Woman Who Phoned Cops Wasn't a Neighbor

This revelation puts more scrutiny on the interaction between Sgt. Crowley and Dr. Gates...

Posted:
 

From Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic:

She is not--I repeat NOT--a neighbor:

A witness, 40-year-old Lucia Whalen of Malden, had alerted the cops that a man was "wedging his shoulder into the front door" at Gates' house "as to pry the door open," police reported.

Now, we can all agree that she was not at fault to call the cops. But it is erroneous to say it was "neighbor." It was someone who, apparently, works in the neighborhood.

Now, it would seem, more focus in the incident involving Dr. Gates must be placed on Sgt. James Crowley. A person who worked in the neighborhood saw Dr. Gates struggling with the door and called the police. Was this called spurred on by the fact that Dr. Gates was Black? That obviously possible, but the more important fact is that it can be reasonably asserted that the person who made the call was not familiar with Dr. Gates. Thus, the call into the police is, on some level, civic-minded.

Person sees someone they don't recognize attempting to force a door open and then go around back. They call the police. Reasonable. Now the question comes down to what transpired between he and Dr. Gates upon asking that Dr. Gates indentify himself. Did he honor Dr. Gates' request for name and badge? Much more importantly: Upon seeing Dr. Gates indentification, why did he not exit the premises?

Do you think new information places Sgt. Crowley under more scrutiny or is this reveal irrelevant?

Comments
The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.