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Police pull their guns on Torii Hunter … while he’s in his own home

Apr 4, 2012, 7:56 PM EDT

Torii Hunter‘s Twitter feed got interesting in the past hour:

It was reported here. I assume if Hunter was less than accurate in his tweets, there would be something contradicting it in the story.

Hunter later tweeted his thanks to the Newport Beach police, saying “they did a great job of protecting my home. Thanks guys!”

Man. I spent part of last weekend in Orange County, California. It is a pretty lily white place. You don’t suppose they would have done the same thing if, say, C.J. Wilson came out the door while the alarm was going off, do you?

Nah, never. Because as my conservative friends always tell me, there is no more racism in this country.

UPDATE:  Hunter just added this tweet. It’s in keeping with his earlier tweets about the police doing their jobs. And it certainly shows that Hunter is not trying to make an issue out of this, even if his early tweets were somewhat, understandably, excited:

175 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Glen - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    If that cop was indeed an Angels fan, working in Newport Beach no less, how did he not recognize Torii?

  2. js20011041 - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    I do think that racial profiling exists in this country, but I also think that black people need to own up to at least some culpability for it. The majority of blacks in this country are good, law abiding people, as the same can be said for any group of people in this country. But what blacks need to understand is that the only side of black culture that white people see is the gangbanging, drug dealing, thuglife culture. We see it in their music and we see it in the news. This is a lifestyle that has not just been tolerated, but actively embraced by a large segment of young black people. If Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the NAACP actually cared about the black community, instead of organizing rallies everytime a black person is killed by a white person, (and only a white person, as apparently it’s ok for blacks to kill other blacks) they should be putting forth some kind of public relations message highlighting some of the good deeds of the black community. I understand the black community being pissed off about being profiled. Instead of just directing their anger at whites how about directing some of it at the segment of their population that is responsible for the negative image this country has of them.

  3. 11openureyes - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    First off I have been a Deputy Sheriff ( for people who don’t know the difference between a deputy and a police officer it is basically their jurisdiction). They both have the same powers of arrest, patrol neighborhoods, etc.
    I’ve been working for over 25 yrs. just outside of Oakland California. I have worked the jails, patrolled urban and rich exclusive areas and been a detective. “bobwheel” is correct about alarm cards are available in many exclusive communities (some city’s require you to pay a fee and fill out an alarm registration card in case officers respond to the alarm). As far as how officers respond, it depends on how the call is put out. If the only information is just the alarm going off with no resident info., and an officer sees a man coming out of the home, his gun better be drawn (unless you are absolutely positive he is not armed). The man would first be detained. (1) Explain why you are there! (2) Check him for identification, (3) If he is the homeowner ask is anyone else inside? (It could be a home invasion with hostages). (4) Clear the house. When you explain why you follow certain procedures people are a lot more understanding. As for the racism issue, just because a white guy is driving in a black area is not probable cause for a stop, however if he commits a traffic violation you can stop him for that and ask questions pertaining to his presence. When I was 19 we lived in the upper middle class area of Oakland
    which was predominately white. I was on my way to work in my dad’s car. I was stopped by a police officer. I was polite and gave him the required information. A short time later he said I could go. He said, “The reason I stopped you was, you know, young kid, driving Cadillac” (He meant “black kid”). That kind of mind set still exists today in our department and many others.

    • schlom - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:00 PM

      I think what people were complaining most about was Craig’s knee-jerk liberal response of claiming racism on the part of the police officers. If they were just following standard procedures – which is most likely – Craig (and others) have assumed motives where none existed.

      • dadawg77 - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:40 AM

        Craig didn’t say the police were racist just asked the question. When DWB still exist in today’s world, it isn’t invalid question.

      • cur68 - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:12 AM

        “DWB”…that term always makes me laugh. I’ve been pulled over for it…in Melbourne, Australia of all places. Thank dog I have a very nice, very middle class Canadian accent: it, along with my golf clubs, saved me from being shot, I am nearly certain. Guns out, pointing at me, yelling…for driving my car down a street to a golf course. To this day the whole thing baffles me.

