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July 28th, 2009
06:53 AM ET

Newly released tapes: 911 caller in Gates arrest never referred to 'black suspects'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/27/am.intv.wendy.murphy.gates.art.jpg caption="Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested after a break-in was reported to police."]

(CNN) - The woman who made the 911 call that led to the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. never referred to black suspects when she called authorities for what she thought was a potential break-in.

Police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, released the 911 phone call Monday. In the call, Lucia Whalen reports seeing "two larger men, one looked kind of Hispanic, but I'm not really sure, and the other one entered, and I didn't see what he looked like at all."

"I just saw it from a distance, and this older woman was worried, thinking somebody's breaking in someone's house and they've been barging in," Whalen says. "She interrupted me, and that's when I noticed. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have noticed it at all, to be honest with you. So I was just calling because she was a concerned neighbor, I guess."

Attorney Wendy Murphy, who represents Whalen, also categorically rejected part of the police report that said Whalen talked with Sgt. James Crowley, the arresting officer, at the scene.

"Let me be clear: She never had a conversation with Sgt. Crowley at the scene," Murphy told CNN by phone. "And she never said to any police officer or to anybody 'two black men.' She never used the word 'black.' Period."

She added, "I'm not sure what the police explanation will be. Frankly, I don't care. Her only goal is to make it clear she never described them as black. She never saw their race. ... All she reported was behavior, not skin color."

Calls to the Cambridge Police Department about the issue have not been returned. Police Commissioner Robert Haas told reporters at a news conference Monday that the 911 tape and police transmission from that day "speak for themselves, and I would ask that you form your own opinion." He added that police always ask themselves: "If I had to do it over again, what would I have done differently?"

Keep reading this story »


Filed under: Controversy
soundoff (178 Responses)
  1. sue

    I am white, 63 and female. Would I argue with police officers? Not a chance. Dr. Gates seems to have been tired and 'lost his cool'. Now he's reacting as one who should have special attention. No. I lived in Boston in the late '60's and know that the city attituded towards blacks have changed since then. (They couldn't be any worse)

    Dr. Gates, admit you over reacted and go back to your life gracefully

    July 28, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  2. Mike Bonn

    John , you showed your bias this morning. Stereotyping law enforcement as racial profilers !!! As a Pennsylvania State Constable I am astounded at your support of the race-baiting professor Gates. (who made offensive remarks to the officer about his mother) The professor should be fired from Harvard. He no doubt is teaching race-baiting to his students.For your information blacks and hispanics always claim racial profiling when they are apprehended (even while commiting a crime) because they know that civil rights organizations will come to their defense if they do. We (law enforcement) are looked upon by racial groups as the villian, the criminal rather than the person who is violating the law. (border patrol, Sheriff Joe) We keep getting told by the news media that the majority of prisoners incarcerated in prison are black or hispanic. DUH !!! The majority of crime committed is by blacks and hispanics. .. We in law enforcement by and large are sworn to uphold the law and protect the citizens of our country. John, why aren't you supporting us instead of the criminals ? The black police officer who was at the scene supports the arresting officer 100% !!! Brian got it right, Gates should have been grateful for the police response to protect his home. The worst of this situation is that the Commander-in-Chief had exposed his racial bias. Maybe he will sign an Executive Order to disallow the arresting of blacks & hispanics ? As the comedian from Russia (i forget his name) once said, "what a country !!!"

    July 28, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  3. edward Donau

    Seems like tjhe good professor was practicing racism Tawana Brawley style and CNN was happy and eager as always to stoke the flames. The only racists here are the good professor and the not so well hidden pre-judging of our so esteemed president.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  4. David

    There is no doubt that Prof. Gates suffered his fate because of his race and the COP overstepped the boundary of his authority in his desire to humiliate the Prof.

    This just tells another story of blacks in America, a victim of the establishment and the police. It never ends.

    David Anderson, Houston, TX

    July 28, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  5. sm

    I still hold the good professor responsible for the whole whoopla and believe he wanted to incite an altrecation to blare out his anti-racial nonsense! Professor Gates needs to pull his head out of that dark place and see that the White Americans voted for the first black U.S. president! If, instead of acting like an idiot, he had just cooperated with the officer who was sent out there to protect Mr. Gates' home from burglary, this would have never happened!

