Here’s how we Atlantans deal with uppity historians who vote to criticize the Bush Administration’s conduct of the Iraq war.
But seriously.... You can access he police report through a link in the AJC article, while the historian tells his version at great length in video available here. Were it not for the witnesses (one of them an actual historian) and the officer’s generally good reputation, I might have reason to cast more doubt on the police report. What I don’t doubt, however, is the irony of a professor claiming over and over again that he’s unaware of the customs and laws of the place he’s visiting. Don’t academics pride themselves on their (cross-)cultural sensitivity?
Of course, it’s very unfortunate that things got out of hand, and I’m sure there were misunderstandings on both sides. I’m willing to forgive Professor Fernandez-Armesto his ignorance of and indifference to our laws (as well as his casual references to rampant crime, including serial murders, in Atlanta, which is either evidence of racism or anti-Americanism) if he’s willing to forgive a perhaps overzealous police officer.