July 23rd, 2009
05:02 PM ET

Cambridge police sergeant defends his actions

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/07/23/officer.gates.arrest/art.jim.crowley.wcvb.jpg" caption="Sgt. Jim Crowley said he has nothing to apologize for in regards to the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr."]


Sgt. James Crowley, the police officer who arrested Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home, spoke out today on local talk radio, The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show. Here's some of what he had to say:

The reason I asked the professor to come outside was not, as some would suggest, because I knew I couldn’t arrest him in his house. I didn’t know who he was. I was by myself. I was the only police officer standing there and I got a report that were people breaking into a house. That was for my safety, because first and foremost, I have to go home at night. I have three beautiful children and a wife who depend on me. So I had no other motive other than to ensure my safety.  This  gentleman could either have been one of the people breaking in or he could've been the homeowner that was unaware that there were people his house unauthorized. I just didn’t know.

… That apology will ever come from me as Jim Crowley; it won’t come from me as sergeant of the Cambridge Police Department. Whatever anybody else chooses to do in the name of the city of Cambridge or the Cambridge Police Department is beyond my control. I know what I did was right. I have nothing to apologize for…

 …The second question is, "is there anybody in the home with you?" And again, my reasoning is not to get into his personal business, but he may not know that there are people broke into his house. I wanted know, is there anybody else here, are you here by yourself? And again, outward appearances, when I first laid eyes on the professor, to me, in my mind, I’m thinking, he doesn’t look like somebody who would break into a house. I wasn’t certain.  But his responses to my routine inquiry about, "could you step outside and talk to me?" My inquiry about, "is there anybody else in the residence?" The way – not just what he said to me, but the tone in which he said – just seemed very peculiar. Even more so now they know how educated he is.

Listen to the full interview here.

Read more about this story on CNN.

Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. tony

    amen Dana You are absolutly right! Al s. is causing more trouble than anyone. eveything is racial to him I am sure there are several people of color that agree.....

    July 23, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  2. Christine Dimengo

    A "reporter" asks President Obama an inappropriate question at a press conference on health care reform. President Obama gives an honest answer to this "question" which had no relevance to the issue of health care. As a result, real issues such as Iraqi refugees lost precious airtime. Now, is it just me or is anyone else questioning who acted "stupid and irresponsible" here? Is it the President who gave his answer? Is it the "expert" Cambridge Police officer who entered a home without backup where a possible robbery was taking place? Or is it the professor who refused to restrain himself to help diffuse a bad situation? How about the "reporter" who set this entire lost newsday in motion with one "question"?

    No, it's me, the viewer. I wasted an entire day watching the news, hoping to see great coverage of President Obama's visit to The Cleveland Clinic. A place where my son and I spend a great deal of time receiving amazing health care for his Type I diabetes and my cardiac issues. A city within itself where health care works for every patient who walks through the doors. Where there are no star doctors just employees who are ethical and passionate about what they do and do it well. If only the "reporter" possessed these ethical qualities.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  3. kim

    I hate cops.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  4. Ruby Coria LA., CA.

    The President was Right, the police acted Stupid. The Police does point out Blacks & Latino's, the Police does abuse that badge, they can beat you down & it's your fault, No and's, if's, or but's, & I know white people can't relate, & that's good, because it should happen to anyone. But it happen time & time again. The President was Right! it was Stupid.

    by the way; why is congress going on break?, Not! they have work to do! & we need this done now! Don't make me act like Cop's & flash the badge! get to work, they are lucky they have a Job.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  5. Denise

    Well...since the Black Coalition stated that this incident was racial profilling and Obama stated Sgt. James Crowley acted stupidley I would like to state my race. I am Latina and American. I stand by the officer who was doing his job when he got the call that a brake-in had accurred. I've witness officers ask simular questions , if not the same, when they are speaking to people who are possibally involved in the incident or may have information. Obviously, the professor, Henry Louis Gates Jr. used a tone with the officer that did cause the outcome of the matter. It does not matter what race, gender, or backround an individual is or has everyone knows to respect the law and an officer is a representitive of the law. The professor did not respect the officer and apparently thought he can use his race, backround, and loud shouting tone to intimidate the officer. The officer should NOT appologize and the charges should NOT have been dropped. By the way, Obama may not have stated the officer was stupid, however it is what he had meant. Obama has left me thinking that he himself is promoting African American's negative behavior because he himself is half or part African American and his color of skin is not white.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  6. Joyce