    July 28, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  6. Will Kurts

    The police are equally disrespectful of all Americans in my experience. Professor Gates deserved to be arrested if he wanted to be treated the way the police treat belligerent white men in their own home. Equality isn't always what you want it to be.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  7. Elizabeth

    Professor Gates conveyed information to Sgt. Crowley–his name, title, and employer (Professor Henry Louis Gates, Harvard University) while Sgt. Crowley was still inside Professor Gates' home. A quick police profile of Henry Louis Gates should have resolved the issue of residence, with the police leaving the premises based on the profile info. Professor Gates is a small, middle-aged man who walks with a limp. So what was the threat? Sgt. Crowley's ego was possibly bruised by heated comments made by Professor Gates and, thus, an arrest was made. Sgt. Crowley should have been able to resolve this matter without an arrest, since he is supposed to be an expert in "race relations between the police and the community."

    July 28, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  8. Arthur Watcher

    As a supporter of Barack Obama, I find it interesting that Obama totally blew the response to the news conference question about the Crowley/Gates situation when he first admitted he didn’t have all of the facts of the situation, then essentially called the actions of Cambridge Police Sergeant Crowley “stupid”.

    The angle here is how can Obama be so close to perfect in so many public addresses, including news conferences, and then foul up so badly on what should have been an extremely easy question to address. For example, he could have said – “we don’t know all of the facts – I’ll have to wait until those are known until I comment”, yet he completely blows it with the “stupid” comment. He dropped a notch in my opinion because of that statement.

    I know the guy isn’t perfect, but still, it’s interesting to observe him fumble so badly on such a simple question. It seems similar to the "Special Olympics" comment on the Jay Leno show.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  9. Barrie Hiern

    I think the emphasis in the Gates/Crowley incident is misdirected. I do not think that race is the issue, although Dr. Gates may have interpreted the confrontation as due to his race. I believe the escalation of things was due to what I refer to as the "bully mentality" of so many of our police. They love to intimidate and push people of all races around. Sgt. Crowley, after Dr. Gates identified himself, regardless of demeanor, should have said thank you and walked away, ignoring any remarks Gates may have made.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:14 am |
  10. Janice Chandler

    Why would the dispatcher ask if the suspect was white, black, or hispanic? What possible difference could that make? Why not just ask the caller if she could provide a discription of the persons trying to enter. Would the police responded differently based on race? If not, why ask.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:14 am |
  11. Bill Eisele

    Crowley/gates. I served half my life as a State trooper and am retired now. I have been to many break and entries into homes. When the call was given to Sgt. Crowley he had no clue as to what to expect and I know from experience that the hair on the back of your neck stands up. This is a felon call. There is a report of suspects in the house As a first responder my cuffs would had gone on immediately. Any normal home owner would had done as instructed. Sgt. Crowley did not know that maybe their was a prior domestic call there and their could have been a restraining order out or maybe it was just a old boyfriend looking to even the score. Or how about a drug buy gone wrong.... The scenario in a cops mind runs wild as he questions Gates. I voted for Obama and am sad now. I sure hope Sgt. Crowley does not hesitate on the next call and he gets shot. I would not drink a beer with Obama and what a STUPID suggestion for him to make.......

    July 28, 2009 at 8:13 am |
  12. Roger

    I only have one question, why is only a portion of the 911 call being released? what was said prior to what has been reported thus far?

