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July 23rd, 2009
08:06 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Professor profiled? Cop fires back

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/07/23/officer.gates.arrest/t1home.gates.split.wcvb.cnn.jpg caption="Sergeant James M. Crowley (left) said he will 'never apologize' for the arrest of scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. (right)." width=265 height=239]
Jacob Smilovitz
AC360° Intern

We’ve got another big show tonight on the heels of the second installment of Black in America 2.

In Massachusetts, the police officer who arrested Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. is speaking out tonight and telling his side of the story. Sergeant James M. Crowley finds himself at the center of a heated debate over the state of race relations in this country. With Gates, a preeminent scholar on the topic of race in America, and even the President questioning his actions, Crowley says he will “never apologize” for the incident.

"That apology will never come from me as Jim Crowley, it won't come from me as sergeant in the Cambridge Police Department," Crowley told Boston radio station WEEI. "Whatever anybody else chooses to do in the name of the city of Cambridge or the Cambridge Police Department which are beyond my control, I don't worry about that. I know what I did was right. I have nothing to apologize for."

What do you think? Does Crowley owe Gates an apology?

Tonight, CNN contributor Roland Martin and Boyce Watkins, a Syracuse University Professor and the founder of YourBlackWorld.com, will share their thoughts on this story. And at the “Magic Wall”, Tom Foreman will break down the raw data, taking a closer look at the prevalence of racial profiling in America’s police departments.

In L.A,. new details are emerging in the mystery surrounding Michael Jackson’s death. This time they come from Rolling Stone magazine and their contributing editor Claire Hoffman, who will join us live tonight.


Among other revelations, Hoffman reports that Jackson was aware of how the public had come to perceive him and eager to replace all the gossip over his lifestyle with talk of his work.

Plus, in court today lawyers for Katherine Jackson made a request for money. We’ll have those new developments for you.

Also on our radar, a disturbing internet video now surfacing of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews apparently shot without her knowledge in the privacy of her own hotel room. How easy is it for something like this to happen? Erica Hill enlists the help of a private investigator to get us some answers.

All that plus a recap of tonight’s edition of Black in America 2 when you join us for AC360° at 10p ET.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Michael Jackson • The Buzz
soundoff (576 Responses)
  1. Rod

    Everyone Knows that since the election of the countries first African American President racism in America has been eliminated right? lol.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  2. Virginia Beach, Virginia

    First:
    Sgt. Crowley does not owe anyone an apology for answering a breaking and entering call and for doing his job. I am so sick and tired of this whole thing. How was this officer suppose to know who he is? I am also amazed that everyone is talking about this African-American scholar and the way he acted.

    Second:
    I have always supported our president, no matter who it is, but I am absolutely amazed that President Obama commented on this. I honestly don't think he would have if the scholar was white. I am sick and tired of listening to black this that and the other. Let's get something straight..what happened to the slaves is very sad but it is not something WE did.

    Third:
    If Sgt. Crowley gets fired for doing his job, I hope some high profile civil rights lawyer steps up and gets him what he is due. There is absolutely no reason to fire him. If the peron on the porch would have been me, then I would have been in the wrong and I would have admitted it.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  3. Darrell

    There is audio & photographic evidence; as well as eyewitness accounts from citizens on the street, that corroborates the officer's version of events. The only racist behavior was exhibited by the professor; & maybe some posters here. But the real bonehead act was committed by our President in his comments. And they said Bush made stupid statements.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  4. Debra

    Crowley should not apologize for something he is not sorry for. He is not sorry for being racist. He is not sorry for disgracing a prominent Harvard professor. He is not sorry for being wrong. Crowley IS just SORRY!

    July 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  5. jim

    There's an old saying about the "truth"; it's usually not black and white but "grey". Meaning that the truth is usually somewhere in the middle between what Gates and Crowley believe it is.

    Now knowing the background of the police officer, which by all accounts shows he is a good cop who actually was appointed by a black cop to conduct racial profiling training, I honestly belieive this wasn't race motivated but there's no way to know for sure.

    I am concerned when I hear Gates and others assume that this was racially motivated; there is no way they can know without being inside Crowley's head and heart. At the same time, even if Gates overreacted to the police, for Crowley to arrest someone for disorderly conduct because he (Gates) was upset probably was an overreation also.