  4. jobooo - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    Since we’re using anecdotal evidence to prove … something … I have a story: In Torii’s own Orange County, my friend and I were working late at a movie theater, screening prints. The assistant manager left for the night and neglected to lock or close the front doors. Alarms were triggered, private security, then, police were called. When they found us shutting down machines for the night – two scrawny, white 20-somethings – guns were drawn. They were not holstered until we presented ID and explained who we were and why we were there.

    Similar situation, similar location, similar actions by law enforcement. Only difference is the race. Which proves nothing, of course, just like your post.

    • schlom - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:02 PM

      Get your damn logic out of my race card!

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      Outstanding Jobooo! Well done Sir. Well done.

  5. eagles512 - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Talk about irresponsible writing! That’s disgraceful. So I guess if it wasn’t Hunter and it was an armed robber, the cops should have taken the mans word and put their guns down?

  6. morrismr466 - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Unbelievable. This has absolutely nothing to do with Hunter’s skin color. The police have to treat situations like this seriously for their own safety. I’ll tell you what’s racist, liberal writers who believe that any human being that’s not white needs their pity. I’m done with this news feed.

    • skids003 - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      Hey man, this is NBC, I think you must be a liberal race baiter to get a job with them.

    • bigleagues - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:13 AM

      buh-bye MorrisMr466.

      You revealed yourself quite well, mister.

  7. phatnate - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    Craig Calcaterra loves to bait conservatives, and he has certainly gotten a lot for his efforts here. Ask yourself what kind of person race baits? I can tell you that this is how a liberal pleasures himself. …

  8. randygnyc - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Could’ve been different if he was wearing a bowtie or hoodie.

  9. vikingsprimetime - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    If the cops came because an alarm went off, it is likely it was a security/anti-intruder alarm (how many fire alarms trigger the cops to come?). If this is the case and the cops were there in response to a security system alarm, why bust them up for investigating a person at the scene of the alarm who has no identification on him and where burglary or trespassing may have occurred? Guns are there as a protective measure used under circumstances where there may be a threat. Torii Hunter obviously is going to pose a bigger threat than some old man/woman, so cops should feel free to have their guns ready and not locked in their trunk (as you might prefer, Craig).

    If the argument is just that the cops should know what Torii Hunter looks like, that is just naive man. Torii Hunter is a good player and a good guy, but he is not iconic and recognized by all.

    • kopy - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:26 AM

      Exactly. Newport Beach is not an ordinary suburb. Not only are there 85,000 there (a pretty large amount for a PD to keep tabs on everyone), but it’s so full of Los Angeles’ rich and famous, how is he supposed to be iconic and recognizable when there’s a strong chance he’s probably no more famous than his next door neighbors?

      It’s very possible for Hunter to be recognized by civilians, but it’s unreasonable to expect it.

      • kopy - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:27 AM

        Grammar failing. No need for “strong chance” and “probably” in the same sentence. I’m going to bed.

    • racksie - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:31 AM

      Actually, not a good guy. He threw his former manager, and a team mate under the bus. And this is from the guy who was defended by said manager for misplaying a run scoring single into an inside the park home run, TWICE!

  10. racksie - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    I don’t like Torri Hunter. No I in team, but there are two I’s in Torii. That said, he sure did backtrack fast and bend over backwards trying to compliment the cops. I would love to see this played out with C.J. Wilson. Or Mike Scoisicia.

  11. ddmcd1974 - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    Bigleagues who cares. Profiling is a part of life. I’ve given my war stories. We all have them. Here s another. We were skaters when young. Long hair nose ring etc. cops used to pull us over search our cars asking us where the angel dust was and the spray paint. Then other times they would take our boards never to be seen again. Early 90′s. Look plane rides now. We all know they should be profiling but they don’t so what happens? It’s fucked up for all of us. Fuck that profile middle easterners. You’ve earned your stripes now deal with it.