    July 28, 2009 at 8:13 am |
  13. Mike

    The 911 tapes do not change my opinion. This should never have been mistaken as a racially charged arrest. The officer was responding to a 911 call of a possible breaking and entering and the professor was subsequently arrested. He was not arrested, however, for trespassing or breaking and entering or otherwise, he was arrested for disorderly conduct, which is clearly shown by the picture we all have seen over the past several weeks, he's clearly upset and not controlling himself.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:12 am |
  14. Stephanie Jardine

    I think black americans just try to blame the police officer that it was racial. Even for me it would have looked like Gates is trying to break into a house, it wouldnt have matter if he would have been white, hispanic or black. Even a white man would have been arrested. African americans should stop blamin white people that they are racial. Slavery is over 50 years ago. Get over it.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:12 am |
  15. Paula Smith

    I truly agree with RJ.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  16. gail

    I have been waiting for someone to ask the arresting police officer why he just did not continue on with his day after discovering Prof Gates was not burglarizing his own house by proof of identification. As a professional with the training in sensitivity and expertise in handling the type of incident he found himself in, I would have expected him to handle the situation in a more courteous way. I would have stated why I was there, and after seeing that he was ok and it was his house wished him a nice day and departed. But he couldn't do that because his ego got in the way. he was not going to allow this Harvard professor to make him feel like a lesser man due to the Professor's education and stature etc. However, he did that nicely by himself by not rising above it all. The police are no different in Boston then they are in NY or anywhere else. It must be the uniform that contributes to their arrogance and misuse of their autrhority. The President isn't the culprit and if that is how the police feel, they should not involve him in the solution. Have a beer someplace else with someone else. Once again, egos are being stroked by the invitation and that is all it amounts to.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:10 am |
  17. Helen Innis Lutz

    My comment regarding the tapes I heard this morning with John and the police seargeant; the one COMMENT stated on the TAPE with the female neighbor and 911 was: "are the men breaking in WHITE, BLACK or HISPANIC". Interesting and we say there is no racila bias. I am caucasian and am thoroughly disgusted with the entire bias situation regardless of who is involved. What reason did the 911 person have to want identification as to the race of the supposedly men breaking into the Professor's home. Think about this......this is exactly what's wrong! Immediately, a racial statement is asked. Who cares what race they were, who cares about their size, etc. I do feel the Professor was aggravated and taken back by the breakin and he being a renown professor, was insulted that the police officer did not know him....which is foolish also. However, with modern technology, why didn't the police dept. on the 911 call check out whose home was being broken into....another slip up! That could have been the resolution to the entire incident had they checked this out. As far as Pres. Obama's comments, I do believe he was asked in a press conference on his opinion. In error he did not use the proper verbage, but he responded to the question and had he not, he ..... again would have been criticized for no response. Let's let it GO!!!! Enough!!
    Thanks for the opportunity to "vent".

    July 28, 2009 at 8:09 am |
  18. Paula Smith

    The public needs to give respect to the police and let them do their job as they should. However, the police must also understand that no citizen is going to accept any brutality or oppression without due reason.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:08 am |
  19. Frank

    You have an arrogant cop and an arrogant educator both with issues. Both should be punished for wasting our time and money with this garbage. I hope they are not using my money to pay for their beers. Why Obama would ever invite them to our White House for a drink when he has so many other things to do is beyond comprehension.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:08 am |
  20. Richard

    The ex-cop just interviewed seemed to be very biased in favour of the Police officers. The more I hear these people talk the more I really think the Professor should press charges.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:08 am |
  21. Anat Bat-Tzion

    Re: Professor Gates and the police officer who arrested him:
    A few years ago, after a long flight from Western Asia, I flew in to Newark to make a connection to my home in the States. I was exhausted and ill from an injury I incurred overseas the day before I boarded a flight to come home. I had stitches in my head, which I tried to hide with my hair. All I wanted to do was get home.
    For some reason, I kept getting pulled aside for extra security checks.
    Literally just before I handed in my boarding pass to enter the jetway, to board the last plane for home, I was pulled aside yet again. This time, I had a bad attitude. Now, I have been involved in peace movements and civil rights movements sonce the sixties. I know to tell the police, "Yes, officer," "No, officer," "Here's my ID, officer," "Do you have a warrant, officer," and I have always treated police that way when I have had to have dealings with them. I also understand that police have difficult jobs and appreciate their role in society. But, that afternoon in the Newark airport, I was tired, ill, and cranky, and I finally had reached the point of having a bad attitude. One TSA agent , with a bad attitude, offered to detain me for having a bad attitude, the other suggested she cool it and got me, the "citizen", on the plane for home.

