See, there's this book I wrote, Cop in the Hood. I hear it's pretty good. It's also, uh, for sale. Anyway, on pp. 117-118 I describe how officers can invite a person outside in order to arrest him for disorderly. I never used this trick, but it certainly was something I could have used. I gave the example of a domestic situation:
Though the officer believes this argument will continue and perhaps turn violent, there is no cause for arrest. Police may not order a person from his or her home. But an officer can request to talk to the man outside his house. At this point the officer might say, “If you don’t take a walk, I’m going to lock you up." The man, though within his rights to quietly reenter his house and say goodnight to the police, is more likely to obey the officer’s request or engage the police in a loud and drunken late-night debate. The man may protest loudly that the officer has no reason to lock him up. If a crowd gathers or lights in neighboring buildings turn on, he may be arrested for disorderly conduct.
Crooked Timber writes: "Moskos is in general in favor of police having a fair amount of discretion (he seems to believe that much basic policing work would be impossible without it)." True, indeed.
From the arrest report:
I told Gates that I was leaving his residence and that if he had any other questions regarding the matter, I would speak with him outside his residence. As I began walking through the foyer toward the front door, I could hear Gates again demanding my name. I again told Gates that I would speak with him outside. My reason for wanting to leave the residence was that Gates was yelling very loud and the acoustics of the kitchen and foyer were making it difficult for me to transmit pertinent information to ECC or other responding units.Crooken Timber says:
Gates ignored my warning and continued to yell, which drew the attention both of the police officers and citizens, who appeared surprised and alarmed by Gates’ outburst.
Now, I should emphasize that I have no personal reason whatsoever to doubt that Crowley’s account of the arrest is accurate – it may very well be that the acoustics were such that communication was difficult indoors. I am not acquainted with the physical specifics of the building where Gates lives. It is, however, notable that Moskos’ Baltimore police officer both (a) uses a verbal invitation to induce the targeted individual to leave the building, and (b) then uses the attention of bystanders to generate a charge of disorderly conduct. Whether these resemblances are purely accidental or not (in the absence of more facts, you could generate arguments either way), I leave to the imagination of the reader.