The director of Harvard University's W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African-American Research, is accusing the Cambridge police of racism after he was arrested while trying to force open the door of his own home. USA. 16/07/2009.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., head of Harvard University's WEB DuBois Institute for African and American Studies, was arrested on July 16th for alleged disorderly conduct. The arrest has drawn heavy criticism from the African-American community, with Gates' colleagues at Harvard stating that the arrest represents police abuse of power and blatant racial profiling.
Unless charges are dropped, Gates' arraignment is set for August 26.
UPDATE 13:00est, Prosecutors have dropped all charges against Professor Gates. The city of Cambridge issued a statement stating that the arrest "was regrettable and unfortunate".
UPDATE 07/23/09, On Tuesday afternoon, after the Cambridge Police Department and Professor Gates issued a joint statement indicating that the incident was “regrettable and unfortunate” but that there had been a “just resolution”, Mr. Gates fanned the flame of controversy by demanding a personal apology from the arresting officer. Further, on Wednesday night, in a nationally televised speech to the nation, President Obama, while admitting he did not have all the facts of the case, said that the Cambridge Police Department acted stupidly.
Of the arresting officer, it was revealed that he desperately attempted to save the life of an unconscious Boston Celtics basketball player over 16 years ago. He said he wasn’t concerned that he was a famous basketball player or a black man, only that he was a fellow human being that desperately needed his help. In addition, it was reported on Thursday that for the past 5 years the officer has taught a class on racial profiling at The Lowell Police Academy. The officer stands by his police report and indicated that no apology would be coming from him. Professor Gates is considering legal action.
UPDATE 07/26/09: President Obama has invited Officer Crowley and Professor Gates to the White House to discuss the incident.
UPDATE 07/28/09: In anticipation of the upcoming meeting at the White House on Thursday, local Rhode Island brewer Narragansett Beer, delivered a case of beer on Monday to Professor Gates' home on Ware Street. Remarkably, it has not been touched since.
UPDATE 07/31/09: Following the White House Beer Summit, both Officer Crowley and Professor Gates released statements regarding their discussion with the President and Vice President. Professor Gates wrote that he left the meeting with more understanding about police officers’ jobs and said he “learned that we can have our differences without demonizing each other.” For his part, Officer Crowley agreed that it is important to look forward, rather than backward. “Professor Gates and I bring different perspectives to these issues. We have agreed that both perspectives should be addressed in an effort to provide a constructive outcome to the events of the past month.” The two men also agreed to get together at a future date to help improve community and race relations.