    Also, I have, more than once,come home from overseas and found that someone has locked it up in such a way that my key wouldn't work, so I broke windows to get in. I am a middle-aged white woman and no one called the police to report break-ins. I understand that the woman who called the police on Professor Gates, being politically correct, did not say that two black men were struggling to get into a house yet, maybe if it had been a middle-aged white woman trying to get into the house, the call would not have been made at all. Racism and sexism are more complicated and run deeper than we like to think.

    It seems to me that Professor Gates was tired and cranky, and thus perhaps lacking the energy and control it takes to always be polite and cooperative with police who showed up out of nowhere to invade his house. Professor Gates is, after all the "citizen" in the incident. Ideally, the police officer would have shown more professionalism, backed off, and left the tired and cranky citizen in, what is after all, his house. U.S. citizens, historically, have not been raised to be sheep. When we all are beaten down enough to act like sheep, the world will be in trouble.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:06 am |
  22. CHUCK

    OK WHITE AMERICA! WHO WROTE " TWO BLACK MEN ON THE REPORT" ????? AND WHY? IF THE COP FELT HE WAS ON THE RIGHT PATH THEN WHY DID HE DROP THE CHARGES? THANK GOD THE WOMAN'S ATTORNEY BROUGHT TO LIGHT WHAT THIS RACIAL COP WROTE ON HIS REPORT. IT'S NOT WHAT GOES INTO A PERSON THAT DEFILES THEM ,IT'S WHAT COMES OUT?

    July 28, 2009 at 8:04 am |
  23. delewis

    the teaching moment is when you find out the house is his you tell why you came and you leave with respect.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:01 am |
  24. Greg

    We do have a teachable moment here, except that it has to do with our supposed desire to have dialogue about racial issues.

    The simple truth is: We cannot have a reasonable conversation about race in this country and this even illustrates the reason why. What happened here was clearly an incident that escalated beyond what it should have. Someone got too stressed and overreacted. I honestly do not know who started the escalation first. Given the way the human brain works, I doubt if even Sgt Crowley or Prof Gates could give a 100% accurate and unbiased account of the events at this point.

    All we really know is that everyone who was not there supposes to know why it escalated.Their only certainty being that someone at that house was a racist and come hell or high water we are going to brand them as such. The result of branding someone a racist means we remove them from the conversation. After all, who needs to listen to the racist's claims. At this point, we no longer have a conversation, but the party who claims to have the moral high ground launches into lecture mode. We repeat this process every time we have conflict involving people of different races in this country. We need to realize the problem is more about how we handle these situations than anything else.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:58 am |
  25. Wren

    I'm sorry but when I have made or had another make a 911 call from my home or for me and my home. The police have NEVER asked me to "come outside of my home to prove who I am" Now I live in the heart of the south and I see racism at its finest and best daily. When we are press fed that it is long dead and gone.

    I believe Gates kept his cool for as long as he could till he saw what was about to happen. The police know who live at what residence and who doesn't. It is a part of their oh so super police detective hardware that we tax payers help pay for yearly.

    Lately the police across the country have been displaying acts of racism and the really sad sick part is they get away with it, because they have a badge. Not because of truth. I was raised to respect the law and follow it, but what happens when those that are entrusted to uphold the laws forget respect, truth and none bias'ism?

    As for the President's remarks? He spoke openly as a friend and while he should have held those comments for a smaller circle than the cameras, he had ever right to them. Who replying here would not yell at the top of their lungs if an injustice was done to a friend by the law force today? Who here would turn around and apologize after ward for it too? The President at least came back and did that were the majority of all of us would never ever think of doing that when we know we are right in our statement.

    The police force never apologizes unless they are commanded to, this should be an indication of the mindset this country is dealing with. Just remember right now across this country as we reply to this hundreds of people are wrongly being treated because of their skin color by the police, while those that commit a crime waltz away.

