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Posted: 6/3/2003 5:13:40 PM EDT
[url]http://www.sunspot.net/news/local/bal-md.rodricks02jun02,0,7084884.column?coll=bal%2Dpe%2Dmaryland[/url] Police lockup for speaking up seems a bit extreme Dan Rodricks -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Originally published Jun 2, 2003 Dan Rodricks -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I SIT HERE, mulling David Bergman's story, and I can't help but think of the late District Court judge, Robert J. Gerstung, who had these words for a South Baltimore guy who'd started a huge fight in his neighborhood while in the process of moving out of it: "You don't spit in the crocodile's eye 'til you cross the river." That was pure Gerstung, sagacious and sardonic, and his words were a perfect fit to the case before him that day: After a long feud with his rowhouse neighbors, a man stood defiantly, uttering fighting words, on his front stoop (in what has since become known as "Federal Hill area") while his boys loaded up the moving truck, and he provoked his enemies into fisticuffs just minutes before his departure to a more peaceful environment. I don't know if Gerstung's words are as fitting in the David Bergman matter. Here we have a 53-year-old college professor who expressed his opinion about the priorities of the Baltimore Police Department to officers on the street - and he wound up in jail for 5 1/2 hours. I don't know that Bergman was looking for that much trouble when he stated his views. But he certainly got it. And I don't think he deserved it. As much as I respect police officers in my personal life - I'm not much for picking fights, or even mild arguments, with them - I don't think a man should spend 5 1/2 hours in the lockup for exercising his First Amendment rights. But, hey, that's me. Other people I've told this story to think the professor spit in the crocodile's eye, and chanced the consequences. This happened May 13. Bergman, a professor of English at Towson University, walked from his home in Charles Village to catch a bus to work. He came upon a police detail at Art Museum Drive, near North Charles. He says that for a few days, police had been set up in this area to stop and ticket citizens driving without their seat belts fastened. Bergman doesn't think this is a good use of police power, especially for several days at a time, and especially in light of the city's more serious crime problems, and particularly because he pays extra, as a Charles Village resident, for security patrols in his neighborhood. So Bergman said as much to the group of officers on the seat-belt stakeout. He says he did this while walking down the sidewalk, and without coloring his comments with profanity. "We're professionals, we know what's best," one of the officers snapped back, Bergman says. "We don't need advice from you. Move on." Maj. Greg Eads, the city's acting chief of patrol, says Bergman received three warnings to move away, and that a small crowd gathered to watch and listen to his verbal parrying with the officers. It was only after the third warning to beat it that Bergman was arrested. Bergman tells it differently: one warning, and no crowd that he was aware of. "I was walking away," he says, "when one of the officers crossed the street and came running up to me from behind and said, 'You're interfering with my work. Turn around!' I was astonished." He was also handcuffed, forced to sit on a curb with his legs outstretched, then ordered into a sergeant's car. This did not deter Bergman from further expressing his views about the seat-belt ticketing. "I said I could see [ticketing] for one day, OK, but they had done this day after day," Bergman says. "The sergeant said, 'Sometimes people have to be forced to do what's best for them,' and he was chain-smoking at the time." Bergman spent 5 1/2 hours in a holding area of Central Booking and Intake Center. While detained, he chatted with five other prisoners and even helped one read the police report used to support the charges against him. The English professor discovered that the arresting officer's passive construction - "drugs were recovered" - lacked clarity and he suggested to his cellmate that it should be pointed out to the court as part of his defense. (A real subversive, this Bergman, eh?) Don't get the idea Bergman had a wonderful time in CBIC. He didn't enjoy being arrested - he was never charged with a crime - and he filed a complaint against the officer he'd apparently ticked off. Bergman didn't call me to whine about his treatment; I found out about his arrest from a friend of his. I don't think the professor is going to make a federal case out of this. Yes, he probably spit in the crocodile's eye before he crossed the river. Yes, he probably should have called the officers' superiors or even the mayor to complain about overzealous click-it-or-ticket seat-belt policing. He's an English professor; he could probably have written a superb letter to the editor about it. As I said, I don't go looking to start something with cops on the street. But unless the professor was interfering with police work - and it's a stretch here to say that he was - then he should have been left alone to exercise his right to shoot off his mouth. That's how I see it. Disagree with me, if you like. Just don't put me in jail.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 5:18:06 PM EDT
This from a town where drug dealers set houses with women and children in them on fire for kicks...