    Bottom line, Gates may have overreacted because he assumed he was targeted just because he was black and Crowley probably didn't need to arrest Crowley even if he thought Crowley was being too defensive and verbally abusive. I suspect, much like many conflicts, both parties contributed to the outcome. As President Obama said today, cooler heads should have prevailed.

    Jim,

    El Dorado Hills, Ca

    July 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  6. regina

    I find this whole situation involving professor Gates and the police officer quite funny, everyone in america black, white, or latino, or otherwise know what happens when a black man is accused of committing a crime, and a white officer has to respond. But surely when someone can show authentic identification in their own home, common sense should prevail. officer Crowley could have apologized for any inconvenience, or insults, in Mr. Gates home, and then left the man's home. no harm, no foul. Even if Mr. Gates was upset, and yelling, no one has said anything about him getting any weapons, and trying to harm the officer, so he made a mistake, he should be the better man, and keep it moving, His name would not have been in the media the way it is.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  7. Butch Fails

    On the Gates issue, I do not understand why this is is classified as Racial Profiling. I live in Houston, TX and I am black, and I have had the same issue happen to me. I feel that what provoked this incident and my incident is a very creditable issue of, White Male Police Egotistical Superiority. In other words you are a "Black person and you not dare question my authority". So as a Black person in this event, Mr. Gates sought to question the White Policeman's authority or possibly his intentions of why was this intrusion was necessary in his home. That naturally resulted in the arrest of Mr. Gates. I hope that the "EGO" of the Police Officer is investigated because this has been proven to be a large issue to a Black Person in the City of Houston.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  8. rod scott

    When a cop enters your home and put handcuffs on you and take you to jail for breaking into your own house, although cops are dumb, he was smart enough to know who's home he was in, that is a physcological way to express who is superior in the cop civilian situation because he didn't like the way the black professor questioned him. I was once taken to jail for driving and stealing my own car because it was expensive and I was a black man. White people don't be surprised, this stuff happens too often. It's about the superior race, we need to give them some type of sensitvity training oppose to racial profiling. That just can't work.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  9. Shun

    Two sides to every story. This would not be the first time Historically that one side is overlooked. Nor the first time a police report was incorrectly written and filed as the truth, and because of these facts there is now and will possibly always be conflict and mistrust between. Minorities and the police in this country.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  10. Anthony Cooke

    If you are a cop investigating a break-in and find an elderly man with a cane inside, and they are not stealing anything, the issue of domicile is effectively closed. Why ask for ID at this point? Any action after this becomes racism; and Obama's comment was courageous. Just because we have a black president and states pass laws against profiling doesn't change the day-to-day lives of blacks. It does, however, mask invisible, instutionalized racism. We need true cultural commitment from blacks and whites.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  11. Owen

    The problem with profiling is that it is a slimy tool used by the police. Profiling (and I know this first hand) is like 3 card Monty. The officer knows more, bluffs more, and gets his way between the bluffing, the badge, and the gun. They write the reports and they know how to write them to hold up.

    I've been followed driving an average car, nothing special, for over 15 minutes and stopped for minor infractions which I did not commit. My mother (who is a judge) told me long ago that the PO is the judge on the street, period. Once a cop messed with me at the American Airlines Center giving me crap about the door I used to enter the building. I had floor seats and I used the right door however I was stopped walking outside, asked to produce ID, and I had to hear some rant before I showed his ignorant a.. the tickets.

    It's slimy because the officers know how to evade or circumnavigate civil rights and slide through the cracks to give you a hard time. I am a civil servant (not police) and it's frustrating as a black man because the officers are trained on the pure values of discipline, respect, honor, and pride. Apparently the word "white" is written in invisible ink in front of those core values.

