baggy pants. You would think that on the UT campus this look would be quite normal. Did the fact that my nephew is a Hispanic male have anything to do with the police being called? It probably did. Whatever this lady was thinking, the police did show up and did ask for an ID and did arrest my nephew for not cooperating. Was I upset that someone would treat my nephew this way? Yes, I was. But, if he had just shown them his ID and explained his actions, all would have been okay. And that was the lesson learned by my nephew, who was quite young and inexperienced. I don't know what penalties my nephew had to pay for this little incident, but I think he did have to do some community service or something along those lines.

Now Mr. Gates should have known better. If Mr. Gates had just had enough respect for Sgt. Crowley and his position as a police officer trying to do his job, all would have been okay. If someone had really been trying to break into his house, would he have wanted the police to investigate? His actions and the President’s words undermine the authority and respect police officers need to do their job.

On a side note, I want to tell you that I think my nephew is intelligent and good-looking, is quite the charmer, and has a great personality. Although I don't see him nearly enough and have not told him personally, he has a special place in my heart - he is very dear to me. Here is one of my favorite photos of us together twenty years ago. I don't know where I got that hat, but the photo was taken on a hot day at a street dance in Leon Springs, TX.
Jesse just emailed me an article on the death of WWII hero, Darrell Powers, who was portrayed in the movie "Band of Brothers" and I thought some of you might be interested.


Skybag said...

I sent you the email that the article was about too. Did you see that?

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

Back in June we went to CO, and I played golf with my BIL who was getting married later that day. One of his friends is a Denver cop. He's a good guy, and we hit it off immediately. Early on I told him that I can't stand cops, he in turn said he couldn't stand them either, I knew at that point we were destined for friendship.

Bag Blog said...

Piper, back in the 70's I remember a bumpersticker that said, "If you don't like cops, next time you are in trouble call a hippie."

Buck said...

Great pic! It reminds me of that pic of Bobby and I down in Key West that I've posted a couple of times... those back-pack thingies are way-cool.

The e-mail about Shifty (supposedly from from Chuck Yeager, but I've not verified) is certainly making the rounds! Over the last two weeks I've received it directly from a couple of friends and at least two people posted it in the Fortuna Air Force Station vets group I'm a member of.

What to say about the Gates brouhaha, other than "Hunh?" On the one hand, I can't believe Obama actually gave it the time of day, let alone talking about it in his press conference. OTOH, I suppose it IS typical of The One. Me? I think it's much ado about not much. But it's easier for the media to report this story than delve into the intricacies of health care... which is confusing the livin' Hell out of me.

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

To the bumper sticker author: i think it would be a very narrow mind to think that a hippie would be the only one to call in time of trouble.

Bag Blog said...

I have had similar thoughts like, "this is news?" on the Gates/Crowley brouhaha. Yet, there it is. I don't have a clue about health care issues, but I keep quizzing Toby. And you are right - the whole thing is scary.

Bumper stickers are not written by rocket scientist, but by people who are be facecious and funny. I guess you could say "call a teacher" since they are also in a position of authority over rowdies, but have no real power, because it has been stripped away. Power has to be balanced - Police have to have it, but it needs to be monitored. Teachers need it too, but they don't have it anymore.