    This quote is just too fitting STILL for this country "America is a country that has leapt from barbarism to decadence without touching civilization. John O'Hara"

    July 28, 2009 at 7:58 am |
  26. Jerry Alpharetta, GA

    Place yourself in the position of the police officer: two men were reported to have been seen breaking into the residence. You are facing only one who is not cooperative. Where is the second man? Is he aiming a gun at you or the other man? Is he holding a hostage somewhere else in the house? Is the person you are talking to permitted to being the house, he may be under a restraining order due to domestic violence. There are many things the officer just does not know at that time. Would it not be prudent to get the first man out of the house away from earshot of the second person so you could discuss the situation? Is anyone concerned about the potential danger this officer could have been in regarding the reported break in? The President doesn't seem to care.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:58 am |
  27. RJ

    Just a I thought, another case of poor ole me oh my I`m a black man being discriminated against! Its an all to common occurance these days. This problem is especially prevailent with educated minority men generally black men! They feel compelled to blame the whites still for all their woes! They feel their education gives them this right. Its time we as a nation of immigrants stop blaming one another and move on! I`ve had to deal with this crap for way to long, being called cracker on a daily basis while serving in the US Navy! Nothing ever said, no one ever repremanded, notta zilch, as almost it doesnt mean anything and its quite alright to smear a white man. My ancestors didnt come to this country till well after the turn of the 20 century, werent even around during the civil war but yet we are still being blamed for the ills of the past! Mr. Gates should be ashamed of himself for starting something he couldnt finish and then blame it on racism, totally pathetic!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  28. CHUCK

    OK AMERICA --WHO WROTE "TWO BLACK MEN ON THE REPORT" AND WHY"?

    July 28, 2009 at 7:54 am |
  29. Ted Nicholas

    I tried to ignore getting involved in this discussion but as a person of color and a former law enforcement member I cannot help but submit my 2 cents.
    Arguments have bee made in an effort to show Mr. Gates in a good light as well as Crowley.

    Let us for the moment ...and I say for a moment remove the race factor and submit that police responded to a 911 call regarding a break-in in progress.

    Sgt. Crowley responded and encountered an individual(middle aged, male walking with the assistance of a cane"whom, in his report he did not say "was acting suspicious" It is at this point everyone speculates it terms of what occurs. But all that is irrelevant , let us now re-introduce the race factor and the reason I am doing this is owing to the fact the police Chief and others have gone to great lengths to show that Mr Crowley is not a racist citing that he has been a trainer with respect to Diversity within the department. therefore one would expect that even if Mr. Gates became upset about his being accused/questiond, Sgt Crowley with all his "Diversity" training ought to be able to diffuse the situation. I do not think that Sgt Crowley is a racist I think he made a "stupid decision" the president may back down from saying it but I am not. It is amazing that the president responds but saying the police acted "stupidly" and the entire police association is on the defensive {much like gates was when he was being arrested in his own home} but a woman has a sign over her home that reads "HISPANICS KEEP OUT" and it is forgotten the following day. The problem with Mr. Gates and Sgt. Crowley can not be settled with beer. If that is the case the president should keep keep a kegs handy every month. Diversity training ONLY works if it is practiced.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:52 am |
  30. Celeste

    Now that we know the police report was falsified, are there any punishments to the police for that! Crowley lied on the report about what the caller said on RACE on this report.

    Since Crowley lied about the phone call, I have all the suspicion in the world that the details on the actual arrest are accurate.

    Falsifying a police report is a serious offense against all citizens! Falsifying a police report should get him fired. Crowley is the one who broke the law.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:51 am |
  31. Mary Doak

    Professor's Gates response was inappropriate. He felt insulted that the officers didn't automatically know who he was. How could they question that he lived there? Could it be just because he was black? When you carry a sense that you are targeted because of your race, you react by acting out and using bad language. I have been stopped by police officers a couple of times for traffic violations, where I thought they were overly aggressive in their duties. I am a 5 foot 4 inch white woman, an attorney's wife, who worked for the city the police officers worked for. I didn't go ballistic and tell the news media that I intended to make a documentary about the way white women were treated in America. The President is backtracking because he made a political mistake, speaking his mind before calculating the risk.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:51 am |
  32. shari