    The only way to end this is (in my opinion) is to make these departments hire people with diverse backgrounds and make everyone work together. A lot of the times they pair up same race or like-minded partners which doesn't break the cycle. If you're black, hispanic, or a woman, or whatever as an officer you should buck up and make sure that the right thing is done. Don't just lay down like a slug in the slime.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  12. Phyllis

    Unfortunately, President Obama allowed the news journalist to bait him, and he fell for it. I watched Roland Martin and another African American commentator go at it twice today. Once with Rick Sanchez, who is excellent at baiting, and then again with AC. I find it disheartening when Blacks allow themselves to be pitted againist each other. I think Mike Dyson said it best, Professor Gates got a bit "up-pidy" with Crowley, and Crowley felt the need to put him in his place, plain and simple. A place of inferiority. Because an individual teaches a class, does it make them an expert, or because a report is formal does it make it true? If Crowley is an expert, he should of had the skills to de-escalate the situation, and the sensitivity to see how his approach to questioning the Professor was antagonizing. Crowley was the authority, and those in authority have to take the lead in keeping a situation orderly and prevent it from getting out of hand. Crowley allowed arrogance, as did Professor Gates, get in the way of what should have been a simple matter to clear it up.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  13. LaCharles, Professor of Race Studies

    Mike, from Syracuse, NY: All I have to say is in the police report, he [Officer] could have said anything. You do not know what happen, and neither do we. However, we all know how SOME Whites do not like when Black men who are educated refuse to follow their orders, especially police officers. They think that they have all the power, thus, Crowley probably became upset when Gates refused to step outside (following his orders). And, just because he taught a course on racial profiling or sensitivity does not many NOTHING at all! All that mean is that he probably put on a front, it might be an secretive intrinsic issue. Finally, Gates should not be recharged, and if you are American, you should know that "acting stupidly" and "being stupid" are two different things. Therefore, Obama should not regret what he said during his press conference last night. You are probably a disgrace to America.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  14. Roxie Ann Keese

    How clear does it have to be that Professor Gates produced his identification for the police officer? This is a fact and has been validated as such. That being said, and acknowledged via the identification that Professor Gates was who he said he was, and it was further validated. It is plainly clear, that the police officer acted irresponsibly. And of course other police officers would side with him, in an effort to prevent him and of course the department as a whole from looking ignorant. What is there to argue about? The officer was right for investigating the alleged burglary, however, at the point that Professor Gates identity was validated, the police officer was clearly wrong. It is difficult and almost impossible for a white person to understand that the police's actions were inappropriate in as far as the officer arresting Professor Gates. And African Americans are suppose to believe that race relations in America is getting better? What a joke.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  15. Danielle

    Just because he has a badge does not mean his accounts of what happen is the truth. Today we have more bad cops than ever. Because he has a badge I cannot raise my voice are you serious!!!!!!!

    July 23, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  16. Pat

    The comments here highlight the need to continue to have this discussion. I hope that instead of anger on both sides, we can acutally use this as a teaching moment. If one has never been the victim of racial profiling – either stopped by a cop for driving an expensive car, followed in a store by people who earn less or have less education than the person they're profiling, then one cannot understand this issue. Everyone wants to believe that just because we have a black president, racial issues magically don't exist anymore. This uneasy tension will continue to bubble under the surface until we acknowledge, as Roland mentioned, different people experience situations differently, and race does matter. We can only hope that our children will not need to have these conversations, but I think it will take a few more generations and a lot more education to get beyond this.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  17. AE

    As a member of the Boston news media, I have been covering this story since it happened. The general sentiment is that both sides need to come forward and tell the truth and apologize. Two unyielding parties continue to propagate the controversy that could have been ended simply by admitting wrongdoing on both sides.

    As for the guests on 360, I've noted you invited Prof. Boyce Watkins. He's another inflammatory speaker. While it makes for good television, it will only hurt the process, rather than help. After criticism from Obama, the fire is only being fueled by extra commentary.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  18. James B Vandiver

    With the officer asking Professor Gates to present his identification, that was a simple request.
    The question to Sgt. Crowley of his badge number, is another simple request.
    As menioned Sgt. Crowley was responding to a police call. There could have been a legitmate danger.
    Why didn't either man simply present their identification or credentials? The trained officer should have been the one that lead, given his badge number, and simply asked Professor Gates again to comply.
    An apology is appropiate and witin order. By the Mayor of Cambridge, The Govenor of the State of Mass, and the Police Chief of the Mass. Police Department. Our President's timely attention and mature comment on this matter proves that.
    james bvandiver

    July 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  19. Georgia

    Once the officer had established that the home was in fact Mr. Gates and that there was no one in danger there, he should have thanked Gates for his cooperation (even if he wasn't), closed his call out and left the location. The officers mistake was that he, as a professional, should have not allowed a "suspect, suspicious person or what ever the officer determined Mr. Gates to be, get him to a state mine where it was no longer professional but personal. The arrest became personal on the part of the officer once he had already determine there was no crime. He was bated into conduct unbecoming of a non-duty-officer. (This response is my opinion based info reported by new).

