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July 23rd, 2009
02:04 PM ET

Documents: Full police report for Harvard scholar Gates Jr.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/07/23/gates.arrest.mayor/art.gates.cnn.jpg
caption="Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. says he and his attorneys are considering further actions."]
Editor's Note: Posted below is the full police report for Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. from WCVB TV in Boston. For more on the fallout from his arrest, including what his arresting officer is now saying, and the current state of race relations in this country, tune in to AC360° tonight at 10p ET.

Click here to read the full police report.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Documents
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Madison

    Well, if the report is to be believed, it sounds like Gates started accusing the officer of racism before the officer said anything except why he was there–i.e., responding to a call of a possible break in. It was appropriate for Gates to ask for ID, but it seems the mere fact of the officer's presence responding to a call from a white neighbor who saw 2 black men forcing their way into the house is the real issue here. When the officer was able to determine Gates's identity, seems like that should have ended the matter. Even though Gates probably was "tumultuous", don't know that that warranted an arrest. I agree with Alice above that Gates probably needs to have a chat with his neighbors.

    July 23, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  2. Jeff

    President Obama was totally wrong calling the actions of the Cambridge Police department stupid. A thoughtless remark like that makes you wonder about his real character.

    July 23, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  3. bernice

    I personally don't think the police officer was in the wrong. I believe as a officer he was doing his job at proper procedures. I do not believe that it was racist.

    July 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  4. bernice

    I personally don't think the police officer was in the wrong.

    July 23, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  5. Dorothy

    Everyone can and will say what they want about the situation that occurred. There is a bunch of this or that should have happened but it happened the way it happened. Now race should not have even been put into the mix. If Gates acted irrationally then that's what happened. You can be tired of people playing the race card but when will you realize that racism still exists and it happens more times than it should.

    Yes, Prof. Gates could have handled the situation differently but the fact of the matter is that the situation has turned ugly and is now an international headline. Be mad if you want but it won't make much a difference. Call him out of his name, say he was stupid or a jackass but it doesn't really matter.

    What bothers me is that there are people so stuck in their ways, black or white, that they cannot allow change to take place. So many stereotypes are out there, that are mostly true, that causes one race to have a narrow mind about the other. Even though it's not going to happen because everyone is so comfortable with this way of life, I wish people would take some time to step back and not be so self-imposed, but it is what it is...

    And when people speak make sure you listen to every word because as I heard and as it is quoted, Pres. Obama said that they "acted stupidly" not that they were stupid.

    July 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  6. toadman

    The police did act stupidly. Simple as that. This whole situation is evidence that we've become a fear-based society, and that racism is alive and well.

    July 23, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  7. John

    you want to know what racism is?! racism is a black football player getting thirty days in jail for KILLING a man! racism is a black football player killing dogs as sport and potentially coming back into a sport that'll pay him in almost a reward type fashion. racism is a black baseball player doing steriods, getting a suspension and making a comeback only to have fans and the media praise his name for getting a grand slam. racism is white baseball players getting banned from baseball with great records behind them stating they never bet on the game itself and there is no proof. racism is a white cop on a dallas squad pulling over a black football player and everyone critizising him for doing that to someone that makes over a million a year and he quits because he's tired of it. racism is a white woman that dies of cancer the same day as michael jackson, a suspected drug user, and never gets a million dollar parade that tax payers paid for. whatever. the media writes racism so i dont even want to hear the word anymore.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  8. Josie dela Cruz

    If I am going to base my opinion on the police report – the police acted accordingly.

    My daughter is black and my associations with black showed me how much black people use race as an issue in their everyday life. The question asked by Mr. Gates "why because I am black" when questioned by the Police Officer only proved one thing. Mr. Gates uses racial profiling himself. Mr. Gates should know that the police officer is actualy protecting his property and should have complied to the officer's request. Had the arresting officer been black – Do you think Mr. Gates would ask the same question?

    On the other hand President Obama's comment "stupid action" on the part of the officer is not what I would expect a President of a nation to say.

    Josie

    Josie

    July 23, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  9. Prit Gopalan

    People..its not that he was yelling at the officer that made the officer arrest him ....it was his actions....i mean , the cops were called to check on the house because some one called them as they thought that something was not right and some was trying to break in ...all that the cop wanted to verify was an ID so that he can make sure everything is OK.... it was as simple as that...he could have just shown his ID and joked with the cops and said thank you for the concern and the cops would have said " thank you Sir...good luck with the keys and lock" and would have left...Shouting at any one "Just because I am Black" and crying like a baby with very low self estimeem does not get you anywhere....this is just Pathetic and its sad that he is a Prof from Harvard?!?!....

