I have some sympathy for the cops in the Prof. Gates case. A couple of guys seen trying to push in a front door does look a bit suspicious, and I am reminded of my own near arrest. Earlier this summer we visited our oldest daughter in the well-to-do suburb of New York where she lives. Everyone but me left to do morning errands, and eventually I went out the back door, down the driveway and off on a quick one mile jog. A neighbor, knowing that no one was home, called to report a suspicious white man sneaking out of their house and briskly walking away. I was on the return leg and a couple of hundred yards away when I saw two patrol cars in front of the house, then a neighbor, then my daughter’s car coming back home, then a bunch of people all pointing at me. The way I later heard it was that the cops were ready to come pick me up when my daughter showed up to ask if the old guy sauntering toward them was the suspicious intruder, and if so, he was her dad the priest. If they had stopped me, what would have been their protocol? Safety first! After all, the suspicious person was thought to be a possible burglar. That would have meant the old spread eagle on the side of the car, a quick pat down, and a search for ID. Embarrassing as anything, and if I had got angry about it things could have become pretty nasty. The president was right. Gates’ arrest was stupid, but everything up to that point appears to be good sensible police work.