President Obama's record of picking the correct side in these widely publicized black/white cases is not great. In fact - so far he's batting 0 for 0.
It began just months after he took office with his ridiculous statement about the Professor Louis Gates case in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Of that case, before any real facts were known, President Obama said "I don't have all the facts but the Cambridge police acted stupidly."
Even though the charge of disorderly conduct was later dropped, the Cambridge Police and the arresting officer stood by their actions and President Obama held his infamous (and awkward) beer summit at which the arresting officer and Professor Gates sat down with Obama and Joe Biden on the White House lawn to patch things up. (If the President hadn't run his mouth it wouldn't have been necessary.)
Jump forward three years to the Trayvon Martin case. Before all of the facts were in President Obama once again weighed into a local case in another state about which he had no real information.
“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said. “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids.”
The appearance remark might be true, although there is no way to tell. If he was thinking about his own kids and how he might feel if they died that's fine too. But if he was thinking that Trayvon Martin was just some innocent young kid who did nothing wrong he once again took the wrong side. The evidence didn't say so. George Zimmerman didn't say so. And ultimately the jury didn't say so. They found Zimmerman acted in self-defense after he was attacked by Trayvon Martin, whom witnesses say was on top of Zimmerman slamming his head into the ground.
Obama's obvious disappointment with the verdict came out in his remarks. He made it a race issue (even though George Zimmerman is Hispanic.) Although he said we must abide by the jury's decision he made it clear he disagreed with it. He charged Attorney General Eric Holder with finding anything they could use against George Zimmerman to obtain "justice" through other means. Holder failed - because there were none, even though Holder set up an AG snitch line for anyone who "might have any information on George Zimmerman they think could help."
Fast forward again to the Michael Brown shooting in August of last year. Without having the facts, President Obama sent a three-person White House delegation to the funeral of Brown who, as it turned out, was a petty criminal who attacked a police officer and tried to take his gun and was killed while mounting a second attack. This time Holder didn't wait to be asked but went to Ferguson, Missouri, himself with 40 FBI agents to dig up the dirt on Darren Wilson so he could be properly punished for his actions. Except, once again Holder failed and Obama chose the wrong side. The FBI report said that Officer Darren Wilson acted properly and in a justifiable manner when Michael Brown attacked him and was charging him a second time. As painful as that had to have been for Holder, it must have hurt the President to discover that once again he was on the wrong side of the issue.
President Obama encouraged the protesters, which in some ways, contributed to the violence. He didn't condemn the violence until he had no other choice.
Now back to recent events. On April 12th in Baltimore Freddie Gray ran from the police as they were walking toward him. With a long rap sheet it seems Freddie thought he might get into trouble. The police chased him, took him down and arrested him. They put him in the back of a police van for transport to the jail. During the trip officers (and one other man under arrest in the van) say that Gray was making a lot of noise and being belligerent during the trip. So much so that the transporting officers had to stop once to apply more restraints.
When they arrived at the jail Gray was found unconscious on the floor of the van and he was taken to the hospital, where he died a week later of a broken C-spine injury that the doctors described as his spine nearly being severed.
When New York City officers were found not to have used excessive force against Eric Garner, President Obama voiced his disappointment in the decision and encouraged, in his own way, people to continue protesting, even though the protesting often got out of hand.
There is much speculation as to what actually happened to Gray and an investigation has just been concluded today and forwarded to the prosecutor - 11 days later.
But President Obama sent a three-person White House delegation to the Gray's funeral. That should ease the minds of the officers involved. After all - unless President Obama finally breaks his losing streak, he chooses the wrong side every time. Given the odds, the police officers are probably innocent.
Based on Obama's track record of being on the wrong side of these issues it appears likely that the officers will be cleared of wrongdoing. If I was a betting man I'd bet on the officers. After all - many people out there believe Obama is never wrong - even when he's wrong.