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 5:18:52 PM EDT
All that counts is that the LEO went home safe that night.The rights of the many pale in comparision to the rights of the LEO.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 5:19:45 PM EDT
This isnt news for us that live here, this happens all the time. Welcome to Balmer, Hon.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 5:20:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/3/2003 5:23:14 PM EDT by cyanide]
Well of course, who would you want to mess with a professor, or some crack heads who might hurt you, cops are sometimes such sorry individuals.[b]edit[/b] sorry it seems to be a popular police opinion that you should not complain unless you do a ride along or join the auxiliary.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 5:22:44 PM EDT
Lock him up.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 5:24:30 PM EDT
I had a smart mouth english prof once upon a time... who gave me a D in comp because I disagreed with his politics.. He raised liberal political issues that were unrelated to our studies.. He claimed that he was the Phd and therefore his opinon was necessarily more valued... I claimed that being an expert in one area didnt necessarily mean that one was an expert in another area... I wrote a paper for a buddy of mine the very next semester and it got an A-..a similar one written by me merited a D I guess the if the prof every gets one of those cops in one of his classes he can give them a taste of his power trip.. Like the man said "Dont spit in the croc's eye till ye've crossed the river" Very good advice when dealing with large reptiles & those who can cuff you and stuff you... [:)]
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 5:24:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By GreyGhost: All that counts is that the LEO went home safe that night.The rights of the many pale in comparision to the rights of the LEO.
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Are you being specific to this circumstance or about LEOs in general?
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 5:25:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/3/2003 5:29:16 PM EDT by M4_Aiming_at_U]
Actually, I recall one time it almost happened to me! There was a huge campout for concert tickets ON PRIVATE PROPERTY and the Police were all over the place undercover(since this was a "come one, come all event"). Well, two people started to fight, then four then 6. all of a sudden there was a brawl at the place and one of them was an undercover. Well, needless to say the SHTF there that night and the officer in question when the smoke cleared kept trying to sell drugs(they have already arrested a few for this last time) to a girl who kept refusing and the girl's b/f knocked the cop square in the mug! Well, all of us watching wanted to see WTF was going on and the cops were beating the hell out of the b/f for punching the cop and all the other cops kept telling me and other to "get out of here or we will arrest you for disorderly" Look I'm not police bashing, I am going make being a LEO a career for my myself.But not in MD! The police(well not all but 90% that I have met) in MD are complete ass's
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 5:35:09 PM EDT
Disrespectful subject.....How dare a mere peon citizen speak out against govt policy. He's lucky, I say the LEO's should have given him a good beating to remind him of his crimes. The message is clear, never question authority.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 5:48:10 PM EDT
ha ha ha I would have loved to see one of my smart ass liberal professors get arrested for opening his trap.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 6:04:06 PM EDT
I had a liberal english professor last semester. I got a b-.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 6:08:39 PM EDT
Good and bad on this one. Good, I would love to see more proffessor types locked up for whatever reason. Bad, this was not a good reason. Oh well, I guess he can teach a little more about the police state now. And for the arresting officer.... Just think how many supporters will be coming out of the profs classes now. Nothing like screwing with the shapers of young minds to turn the hearts and minds eh?
