I have tremendous respect for our police force, the work that they do, and the difficult situations that they are put in. It seems that with respect to this, from the little I know, that it is really an issue for the local community, and the police force there. But I can certainly understand what I have seen, why Professor Gates would be upset over this. Thank you all for coming.Instead, after a lengthier, and more rambling remark, he said:
The Cambridge Police acted stupidly.It was not the best choice of words.
The problem here is that the President is a bright guy, with a lot of common sense. So in a way he feels comfortable, perhaps, being the national opinionator. He's not. His handlers need to recognize what the President's role is, and is not, and remind him.
If at least the gist of the facts that are being claimed by Gates' lawyer are correct, this officer exercised judgement that was either sufficiently poor, or racist, that a short suspension to reevaluate his response to the events would not be inappropriate. However, the officer's statement after the fact, that he "supported the President 110%," but that "I think he was way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts," if exaggerated, is still essentially correct.