    • bigleagues - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM

      Yeah, it’s cool. We should all just chill out and turn our backs on injustice – particularly abuse and bigotry towards minorities. Why bother, right?

      I mean, seriously?! Why should we bother with civility at all.

      MadMax baby. Bring it on.

      Weak.

  12. niccstyles - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    @metalhead fyi: white people commit more crimes than any other race. Look it up

    • bigleagues - Apr 6, 2012 at 10:34 PM

      It’s true.

      And its simple math for those that understand simple math. More White people – A LOT more White people – means LE, in the aggregate, should expect to arrest more White people than any other ethnic group.

      The part that Metalhead and other bigots seem to have trouble reconciling is that despite far more Whites being arrested there are MORE Blacks and Hispanics, respectively, in jail than Whites. Hmmmm, now HOW is that possible?

      The part that’s most disturbing is there are FAR MORE Blacks in jail for non-violent crimes than any other ethnicity. Hmmmm…. why could that be?

      Were not talking about a temporary condition of our legal system…. were talking GENERATIONS that it has been this way. Hmmmm…..

  13. dorahbee - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Torii Hunter has a responsibility to the community to not create racial issues when none exist.

    Opinion 2: He should have either called the cops out for being racist, or said flat out that there was no racism involved. He purposely left it ambiguous to create controversy, and can then later claim he never made any specific quotes.

    Fact 7: Implying something is the same thing as saying it.

    Fact 8: Saying something without proof does not make Torii Hunter the better person in this situation.

    What?! Torii Hunter wasn’t making a racial statement, he was tweeting about what happened apparently as there haven’t been any police disclaimers. And he even had the good grace to thank the police in a later tweet. I like the part where he tweets about the policeman saying that he is a big Angels fan and hopes that the team has a great year. Can’t you hear the guy telling his buddies that he met Torii Hunter- “I was on a call to his house and he thanked us for our good work. No big deal, just doing our job!”

  14. nynewsblob - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Yeah, you’re right, Craig. You do get paid to give your opinion..ON BASEBALL.

    People come to this site to follow their favorite sport. This is an endeavor that helps people escape all the political crap, and whatever else is weighing on their respective minds.

    NO ONE came here to hear your take on race relations, and I for one don’t give a crap what you think about the issue.

    Torii made a tweet that was bound to spur controversy, and you latched right onto it, even after he essentially took all the air out of the issue.

    A good writer can get their point(s) across without blatantly showing their true colors. This is something you failed miserably at in this case.

    You want to be some windbag pundit like Olbermann, or O’Reilly? FIne, just do it somewhere else. This is a baseball site.

    • maxt75 - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:12 AM

      Amen.

    • bigleagues - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:07 AM

      Torii is a baseball player.

      Craig is a baseball blogger.

      Craig wrote a post relevant to baseball and society on his baseball blog.

      If you don’t like it, you probably should just ignore it . . . and not have wasted 143 words excoriating him Craig for, God forbid, making some observations about society as it relates to a popular baseball players recent off-field experience.

      • nynewsblob - Apr 6, 2012 at 10:18 AM

        Maybe Craig should mix in a little biology too. After all, Torii is a homo sapien.

        That’s only 16 words. I counted for you this time.

      • bigleagues - Apr 6, 2012 at 10:43 PM

        You can pretend to be color blind.

        But really you’re just fact blind.

        And common sense blind.

        Oh, and ehhhh …. homosapien <———- it's one word. 15 words, not 16. But nice try and all.

        25 words if we add in the other 10.

  15. maxt75 - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    Craig, stick to talking baseball, not politics. Whenever you have a black person dealing with a white cop there will always be charges of racism. Its the easiest way out. And you will always have a gullible reporter who’s going to take the bait and run with it before he knows both sides of the story.