    July 23, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  10. Stan

    Racism in America: Yes, it's still here and well. I was given a ticket for speeding in a Construction site. Let me give you the full story. I was the second car at a stop light, the light turned green and we all eased threw the Construction site. A police officer stop me for speeding (48) threw a construction site. I have a comercial license and I do no that if I speed threw any cxonstruction site the fine for me is doubled! Do you reall think that I was speeding threw any construction site, I did not!! Yes, I'am fighting it 1000%.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  11. c,ca

    Is there an audio tape of the calls that the cop made to the station? That should clear it up.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  12. Kate

    If Prof. Gates want to be treated with respect he should show the respect to responding officer by solving the situation calmly. There is nothing racist about asking for identification when there is breaking reported and it doesn't give him right to yell.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  13. Stan

    Thank God we have a President that tells it like it is, as did Walter Cronkite: It was very stupid of the Police Officers to arrest Mr. Gates after he had provided prof of who he was! Their are police officers who act very stupidle every Dam day, just because they have a Badge, Their are Police Officers who should never be Police Officers period. It's not a matter of takeing sides, it's a matter of common sence. Rick, what is your problem with people such as the President, telling it like it was!! The President said what he should of said., as far as Police reports, are you Kidding me? Police reports are always written to help the Officers, their never written to help the Individual.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  14. Vallary

    And another thing about this story. Is this man that is so well taught with schooling that he ask this way . And the only way he can make headlines is scream I am black and you are unfair. Get real. Make the headlines on how you helping your community, feed the children, house a family, put people back to work, Go hold the hand of a cancer person that is sick and don't have anybody. Well I am white and from NC and I not looking for a hand out of say you owe me anything.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  15. Richard Wey, Victoria, Canada

    We should never trust the cops. They tasered a guy to death in Vancouver Canada and then all lied and hid behind their police badges trying to justify their actions. I know how Mr Gates feels, one of my staff
    was roughed up by the RCMP, and there was no way they were going
    to apologize even though they knew they were in the wrong.
    Police need to be made accountable, look how many times they beat
    up innocent bystanders and get away with it.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  16. Vallary

    I am so tired of this I am black and it isn't fair. Then stop doint stupid stuff. Break the chain. this man should have gave the information to the police officer, and this would have never happen. Thank the neighbor that was concern about his house. Most people wouldn't have notice or called. I read the police report on line and it was crazy how this man acted, and shame on you CNN for doing a story black in america. How about doing story on I am american. no matter what the color, the things that are happing in the USA is a shame. We shouldn't have to worry about health care, or people out of work, children with no food during the summer because schools are out. Do a story on this. We are all God children, gay, black , white, etc.. Change your mind set and put people first when you speak and treat each other with respect and you will see your BIG CHANGE.... Don't wait for somebody to do this for you. YOU do it. .. If I was black I would be a shame of all the black out there crying the blues. Get out of the shade into the heat. And change it. YOURSELF. I am from NC.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  17. Allison

    Anyone can understand Prof. Gates getting upset – being in ones own home and police coming in to ask for identification due to a call from a neighbour. This neighbour could very well be herself wanted by the law – who knows. Also it was obvious to me after reading the police reports that Prof. Gates was 'BAITED' outside of his home to be arrested. This needs thorough investigation.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  18. alice NYC

    I believe the professor may have been belligerent towards the police. But I also believe that he may have been already annoyed and frustrated before the police came. Just imagine how frustraing it is to lose a key or have trouble getting into your own home. That said, the police were not wrong to question him and make sure he was not a burgular. Remember that his own neghbor was not able to ID him, which is pretty strange in and of itself. Even in NYC you are able to ID a next door neighbor even if you dont know their name. I also think the police could have been more patient with a man who appears elderly and possibly frustrated, They should know when to leave it alone. But egos got in the way. The police must be able to defuse these situations. If they had he may have come around and realize that he was wrong to get so defensive. I think the professor should have a BBQ and get to know his neighbors. I mean really.

    President Obama did not need to make the coment he did last night about the police being stupid, that was wrong.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  19. Chris E.