    Now that I have heard the 911 call, and comments by both Crowley and Gates, I feel I have a better understanding of the situation. The root of the problem is the power authority complex that most police have. Police in general feel that citizens should do everything they are told by police, even if the police are sometimes wrong to make the requests. They do not like it when someone does not do what they say. Regardless of whose side you are on, the US culture would have instilled in every police that blacks do not have the right to refuse, least of all talk back disrespectfully. The police expect deference, and when they don't receive it, you are asking for trouble. If you happen to be a minority, or if you are considered a low class white person by the officer, you are asking to be arrested or worse. If the police does not have any respect for you, you are not allowed to be disrespectful and get away with it. Professor Gates knew this, he was asking to be arrested. Is that fair, no. Is it life, yes. Should we be debating the issue, yes. By shining a light on how we think, this allows us to change and make corrections in the future.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:51 am |
  33. ruralcounsel

    It seems that all of the Gates apologists have to presume that the police officer lied in order to have any rational explanation for what happened. Yet the more evidence that gets released, the more it seems Gates just lost his temper. And played the ever-present "race card" as an excuse for bad judgment and unacceptable public behavior.

    People do not have the right to be verbally abusive to police for an unlimited amount of time. A short outburst might be forgiveable and understandable, but for it to continue out on to the sidewalk after the officer left the home is clearly disorderly conduct.

    Innocent people who have an inate fear or hatred of the police are usually just acting out on their psychological issues with authority. And what better icon of authority than the police? We see it among tne comments here.

    Time to grow up. The police are not always benign, but neither are they always threatening. Like anyone society gives power to, it can be used well or used poorly. (I'd argue we give even more power to politicians, and we don't hold them nearly accountable enough, or fear what they can do enough!) It is our civic responsibility to treat the humans we give police power to with a reasonable degree of respect. Gates failed this basic test of civics and good manners.

    Someone in his position should know better.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  34. Wendy Casse

    Hi Cnn,
    just a quick comment; sometimes i wonder if you guys are really serious about your focus of discussion. what are you afraid of, that michael vick, should he be hired by a team, would bring dogs onto the field and have them fight to their deaths? I find it very interesting that you guys find it necessary to talk about m.v and not the controversy surrounding steelers quarterback. I remember well that you guys had a field day (before the facts came out) when colby bryant found himself in the exact same situation. to the woman with the sarcastic remarks (the one on viewers right); i hope you never find yourself in a situation where you need others to forgive you.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:49 am |
  35. Keith

    I'm looking at your CNN copy of the police report and Crowley's report indicates that "two black males with backpacks" was the description of the individuals on the porch. This seems to be contrary to what is being reported this morning.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  36. Spencer Browne

    I consider my self to be a pretty reasonable person, and as a reasonable person I have to point out a couple of things that I think are being overlooked in this whole thing:

    1. Mr. Gates did provide ID (even if only begrudgingly)
    2. Mr. Gates was only arrested once the officer got him to step outside of his residence.
    3. The police report does not match the 911 call.
    4. Most importantly all the charges were subsequently dropped!! (Cops don’t just drop charges without a really good reason)

    I'm sorry but these facts just do not add up to reason for an arrest, and if were Mr. Gates I would sue the pants off the city!!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:46 am |
  37. tiffany - u.s. virgin islands

    Officer Crowley wanted police backup for a middle aged man with a cane by stating that the police cars should keep coming. That's excessive as usual. The show of police force is often out of proportion to the circumstances. Was he afraid he would be hit in the knee with the cane? Aft first I thought the President rushed to judgment in concluding that the police acted stupidly, but now after hearing the tapes, I believe that he characterized the situation correctly. It is not disorderly conduct to ask a police officer for his name and badge number. Gone are the days when black folks will take the abuse and not report it. How is this any different from the excessive force used when the black football player rushed to the hospital to see his dying mother-in-law and had a gun drawn on him?