    “Because as my conservative friends always tell me, there is no more racism in this country.”
    There is more racism from blacks than there is whites. But, wait, blacks can’t be racist, can they?

  16. cur68 - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    No Craig, don’t stick to baseball. Give your opinion. You reach a lot of people and most of what you have to say deserves as much air time as what the other side of the argument has to say. They are louder, more certain of themselves, and far more willing to shout “liberal” if they don’t like what you have to say.

    I happen to think the cops did rather well by not shooting Hunter. They seem to have acted with a reasonable amount of caution, but, if that had been someone maybe a bit paler than Hunter…I have no problem whatsoever believing the guns would still be in the hostlers. Given the history of mistreatment that black people have had in America, why people find this so hard to accept is beyond me: there are far too many stories of an innocent person being killed because he or she looks out of place. Far too many.

    So, ask the questions. Generate discussion. See to it that people have to verbalize their thoughts on the matter. That way, the next time some innocent person is shot for not looking like they belong in their own house, everyone involved in this conversation can look back and ask themselves “how does that fit with what I said then?”

    • skids003 - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      He needs to stick to baseball. I don’t come on here to read about every horses**t political or social problem this country has, I come here to read about baseball. It is a baseball blog, not political or social. If it keeps up, not that you care, I’ll go elsehere for my baseball news.

      • 24missed - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:31 PM

        Ummm…this is baseball. This is a story about a baseball player. A baseball player that went through an experience some here believe is about racial profiling and some don’t share that belief.

        Blacks are obviously treated much differently in this country than whites. Sure, they can go and serve overseas and all, but when it comes right down to it ~ racism is right smack in our faces. It sucks when family members act this way and I am always the one that had spoken up. But, by now, they beat me to the punch, “O, that’s right, we can’t say that or act that way or blah, blah, blah because 24 is around.”

        Discussion is good. I think my family members are coming around through discussion and I think there are plenty more like me. There is a new generation coming around and with each generation, hopefully the dream will come true.

        Sounds like interracial relationships would be an feisty topic here.

        This is baseball. This is life. This is what it all comes down to. Look at the numbers of black baseball players in baseball. Geez, from that alone, Torii should have been identified.

        Torii handled this situation with class. His last tweet did mention that the police handled the situation like trained cops.

  17. jikkle49 - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:51 AM

    Nothing to see here really.

    I don’t think Torii was trying to play the race card and when he realized that it could’ve been viewed a in a racist way he made sure to clarify that it wasn’t the case. He was just tweeting something that happened to him.

    The police were responding to an alarm and his wife didn’t answer the phone so of course they were likely to have guns drawn and be suspicious of any one in the house. Can you imagine the out cry if it wasn’t Hunter and the cops didn’t check for ID? It would be “White cops assuming all black people look a like” or even worse if Hunter’s wife or Hunter himself came in while the burglar was still there.

    When it comes to being able to recognize him most people see him on TV in games where he’s wearing a hat and the camera isn’t exactly zoomed in on his face. It’s hard to believe for people that follow the sport that watch interviews and what a lot of games to not know what Torii Hunter looks like but to a more casual fan that saw him in person I think it would be reasonable for them to not but exactly sure if it was Hunter or not.

  18. nickellbag - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:57 AM

    Good thing he wasn’t wearing a hood

  19. couldntthinkofaname - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:25 AM

    “Nah, never. Because as my conservative friends always tell me, there is no more racism in this country.”

    Douche comment. I highly doubt any of your friends, no matter their political leanings, have ever said that to you. Give me a break.

  20. mempusa - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    Sorry but I’d be glad they had their guns on me in my house if my alarm went off. Id also make sure I had ID If I knew they were coming. Quit trying to play the race card

  21. eagles512 - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    Still can’t believe this was written…I’m almost afraid to tell my cop friends to read it.