    July 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  20. SMB, Jackson, NJ

    Police officers are expected to quell situations and not to incite them. That being said, I feel that once Mr. Gates provided the police officers with the documentation that he was in fact the home owner, the officers should have provided his name and badge number if requested and proceeded to leave the premises, despite whatever verbal tyraid Mr. Gates was displaying.
    I think an apology is in order, as the officer did not remove himself from the situation thus allowing it to escalate. After all who has the responsibility for keeping the peace

    July 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  21. danny

    with over 21 years of police exp., four of them as a supervisor, eight of them as a crime analyst, i'd have to side with mr. gates o this issue. the proper police procedure would have been to allow the person to vent becasue this is a clear case of "mistake of fact". that is a police call where you receive information to investigate a situation and once you arrive you find out the caller has mistaken the facts. the real owner to the property has a right to force entry into his own residence. this is not a domestic call to investigate a woman screaming like dr. boyce claimed on the show tonite so the police should lookinto the matter further. this is a call to investigate a "possible break-in" with forced entry. the police sgt. "feelings got hurt" and he charged mr. gates with the crime of "pissing off the police", ( you want to make me mad ask for my name and badge number while i'm trying to tlak to you) (all police officers are scared of complaints when they know they are in the wrong)you also notice the charges were dropped because they had no legal grounds. sometimes the police are overly sensitive and take things said to personal, they then end up getting in a pissing contest to see who is going to back down first. if i was on the scene i would have offered my sincere apology and ordered my officers to stand down. that is what a true professional police officer would have done. but people can be sensitive at times and it does cloud ones judgement.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  22. Derrik

    I really would like to know what would everyones reaction would be if it were a black officer arresting a white person in their home? I am far i mean far from a racist and i am a strong black man that loves my heritage and i never take sides because of race. i look at whats before me and judge the situation then and like i said earlier i feel as though the cop was looking for a reason to take him to jail. identification was given to him and crowley claims he was walking out of the door after he saw the identification then why did he not just keep it moving? he did his job true enough but once his job was done he did not leave gates house. hell he should have apologized inside the house once he saw that it was gates residence. why couldn't he say i am sorry for the misunderstanding have a nice day?

    July 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  23. robert

    Just read what you people are writing, you all want to make excuses for this hot headed cop. I'm not saying the guy is a racist, who really cares? Most of us are. This is about abuse of power. and you won't see it until YOU are laying on your face in the street, or handcuffed sitting in the back of a police car, and all because you pissed some cop off, white, black, latino or whatever. You Think you are protected by your skin color but you are not. Power corrupts. and absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  24. James Tatum

    It is clear...this would not happen to a white professor in America! If you think this was not racial profiling you must lack basic common sense or you are just stupid. This is just part of being a black man in America, our views of blacks in America have not changed from our grandfathers. As a white male I would like to offer an apology for my race. We stick together reguardless if we are right or wrong.

    Go white power!

    JT
    In the woods of Michigan

    July 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  25. susan in illI

    I forgot to mention that that Chief of Police happens to be black, his jurisdiction is a very white and well to do town.

    I think the better descriptor that POTUS could have used:
    "It was a bad demonstration."

    July 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  26. andrew shennan

    Surely the "back story" for an investigative journalist is how come the last question posed to the President of the United States following a major address on Health Care Reform brought up this issue on which he would have very little information as to the details.
    Was the question planted by CNN to hype up Soledad's piece (
    I surely hope not) or by opponents of the Health Care reforms?