    Why can't we put the past behind us. African Americans continue to bring up the past. However they keep saying we need to move forward. The Police were just doing their job. How would you feel if the Officer did not ask for the ID of someone and it turned out they were a real burglar. You would be quick to shame the Police. I love it when someone is pulled over for speeding and then they ask why was I stopped, ten minutes later they are calling wanting to know where the police are when someone is speeding down their street. THIS JUST IN: Police stop people for crimes not their color. Everytime an African American is pulled over, its always because their black. Wake up America. I am saddened that President Obama would make a statement about this unitl he found out the facts of the case. It makes me wonder if I voted for the right person.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  20. Gabriel

    Belligerence in his house? If you cannot be belligerent at home then you lose you constitutional rights. We really don't want idiots to judge the case, only objective people. Even if the officer were black. We would still it is not appropriate to arrest a man because he yell at you. Was he looking to make a statement by arresting Gates? Police officers in general can be fresh, we all know that. Some are always ready to make an arrest. Obama is RIGHT with his wording. If you idiot come to my house to investigate a crime should I be the one to get arrested. He is a racial profiler, does that make him less of a racist? Well he knows more than you and I so I call him a RACIST.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  21. wonkguy

    The officer was in the house when Gates' identity and right to be inside the property were established. Inside the house, Gates can be as p.o'd as he wants to be for whatever reason he wants. The officer had to get him outside in order to say that the professor posed some kind of threat or disturbance to the peace. Once it was established that Gates was in his own home, the call was over. The police should have left. I know a lot of people want to say "well how'd he act", well it doesn't matter, he was in his home. He would have been within his rights to ask, tell or order the police to leave. I also find it interesting that in an era when we are seeing an increase in home invasion, the officer never seems to express any concern that Prof. Gates might have been in his home but that someone else might have been there too committing a crime. The whole thing is just stupid. And if there was a legal position that a prosecutor could stand behind the charges would not have been dismissed.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  22. Isis

    After reading the police report.....as far as I can see, Truth be told the officer let him off with a warning, that there wasn't anything, but a verbal outburst, and noting at all threatening. How it appears that the officer provoked it by not telling him his name. That this situation was escalated with the help of the officer by not telling Professor Gates his name. It is clear that this officer did indeed handled this situation in this manner because he was black. Its clear to me that the officer felt that Professor Gates request to know his name wasn't justifiable. When in reality, it would of calmed the situation if he said I'm PO Crowley. Never once in this report was there any mention that Professor Gates used profanity was used, which of course would of been caused for cuffs. Of course the masses who may read this blog will not fulling understand my statement that this was clearly handled this was because he is black. But let flip this same situation. Now professor is a Caucasian who is speaking loudly, and very irritated because the officer refused to tell him his name, same exact scenario, only the race is different. Would Officer Crowley have arrested him. Would have Miss Whalen have called the police because she suspected that the house was being robbed. Was the whole incident caused solely because of a stuck door and a black man who was trying to get into his house.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  23. Cindy

    It seems to me after reading this police report that Gates was the one in the wrong as I had suspected. He should not have been yelling and fussing at the police. Anyone who does that runs the risk of being arrested. He was told several times to stop yet did not so he was taken into custody. This ant hill is being made into a mountain by him and the media.

    Cindy...Ga.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  24. Barb M.

    I believe it's possible that both sides could have walked into this situation with a bias. What might have been a simple understanding now presents an opportunity for both sides to learn. I wish we knew exactly what happened. The details seem sketchy to me.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  25. kw

    MAN WAS IN HIS HOME.... this fact is being neglected.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  26. Annie Kate

    From the police report by Office Crowley and by the Cambridge officer the police have documentary evidence of the incident and it does appear from this source at least that the professor was the disorderly individual and that it was the disorderly behavior that got him arrested and not the color of his skin.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  27. Patrick D.

    "willful belligerence"? Where did you go to law school, Joe G?

    July 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  28. Michael Colondrillo

    We may ALL need to show our ID when needed, when requested by an authority. What is the big deal? Many people have had to show who
    they are and if the broken into property is theirs. How does an officer know if he/she is letting the intruder go. No one is known by everyone,
    not even a Harvard professor. HE needs to get over himself.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  29. Jamison

    Once they confirmed that he lived there, he should never have been arrested. I don't care how much shouting he was doing in his own house. The only reason the officer asked him to come outside is that he could not be charged with disorderly conduct from his own home. It must be public.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  30. Mike

    Wow, you can get arrested for yelling at a police officer–while you're on your own property, no less? I don't like that.

    The officer was responding to a home break-in call. No problem.
    Questioning Mr. Gates, no problem. Asking for his I.D., No problem. Arresting him for being "loud and tumultous"? Big problem.