    Good Grief!!,

    If this had been a white guy or anyone else, latino or whatever, you must know that "YOU" cooperate with police under any circumstance. They will not tolerate anyone yelling, cursing, or acting obtrusively, period. I myself respect the police for doing their duty. Had Professor Gates been out of town and had a burglar intrude he would now be praising the police. And like most, nothing makes police angrier than telling them "Do you know who I AM". What arrogance! I think President Obama needs to make an apology for speaking before the facts and calling the police stupid... Now, I'm a Liberal and lifelong Democrat, but this is getting a little too much. I'm upset and first and foremost President Obama should have told the press this was a health care forum only. I was shocked and dismayed.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  7. dina

    Also schematics aside, you don't arrest a man at his own home. The officer needs to grow up, pray to God it wasn't a violent break-in and move on to the next case. I don't care if Skip called him every name under the sun. Once ID was presented, the officers job was completed. That's it. I don't care about Skips anger, it has no place legally, which should have been the LAW officers focus.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  8. Marie

    This officer did the right thing! I'm so tired of hearing "black" people complain about being "mistreated". If this was reverse and a white man was arrested by a black officer and the white man said it was because of his race – – Jesse Jackson would be the first person on this screaming "THE BLACK MAN DID ALL HE COULD!!!" I'm so tired of hearing about race. Race is no longer an issue. What about age discrimination? Sexism? Religious injustice? We have more problems than that – what about the economy? What about health care? What about poverty? AIDS? Iraq? Internation standings? A failing school system? This should not be news.
    I am also sad that all CNN can focus on is race. I refuse to watch your "Black in America" Special. What about "German in America"? Why not "Russian in America"? "White in America"? No I guess you can't do that. Might seem racist. I thought CNN was supposed to be trustworthy – how can i trust them when they only focus in on ONE ethnic group?

    July 23, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  9. Mike

    The police officer did his duty in investigating a possible break-in at the home of Prof. Gates. Once Gates had established that he was in fact the homeowner, the police officer had the duty to defuse the situation and leave. Arresting and handcuffing the homeowner in his own home for disorderly conduct is absurd on its face, and as federal courts have held in these types of situations, a clear abuse of power.

    It would be nice if people were civil to civil servants and police officers sure have a tough job to do, but part of our rights in our society is to be able to question police actions without fear of being arrested. It is one of the bright lines that separates us from a police state. The first amendment protects free speech, even when it is not civil speech, and the fourth amendments provides a right to be secure in our own homes. The charges against Gates were dropped because there was no basis under Mass. law for him to be arrested in the first place.

    Gates should not have lost his temper and the police officer should not have over reacted. It's a pity that cooler heads didn't prevail, but losingyour temper in your own home, even when speaking to a police officer, is not a crime.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  10. Susan

    It's amazing how someone that has not experienced racial profiling can deny that it happens. The Cambridge incident is a clear example of a person of color and profiling. Black men in an upscale neighborhood trying to access a private home. Showing proof of residence and ID but the officer claims "they were acting beligerent" and he was "protecting himself since he was the only officer on the scene". Lucky they didn't break a window to get into the house – they would have been shot! Here's a tip, why didn't the officer look at his ID, realize it was the Professor's residence and try to calm him down or help him. That is what law enforcement should do.

    I never would have believed in profiling until my brother-in-law of Mexican decent has been stopped five times in my new Mustang. Or that he can't wear his retro red-plaid Pendelton from the '60's because he'll get pulled over for wearing "gang colors".

    Racism in America exists – believe it. This is a cop from a culture that accepts this type of behavior. Shame on him!