    July 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  27. terri g

    An interesting case where both sides, due to their own experiences, see and interpret the same situation two ways. As a white woman, I've been misinterpreted and treated unfairly by "black" people, too.....Is that reverse discrimination, do I have a case, too? In 2009, should we still be "segregating" our characters in speech..... In no way, should the "white" cop be racially profiled just as the "black" professor doesn't/didn't want to be racially profiled. I think egos got in the way, a white cop who likely prides himself on being able to specialize in training on racial profiling being accused of being a racist, and then the "Interpreted" arrogance of an elite black professor who couldn't possiblybelieve he could've been asked for his identification in his own home. Irritating, yes, an occasion to use the race card, no....But, he is on the news, he has a chance to make a PBS special about it, perhaps gain more interest in racial profiling, yes? If we would and could look at each other as Sidney Poitier said to his older generation father in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "I see myself as a man, you see yourself as a "colored" man, dad," this would not be an issue anymore. Sad, that almost 41 years have passed since that line was spoken in fiction and each is seeing one another as white and black still in reality.....Get over it already....Move on.....President Obama, you shouldn't have spoken the way you did on this issue as you did at all until you knew all the facts, friend or not...I used to see you as that "man" from "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," and now I'm not so sure.....

    July 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  28. mel

    The bottom line is that either Prof. Gates committed a crime or he did not. If he did commit a crime, why were the charges dropped? If he didn't commit a crime why was he arrested?

    Is it a crime in Mass. to demand a police officer's badge number and name? Is it a crime to give an officer a piece of your mind because of what you perceive to be improper conduct while you are inside your own home? Does an officer have the right to arrest you simply because he doesn't like what you are saying?

    Roland Martin was right. Dr. Gates arrest became imminent when he asked the officer for his badge number and name. I'm happy that Dr. Gates didn't just take this, but is standing up and calling out this type of police behavior.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  29. shirlene

    From what I understand, they both behaved poorly. We all know a lot of racists take these jobs, so they can do their dirty work and hind behind their badges. Seem like to me, if they would put a black police officer, for every white officer on duty, this would eliminate some of the problems. Why put all white officers together on one job, mix it up. As people, we can solve a lot of problems by using common knowledge.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  30. Lamont

    Well ,some of you really dont know what racial profiling is and based on the facts he did provide his id once they enter the property .When the officer was aksed by Gates for his name and badge number why was it a problem? And just because he was hand picked by an african american to teach a racial profiling class means what.Even if Crowley thinks he did nothing wrong why not be the better man and apologize. And by the way the president has the right to speak out about it.Like Crowley said he did not vote for him remember.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  31. Troy

    Sammy,
    I would like you to video tape yourself and walk into your police station and ask them who you are and where you live.

    Unless they have a photo and address listed and accessible to them I would doubt that they know you from you neighbor!!

    I do not expect the police to know who I am from anybody else. All I ask is that they do their job consistently and within the law.

    What is the purpose for that thing you carry around with your photo and personal information, oh it is to IDENTIFY you.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  32. Krys

    The job of the police is difficult. It is just what wites inherited from their previous generation.

    Blacks are suspicious of whites every move and this is just what was passed down based on history.

    We need to quash this. There are racist whites but we cannot keep crying racism. I do believe that both men's anger blew things out of hand. It is not one sided.

    If George Bush was the president lastnight, would the reporter have asked him that question about the situation? No. Why do reporters always try to trap Obama to make a big issue? Why ask him about Michael Jackson? Would they have asked Bush. No.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  33. anitra

    I feel after gates showed his ID the cop should have left! and the cop needs too say he is sorry!

    July 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  34. Kimberly A. N.Simon

    I think we are going a little overboard, granted I support President Obama,however his choice of words could have been more intelligent. As for the officer, what makes one more credible than the other? Mr. Gates, well what can I say? He's a professor of African American Studies, however the law is the law, but I think that until we as Americans are quick to point the finger to be judge and jury should just wait until ALL the facts are out not just police reports(which are not all accurate we know that, not to say this is the case)nor a prominent Professor Black or White, just get ALL the facts before we point the finger. Remember when you point your finger,three if not four are pointing back at you

    July 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  35. T.L. McMillian

    I am looking at this as if it were me. I can tell you one thing; it would not have mattered if the officer was black, white, or any other race. He would have had to say or done whatever he needed to do on the porch, or better yet from across the street. I am in my home, where I pay the mortgage and taxes. I'll be damned if anyone is going to remove me, certainly when I have done nothing wrong.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  36. Debbie