    July 28, 2009 at 7:46 am |
  38. Kelly Talley-Brown

    Did I hear correctly, the spokesman for the Police this morning saying the only lessoned learned out of the Prof Gates arrest is for Pres. Obama to not speak against "Blue" the Police. I saw on theCNN AC360 news last night that the police report says that Ofcr Crowley wrote in his police report "he spoke with the witness at the scene and she described two black men with a backpack". However her and her lawyer are saying she never mentioned black suspects, and never spoke with Ofcr. Crowley at the scene. How can this be ignored?This is a perfect example of how police reports don't always tell the truth, and how innocent people are being sent to jail/prison based on false information in police reports. I am an AA mother of 3 sons, and I pray everday for my sons not to encounter situations with police officers because I truly believe racism is still a subconsciouly embedded issue in 2009 and that many Americans still don't want to admit to it. Remember the PA lady who recently lied about she and her daughter being kidnapped by 2 black men in a cadillac, and instead they were found in DisneyWorld. Furthermore, it is my opinion that the media contributes to division and stereotypes because they unfairly covers story's based on race. I find it strange that this interviewer this morning did not ask that same man that was defending the police "why was the police report contradicting the witnesses statement?"Another thing, in Michael Vick's case, why is the news downplaying Pittsburgh QB Rothleisberger sexual assault charges to talk about Michael Vick who already served his time, and should be allowed to earn a living to pay his debts. Football is probably the only thing he can do to pay back all the debt he owes. I recall when Kobe Bryant was brought up on charges, it was plastered all over the news everyday before and after the trial. The same with the Gov. Sanford case being downplayed by Michael Jackson's personal business (violating HIPPA laws). It is my opinion that the news media perpetuates racism and division in America by unfairly covering their stories.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  39. Jay

    What did I learn from the 911 calls and other released tapes?? The media..CNN has not made a big deal of the fact that the caller mentioned suit cases being at the scene. THAT is a detail that is quite important. Did Sgt Crowley miss that in his invesitigation of 17 Ware Street?? How many burglaries does he know of where burglers have brought luggage with them?? I really wonder.
    MORE troubling to that is the fact that this so called stellar cop has been caught in a big lie. In the interview he gave he stated over and over again that he wanted to establish the identity of Gates so that backups could be sent elsewhere. Again and again he stated this that he wanted those backup units to go where needed and not be wasted at a non-crime scene. On the police tape released, Crowley is heard giving the identity of Gates and then saying he WANTED to becak up units there. Why would he do such a thing? Maybe because he had ALREADY decided he was going to make the arrest? Why was he so worried about backup units in his interview and basically lying about that? Just more inconsistencies that will not be investigated...as Cambridge is refusing to look at this any closer. I wonder why??

    July 28, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  40. greta

    It does not matter if the caller stated the race of he two men. What matters is that after Prof. Gates showed his ID and it was determined that he did in fact live in the house he was still arrested! I believe that if he were a white man the officer would have told him to calm down, secure his door as soon as possible because there had been robberies in the area. He would have also offered to circle the block during the night for added protection. The guest is a part of the blue shield and part of the reason that minorties don't trust police. He more than likely voted for macain/palin, and joe the plummer.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  41. ricky

    The interview JohnRoberts did was awful. First, the dispatcher ask in the tape which was not played or transcribed on CNN, "Was the suspects black or hispanic and then asked if they were white, black or hispanic." Teachable moment (1): The dispatcher should have asked for a description of the subject and not automatically narrowed the choice for the caller. Your guest said Sgt. Crowley was not wrong. Teachable moment (2): The Sgt. calling for more cars elevated the situation by assuming something was going on he couldn't control, thus elevating the situation. Teachable moment (3): Professor Gates should have taken the high road and fully cooperated. Teachable moment (4): President should have reserved his opinion. Teachable moment (5): Not all police officers around the country supports Sgt. Crowley's actions and this stereotype should have been stated by your guest. Finally, teachable moment (6): Screen your guest better. Your guest and his book should be ignored, because he displayed a bias of police against citizens and the police are always right. He should have discussed an officer's primary duty which is to protect and serve and use as little force necessary to control the situation, which by his comments were not important, but being right is. He displayed in his words and body language (leaning and the look on his face throughout the interview) the blue line arrogance which causes people not to trust law enforcement nationwide. The single worst interview I have ever seen on CNN.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:41 am |
  42. Celeste

    Now that we know the police report was falsified, are there any punishments to the police for that! He lied on the report! He lied about RACE on this report.