    I can't say if this was a racist act or not. Sounds like the officer lost his professional cool and got way too angry at Mr. Gates. It got heated, I get that. Arresting him, though? Just plain wrong.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  31. D

    Whoa! Just because someone is a police office doesn't make them correct in whatever action they take. They can and have been in error on way to many counts. They are just as human as those person they encounter. Because one raises their voice and uses language that may be considered questionable, doesn't make that person wrong.
    If your on my property and show my ID. You'd hope the police would say hold on a second. Let me call this in, see if we have anything on this house. I'm sure the Prof. has family pictures on a wall and other things that would have proved he lived there. Dag!!

    This and many other reasons are why the public in general don't trust the police to do what's correct. They are not above the law either.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  32. Bret N

    The cops were wrong period. Its a typical case of police abusing thier
    authority. Being arrested after proving it was his home is wrong. If a cop entered my home without being invited or without having a warrant I would ask him to leave however the sad thing is I am not a public figure or a Harvard professor . I would be charged with disordely
    conduct and to have to pay an attorney even if I couldnt afford one or take a plea all because I was standing up for my rights what a joke.
    The fact that he wont apolgize tells me that he has issues. In this country you are supposed to be innocent until proven guility but its the other way around. I understand police have to deal with alot of crap but
    after being a police officer for years shouldnt you be able to tell who the bad guys are?Evidently not.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  33. CaliforniaAfrican

    Why do we keep reading the police report? Oh, I forgot, police reports are always accurate. The police have never been known to state nothing but the facts on a police report. I forgot about that.

    When is it a crime to yell at someone in your own house? If you don't want to hear me talking back to you, officer, get out of my house. You have no warrant. Dr. Gates committed NO crime. Is this a police state in which we live? You can't speak to someone in anger in your own house? Oh, that's right, not if you're a Black man talking to a police officer. I forgot. We, Black folks, have all learned THAT lesson. We've been taught by our parents. "You are not seen as a first class citizen in the eyes of the law. No matter if the officer is Black, be humble. Be calm. Don't yell. Don't show any signs of disrespect. Damn, don't get shot!"

    July 23, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  34. Brandon Owens

    If a police officer walked into my home and accused me of breaking in and I was as respected as Mr. Gates is in his community I would have been belligerent too. It is the obligations of the police to protect and serve, what did this officer gain by arresting Gates in this instance? He established that he was the police and had the right to arrest, that's all. He didn't protect anyone, he didn't serve anyone. It is naive to think this would have been the case had Gates not been a black man. On top of this, I can only imagine the kind of racism Gates has encountered over the duration of his lifetime and to be confronted like this by police in 2009 must have been infuriating. The police are indefensible in this case and I am ashamed to see something like this happen in our country.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  35. Michael A.

    Not clear why Gates didn't just show him his driver's license, or why the neighbor didn't confirm that it was his residence. The first report isn't clear on when or why the officer stepped into the residence.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  36. JIM S

    It is obvious to me that Henry Louis Gates jr. was unwilling to cooperate with the officer. He got arrested for showing willful belligerence towards police officers in their line of duty and direct response to an onsite serious crime investigation. Tha is typical of the Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and the constant complaints of racial discrimination. President Obama showed his bias yesterday commenting on the incident without reading the report. His comment on a disproportionate number of Blacks and Latinos being arrested is absurd. Although this is true, there is a disproportionate number of black and latino criminals. That is a fact. A good example is the City of Detroit which is practically 100% black. It was a safe diverse city prior to the 1967 riots. It is now a large Ghetto and combat zone. for 40 years. This shows that they can't even govern themselves.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  37. Mari

    I read the report, of course, that IS the officer's statement, before passing judgement I would like to hear what Mr. Gates story is!

    IF someone who claims to be police come to my home.... you are darn right I will ask to SEE their I.D. and I will keep them waiting until I call their superiors to check them out! HOW are people going to know who they are dealing with if the police does not show their badge?

    SOME Americans want to keep denying that racism is alive and well in our nation.

    @ Joe G., the policeman should have identified himself ....... first! I would not open my door to anyone 'claiming' to be law enforcement until I verified who they were!

    Gates was right.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  38. LK

    You believe cops and take them at their word during an incident that was clearly racially motivated?

    I got some waterfront property in Nunavut for ya. Good deal too.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  39. Kevin Minor

    I haven't seen anyone saying there was beligerence except the Police Officer. So that a case of he said-she said. But the man was in his own house. You pretty much can be as belligerent as you want in your own house as long as you aren't threatening anyone.
    (And I don't think the police officer at any time considered himself 'threatened'.)
    The question is once there was a claim and proof provided that he was indeed in his own house, why would the officer not be
    more concerned about the 'criminal' still being in the house if he believed the report called in or just walk away if understood the misunderstanding...