    I think whoever ask the President Obama that question should be question his resend for asking a Black President that question know he would be dam if he didn't say any thing about his friend and we are being Profiling us all the time. We Are Black in America . Racist has not gone anywhere in my State so I know its everywhere.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  37. Michelle

    A lot of you think that Sgt. Crowley was doing his job or as some of you put it "following standard operation" . Oh that's why he forgot to read the Professor his Miranda rights.. but he is such a wonderful Cop.. I think it was wrong to arrest this gentleman and an apology is owed immediately. He was doing his job until he arrested an innocent man in his OWN HOUSE. As SGT he should have handle the situation differently. Sure the police report states exactly what Jim Crow ley wanted it to say, I take his word with a grain of salt.
    It is so sad that this still happens to innocent Blacks and Hispanics EVERYDAY....but what is even worst is that we have people in this world who thinks this type of behavior is acceptable and that Blacks are the ones with attitudes.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  38. john m

    I think this was simply the case of two men's egos. Professor Gates and Sgt. Crowley are both responsible for escalating the situation.

    Sgt Crowley was doing his job as a police officer but police officer training all over the country need to be reviewed due to the spate of recent incidents flashing across media outlets, from handcuffing pre-school children to using a taser on an old woman to this. I feel that our society has forgotten the reason we have a police force: to protect and to serve. Crowley can easily have diffused the situation and acted more professionally had he remembered his training and his mission. Instead he chose to escalate it further by placing Gates under arrest for a silly reason. We need our police officers to be focusing on real criminals please.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  39. Augustus Bailey

    regardless of what gates said. it was clear that there was no robbery. the sgt should have realize the angish of someone thinking you are a robbery suspect in your own home.the prof should have never been arrested.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  40. shadezz of a Poet

    As ablack woman i realize that all police officers have a lot to consider, and i know from the numerous family members i have on the force. However i also know for a fact that even when the proof has been provided the fact that the other person has a badge and is a sworn in officer you have not a hope in any situation.

    As for the Presidents comment, it was directed to his acttions, and if you think about it, once ID was confirmed then the officers job was done and even if the Prof.. was rude an arrest was not needed or justified.

    We as a nation must remember if the people we pay for to protect us do it with that " I AM GOD" like attitude then we are really left to protect ourselves.

    A public servant is just that HERE TO SERVICE THE PUBLIC!

    July 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  41. Sandra

    The Sgt. was clearly out of line at the point that he chose that he should abuse his power as a public servant and arrest an angry citizen because he did not like what he had to say. Yes, he may have been doing his job at first but to charge the man because things got a little out of hand in the mans own home is an abuse of power and it shows by his continued opinion that he did nothing wrong.
    The Sgt. abused his power with the arrest of the Dr. the police would have never dropped the charges if the Sgt. was right. The police shold be thicker skined than the citizen.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  42. JANET STRINGER

    deep down we all know there were wrong doing because we all want to say we have no problem with races but in our heart we do but will not admite it. Mr Gates felt violated and he was and the officer felt
    violated due to his authority as and officer, therefore both party should
    aplogize because neither will will ever reveal what is really in their heart.
    P.S. Believe me the President knows this was racial profile but not in a position to really say it. white people hold each other up whereas black people are afraid to do the same or tell the truth because of their position job wise etc.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  43. Jack

    Lets pretend I am professor Gates. You came to my home on the platform that you are doing your job, which is good. I showed you my ID that I am not a burglar and that I live in this house and my ID indicates so. Shouldn't you have stopped there? I then go further to ask for your badge number and your name. Now you get angry. You probably weren't even a real police officer, you could've been a burglar yourself. What is wrong with me asking for your own identification? If its not racial profiling you couldn't arrest me inside my house. You brought me out. I simply dont believe your doing your job. You're just racial profiling. Sgt. Crowley obviously owes an apology.

