I like Sgt. James Crowley. I like him a lot.
Jimmy, from all accounts, has shown himself to be a stand-up guy. A good man, a good cop. Someone who is respected and loved by the people who matter most in his life: family, friends and the men and women who serve with him in the Cambridge Police Department, back in my home state of Massachusetts. Anyone who saw the strong statements made
by Sgt. Leon Lashley and Officer Kelly King in support of their colleague can appreciate that these two people came forward.
I'm happy for Jimmy Crowley because now that the dog and pony show staged by the ringmaster-in-chief is officially over, he can get on with his life. Go back home where he belongs, with his wife and kids, being a dad. He can hold his head high for the way he conducted himself, after being called "a racist" by a good friend of the president during an unfortunate event which should never have occurred in the first place.
I can only imagine Jimmy's shock as he was thrust into the spotlight on July 22 after President Obama, while speaking at a national press conference on health-care reform, decided to foolishly comment on the subject of the arrest of his pal, Professor Skip Gates. As we now know on July 16, Sgt. James Crowley responded to a 9-1-1 call
at a home on Ware St., in Cambridge. Upon arriving on the scene he was met by the woman who had made the phone call and proceeded to investigate a possible break-in at the residence.
The rest, as they say, is history and I'm not going to rehash the event.
There are enough stories out there on the Internet along with the police report
of the arrest for those who wish to read it.
So now what? In a brief statement
made by Officer Crowley after the White House get together, he mentioned that both men wanted to look forward, rather than backward. Agree to disagree on the particular issue.
No apologies were made, which at least in regard to the president and Mr. Gates, in my opinion, is unfortunate. For all the president's "talk" about "a teachable moment," in the end, it was just that. All talk. No action. The White House got their photo-op and now they're happy. Too bad; they blew it.
An opportunity to "right the wrong" is gone. As they sat at the table, sipping their beer, what would it have taken for Mr. Gates to look Mr. Crowley in the eye and say "I'm sorry"? You know, something like, "I'm sorry for the way I behaved. I was tired after a very long trip, locked out of my home and I should have known better. Please, accept my apology," to which Mr. Crowley more than likely would have said, "Apology accepted." Now, there's a teachable moment for you, America. Have the strength of character to admit when you're wrong and take responsibility for your actions. Man, this country could have been lifted up, big time, had that happened. No dice.
And what's up with our president? Here is a man who traveled all over Europe apologizing left and right for supposed past mistakes made by the United States. He can't find a way to say, "I'm sorry Mr. Crowley"? He doesn't have it in him to apologize not only to the men and women of the Cambridge PD, but law enforcement officers all across the country for his off-the-cuff, boneheaded statement? Instead we get this "regrettable, calibrate my words" crap. This is leadership? Ugh!
Maybe, it's just me. Maybe I'm a little sensitive because my dad was a firefighter for 22 years outside of Boston. He knew a lot of cops as we were growing up. He would tell my brothers and me, if you're ever stopped by a police officer, you show respect. Keep your mouth shut. Don't talk back. You'll never have a problem. He was right. But hey, that was another time and place.
Today is a new day. We live in the age of moral equivalency. We're told both sides overreacted. There is no "right" there is no "wrong." The black professor with a chip on his shoulder is no different than the white cop out doing his job. What a bunch of bull.
But hey, it's over. Last call at The White House Tavern came and went without a lot of fanfare. Until next time.
As for me, I'll close with this... I respect Sgt. Crowley and wish him all the best. He made a lot of cops and many Americans from coast to coast very proud. If you were to ask, I would say what this country needs are a few more men like Jimmy Crowley.
A stand-up guy and an honest cop if ever there was one.