    The right thing to do would have been to just diffuse the situation and
    say, 'I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, but we received the report of 2 black men breaking into your home and I'm following up on the report. I understand that you are the owner of the home and are in no danger so I wish a good night and apologize for the misunderstanding. Here is my name and badge number if you wish to follow-up.' And then just left.

    It's part of the police officer's job to diffuse situations between others and this guy couldn't handle this simple situation. I'm not sure I'd be as concerned about racism as much as incompetence. Then again,
    like the President, I wasn't there.

    Just watching the interview of the Professor, he mentions that this whole exchange with the police officer is happening over a live phone line. (The professor was on the phone with Harvard Maintenance services to report the stuck door that he experienced.)

    It would be interesting to see what that person heard or what was recorded if the professor was speaking to an answering service.

    If a tape recording did exist, one of the two of them will look really stupid.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  40. Mace

    I think it's reasonable to assume that the President of the United States has information sufficient enough upon which to base his observations regarding the treatment of Professor Gages, as well as the historical trends in treatment of people of color by law enforcement. I know, as an African American professional, that it really doesn't matter what your socio-economic status is, when you are a person of color and you interact with law enforcement, if you say anything that challenges their "color of authority," there is an increased likelihood that you will either be beaten down, arrested or both. Law enforcement is not infallible, not perfect and does make mistakes. So of the blame lies in the institutional framework of law enforcement and some of the blame lies upon individual members of law enforcement. Law enforcement profiles. It does it when it recruits its members (by psychologically testing them) and it does it in the execution of its public duties.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  41. Nhat N

    racism will continue to be an issue in this country as long as minorities continue to rely on pulling the race card...

    July 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  42. Melitza Rodriguez

    It is a complete one-sided report in which the police officer can report whatever he sees fit. If they have the altercation taped, then it may be a viable source of information. However, if the officer is in fact racist and acted on such feelings, then the report itself has no merit. And sadly, that seems to be the case.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  43. Brad

    Problem is – cops lie. All cops are liars. They make you feel like you're wasting their time when you call in to report something unless it's something "exciting". If they have to send someone out, they treat you like you've done something wrong even if you're the person who called. At least, this has been my experience. I will never look to the cops to help in any situation ever again. From now on, I handle things myself and let the cops clean up the mess when it's over. That's all they're good for.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  44. dean

    Professor Gates should be ashamed of himself. He was beligerent to police officers investingating a potential crime. When asked for identification he started yelling at the Police. He should have been arrested and the charges should NOT have been dropped. I am tired of minorities constantly playing the race card. I am white and I am absolutley positive that the same thing would have happened to me if I behaved the same way. Gates you're a jackass.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  45. Kristen, MD

    It seems fishy that someone who is spoken so highly by many would act like this. If a police officer knocks on your door and says they are just checking to make sure things were alright I don't know anyone black, white, Hispanic...etc who would cause such a ruckus.

    There are obviously two different sides to this story and it just doesn't seem like either party is being completely honest about the actual truth.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  46. Cindy

    It seems to me after reading this police report that Gates was the one in the wrong as I had suspected. He should not have been yelling and fussing at the police. Anyone who does that runs the risk of being arrested. He was told several times to stop yet did not so he was taken into custody. This ant hill is being made into a mountain by him and the media.

    Oh yeah...and Obama owes the police an apology for calling them stupid. But yeah he's already got his people trying to say he wasn't calling the police that but we heard what he said.

    Cindy..Ga.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  47. Andre Galiber

    What about the neighbor? Gates neighbor should have recognized him and not called the police for breaking and entering but for help. We live in a world where our own neighbors do not recognize us. I think that had more to do with the situation than anything else.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  48. Mike in NYC

    It looks like stereotypes do apply here.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  49. Joe G. (Illinois)

    Obama wants to get rid of tort law for instances of Doctor/Medical Malpractice.. But when a man gets arrested for showing willful belligerence towards police officers in their line of duty and direct response to an onsite serious crime investigation..????

    July 23, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  50. Gary Chandler in Canada

    any body who watched him in Times Square can see what the police were facing, not just the clips CNN is showing, editting out the ones where he ADMITS shouting racial slurs.
    Gates, Sharpton, Jackson, and now Obama are the biggest "PROFILERS" in America!
    They make their bloody living playing the RACE CARDS.
    There are black racists too, or is anybody allowed to point that out?
    Not ALL whites are racist, though the PROFILE for that is prevelant!

    July 23, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
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