    Jack
    California

    July 23, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  44. Jherel

    Bottom line the officer took the situation to a level where it didn't have to go. I am African American and will not use the race card for this case. If the officer is an "expert" capable of teaching classes on racial profiling, why was the arrest even made after Prof. Gates provided his identification. Yes a call was made by a conserned neighbor in the safety of their neighborhood. However the situation did not display any threat of a crime in progress. After reviewing the identification of the person and seeing that it was his own home, Crowley should have left the situation. End of story. I am not defending Prof. Gates if he decided to act an ass over the whole thing. This is not a race issue this is simply a "I have a bigger stick than you" issue. Final point...2 wrongs don't mak a right. Crowley should have just left the scene after proof was rendered that a crime was not in progress. And truthfully they owe each other an apology because they are both professionals and should not have been acting like children.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  45. pamela j davis md

    As an African American, female, Professor of Medicine I have been stopped multiple times in the past by State troopers brandishing shotguns on Interstate 10 between Tucson and Phoenix Arizona. I have never been cited for an offense rather stopped due to the type of vehicle that I was driving.
    There is indeed a problem in this country and it is time we are honest about it. Unless you have been placed in this position it may be hard for one to understand the depth of pain experienced.
    Perhaps it is time that we re-evaluate what racial profiling has morphed into.....perhaps it is more subconscious than you realize.....maybe there needs to be updated training....but lets not give up on trying to resolve the problem.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  46. Mick

    Here is how I see it:

    1. The cops were there legitimately.
    2. Professor Gates may have overreacted or crossed the line verbally.
    3. The cops retaliated by constructing the scenario by which they justified arresting the Professor. Clearly the cop was angry by whatever the Professor said and asked the Professor to step outside so he could arrest him.

    I witnessed a young black man sitting on his porch in Baltimore City "getting his hair done" presumally by his girlfriend. Two cops walked by, words were exchanged and the cops ended up handcuffing the young man and took him away. I asked the young lady what happened and she said the cops walked by and one of them made a sarcastic comment. The young man responded with a sarcastic comment. The cop told the young man to "come here". When the young man responded - and stepped off his porch - the cop arrested him for loitering.

    As a white person I can tell you I have never heard of and could never imagine a scenario where I would be arrested for no good reason.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  47. Rachel Hill

    I am proud of my president .It is time enough that black people express how they are feeling .The TRUTH will always hurt .This has been the case since the inception of humanity .I wonder whether Mr Crowley would have arrested the professor if he was white .I wonder whether he would have been patient with a man of his color .To be honest , the officer mannerism is one of distaste and arrogance. I do not care how proffessional he thinks he is ,I truly belive he was above himself .He probably felt that Mr Gates should bow down and kiss his hands .Well sorry , NO MORE OF THIS ----MASSA days are over .

    July 23, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  48. Ms.Batie

    Greetings, I must say, there is still lots of racism,racial profiling,and
    just plain old down right evil stuff going on within the "BROTHER
    HOOD" of police officers,that ofcourse ,stays within the "BROTHER
    HOOD", unless they are caught and found out,then,"WE" were just
    doing our job. Even outstanding,decorated police officers are some
    times caught on their own vedio cameras useing excessive,brutial
    force,most of the time on people of color. Therefore,I am sure the
    officer was profiling the professor,simply because the professor was
    standing up for himself and his rights. Police officers don't like that
    you know,if you stand up for your rights you are a smart A.........

    July 23, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  49. Ms. Woodson

    I truly feel that everyone should just take a step back and think about all that has been said, yes Mr. Gates feels like the policeman was wrong for treating him the way he did, and the officer feels that he has done nothing wrong, but when you are on the outside looking in , it's like everyone should at least try to get over the situation and move on. Even if it means stating the fact that you are sorry for your actions. And for the officer to be so harsh and say he is not going to say he is sorry for his actions, makes the whole situation really bad. He is an officer of the law. Maybe he should try standing in someone elses shoes for a change. At least Mr. Gates had enough pride to say he was sorry! Not much I can say for the police officer. Think about our children of the world today and JUST DO THE RIGHT THING!!!!!

    July 23, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  50. tojois

    Profiling definitely exists, but this aint it. All Gates had to do was cooperate and show his ID. Yes he was in his own home and felt "violated", what are the cops supposed to do? What if there really had been a burglar instead of him. And the burglar said, I live here. And the cops left. And Gates was robbed blind.

    Police have to follow procedure. If Gates had a complaint then he should have filed a complaint instead going off. But like I heard yesterday, you might be the rap but you wont beat the ride.

    One positive is this has brought attention back to this issue.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
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