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July 30th, 2009
07:36 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Ale to the Chief

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/30/harvard.arrest.beers/art.beer.summit.afp.gi.jpg caption= "Sgt. James Crowley and professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. sat down with the president and vice president Thursday."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight at the White House, it was the president, the professor and the policeman enjoying cold beers with a bunch of cameras and their controversial connection. You may recall, two weeks ago tonight white Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley arrested black Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates after he broke into his own home. The allegation from the cop: disorderly conduct. The allegation from the professor: racial profiling. Cops dropped their charge. But the controversy grew when days later Pres. Obama weighed in and said the cop acted "stupidly." That's when the president made some phone calls suggesting a beer and here were are tonight. How did the beer gathering go? Any tension? Candy Crowley has the raw politics.

Also on our radar, details on what was in the search warrants when cops raided the Las Vegas properties of Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray. Once again, 360's Randi Kaye is the first with this information. She got her hands on the search warrants filed in court today. There are also new developments on who will get custody of Jackson's children.

And, new clashes in Iran today. Police fired tear gas and beat protesters who gathered at a memorial for those killed in the uprisings since last month's disputed presidential election. Today marked the traditional 40-day mourning period for perhaps the most well-know victim of the violence, Neda Agha Solton. The 27-year-old student was shot  on June 20, with her death caught on video. Today protesters chanted, "Neda is alive! Ahmadinejad is dead!", a reference to the president of Iran who opponents say had fraudulently won re-election. Ahmadinejad is expected to take his oath of office for a second-term next Wednesday. There will likely be more protests on that day.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10pm ET. See you then!


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Alex

    I'm pleased to see these TWO men were able to sit down and have a friendly discussion following an ugly situation. I see this playing out as a plus for all people with no loosers, but alot of winners. Even President Obama reaps benefits after opening his mouth when he should have said nothing. But now the door is open and it has been shown publicly that we can agree to disagree WITHOUT using race as a wedge that only divides us to no useful end. Hopefully the divisions of race and ethnic origin can start to fade in our society for the betterment of all people. Rome wasn't built in a day!

    July 31, 2009 at 8:26 am |
  2. Maxwell

    This is so unprofessional showing children that drinking beer is cool. The president should be concerned with important things, but not every egg got broken.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:48 am |
  3. Paige

    I am a white female and I personally have seen friends mistreated for the color of their skin and the only people who believe it does not exist are people who only remain in a circle of friends of their own color. It's unfortunate and I wish it could stop. I am happy I voted for Obama and I appreciate what he is doing. I wish more people would reach across the table and get to know their neighbors. We are all equal, created by God and should be respectful at all times to each other. People get angry and sometimes you have to be able to turn the other cheek.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:37 am |
  4. SandraWI

    I love this image of these 4 men sitting together on a nice summer day having some beers. This is racial harmony.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:28 am |
  5. Amy

    If the police report is true, I cannot believe anyone can think that Gates was in the right. I can think of two white people arrested for disorderly conduct who were not nearly as disrespectful to a cop as Professor Gates was. I understand that he may be overly sensitive because I do believe racial profiling exists, but I would hope someone with Dr. Gates' education would have the social skills to give a fellow man the benefit of the doubt rather than jumping to his own conclusions that he was being unfairly targeted.

    At one point, the police thought my parents broke into their own home as well. However, rather than attacking the policeman for questioning them, my parents expressed appreciation that their home was being looked after and proved that the house was theirs, and no one was disrespectful, and the situation ended up calmly. And neither one of them have a Ph.D.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:26 am |
  6. Anne

    I am amazed that more people haven't said that the Cambridge situation has been about people losing their tempers under stress. Egos were certainly involved in both the case of the professor and and the officer. Most of all, it was inexcusable for the President to make the comment he made and then have the men come to the White House. I wonder how much all of this cost the tax payers? It was one more example of a "photo op" that should not have happened considering the other problems our country is facing. It could have been handled in Cambridge. Obama should have made an apology for his thoughtless statement and gotten back to taking care of his job. Do you think his falling numbers in the polls had something to do with his staging this "summit"? If he was trying to appear to be the peace maker – it didn't look that way from here.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:52 am |
  7. Vi-lissa

    America , Black and White need to wake up, stop pretending that racial issuses do not exsist. They do. i know it is important that all true facts are made known but i have problems with the fact that once the officer realized that Gates was in his own home, move on to a real crime or police need ed situation. i like others know that this was about control, most officers believe that they have the power to be in control and dominate every situation. This does not make a good officer They have a distorted concept that they can speak to you in any manner and when they feel like they are not in control; it always follows with a threat of being arrested. Almost anyone would feel angry about being questioned for entering their own home. We need peace office not control officers. i believe that if it had been a white man the police would have left peacefully once they verified the needed information. And the President did right, nip it in the bud and show that you are concerned about people on all levels.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:47 am |
  8. Mr. Almond

    I do not believe that Mr. Crowley answering the 911 call or the confrontation was racist or based on racial profiling. I do beleive that President Obama's assessment of the situation was correct, although ill advised from a political perspective. I think that the situation between Dr. Gates and Mr. Crowley had more to do with a clash of male egos than race. Mr. Crowley had the upper hand as a police officer and used it by arresting Dr. Gates. Once Dr. Gates was able to prove that he was in his own home, Mr. Crowley should have been professional enough to excuse himself and leave regardless of Mr. Gates' temperment. What concerns me is the response of the 911 operator. When the neighbor called, he immediately asked, "Is he black or Hispanic? ". That is racial profiling. It was simply not relevant. For those who do not believe racial profiling or discrimination exists, remember this. If racial discrimination did not exist, there would be no race card to play. Not every confrontation between people of different races is because of race. However, if you have personally experienced it, then it becomes easy to draw that conclusion.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:40 am |
  9. Fred