  22. junior2931 - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    If someone hasnt called out the author od this stupid article please let me do so. Your a morom craig! You title it that he had a gun pulled on him in his own home then you publish his tweets that clearly state he was in his yard after returning home. Big difference…dont try so hard to be famous. Honesty will w!ork wonders for a writer

    • junior2931 - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      Apologies for grammatical errors. posted by phone

  23. cereal blogger - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    We become more of a police state everyday

  24. yahmule - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    He’s lucky this didn’t happen in Las Vegas. He would have been shot, the coroner would have rubber stamped it justifiable and the taxpayers would have had to cough up a million dollar settlement to his family. Happens several times a year out here.

  25. jlove42 - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Craig, you’re a jerk for even bringing on this firestorm. If I wanted to hear pointless debating about race I’d turn on one of our country’s many terrible news channels or radio stations. I don’t turn them on because this type of nonsensical debate only brings about more hatred, including in myself. You knew exactly what type of “race war” you were going to start when you made those comments. Some things are just better left unsaid on a baseball blog!

    Regardless of where you or I fall on this issue, I’ve definitely lost respect for you as a baseball writer.

    • bigleagues - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:11 AM

      “pointless debate”

      “You knew exactly what type of “race war” you were going to start when you made those comments.”

      WHAT RACE WAR?! <——- that is a term that is bandied about A LOT on Hannity & Limpbaugh in recent weeks and virtually no where else.

      Me thinks we have a right wing phantom among us.

      • jlove42 - Apr 6, 2012 at 5:18 PM

        Right wing phantom? What are you 12?

        If you were able to read and comprehend what I wrote, you should have been able to surmise that I don’t watch News Channels or listen to any kind of talk radio. I don’t even read articles that are partisan, no matter which way they lean. I quit doing stuff like that in college because I’d get too wound up and pissed off and all that, and I’m much happier for it. There’s no point in getting pissed off about things when you can’t directly make a difference, IMO.

        If you’d like to categorize me, make it “baseball fan” I choose not to take sides. I will concede that race war was the wrong term to use (didn’t know right wing talkers were using it recently… you did)… I don’t know what the right term to use was and I was trying to be kind of sarcastic. Maybe you can enlighten me on this, oh watcher of news shows and listener of talk radio?

      • jlove42 - Apr 6, 2012 at 5:19 PM

        Also, I just remembered I got the term race war from Eric Cartman on some South Park episode years ago

      • bigleagues - Apr 6, 2012 at 11:10 PM

        jlove42

        Fair enough on your watching and listening habits. As for not making being able to make a difference, so you just tune out …. well that actually gets me more wound up than anything. We have a nation of people who just tune out because they don’t think they can’t make a difference.

        And so what we get is an assault by our government on ALL of our civil liberties.

        We get a perpetual grossly failED War on Drugs that IS the root cause of the violence along our Southern border. But hell, we employ border agents, prison guards, weapons makers, etc …. so whats a few beaners lives, right?

        We get NDAA, PIPA, SOPA. What a little loss of privacy among friends?

        We get increasingly militarized police who have no clue what community policing means. Why bother engaging the public civilly when we can kill 67-year old war vets in their homes when their LifeAid accidentally gets activated in the middle of the night. Far easier to break down the door, shout racial epithets, taser them, then fire two bullets into their chests than knock and make sure everything is OK … especially when a corrupt PD believes they can pretend it didn’t happen. (as cur68 previously mentioned … this REALLY happened in White Plains, NY).

        We get a virtually unaccountable Military Industrial Complex taking increasingly bold and legally specious steps to C*O*N*T*R*O*L on behalf of a wholly out of control Corporate run-oligarchy via their hand selected puppets: Obama, Romney, Pelosi, Boehner, Reid.

        I could go on and on. But sheesh … wouldn’t want to take anyone away from their baseball and such.

        I love baseball too. Dedicated a good chunk of my life to it. But really to think we can’t discuss race as it pertains to a baseball player on a baseball blog is really pretty lame.

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