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Sgt. Crowley welcomed at Long Beach police convention


Sgt. James Crowley, the white Massachusetts officer who arrested black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., setting off a national debate about race, spoke briefly Monday at a convention of police officers in Long Beach where he was greeted with whistles and applause.

151294.ME.0817.Crowley.007. "My sole purpose for coming here is to reach out and sincerely thank you," said Crowley, who spoke at the biennial convention of the Fraternal Order of Police at the Long Beach Convention Center.

In an address that lasted less than one minute, Crowley said the arrest of Gates and its aftermath has been difficult for his family and colleagues. "It is no exaggeration to say that it wouldn't be easy for me to handle this without ... your overwhelming support,"  he said.

A small crowd swarmed Crowley after he spoke. He shook hands with a few officers, signed autographs and posed for photos.

Responding to a tip of a possible break-in, Cambridge police showed up at Gates’ home on July 16, and eventually arrested Gates after he began screaming at them, accusing Crowley of being a "racist police officer." The resulting flap led to Crowley and Gates being invited to the White House to have a beer with President Obama.

-- My-Thuan Tran

Photos, from top: Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, left, greets Cambridge, Mass., police Sgt. James Crowley at the Fraternal Order of Police convention in Long Beach; Crowley, gets a standing ovation before speaking. Credits: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (30)

What do the Long Beach Police have against themselves that they would associate with this clown? Absolutely bewildering.

Trusted by a black man, the white cop found himself strangely feeling better, whiter and brighter without need to stop, look or listen. Pro-active busts are
Dolly Pardon-able moments. Dolly Pardon is a mouthful of department policy.

Apparently, the beer and conversation with President Obama did not answer Sgt Crowley's egotistical needs. But, he can always count on the LAPD.

"Soul purpose"? Really ?

This shows what is wrong with police officers. Why give him an award? For what? Arresting an innocent man. This is absurd. I don't think he should be vilified, but he shouldn't be exemplified also.

We need more pub of this fine officer. The more to shame Obama and all he stands for. His agenda definitely took a hit over this incident. And why is no one asking why Prof Gates is not being interviewed by more folks. I think the answer lies in Prof Gates and the negativity that he would naturally produce due to his inability to control himself. This persn (gates) should stand as a constant reminder of Obama's lack of judgement.

It's nice to see & hear about this story from "the other side". It may not be as controversial as the race card but is just as relevant. Like all reporting this story deserves a balanced approach to the story. Thanks for the report.

When you get the call, you never know what is waiting for you. It was handled in the best possible way. Nobody has the right to scream at another person for doing their job.

If a police officer is responding to a report of a break-in and there is someone in the house, asking the occupant for identification is neither stupid nor racist. A President of the United States inserting himself into a disorderly conduct arrest (especially one in which he premises his remarks by stating that he doesn’t know all the facts) is certainly stupid and, in this case, probably racist as well.

I once had three car loads of cops roll up in front of my house about 90 seconds after I accidentally set off my new burglar alarm. It never occurred to me that they were racially profiling me. Of course, I showed them my ID. I also thanked them for responding so quickly, complimented them on their response time and apologized for setting off a false alarm. Don’t you want your local police responding in a timely manner to a possible break-in of your home? I certainly do. And if there is a false alarm, I certainly don’t want to do anything to discourage the cops from responding quickly and thoroughly checking out the situation. Next time might be for real.

What do these race-baiters want the police to do? Discontinue all investigations of burglary complaints if the person they find onsite is black? Keep track of all homes owned by blacks and don’t bother responding if someone calls in a burglary? I’d rather have the police respond quickly to a report of any sort of possible problem at my house and if I locked myself out or accidentally set off my own alarm (again), I’d be happy to produce my ID and thank the cops for looking after my property.

But then, I’m neither a distinguished professor of ethnic studies nor a half-black politician who never worked a day in his life trying to prove I'm down with the brothers.

I was proud of him when he said there would never be an apology. He never caved and I respect him for that. Too many people cave when they are unfairly labeled as a racist. Who gets to determine what is racism. Just because the color of your skin is darker than mine does not make you an expert. Racism comes in all colors. Think about that.

The only reason this cop is getting this much attention becase the President got involve........I'm not Black but there is a lot of racial cops would stop you because they are black Mr Cowley might be a good cop but time will tell.

I sure wish I could have anyone arrested/incarcerated that I thought was being disrespectful to me... and if I could do it in their own homes... even better. Guess I'm gona get me a badge and gun before I my next visit to my ex-wife...

This is apalling. Crowley is the poster child for criminal police officers whose culture of arrogance will only begin to be reduced with severe jail time.

cops are hilarious. in any other form of employment this guy would be fired not awarded with applause. funny people. whatever.

I do not believe there is anything commendable about Officer Crowlet nor the actions toward Professor Gates. Mr. Gates was in his own home and had committed no crime and to arrest him was unjustified and wrong. I do not think Mr. Gates would have been arrested if he was white.