    July 23, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  11. Quan

    Very interesting comments I have read. First of all I understand where the officer is coming from as far as following procedure. Also, following procedure is to identify the person you are speaking with. He has a radio, he could have easily verified who Dr. Gates was and explained to him the situation and checked out his home just to make sure things were ok. One person commented everyone doesnt know who Dr Gates is and this is true. However in Cambridge it would be hard for me to believe that people don't know who he is. Hell, I live in Raleigh and even if you don't know Coach K, you know he is part of Duke. I can't say if Dr Gates was profiled. I think it was just a unfortunate incident. However, lets not be nieve and pretend like all cops are just doing their jobs. Just as I can say all blacks are not savages, criminals, drug dealers and other stereotype people have about us. Race will always be a problem in this country and until we make strides to understand each others struggles, culture, and background. Discussions like this will continue. I think Dr Gates and the officer should meet and talk. From that Im sure each will see that it was a misunderstanding.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  12. Svphillips

    My previous comment is not saying all of america is rasist ,It only takes a few like I believe this officer truly is to divide us even more.
    Blue against Blacks ,Police against african americans this is history from the 50's to today when will we ever learn to love one another regardless of what look like.

    Best Wishes SVP

    July 23, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  13. dina

    OBAMA is involved in this because he was asked a question. Were we watching the same press conference lol to those questioning Obama on this.

    There are those that trust the police and others that know better.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  14. Svphillips

    The truth is ,If he was white he would have never been arrested, I am glad the president commented on this. It is getting out of control .
    Blue against Black ,Where is the trust ???
    Many people dont want to believe that race is and issue in america, I here to tell you a business professional who pays my taxes ,have a familly and children in college experience it everyday.
    Rather being followed in stores ,followed by the police, looked at strange by my nieghbors or people driving by my home while I am mowing my grass.
    Example mowing my grass ,A white lady down the street stopped and asked me if I would mow her grass ,And if the owner was home, When I stated I was the owner she drove off. And I have many more examples.Lose of business contracts once the company found I was a black owned business. Where is the love ,trust and god in america???
    I teach my children to love and respect everybody regardless of thier skin color ,When are you going to start doing the same.......

    Best Wishes SVP

    July 23, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  15. jim austin

    The comments that I've read hear just supports my point about the U.S. Had this been a white person, the cop would have been more willing to take no for an answer. Should that cop say I'm sorry? Who cares as long as we have idiots like the last 23 post above me. And its not Mr.Obama its President Obama.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  16. Deanne

    It's all about whose story you believe- you'll be on the officer's side if you believe his version and you'll be on the professor's side if you believe his version. The bottom line on Mr. President's comment is that he couldn't make everyone happy no matter how he answered the question last night by the reporter. If you don't want to hear his opinion, quit asking the President about things that aren't related to our federal government. This is clearly something that should be dealt with on a city or county level.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  17. paul

    This is the story of a fully-grown, highly-educated man who, rather than feeling gratitude that his home was being protected by neighbors and the police department, acted out like the spoiled, overindulged manchild that he really is, and created an ugly, overblown incident out of something innocuous and trivial.

    It's unfortunate that the elite, overprivileged friends of President Obama feel such a sense of entitlement and self-importance that they cannot accept responsibility for their own actions and the results that follow.

    It's regrettable that the rest of us, who have had the same or similar incidents and accepted that we were wrong, learned from our experience and moved on with our lives, must now be subjected to his whining, tantrums and race-baiting cries of discrimination.

    Gates is the one who needs to apologize, both to the police department and to the rest of the country, for the hatred and bigotry he has tried to foment in order to distract from his own responsibilities in what should have remained a personal matter.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  18. Annie Kate

    The police officer did what he was suppose to do by the book. Had he not gone by the book he could have been in trouble; yet by going by the book he in this incidence got into some trouble. The professor did not show the policeman his Harvard ID for some time after the police officer asked to see it (several times) because he was busy yelling at the police officer and claiming racial discriminaion. The policeman has nothing to apologize for.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  19. john

    It appears that mr gates is one arrogant, pompous jerk who inpeded a legitimate police investigation. Anyone else in america would be facing charges. His was dropped so maybe he should just be thankful and have a slice of humble pie. Better yet, he should just shut the hell up.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  20. Agatha

    I think Police officers in Cambridge will think TWICE about protecting a Black man's house from burglary in the future. What do you think?

    As a woman who feels intimidated by strangers coming up to me, I don't start yelling "rape."

