Police officers across the country are reacting with reserved anger to Barack Obama criticizing one of their own for doing his job.
During Wednesday night's live press conference on health care reform, Obama made the broad statement that the entire Cambridge police force "acted stupidly" in arresting his friend, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. last week.
"That was totally inappropriate. I am disgraced that he is our commander-in-chief," said Stephen Killion, president of The Cambridge Police Patrol Officer's Association, in an interview with The Huffington Post. "He smeared the good reputation of the hard-working men and women of the Cambridge Police Department. It was wrong to do. It was disgraceful."
Obama's remarks came at the end of his nationally televised presser when Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau chief for the Chicago Sun Times asked him a pre-arranged question about the arrest that made national headlines.
Unfortunately, Obama has proven to be a totally ineffective speaker without his teleprompter.
Rather than criticize the actions of one officer, Obama painted the entire Cambridge police force with the same racist brush.
"By reducing all contact between law enforcement and the public to the color of their skin or ethnicity is, in fact, counterproductive to improving relationships," said James Preston, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Florida State Lodge.
This past Saturday, while driving briskly along I-85 with my good girlfriend riding shotgun, I turned to say something to her, and in that brief second while turning, I caught a glimpse of a Dunwoody police officer standing on the shoulder of the highway training his radar gun on me.
Realizing I was caught red-handed, I began to pull over while the officer was still half a mile behind me (that's how fast I was going).
Being a natural born pessimist, I began to fret out loud about the ticket I had not received yet. My friend, who strives to find the silver lining in every dark cloud, assured me that I wouldn't get a ticket.
Sure enough, after running my tag, the officer informed me that -- since I pulled over so quickly -- he would not issue me a ticket for going 80 mph in a 55 mph zone!
We were so excited that my friend offered the Dunwoody officer a hug, which he declined (but you should have seen him blushing).
It was the 2nd time in as many months that white Dunwoody police officers pulled me over without giving me a ticket or even a written warning. I wrote all that to say that if I'm pulled over in the future by another Dunwoody officer, who turns out to be not as nice as the previous two, I won't condemn the entire police force for the actions of that one cop.
Let's see what happens the next time Obama visits Boston. Will the "stupid" police officers willingly provide backup to his security force, or will they call out sick that day?