Blogs > Liberty and Power > Harvey Silverglate on the Right to Argue with Cops

Jul 30, 2009 9:53 am

Harvey Silverglate on the Right to Argue with Cops

As I have said here over the past week, the crux of the matter in the Gates case is that every citizen has a right to argue with a cop. In this superb article, civil libertarian Harvey Silverglate (who has worked closely with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) puts forward this view in far more eloquent terms:

It is not yet entirely clear whether there was a racial element to the initial decision by a woman on the street—working for Harvard Magazine, no less!—to call the police, although that is looking unlikely. It remains disputed whether Sergeant Crowley treated Professor Gates any differently than he would treat a white citizen in the same position. (In fact, if one accepts Crowley’s claim that he dished out to Gates equal treatment under the law, this case stands as a dire warning to all citizens as to the dangers inherent in exercising one’s constitutional right to free speech when in an exchange with a police officer—but more on that below.)
Hat tip, Anthony Gregory.

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