    Prof. Gates is 'friends' with the President of the United States. His state has a Black governor AND mayor. With all his education can't he figure out that they have more power than Sergeant Crowley????

    If I were EDUCATED, which I am, with some confidence of WHO I am,
    I would LAUGH if police officers were sent to my house to ask me if I was breaking into my own house, especially if I was breaking in.

    I would tell them they are TOO late as they could have been helpful earlier when I was locked out. I would thank my neighborhood watch for informing the police.

    As educated as Prof. Gates, thinks he is because of the paper he carries: he cannot learn Common Sense or even CALMNESS.

    I think he will do more damage for the racial divide for all his
    education. If he were a stupid black man, he might have more common sense because they probably know what it's like to be in jail...LOL

    July 23, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  21. Betty in California

    lets take race out of the equation for a moment shall we? There is no excuse for the officer to arrest Mr. Gates after he provided TWO FORMS of identification. Period. Police officers abuse their power all the time–it's unfortunate however it's a fact. It's even more unfortunate that it discredits the police officers who are trying to do their job.

    However, (now putting race back into the equation), this seems to happen to minorities of all colors a lot more than it happens to White Americans. It's a fact, and regardless of how you feel about the issue, facts don't lie. There always seems to be an extra level of suspicion. And that's the problem.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  22. Fay - California

    When Professor Gates provided identification and proof that he lived in the home, the entire incident should've ended at that point. The police officer was wrong in his actions and President Obama's comment regarding it last night was entirely correct.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  23. Debbie

    Black, Black , OH poor me. Everyone is picking on BLACKS. Our Black President should have kept his comments out of a local matter.

    IT IS getting real old hearing about everything that a Black does and/or gets caught doing is racist.

    There are good and bad in ALL races.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  24. Vickie

    Why didn't the officer wait for backup if he we so fearful? He wasn't so intimidated by Gates (the possible robber) or the "unknown" situation that it kept him from entering the house alone . He never even drew his weapon. How worried for his safety could he have really been?

    Gates probably just wouldn't stop running his mouth, the officer got mad, and decided to teach Gates a lesson by arresting him.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  25. Brian

    I have one question for the so called educated professor that got arrested...What gives you the right to defy a police officers command...I don't care what race, gender or profession your in. when a police officer gives you a command to stop...YOu do it...
    So, stop throwing the race card around because of you own stupidity.....

    July 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  26. Tammy, Houma, LA

    As the godmother of a child whose parents are both police officers, I say more power to Sgt. Crowley for being a professional, doing his job, protecting himself, and not apologizing for it. Gates' Ph.D. and fancy job at Harvard doesn't entitle him to anything, especially not to be disrespectful to an officer of the law attempting to protect Gates' property.
    And Obama even commenting on this simply shows his ignorance and racist views. Good thing he's the president of everybody.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  27. Sheryl

    I know that police officers have undergone enormous changes over the years regarding how to deal with minority communities in a more sensative way as a direct result of problems that should not be repeated.

    When will the black community undergo enormous changes in the way they deal with police? This sense of entitlement because you are black and will have your way or yell racist has to end.

    Its time professor Gates set an example and knocked the chip off his shoulder and apologized to this officer who was there to protect him.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  28. Tim Gibson

    Had this been a white professor, I have no doubt the same questions would have been asked, but it was the defensive stance of the professor where he then chose to turn this into a racial issue by his own choice. Not the choice of the police or this police officer in question.

    Attitude speaks more than words and if you choose to turn every issue into one of black versus white, progess will never come in regards to race relations.

    It is time to lay the blame game aside and face reality.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  29. brandon from ft. worth

    Once the professor showed proof that he was in his own home the officer should have apologized for the inconvience and jumped back inside his squad car. End of story the guy looks to be in his 60's deffinetly not the guy you think would go around breaking into someones house. If a cop came talking to me at my house like I was a criminal I would shut the door in his face and wait to see some kind of warrant. Innocent until proven guilty was not the case. The officer did not access the sitiuation close enough and just so happen to pick on a friend of President Obama. Does nothing for the real issue racial targeting that goes on in almost every city of America blacks are targeted by police officers of all races.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  30. Jim

    Sorry but I've seen too many Police officers that abuse their authority, who do not listen, & then cannot understand when a person gets angry at them. The Officer here said " I didn't know who he was" – Even after the man shows his ID showing who he was & that it was HIS HOUSE?????
    I think police departments need to do a little training on Common sense.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  31. Harriet Tubman

    my question, since Professor Gates has lived at this address for quite some time, why didn't the neighbor come to his rescue and shouldn't the neighbor have recognized him?