    This is what police officers deal with every day, a loud overbearing black person calling them names, yelling, pulling the race card. Not just once in a while, but all the time. anyone Would you get tired of this after just a few hours of work, but police continue to be professional day after day.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:26 am |
  10. Carroll

    I just want to say that this was totally blown out of order.
    The president was speaking on behalf of the heatlhcare reform when the lady in the red dress asked him about Prof. Gates and the police officer and this is what started all of this unnecessary time lost when President Obama could have been working on the healthcare reform decision.
    What a pity!
    After this is over I hope we can get back to business.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:23 am |
  11. Karen Smith

    I live in Yonkers, New York where black, white, and people of mixed races live side by side. I remember driving down the street behind a car which (in my opinion) was obstructing traffic. I honked and at a stop light, one of the two people in the car, got out and was surprised to see a woman at the wheel. I wasn't sure what he was about to do so I called the police from my cell phone to report them. The officer (I'm assuming) on the phone asked me if they were spanish. I said that I would be very careful to say as I am part white, black, and Indian. Anyone would most likely take me for a person of spanish origin. I did say that they had the coloring of a spanish person. In any event I couldn't stop to give a report as I was on my way to teach. I felt compelled to mention this only because I felt it was interesting that they asked me if the two guys in the car were spanish. There is quite a large population of spanish speaking people in this area. Is this profiling?
    Hum...

    July 31, 2009 at 1:20 am |
  12. Mr. Tuck

    The key is trying to work out differences, I think this was a perfect example of how we need to solve our problems. To take a 1000 mile journey you have to make the very first step. We all have a long way to go to make this a better country.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:20 am |
  13. Michelle Blankenship

    Thanks to all of the GENTLEMEN who decided to sit down and talk, As most people know, we all have FAR more in common than we have in differing opinions. Let's MOVE on the commonalities! Time to link up with our neighbors – – regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, and all those "other" labels. We're citizens of the USA - one flag, under God . . . .

    July 31, 2009 at 1:13 am |
  14. Rose

    President Obama's over reaction really surprised me. I thought the color of a persons skin didnt make a diffrence ,

    Like a good parent he should haved stayed out of it ! He is to lead by example.

    July 31, 2009 at 12:59 am |
  15. Bernadette

    well to me racism will never go away until the professor gates of this world let it go.. slavery happened so long ago. and most of us werent any part of it.. ever time an african american crys racism.. it doesn allow any of us to forget.. we should be able to call racism when a white man is arrested for the wrong reasons , but we dont. mistakes happen, but professor gates should be grateful that people were trying to protect his property... hopefully it doesnt happen, but suppose professor gates has to call 911, hopefully the officer make a response quickly, and wont remember this incident... it might back fire and make the police second guess themselves. about who's house they are going to.

    July 31, 2009 at 12:46 am |
  16. John Larrick

    Sergeant Crowley was doing his job exactly as he was trained. Had he not investigated to his satisfaction that no crime is, has or was about to occur he could have been non-feasant.

    The Sergeant was correct in insisting that the person he contacted exit the residence so he could confirm who that person was and if he was a suspect, victim or witness. Once that person is out of the house then a "protective sweep " might be in order to confirm no other unannounced person was inside. This would be "lawfull' entry and would not require the permission or consent of the occupant.

    Had the Sergeant not investigated sufficiently and the person answering the door had said "I live here" and not allowed entry and the Sergeant walks away because he doen't want to intrude, that is not acceptable. There are many lawsuits that have been filed for failure to perform appropriate police services. Many times in domestic violence cases you can be lied to by ex-husbands and boyfriends wanting to get back in the house to do harm or maybe just to steal.

    Sometimes the officers job doesn't make sense to an average person but most police procedures are built on years of experience and scenarios that you would never think could happen in a sane world but do every day.

    In the end there is an old adage in police work, "If you want to be loved by the public; be a Fireman".

    July 31, 2009 at 12:40 am |
  17. javier

    Let's be real here. This was a stunt to work on Mr Obama's approval rating and nothing else. Yes I agree our country has a way to go on racial issues, however, hosting meeting centered around drinking beer is totally the wrong way to go about stirring up intelligent conversation about real change. Showing the american public that the best way to convey equality and have genuine conversation is with a beer in hand is VERY irresponsible. I'm totally not for giving anyone anymore reasons to glorify drinking when close to 1 out of 12 americans abuse or are addicted to alcohol

    Javier Mendoza

    July 31, 2009 at 12:31 am |
  18. frantz in NYC

    Racism is an American denial issues. Open your eyes America, this is not just Black and White issue, it is a human being thing. As for what happened between Professor Gates and Officer Crowley, it looks like most of you are off the subject. Professor Gates might have being overreacted but I believed that he was expressing his feelings. I do not think that was disorderly conduct or any other violation. This is the reason why our President said the "Police acted stupidly". If someone acted as a doctor that doesn't mean the person is a doctor for that. Mr. Gates maybe the Professor but in that situation I think that he should have been the leader. Let us move on and try to be real and honest with ourselves.

    July 31, 2009 at 12:08 am |
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