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 6:33:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 7:05:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 7:14:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 7:17:13 PM EDT
Hell...he's lucky they didn't shoot him, burn down his house and rape his seeing eye dog!! Sgtar15
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 8:11:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/3/2003 8:14:53 PM EDT by The_Macallan]
"David Bergman, [i]professor of English[/i]" [rolleyes]
[url]http://www.towson.edu/~tinkler/lgb/course.html[/url] COURSES ON LESBIAN, GAY AND BISEXUAL ISSUES at Towson University - * IDIS 101: Introduction to Lesbian and Gay Studies ([red]David Bergman[/red]) ------------------------------------------------- [url]http://wwwnew.towson.edu/multiculturalinstitute/Committees.htm[/url] Multicultural Institute Committe Members Multicultural Institute Advisory Board [red]David Bergman[/red] ------------------------------------------------- [url]http://www.inform.umd.edu/EdRes/provost/lgbt/Weekly0240.html[/url] The session, moderated by [red]David Bergman[/red] and titled "Sexual Orientation in Higher Education," will also include "Homonegativism in the Classroom: An Intervention"... ------------------------------------------------- More about David Bergman at his [url=http://www.towson.edu/english/hpg/bergman/homepage.html#personal]Homepage[/url]
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Seems to me this 53 year-old highly outspoken Gay-activist College Professor (likely ex-hippie) was probably not just "walking away" but was probably pretty confrontational given his resume of 'in-your-face' writings. Funny how they make him out to be such a humble little victim of abusive JBTs. No mention of his claim to fame as an ardent gay-rights radical who probably has had more than one run-in with police in all his years as a nontraditionalist hippie. There are two sides to every story.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 8:15:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 9divdoc: I wrote a paper for a buddy of mine the very next semester and it got an A-..a similar one written by me merited a D [:)]
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Ummm....uhhhh...what exactly where his politics that were so much worse then yours? Sgtar15
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 8:34:55 PM EDT
Hmmm, this ought to be interesting: The gay rights professor vs. the JBTs. The ultimate showdown. Sure to cause a massive cerebral hemorrhage among the tin foil nuts...
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 8:55:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: Hmmm, this ought to be interesting: The gay rights professor vs. the JBTs. The ultimate showdown. Sure to cause a massive cerebral hemorrhage among the tin foil nuts...
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Wait, this story will get better when Maryland tries to revoke his handgun permit due to his arrest.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 9:22:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: Hmmm, this ought to be interesting: The gay rights professor vs. the JBTs. The ultimate showdown. Sure to cause a massive cerebral hemorrhage among the tin foil nuts...
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[b]Add a poll![/b] My vote's for the Gay Professor.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 10:21:23 PM EDT
He violated the 2 unwritten rules taught at the academy. 1) Civilians should be seen and not heard. 2) Civilians should only spoke when spoken to. Civilians in violation should be arrested under charges of obstruction of justice.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 10:32:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: He violated the 2 unwritten rules taught at the academy. 1) Civilians should be seen and not heard. 2) Civilians should only spoke when spoken to. Civilians in violation should be arrested under charges of obstruction of justice.
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Zeig Heil!
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 10:45:39 PM EDT
The Prof's politics have nothing to do with it. If and when the Dems get back in charge, do we want to be arrested for our beliefs? The way some of you talk sounds just about like what anti's say about us and our "semi-automatic assault weapons". Remember the "Hate Weapons" arrest a few days ago? This is if the Prof is telling the truth. If not, well at least he wasn't looking down the barrel of a .40 cal. TS
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 11:24:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TigerStripe: The Prof's politics have nothing to do with it. If and when the Dems get back in charge, do we want to be arrested for our beliefs?