I can see Crowley thanking the organization for their support, but why did they invite him? Certainly not because of his accomplishments. To them he was merely a symbol of a beleaguered police officer. Good enough, but did they give any thought to the message the invitation sent to those in minority communities? They already gave him their support. Why make him a celebrity?

The idea that this gentleman should be viewed as some sort of victim or cult hero is detestable. If he had given professor Gates his name and badge number as requested, and I believe is required to do upon request, this wouldn't have become a national story. Instead officer Crowley chose to abuse his power and arrest a man who though upset was clearly not a threat to him or anyones else. I am not calling officer Crowley a racist as professor Gates has, but he certaintly abused his power.

dude arrests a black man and gets to travel clear across the country, gets to sign autographs and speak at a convention??? what could he possibly speak on thats worth anything and why would people be giving him this much respect...this guy supposedly protects and serves...Gates' eduactes thousands of professionals...not adding up to me

President Obama falls apart as soon as he's away from the teleprompter. Talk about putting your foot in your mouth... I did a double-take and winced when I heard the "police acted stupidly" comment during the live broadcast. It was such poor use of verbiage and for a skilled politician I could not believe he let that comment slide out, even with the teleprompter off.

The "beer summit" was a pretentious and ridiculous stunt. I along with everyone else were rolling our eyes everytime this topic came about. It was utterly ridiculous, especially the picnic table that was magically substituted into a round table at the last minute, so no one would comment as to which “side” Obama is sitting at. What a ridiculous laughable “show”. Very unbecoming of a US President.

Oh, I can't wait until these next 3 1/2 years are over.

How about some "what ifs"? What if there was in fact a burglar inside who was holding Gates' family at gunpoint, having told Gates to get the Officer out of the house? What if there was in fact a burglar who had entered the house, and was waiting for the Officer to leave. These are just some of the things an Officer has to consider in responding to any call. If either of these, or any other of many scenarios were true, and Gates or his family were hurt or murdered after the Officer left, race baiting artists like the Revs. Jesse Jackson, and Sharpton would have had a field day, gripping about Gates not getting equal protection. Gates should kiss the groound Officer Crowley walks on. As for Obama, he had no idea in the world what he was talking about, but has that ever stopped hiom before?

Firstly, Windfall (and many others) just don't get it and probably don't have all of the facts. Once it becomes clear that this YOUR house, the incident is no longer an incident and the police should leave. I don't know that Crowley is a racist but the incident is certainly racial. Crowley called for back up, wanted to confirm his employment (not sure why) by requesting that Harvard police come to the scene and finally arrested Gates for bogus disorderly conduct at his own house. This was an over response that typcially happens to African Americans. Crowley also wrote things in the police report that just weren't true.

Maybe Gates became upset as there were pictures of HIM (Gates) on the living room wall with famous people such as Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Maya Angelou. You cannot figure out that this was his house? Further, it is not OK just because you feel disrespected to concoct a reason for arrest. Law enforcement unfortunately may be a thankless job. Guess what, there are a lot of thankless jobs in America. Talk to a school teacher, social worker and even a parent.

I have to respect the laws of the United States of America. That is different from respecting the police. I will NEVER respect anyone for simply wearing a badge and a carrying gun. I will ONLY respect (or protest) your actions while wearing that badge and carrying your gun. Obama went soft, Crowley did not deserve a meeting with the President of the United States of America. I do NOT respect Crowley based on his actions.....

Bravo, Windfall! Bravisimo! Things are getting to the point that I am afraid of looking at black people! Why does everything have to be racial or Al Sharpton's opportunity to stand on his soap box! We would not be hearing a dang thing about this if it was a black cop and crazy old white man!

Sgt. Crowley did the right decision to arrest Prof. Gates for disorderly conduct. Americans need to learn how to be respectful, polite and obey the instructions from Police Officer. Otherwise, you'll be arrested of "disorderly conduct" whoever you're irregardless of your race. "Listen and obey before you complain". This is basic lessons in life.

Why do the papers have to continue to make this "white" and "black"? A Police officer arrested someone whom he thought was disorderly. Then the supposed offender decided since the arresting officer was white that it must be racially motivated. I don’t know if you remember seeing all the photographs showing the Professor "yelling" on his front porch (remember he said he never raised his voice) nor does anyone take note of the shift supervisor in the images - a black police officer. He was called to the scene not because he was black, but because the person being arrested was unruly. The fact that the shift supervisor was on scene to view the actions of Sgt. Crowley, tells me that he was doing his job by the book. As a black man I feel admiration for Sgt. Crowley, who kept his cool as Professor Gates attempted to escalate the situation to more than it was and I despise the Professor for taking us back in time when we were maligned for our skin color. He has written books about our legacy through the ages and now it is time for him to move on with the rest of us.

I am stunned by the number of hateful, race-based comments that appear to come from people who consider themselves enlightened. Since when is okay to hate someone based on the color of their skin?

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