    July 23, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  32. DG

    The police responding to the call was entirely appropriate, had they not responded in a timely manner they would have been ripped (if an actual burglary). Chances are the two men at some point began an intense battle of egos. Gates defending his stature and race and Crowley protecting the shield on his chest. Sure police are trained to de-esculate in situations like this, but a Harvard man of such great stature has to understand that dynamic too. This is likely more to do with egos than race and at this point they are both being encouraged to continue that struggle. As a result neither one of them is likely recalling the event with greatest of accuracy. Unfortunate, but lets not make more of it then it should be, both sides should demonstrate their true proffesionalism and make peace publicly.

    P.S The President's comments may fall in the catagory of inappropriate usage of position power. Especially when "acted stupidly" is prefaced with "I dont know all the facts and I am biased". A comment from the President may be justified , ( this one in particular reflects his true feelings not the ones of a speech writer), however this one was in poor taste and substance.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  33. norma

    i think that the police officer once he found out that mr gates lived there his job should have been done.but it was a black man so he just couldnt let it go .president obama was right the officer acted stupidly.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  34. Deanna

    Mr. J. Crowley has demonstsrated extra authority during his job of
    PROPER ID TO THE hate/crime cop who was not satisfied of Mr. Gates cooperation. and with over authority the degrading cop demand
    for the resident to come outside to complete his wrongful task!!! This
    racial profile is a bad apple / what an excuse to cover up the real deal.
    The neighbor was incorrect too, or was this her day to play head games... Do we know our neighbors in daylight? What did her 911
    over react call say???

    July 23, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  35. Dana Smith

    My question is this: Why can't we just let this race thing go???? Its been over 400 years and its getting really old. As a bi-racial american i'm really sick of everytime something happens its still the "race-card" that gets played. People, its time to build a bridge and get over it! Then you have idiots like Al Shaprton running around starting racial fires and stirring the pot.....someone needs to tell him that permed hair went out in the 70's and so should he. Its 2009..... its time things are based solely on whats right and wrong verus what color we are.....its trully a shame our children still have to hear all this BS.

    July 23, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  36. Toni

    I am interested in why this white officer felt he needed to question or even to arrest this African-American man, who was on his own property? Even if he did not know the professor, why did he questions other neighbors to see what was going. Why was he in such a hurry to arrest this man?
    I would like to ask the person named Tim, who expressed his opinions above about political correctness. I would like to know out fairness, how would he had felt if a police officer, no matter the race, came onto his property demanding him to identify himself and if he did not respond as the police officer thought that he should or what he consider would be appropriate. And then this police officer arrests him in his own home for being an angry and frustrated man?
    Did the Professor Gates attack the police officer or did he just express his frustration of this officer coming into his home. We all our human, Professor Gates was possibility tired from his long journey and police officer frustrated because he assume that an African-American man should not express angry or frustration on the invasion of his home.

    July 23, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  37. Donna Wood, Lil' Tennessee

    Sorry guys but I don't think it ever was a black issue. I think the officer was just doing his job. The officer said that he didn't think the guy looked like someone who would break into a home, but he had to follow through on the call that brought him to that residence in the first place, and make sure. Otherwise he would not have been doing his job. Put your self in the officer's shoes for just a little while and try to see this from his perspective. Come on!

    Donna Wood
    Lexington, Tennessee

    July 23, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  38. Heather,ca

    You can't make the assuption that EVERYONE on planet Earth knows who Mr Gates is. I didn't. This cop was doing is his job. Mr Gates was tired. He's lucky his neighbors showed care and concern for his home. The cop did nothing wrong. This kind of thing happens to people all over the country every day. We do not live in perfect world. This is a local issue. The Pres should not have said anything. If this cop had done same thing to someone who wasn't well known or even African American we wouldn't even be talking about it.

