Frank Serpico, the cop who famously and almost single-handedly took on the corrupt New York City Police Department in the early 1970's, wrote a critical piece on President Obama's intervention in the Professor Gates/Sergeant Crowley affair on the Huffington Post.

Below is my response to Frank, which I posted in the HuffPost comments section of his article:

Frank - You were a hero and role model of mine when I was a young social worker, working the streets of Times Square in the mid-1970's and the wild 1980's, when 42nd Street was still a mecca for pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers. Your integrity and courage in bucking the status quo was something I emulated. I met you in person back in 1973, when you gave a lecture at my college at the time, Rider College, where I was majoring in sociology.

However, you are wrong on this one, Frank. You, better than most, should know that when you're the one with the uniform, badge, gun and night stick, whose job it is to protect citizens and keep the peace, you don't get to be an "I'm not taking your lip" kinda guy, see? The police force isn't a street gang or a sports team. If you're a major league pitcher and your opponent brushes back one of your teammates, you retaliate in kind. But both team's pitchers have a hardball to throw. When you're the only one with a gun, you don't retaliate because your ego is bruised. You take the lip because THAT'S YOUR JOB! You're supposed to be the diffuser, not the egotistical escalator of a confrontation. I would have thought that you, of all people, would get that. Being arrogant isn't a crime, Frank. False arrest is.

But nonetheless, Frank Serpico, thank you for your inspiration!


Anonymous said...

Where is the old respect for authority gone? Now being arrogant and disorderly and being disrespectful to authority is known as standing up for yourself? Maybe so but not to a policeman who job is to protect you and your property. The professor was in the wrong anyway you look at it. He over reacted. He should have complied with the directives of the officer and that would have been the end of that confrontation, no one would have known about the incident had he complied with the officers wishes.

Philoph J. Caboose said...

were does he resign now like what state does he live in ?


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