American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
July 24th, 2009
05:30 AM ET

What’s on Tap – Friday, July 24, 2009

Here are the big stories on the agenda today:

  • President Obama softening his criticism of police who arrested a prominent black Harvard professor.  It’s a war of words he chose to jump into with both feet and critics are saying he jumped the gun.  What the president says now about the racially-charged incident and our exclusive interview with the Cambridge police commissioner.
  • President Obama's health care timeline hits a major speed bump.  The democratic leader of the senate now saying getting a reform bill passed by the August recess – can't be done. We're live at the White House with details.
  • Old enough to strip, too young to drive. There's a huge push this morning to close a shocking legal loophole in Rhode Island.  While teens can't pump gas or climb ladders on the job, there's nothing on the books keeping 16 and 17-year olds from stripping... as long as they're home by 11:30 on school nights.  Authorities discovered this during a police investigation of a 16-year-old runaway working at a strip club in Providence.  We’ll talk to the state representative behind the campaign to close that loophole.

Filed under: What's On Tap
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Bernice

    Fitzgerald, there is the underlined problem! Wht waste the time of the courts? Why waste the publics time? A good lawyer may do what? Well, a good man would have just appologized! They did not need to search his home at all once seeing his ID and while outside, he letting eveyone know that he was ALONE AND OK (not being held hostage inside). The police department did his job, and the prez did ALL but appologize for his interference! You see, racism is not what they found in the long run! (well, maybe on Gates part) The racist remarks and irresponsible behavior came from Gates! How chidish can a black man actually be while you all defend his deranged behavior towards the police dept! No respect! You need to learn to find some, and say thank you when a cop comes to save you!

    It would also figure, you are from IL!!!! Chicago strong arm justice?? He is a good cop to all races! You guys picked on the WRONG white man this time now, didn't you? lol At least the police officer is acting like a MAN and not a childish kindergardener! All of the police officers, all of the neighbors, and EVERYONE agreed, this way the fault of a black man who just thought he was something special, but found out that it doesn't really matter if you are black or white, we both need to LEARN to follow the law with a certain amount of reasect towards the cop! I would have went to jail for this action if it took place in my town, and I am WHITE! He needs to attend therapy to maybe find why he has soooo much stored hatred! This white cop did nothing to him, and his pampered lifestyle would suggest that he NEVER had to deal with racial issues! He looks like he just loves to cause them actually! I can't wait to actually hear the tapes on how ridiculous this mans behavior actually was!

    July 27, 2009 at 6:09 am |
  2. Maureen

    I think Mr. Gates as well as Officer Crowley were having a power struggle. I believe they were both wrong and could have reached a much more acceptable outcome without this incident getting this far out of control. Now that the problem of race relations is once more opened, just maybe we can start talking about it more and for the grace of God start putting race behind us. There are so many problems that really need our attention. Until we resolve the race problem we will continue to revisit it over and over again. I would like to see this great country of ours move forward.

    July 26, 2009 at 2:05 am |
  3. DOGSEED

    I will only comment on the Gates incident.The president should not be aplogizing as this was clearly a situation of a cop letting his ego get the better of him.Cops take very poorly to being dressed down or shown up. One of the worse thing a civilian can do is ask a cop for I.D or badge number.Should it rise to to the level of an arrest just because your feelings are getting hurt?The officer stated that prof. gates in control of the situation and cuased his own arrest.How? did he physically assail him ,throw something at him or spit at him?The cop had egg on his face after finding out that it was Gates home and the situation escalated when suddenly there were a bunch of fellow officers at the scene.Cops are taught to make the cuff to offset potential lawsuits.Beat up a person for doing nothing ?lock him up to make the case.Actually prof.you should consider your self lucky, six months ago you would have had your butt kicked at least.After Dinkins lost the N.Y. mayorial race to Giuliani the cops used to go around asking black people if they did not know Dinkins time was over.This cop claims he teaches racial sensitivity so he cant be a racist.DUH.

