Of course I do! He's empowered by his community with a gigantic amount of power--up to and including lethal force. Of course he has a responsibility to use that power legally and appropriately, and in accordance with the law. He's a police officer, a public servant. The abuse was in public only because the officer insisted that it be in public. He intentionally and deliberately got Gates out on the porch in order to arrest him. There would have been no public abuse if not for Crowley's own decision, before there was any public abuse, to make the arrest. This is just silly baiting on your part, Shiny. Of course physical abuse, or any kind of physical resistance, is completely beyond the limit. I said as much already in the tased grandma thread. It's a crime, and it should be, to physically abuse or attack an officer (or anyone else). It's not a crime (and shouldn't be) to speak rudely or meanly to an officer. It doesn't really matter how rude the words are. The officer has to keep his temper and act legally and appropriately, or if he can't he should find another line of work. Yes. No. A target for mean words? That's part of the job. "Sticks and stones," remember? If we can teach that to little children, we certainly should be able to teach that to professional officers of the law, public servants, armed with lethal and less-lethal weapons and the power of arrest. I can't put you in jail for saying mean things to me, Shiny. I can punch you in the mouth for doing so, but I don't have a legal right to do that, and a police officer, on the job, has even less of a right to do either of those things. Let's say that Gates called Crowley a racist. That may be hurtful, it may be mean, it may be rude. It's not against the law, and it's not grounds for arrest, and I really don't think you or anyone here would want to live in a world where it would be. That's not a democratic society. We can go back and forth forever about the moral dimensions of Gates' actions. But legally, he was within his rights and should not have been arrested. I've said again and again that I think Gates acted during the event like an asshole. But police officers, when on the job, do have a higher responsibility. Their job is (partly) to deal with assholes or people who are acting like assholes. I think you've worked customer service or tech support before? (I may be mis-remembering--forgive me if I am). In any case, anyone (including me) who has worked with the public has experienced rude and obnoxious treatment. It's part of the job. We have the right to walk away, we have the right to hang up, we have the right to protest or complain or deny service in a commercial establishment to assholes. We have the right to respond in other ways, too. But we do not have the right to put handcuffs on someone and take him to jail just because he is being rude and insulting. That's where Crowley went wrong--he abused his power, a power given to him by the citizens (including Gates), simply because he was personally insulted. That's stupid (as Obama said, and was right to say). I get it. Probably better than you. I just disagree.