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The fact that he's an "English Professor" has nothing to do with it either... unless they're trying to give him some aire of credibility (superiority) over the knuckle-dragging troglodytic cops. I was looking for more insight into what the Professor does for a living since it was brought up for some reason in the story. I found it. He's an outspoken activist, a cage-rattler. There are typical trolls here who automatically assume cops abuse their authority whenever a half-told story like this comes along. Since it all comes down to "he said/he said", I'd be much less inclined to believe Prof. Bergman's account of what happened. I believe he was more than just innocently questioning the officer's actions in passing. Getting in a cop's face and trying to debate or distract him while he's writing citations or directing traffic is not "free speech". It's the actions typical of a 60's-style counterculture activist of which Bergman is one. He WANTED to rattle some cages. And he got what he wanted. A cage to rattle.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 11:34:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen: Wait, this story will get better when [red]Maryland[/red] tries to [red]revoke his handgun permit[/red] due to his arrest.
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LOL You my friend dont know how bad it is here. We the Sheeple arent allowed to have CHL permits. So he doesnt have to worry about that. Also, here in MD your juvinle record is treated just like an adult criminal record. Sooooooo If you got into a fist fight when you were 13 years old and you tried to buy a handgun,AR15 SAR-1 or other semi-auto when you turned 21. You would be denied becasue of yuor fist fight when you were 13. Lovely isnt it?
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 12:05:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Originally Posted By TigerStripe: The Prof's politics have nothing to do with it. If and when the Dems get back in charge, do we want to be arrested for our beliefs?
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The fact that he's an "English Professor" has nothing to do with it either... unless they're trying to give him some aire of credibility (superiority) over the knuckle-dragging troglodytic cops. I was looking for more insight into what the Professor does for a living since it was brought up for some reason in the story. I found it. He's an outspoken activist, a cage-rattler. There are typical trolls here who automatically assume cops abuse their authority whenever a half-told story like this comes along. Since it all comes down to "he said/he said", I'd be much less inclined to believe Prof. Bergman's account of what happened. I believe he was more than just innocently questioning the officer's actions in passing. Getting in a cop's face and trying to debate or distract him while he's writing citations or directing traffic is not "free speech". It's the actions typical of a 60's-style counterculture activist of which Bergman is one. He WANTED to rattle some cages. And he got what he wanted. A cage to rattle. I wasn't refering to the professor being arrested per se, but to some of the members' posts. The apparent glee of some due to his arrest. Of course it's dumbass to argue with cops, you should file a complaint to his/her supervisor.
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Link Posted: 6/4/2003 12:13:17 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 8:49:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/4/2003 8:53:57 AM EDT by TigerStripe]
[url]http://ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=188349&page=3[/url] TS
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 9:02:34 AM EDT
I don't give a rat's ass about the professor's politics or the classes he teaches. I DO however think that this whole "click it or ticket" campaign is more of the same idiotic nanny state bullshit that one sees all too often. I wish more regular citizens would walk right up to the police and question their activities, when they see some thing that either they don't understand or is stupid. Peopl eneed to stop acting like sheep.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 9:06:52 AM EDT
What's really important here is whether or not there was a dog in the vicinity ... and is the dog ok?
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 9:25:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Demordrah: What's really important here is whether or not there was a dog in the vicinity ... and is the dog ok?
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Wonder if deranged dogs have the "death by cop" phenomenon that humans do?
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 9:58:41 AM EDT
There are jerks out there. I saw one cop arrest someone who tapped on his window (stopped at a really long red light) and asked for the time (by pointing at his wrist).
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:08:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By QBit: My vote's for the Gay Professor.
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[img]http://www.ericcartman.fsnet.co.uk/images/biggayal.gif[/img] Super, Thanks for asking!
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:37:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/4/2003 10:38:19 AM EDT by gus]
As soon as I read he lived in Charles Village, I knew he was gay!! Never the less, these were City cops. A REALLY corrupt, screwed up organization is the Md State Police. I'll never live there again.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:50:43 AM EDT
MOST likely scenario is that BOTH the HomoProf and the JBT were in the wrong. If the cop were a student in HomoProf's class he prolly would have failed him for not being "tolerant" enough. Just so happens the HomoProf was in the cop's "classroom" and so he got the tables turned on him.
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