    July 25, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  4. Bernice

    The black community needs to STOP using the "race card" on utterly EVERY occasion that they can! We do not need to hear things about "my mamma" or "your mamma", and who cares who he was!! As long as he was NOT a burglar trying torob this mans house! This officer deserves an appology from Mr. Gates, and this smear campaign needs to stop by the blacks! He did his job trying to save the mans property! Mr. Gates acted like a childish kindergardener!!! Mr. Gates, you were not arrested on a power trip and anyone who thinks so should sit down and view this once again! The three cops, one white. one hispanic, and one black ...all 3 agree! You were verbally attacking a police officer in public trying to insight a riot over racism, that was not even happening! The neighbors heard this and should NEVER have had to! I believe that trying to sight a riot over racism should be reason enough for an arrest! When a police officer trys to stop and your home and save you, you tell him thank you! Have some respect! It is just plain hard to imagine that Mr. Gates is a politician! Not hard for me to imagine that he is a good friend of the president! Interesting!! Has anyone thought that this may have been staged to start a public talk (riot) on racism?? Things were actually getting a whole lot better already, but now, race relations seems to be taking a huge step backwards! Maybe it's because we do not need to hear dirty things about your mamma!! Grow up and move on a little! If you wish to look at the issue of racism, look at into the history of the American Indian! Racism is what we have to take when we have to deal with this form of verbal abuse that is just plain unneccessary! (and a childish form of racism). They need to start being sued for thier abusive remarks insighting racism continually.

    July 25, 2009 at 6:39 am |
  5. Monika

    I wrote this comment before

    We do not know what really happened in the confrontation of Professor Gates and Officer Crowley. If the professor showed proper id with name, picture, and address then the Officer was wrong to arrest him. If he did not and showed only his Harvard id then the professor was in the wrong. They should get eye witness accounts of the conversation before judging. If the professor thought he was being discriminated against, he should have acted maturally. After giving proper id, Gates should have asked the Officer to leave his property. Later, he should have reported the incident to upper law enforcement.

    Although the president is entitled to his own opinion, he should have not commented at all to the question and sticked to healthcare reform. Instead, President Obama should have answered the question like this: “I do not have all the information, so I would not like to comment right now”.

    July 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  6. Dolores Howell

    It would have behoved the President to get all the facts before voicing an opinion AND he should have left personal opinions out of it because Gates was a friend. Having heard the officer's explanation, it is reasonable for him to take the action he did, which was professional. How would Gates have felt if, in fact, there had been a robbery and the police did not get there in time. Would he have felt it was racial profiling? (Maybe assuming it was the home of a black man) I don't think so! OR if the police had, in deed, stopped a robber,. would Gates have called it racial profiling? There are many scenarios to be assumed. Having heard Gates comments to the officer, he did what his training taught him to do and the taxpayers pay him to do. I am disappointed in Obama's comment. In my mind, this put a blemish on his record. P.S. I did vote for him.

    July 24, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  7. Soothe

    This is to John Roberts.... Your a former Canadian citizen who
    knows the Canadian health care system. Why do you sit there
    and let them perpetuate these lies about Canada and our
    health care? Shame on you . Just because you decided to
    become an American citizen doesn't mean you should sell
    out your former country.

    July 24, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  8. Kathie

    This is a case of two men with gigantic egos not race.
    The Prof. was upset at being made to feel like a criminal in
    his own home and was going to show this officer who he
    was dealing with and the power and influential people
    he could call because of the injustice he felt.
    The officer being a Sgt has his own ego and wanted to
    instill in this Prof. that he would not be talked to in the
    way he was by the Prof. He was going to show him the
    power he weilded and arrested him .
    I’d be surprised if they didn’t have to shovel the testosterone
    off that front porch.

    July 24, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  9. jim vicalvi

    Hey Fitzgerald, they give you those medications for a reason. Maybe you should consider taking 2 today and then get a life. From the sounds of things you are a full fledged obummerite. Consistently wrong!!

    July 24, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  10. Fitzgerald, Kankake, IL.

    Did any of these cops walk behind the house to check anything, no they did not, so they need to stop lying!

    July 24, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  11. Fitzgerald, Kankake, IL.

    Any half way decent lawyer could blow at least ten hole is this cop story!

    July 24, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  12. Fitzgerald, Kankake, IL.

    This cop did not do any searches at all he is a lair!

    July 24, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  13. Fitzgerald, Kankake, IL.

    I am so glad Palin is leaving office, she is just sad, she refuses to learn about this country, I remember she could not explain what the Constitution says her job would be as Vice President, she has no desire to learn about anything at all!

    We do not need non-knowlegdeable in office, who prey on other non-knowlegdeable people to get into and stay in office!

    July 24, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  14. Fitzgerald, Kankake, IL.

    New Jersey is a total mess, far too much corruption gong on there! 2 Mayor's 1 Councilmen and far too many Jewish Rabis doing the wrong thing. In the bible it says:

    For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

    I bet they are all feeling sorry that they got caught, not that they were corrupt!

    July 24, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  15. Minister TDH

    President Obama should have kept out of this situation w/o all the facts; unfortunately he felt the need to defend a friend. But as president he has a greater obligation to all the people of this nation not just one close friend, who by the way could have avoided all of this if he had first confronted the officer in the spirit of God’s love.

