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Indybay Feature
Wed Jul 29 2009 (Updated 07/30/09)
Raj Jayadev: "What Would Have Happened If Dr. Gates Was Arrested in San Jose?"
"What If Henry Louis Gates Were Not an Acclaimed Professor?"
Raj Jayadev writes: "What would have happened to Dr. Gates if he were not an acclaimed scholar and author, friend to the President, and someone whose stardom could greatly embarrass a city and county justice system?

"First things first, charges for his disorderly conduct would not be dropped shortly after his arrest, and Dr. Gates, a few weeks after the incident, would just be starting his journey in the criminal justice system, rather than reflecting on it in hindsight, while throwing back a beer with the leader of the free world. Let’s start from there.

"Let me roll out what would have happened if Dr. Gates, were he not a noted scholar, was arrested in my city, San Jose, California with the same fact pattern, even as described by the police report. Starting from arrest, Dr. Gates would have been charged with more than disturbing the peace (penal code 415 in California). From the narrative of what happened at his home, Mr. Gates would have also picked up a 148 resisting arrest, a misdemeanor.

"As for the comment, 'You don’t know who you are messing with,' Dr. Gates would have also likely picked up a penal code 69 (felony in this case), for making a criminal threat to a police officer. Dr. Gates would not know of all these charges until he was arraigned at court." Read more

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