Early Morning Follow Up: Sgt. James Crowley Should Have Walked Away

Headline: As Officers Face Heated Words, Their Tactics Vary
Key Passages:

— In New York, State Senator Eric Adams, a retired New York City police captain and co-founder of the group 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, said the rules for dealing with someone differed by setting. “If it’s their house, they’re allowed to call you all sorts of names,” Mr. Adams said. “A man’s house is his castle. If they’re in the street, and they don’t listen to the officer’s warning, ‘Sir, you’re being disorderly,’ you can lock them up at this time.”

— Several officers interviewed in four cities on Friday said they tried to ignore such remarks. Others said they had zero tolerance for being treated disrespectfully in public.

— The line of when to put on handcuffs is a personal and blurry one, varying among officers in the same city, the same precinct, even the same patrol car.

— “… and if you don’t have a tough skin, then you shouldn’t be a cop.”

Full NYT story.

I did major police reporting in Rochester, New York. I did a little police reporting in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and a tiny amount in New York City. Based on what I learned from police on the beat and in the streets and from policing experts: Sgt. James Crowley should have walked away.

And the New York Daily News could better serve its readers by adopting a few of the reporting techniques of the New York Times. That could happen without disrupting the DN’s tabloid style.

This writer is not holding his breath.

Backup: Center for Constitutional Rights

More backup: Stanley Fish, NYT.

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