    July 24, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  16. Fitzgerald, Kankake, IL.

    Question: Why didn't the cop look for the other men if he thought that Gates was not in the home by himself or he might be in any danger?

    Answer: the cop is lying!

    July 24, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  17. Fitzgerald, Kankake, IL.

    It's funny how now the cop is saying that he thought that there were two other people in the house but he did not take the time to look for them. All I want to know is why did he not look for the two men?

    July 24, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  18. james dale

    Having not voted for our current President, yet accepting his authority, I spent the time the other night in an attempt to gain more insight into his health care reformation. However, when he made a public judgement call concerning the Harvard proffesor's arrest it showed me that he is willing to make and now stand by a decision without first knowing all of the facts. His actions now cause me to wonder how many other decisions he will make without knowing all of the facts. He also has me wondering whether his declaration of wrongdoing by a police department was a conclusion based on people's actions (which it wasn't) or color. If it was the later, he himself utilizes race as a final determining factor in his decisions.

    July 24, 2009 at 8:36 am |
  19. Andy Buisson

    Re Cambridge/Gates incident and President's comments: It seems quite simple. The officer had the right and duty to investigate until satisfied that Prof. Gates was in his own home. Prof. Gates had the duty (or should at least have had the good sense) to cooperate with the officer investigating a third party complaint, by providing ID. At the point that ID was presented and it was established that Prof. Gates was in his own home, the Sgt. should have backed away, no matter how irate the professor was or what level the exchange had reached. Assuming ID was produced at some point, the situation should have ended. President Obama only said the police acted "stupidly" in "arresting" Prof. Gates. He could have used a better word, but good judgment and cool heads on both sides would have resulted in a non-incident.

    July 24, 2009 at 8:26 am |
  20. Parisa

    The police officer overreacted. It's so obvious.
    1. The two black men did not run. Criminals tend to do that.
    2. When he realized that Gates was the owner of the home. The police officer should have walked back to HIS car.
    If the police officer was an expert on racial profiling he should have expected Gates' reaction. The so called expert should have backed down he was wrong.
    Gates had every right to be angry. The police officer was an intruder on HIS property. Gates did NOTHING wrong except return to his HOME.

    The police officer arrested Gates because he didn't like what Gates was saying to him. The police officer needs a backbone.

    Nothing can justify Gates' arrest. The president is right. The office acted stupidly.

    July 24, 2009 at 8:25 am |
  21. S. MacPhee

    I am a Canadian and I want to comment on the lady in the commercial about our health care service. This lady just proved if you have money you can get health care in the United States, after all she borrowed $100,000 to receive her care in the US. If she had this operation in Canada it would have been free. If she had a problem with the timeline of her surgery, she did not contact the right people to speed up the surgery. I have known people that have had brain tumors removed and did not have her problem. All I can say is that she borrowed money when she did not have to.

    We have one of the best health care systems in the world, granted it needs adjustments every now and then like everything else. In our system it does not matter if you are a millionaire or you make $12,000 per year you are given the same care in our health system. I am so glad that I do not have to mortgage my house to get health care.

    July 24, 2009 at 8:24 am |
  22. Kenya

    A few questions: why did the officer enter Dr. Gates's home w/o invitation? Once Dr. Gates identified himself, why didn't the officer verify that Dr. Gates was ok and then leave? If the officer was not being a bigot/racist, how did Dr. Gates get arrested at his own home for disorderly conduct? Finally, if the officer was just doing his job, when Dr. Gates asked for his name and badge number, why didn't the officer provide it–that is, if he was "just doing his job."

    July 24, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  23. Isabel (Canada)

    I agree with President Obama. The officer did act stupidly when he went as far as arresting Gates. One of the things white officers must understand is that blacks have a lot of stigma about being race profiled because it happens so often in the U.S., in a country where the race issue will continue for many years to come. Whites just can't seem to stop calling them blacks, which distinguishes them from being just people. The officer should have exercised more tolerance. Perhaps this should be a part of their training. It did not have to go this far. Only in the United States could something this trivial end up in a law suit. Doesn't the President have enough on his plate that CNN has to keep bashing him and give him one more thing to contend with. CNN is truly turning into the National Enquirer.

    July 24, 2009 at 8:14 am |
  24. Peter Duplessis

    I would like to comment on the reaction of parties involved or those speaking out about President Obama's remark reference the arrest of Professor Gates If officers feel hurt about the president's remarks, they simply need to fit into our skin and be on the other side. The professor's reaction to the officers entering his home also needs to be understood that he was disrespected. We have feelings too and the defensive stance of the police department and its supporters is just another example that there is still a lot of work to be done.

