Gates & Crowley & Heaps of Comments!

Yes, I am sure everyone by now knows all about the ‘dispute’ between Mr. Gates and Sgt. Crowley. As a police and having been in similar situations before, I really don’t think I will venture into giving my opinion… especially when so many other people have already done so!

Have a look at all the comments posted at a recent Boston Globe article in which correspondent Jack Nicas spoke with Robert H. Mnookin [here]. The article itself is actually a Q & A with Mr. Mnookin who had this to say when asked what is the best course towards a resolution between the two:

What I think would be interesting, and perhaps useful, is if they really sat down as two people, as two human beings. If they were both interested in exploring, what had happened, how did this happen, what impact did it have on each of them; that I think would be perhaps valuable. …What would be interesting on a human level to see is if they would each be willing to try to listen to each other and see the world from the other person’s perspective, without letting go of their own perspective.

By the way, here are some comments from the article:

The best resolution would be for Cambridge PD to pay $250K to Dr. Gates. When the guy with authority has abused his power, a friendly sitdown isn’t the way to placate his victim.

I think I understand now….if you are black & prominent, you don’t have to cooperate with police or follow any police directives because you’ve endured 200 years of oppression.

You must be nuts….why not get Desmond Tutu involved in disputes over grocery coupon disputesat a checkout counter if the two argument participants are of different racial backgrounds.
Try a real job and life.

The basis of this article is flawed. This is not about getting to “yes” because no one is selling anything. Conflict resolution and contract negotiation are not the same thing. In a sales situation, when you come to terms everybody wins because what both parties want is to buy or sell something they are both willing to see bought and sold. The dignity of a respectable gentleman is not for sale. The cops screwed up. The question is not how can everyone involved understand eachother and grow as people, but what can the police do to show the sincerity of their regret over this mistake. As a lawyer, I know that these situations often come down to negotiated financial settlements in which all that is really in issue for the negotiators is price. However, a victim, in order to be compensated (and I dont know that this incident will ever come to that) should not have to try to understand his attacker’s point of view.

Escalation is not what’s needed here. Scrumming in the media, particularly on “cable news” simply adds more unnecessary gasoline this fire. How about both men displaying some common sense by actually sitting down together and showing everyone that they can get past this misunderstanding?

Again, read the full article and ALL the comments [here]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: