- The Washington Times - Monday, July 27, 2009

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter said Monday he intends to introduce a resolution in Congress calling on President Obama to apologize for saying Boston-area police officers “acted stupidly” in arresting a black Harvard professor, despite not knowing all of the facts and acknowledging the suspect is a friend.

“I view this less as a racial incident than a presidential incident,” Mr. McCotter, Michigan Republican, told The Washington Times’ “American’s Morning News” radio show. “What I think is necessary is for the president to apologize to Officer Crowley, retract the statement and let’s move forward.”

Mr. McCotter, a lawyer and chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee, said he would drop the plan if Mr. Obama apologizes.

Sgt. James Crowley, a white officer in the Cambridge Police Department, arrested Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. on July 16 while helping investigate a report that two men where attempting to break into Mr. Gates’ home. Mr. Gates showed his ID but was arrested for disorderly conduct after he and the officer exchanged words. The charges have been dropped, and the police department has cleared the officer.

Mr. McCotter said the real issue is that the president again has overused his power and acknowledged making decisions based on bias.

“What’s at issue is the power of the president,” he said.

He asked people to put themselves in Sgt. Crowley’s situation of having the president saying you “acted improperly” at work without full knowledge of the facts and after “admitting” bias.

“I think that you could then understand the inequality of the relationship between the power of the president as we have seen here in Michigan,” where the administration forced the chief executive officer of General Motors to resign.

“Now apply that power to a sergeant in the Cambridge Police Department,” he said.

Mr. Obama, Mr. Gates and Sgt. Crowley are supposed to meet this week at the White House.

Mr. McCotter also said Sgt. Crowley experienced what every officer fears: an incident with a “politically connected” person.

“This politically connected person gets his politician friend to bring political pressure to bear upon you,” he said. “And this is kind of the biggest jackpot the officer might have encountered.”

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