    July 24, 2009 at 8:13 am |
  25. BigD Got All the Answers, Minnesota

    Mike Ross sounds Like He could be Obama's much needed Clarity + Stability Partner, the "Old Blue Dog!"
    Obama, the Peoples Driving Force Champion + Mike Ross the "High Tech Man of Reality!"
    I Like the Sound of that, But is it True?
    Mike Ross; Obama's Best Advocate + a Most Welcome Health Care Bill Clarifier + Return Guest on "American Morning"

    July 24, 2009 at 8:04 am |
  26. Larry

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is just another stooge on the payrolls of the insurance lobbyists.

    July 24, 2009 at 7:18 am |
  27. Justin

    As an avid ESPN fan, I see Ms. Andrews as a great field reporter before I look at her body. She has dealt with hostile situations and handled it with nothing but the utmost professionalism and class while always seeming down to earth. It is disgusting to think that some one would violate another persons privacy in this way, but honestly in this world of sex tapes and TMZ, sadly I am not surprised. It is all of our faults that this happened. The google numbers speak for themselves. She is up ,a reported, 5000%!!! If that doesn't speak for what a lot of America deems important, I don't know what is. We are always looking for the next scandal or celebrity news story. With the internet this is the monster we have created, I only pray it stops now and there is some sort of sense of decency and a right to privacy for those in the spotlight.

    July 24, 2009 at 6:43 am |
  28. Frank Southwell

    Although I am a Black Man, I truly believe the arresting officer's version of why the Professor had to be arrested. The Professor's hostile and uncorporative responses are commonly seen by people who want to "test" the system. A courteous response to the officer would have solved this misunderstanding. I too am disappointed that the President used such harsh words without knowing the SEQUENCE OF EVENTS or verbal exchanges which led to the arrest. Even the Professor knew that he caused the situation to get out of control. I know the Sergent will be vindicated when the tapes are released.

    July 24, 2009 at 6:40 am |
  29. Earl Mack

    Police officers are held at a higher standard, both ethically and behaviorally, than the normal citizen because of the real and precived trust the public has in their ability and agency. Also, as a "prominent Harvard" professor, or any "prominent" professor of such a prestigious label, there also is a real and precived public trust in their social ability to behave ethically and behaviorally at a higher standard than the normal citizen. However, the president, although he has my un-waving cautious support, and is held at even a higher such standard, exhibited poor judgement in his choice of words by labeling a police department "stupidly." There was poor judgement times three in this incident.

    July 24, 2009 at 6:36 am |
  30. Dennis

    On the one hand, the President insults the integrity of the Cambridge Police Dept. On the other hand, the FBI is making arrests for corruption at the local level. Sounds like another dog and pony show to avert the eyes of the American public from the corruption in Washington, DC. Good job on the Corruption arrests, but don't stop there. I'd rather pay to get corrupt politicians out of office than for a healthcare plan that doesn't even work on paper.

    July 24, 2009 at 6:22 am |
  31. Strycek

    I read the police report. The officer seems to have been doing what he should have been doing in a potential break in. Prof. Gates on the other hand seemed out of control from the beginning....almost like he had an agenda, maybe once the police arrived he wanted it to go as far as it did. He (Gates) was the one who kept pressing the officer. Why did Prof. Gates start with the racial thing right from the begining is my question. A report of two men trying to squeese there way in through the front door...hum....sound like a break in to me. An officer responding to this would have no choice but to prceed with caution. From what I read it was Prof. Gates who put himself in this position by not being cooperative with the police. If this had been an actual break in and the officer did not respond, it would be very different type of outrage. Everyone seems to be missing the point that the officer was responding to a possible break in, 2 males were observed by the caller trying to squeeze there way into the home. The officer was not paying a social visit to Prof. Gates. He was only doing what he got paid to do. No apology needed.

    July 24, 2009 at 6:19 am |
  32. Jim M

    In referring to the Professor Gates incident; My humble opinion is that the police officer would not have taken Mr. Gates into custody without cause. I personally believe that The Professor has some unresolved anger and racial issues himself. We have the right in this country to debate this issue. Iif the Professor was in Iran protesting the legitimate issue of a rigged election he would have be detained indefinitely. Yes, we are a great nation. : )

    July 24, 2009 at 6:12 am |
  33. Linda Culpepper

    From what I have heard, Professor Gates was the one to inject race into the matter, and he may be the one doing the racial profiling.

    July 24, 2009 at 6:10 am |