The Harvard professor who was arrested in his own home has been in the news lately. But I believe the most relevant angle of this case has been overlooked thus far. This is that the professor was arrested for the crime of "disorderly conduct". This is what the police arrest people for when they can't think of any crime to arrest them for. It is rarely the only reason for an arrest, as it was here; rather, it is usually added onto a list of other charges, when the suspect does not cooperate with the police, or is creating a disturbance and won't calm down when told to.
As the officer stated in his own report (stating the law involved), he arrested Gates for "loud and tumultuous behavior in a public space." Ah, a public place. But Gates was in his own home!! The standard should be much higher for handcuffing and arresting someone who is in his own home. I believe the officer used extremely poor judgment in arresting a man in his own home as he did, on the pretext that the man was creating a "public disturbance". And it is surely true that a Black man has far more likelihood of being subject to this type of harassment that a White man does.