Over at Faculty Lounge, Calvin Massey somehow manages to conclude (1) that Gates acted stupidly and (2) that the police officer did not act stupidly. How? By twisting the facts -- beyond even those stated in the official police report.
Nice. We don't know why, or at what point, Gates got pissed off at the cop. But we do know that the officer asked Gates to step outside and join him on the porch; Gates did not "pursue him to the front porch." Again, this is by the version of facts as presented in the police report. Massey makes it sound like the officer just decided to leave ("thank you, have a nice day") when he saw identification proving that Gates was who he said he was and that it was in fact his own house -- but that's just not the case or he would have, you know, left. It's pretty clear that the only possible basis for asking Gates to join him outside was to create the basis for an arrest for disorderly conduct.
Incidentally, that's a great implicit potshot at Obama: why is he making a judgment about who acted stupidly, when he doesn't know all the facts? Of course, Massey's understanding of the facts is apparently even worse, yet he's willing to defend the cop against this unfounded charge while at the same time leveling the same charge at the black professor who didn't enjoy being wrongly treated like a criminal. Proving, once again, that law professors often comment stupidly on things they apparently don't know enough to comment on. [UPDATE: I apparently misread the last part of the post -- there's nothing implicit about it, he actually says it was stupid of Obama to call the cop stupid while admitting he didn't know all of the facts.]
Speaking of Obama, shouldn't it also be mentioned that his "stupid" comment was his way of defusing the situation? Read as: "I don't know what role race played in this situation, so I'm not going to call the cop a racist. But drumming up a disorderly conduct charge in order to arrest a man who broke into his own house, because he annoys the police officer and isn't subservient during their interaction, is police behavior that should be discouraged."
(I really also want to comment on police character attributes, too. It seems to me that people become cops -- also, soldiers -- because they want to be put in the societally accepted role of dominance as a part of their job, which gives them license to frequently beat the crap out of people. But I don't have time for that post at the moment.)