The latest on the Prof. vs. Cop story:
The Police Side
The Boston Globe:
The Cambridge police commissioner, breaking his public silence yesterday amid an increasingly vitriolic debate, strongly defended the actions of the sergeant who arrested Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. At the same time, Commissioner Robert C. Haas announced that an independent panel will review the confrontation between the black professor and the white officer, an incident President Obama criticized for a second straight day.
Haas described Sergeant James M. Crowley as a “stellar member’’ of the department who had “tried to deescalate the situation’’ before he arrested Gates last week on the porch of Gates’s Cambridge house. Haas emphatically said that Gates’s arrest was not racially tinged.
“He [Crowley] tried to move away from the situation, and, when he wasn’t successful, he used arrest as a last resort,’’ Haas said at a packed news conference at police headquarters. “I do not believe his actions were in any way racially motivated.’’
Nonetheless, Haas said he will appoint a panel of law enforcement experts in the next few days to analyze how his department handled the incident and to receive comments from the community.
“I have long held the view that every interaction has the potential to teach us lessons in how we conduct ourselves both professionally and personally,’’ he said. “I certainly feel that way now.’’
CBS News: Responses from Cambridge police commissioner and Sgt. James Crowley
The Professor’s Side
Prof. Henry Louis Gates on the Gayle King Radio Show on the XM Oprah Channel (h/t Huffington Post)
Transcript from Huffpo
GAYLE KING: …did you happen to be watching the news conference when he said that?
HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR: …I was having dinner with a friend on the upper east side in a little private Italian restaurant and all of a sudden I thought my blackberry was going to explode. And the first call…it was from Angela…Angela DeLeon…[saying] Barack Obama just mentioned you in his news conference…
I said oh my goodness what did he say… ‘I have to wait for the facts…?’…and he said no he said ‘the Cambridge Police were stupid and that you were friends’…I went..my god. And then the emails…it was like a slot machine. I got 500 emails last night.
GAYLE KING: I was surprised by his choice of words..that he said the Cambridge Police acted ‘stupidly.’ I agree with him, but I was surprised that the President of the United States would use that particular phrase.
HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR: I think that the circumstances are so egregious…that…it was the adjective that…logically popped into his head. I haven’t listened to a lot of the commentary but the people who want to protect the police and who are afraid of criminals like I’m afraid of criminals…are looking for something that I could have done to justify Sergeant Crowley’s actions. There’s nothing that I could have done to justify Sergeant Crowley’s action.
Some successful blacks find Gates episode all too familiar
A financial adviser at a leading wealth-management firm, Dan Rivers often identifies himself proudly but simply: “I’m a Dartmouth guy.’’ But thinking about the times he was scrutinized by security coming in and out of corporate events, about the less-than-welcoming glances he has received at a venerable men’s clothier, Rivers said he is sometimes seen by others in an entirely different way: as a black guy.
Likewise, Colette A.M. Phillips, chief executive of a Boston marketing firm, recalled the fellow business traveler in the American Airlines Admirals Club at Logan International Airport who presumed she was the help and asked for coffee.
There are legions of others who can share similar stories, affluent, accomplished, and academically distinguished African-Americans in Greater Boston who have suffered indignities that they doubt would befall their similarly successful white peers. It demonstrates, they said, that racism cannot be escaped by climbing the ladder.
Sometimes the slights are stark, other times subtle, and occasionally they fall into a gray area that leaves them wondering whether they are real or perceived. Rarely do they make local headlines, much less global news, or end with them in handcuffs on the doorstep of their homes, as was the case with the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., the renowned Harvard scholar, in Cambridge last week.
Use this thread to continue discussing the Gates-Crowley battle or talk about other topics.
UPDATE: Here’s a bonus for any late-night readers/commenters. It’s from a right-wing source, but it’s funny, so shoot me.
Please Digg!!! Tweet!!! Share!!!
Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine
Filed under: General | Tagged: Cambridge Police (MA), Henry Louis Gates, James Crowley, Racial Profiling | 39 Comments »