A fellow who writes regularly for National Review Online under the name "Jack Dunphy" who says he's an LAPD officer writes re: the Henry Gates arrest brouhaha:

[A policeman talking to a citizen is] concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

When the officer has satisfied himself that it was not you and your Hupmobile that were involved in the Piggly Wiggly heist, he owes you an explanation for the stop and an apology for the inconvenience, but if you’re running your mouth about your rights and your history of oppression and what have you, you’re likely to get neither.

The LAPD, strangely, is seeing a polled upswing in L.A. citizen support these days, but that's probably only among citizens who have not been arrested or shot for the crime of discomfiting an officer who is bothering them. I blogged recently at my Southern California news and politics blog City of Angles at KCET.org about the LAPD recently getting out from under its court-ordered independent monitor, and about officers evading being fired for their use of excessive force on the May Day 2007 immigration ralliers.