    July 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  39. Juanita

    As we all know there is always two sides to a story. I don't know the whole story however I believe that once the officer was able to verify that it was in fact the professors house they should have left. Officers sometimes have this attitude that they are always right because of the badge they wear. As a retired peace officer I have saw officers who have abused the powers that were given to us.

    July 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  40. Kathy Bates

    Our policemen should arrest anyone who does not cooperate with the law!!! including some professor. He just wanted to get in the news to promote his book. Its free promotion!!
    The Cambridge Police should not even discuss the accusations being made, if they would have arrested a whiteman it wouldn't even make the news. I am so tried of black people feeling like we owe them something. The fore fathers made mistakes concerning salary but that is long gone.. Get over it black people and move on.

    July 23, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  41. mary

    This professor sounds like the most arrogant human being and professor Henry Gates owes this policeman, James Crowley an apology................how about Gates also thanking his neighbor for protecting his home?

    I must say that the media also owes an apology to officer James Crowley in the way they pounced on him immediately before they actually had any details of what occurred. Each time an officer responds to a call, they risk their life.

    I would say that Gates acted stupidly and owes everyone an apology. What does he possibly teach?

    July 23, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  42. Sue

    No wonder this country is going to the criminals. We can't even professionally question anyone who's home was reported broken into!!! And WHY wouldn't the Black Professor welcome some protection? WHAT WAS HE protecting – something INSIDE HIS HOME???? This was tampering by Mr. Obama of the Law and Order these men do legally!!!!!

    July 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  43. Cindy

    Sgt. Crowley is correct...he has NOTHING to apologize for! I hope that he isn't forced by the higher ups to do so. The one who should be apologizing is Gates for his ridiculous behavior.


    July 23, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  44. Sebastien

    Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. ... please give us a break.
    I still can't believe this is making the headline. If it was not for a black scholar from Harvard that has nothing else to do than to think, we would never have heard from this story. What about black cops discriminating against white people.....what about statistics showing %crime by black people....come on....let's move on to something important

    July 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  45. Diane N.

    The only police officer? with what at his disposal? A radio, a gun, mace and a billy club with training in how to use all of those things against an elderly handicapped man who had to break into his home because he forgot his keys?? Appently he didn't have a computer in his squad car to be able to look up his license plate number for id and address either huh? Give me a break...

    July 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  46. Kevin23WA

    The officer should not apologize, simply because he followed standard police procedure. Thats how officers are trained to act and their training is desigened to optimize saftey for themselves, as far as talking Professor Gates into comming outside and so he could slam him with a disorderly is just the tricks of the trade.

    July 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  47. Jeff

    Gates was arrested for “disorderly conduct” the officer did not arrest him for breaking & entering. Gates most likely was mouthing off to the officer & the officer did not want to take it any more. If it was a white guy mouthing off to the officer the same thing would happen.

    I see in the picture that there are other officers (1 black officer)- what do they say?

    This is why all officers need to have a microphone recorder.

    If it was a black officer arresting him this would not be an issue.

    July 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  48. Cheri

    I am still scratching my head regarding President Obama's comments last night regarding the arrest of his friend. As the president said he did not have all of the fact and should have ventured making a comment until he did. I have always been a strong supporter of President Obama until last night.

    I definately on the side of the Cambridge Police officer in this instance. In a situation, a officer must act to protect himself. If the person who is in question is making offensive comments then he or she should be charged with disorderly conduct. It is more then apparent that the distinguished professor from Harvard believed he was above the law and could be as disrespectful as he chose to be the this police officer.

    July 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  49. Chris Henretty

    The truth of the matter is that if it was a white professor, it would merely be a "blip" on the news radar screen, then forgotten. It's truly sad and hard to believe that we live in a country where people still ignore racial double standards. Should I stay tuned for the ever predictable Jackson and Sharpton show?

    July 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  50. Tim

    Do you think Obama and the Mayor of Cambridge would care if a white professor was arrested by a black officer? Why is Obama even getting involved in this?

    To the officer: Do NOT apologize! Don’t let political correctness win!

    July 23, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
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