    Falsifying a police report is a serious offense against all citizens! Falsifying a police report should get him fired. Crowley is the one who broke the law.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:41 am |
  43. RDR

    And to all those who say we need to keep our mouths shut and just do what authority tells us to do...that is the very reason for the innumerable atrocities in the world. Please put yourself into the same shoes and think of police stepping into your home and arresting you for no reason you really would not protest???? That is like being a sheep! Protesting in my own home is the very least I can do when faced with the atrocity of police entering my house.

    So should the millions who were killed by the force in Germany have kept silent and just done what was asked? Were the acts of bravery of the thousands who protested, who escaped, who actually tried not brave at all? Should the oppressed of the world just remain so? What is wrong with the human nature being normal? To sense danger , be frightened and protest against nonsense!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:39 am |
  44. Roz Bordain

    The interview was very interesting in the fact the ex police officer took the usually "official " police posture of the they were just doing their job and the other person involve was wrong. He stated that the President made assumptions without having all the facts, yet he also does not have all the facts but his opinion is that the police acted appropriately during the situation. However he completely brushes off the glaring issue of an inaccurate police report file to make the police officer look as if he is correct in his incorrect assessment of the situation.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  45. Paula Smith

    With regards to this Gates' issue, I believe the police officer was just doing his job to protect the homeowner's interest. Unfortunately he was met by a hostile homeowner, who did not explained himself in a reasonable manner. Instead he was probably uncorporative, rebellious, and brought up race. In a scene like that, any officer would take precautionary measures before the situation gets out of hand. Gates was offended of the presence of the officer and that the officer did not know him. Instead he should have been humble and grateful that the officer was actually doing his job, and that there is a neigborhood watch. It is a pity that whenever color or race is brought up in America that things get out of proportion, and that the media promote it even more. How come other minorities don't get offended as blacks when their race is brought up? It is clearly seen that no matter what status a black man has, he has a minority complex and that cannot change.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  46. hongli

    I would like to ask CNN to play the interview with the woman's Attorney saying that at no time her client said two black men,even when she was on the seen. Then the next question would be "why did the cop wrote two black men on his documents???

    July 28, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  47. annalise

    This whole story is fascinating. Most of your guests miss the point of the 911 call. If the caller did not mention race, where did Crowley get the idea that the 'intruders' were black? Why are they denying that it suggests that at some deep level, this policeman automatically assumed the intruders were black? Seems obvious to me.

    I also have a question about the fact that a police officer did not know one of Harvard's most prominent, widely interviewed and travelled professors? What does that say about community policing in Cambridge. I live far from Cambridge and I know what Gates looks like.

    I would be interesting in hearing what Jeffrey Toobin has to say on the strategy of asking the guy to come outside and arresting him. Does your front porch constitute a public place? There are a lot of questions here.

    I do feel that both men should be spanked. Gates could have more sophisticated in his approach to institutional racism. He should have been scrupulously polite and then threw the book at the Cambridge police. As for Crawley, as a person who teaches racial profiling, a higher standard of policing should be expected of him. It boggles the mind that he handled himself so poorly in a racially charged situation.

    I find that from what I am seeing on CNN, white Americans are tone deaf to the racial conditioning that they have received from birth.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  48. Emma

    With regards to Professor Gate, I think President Obama is abusing the power of his office. This is a personal matter. The police followed standard operating procedure. The President and the media are turning it a racial matter.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  49. Jim Hart

    One question no one seems to be asking is: "Why does the dispatcher ask the 911 caller what color/race the two people are that are breaking into Gate's home?" What is the purpose/value of asking such a question in regards to a break-in? It was clear also that this information was passed on to Sgt. Crowley. Doesn't this help reinforce the idea of racial profiling? If not, how is this information used?

    July 28, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  50. Carolyn

    I see no difference between 'racial profiling' and 'police profiling'. Generalizing about 'police acting stupidly' is no less offensive to police officers than racial profiling is to the non-white population. I believe that President Obama was out of line with his comments.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  51. jcb

    I wonder if the Police Chief will invite Ms Whellan and the person responsible for maligning her to share a beer? 🙂 Just wondering. jcb

    July 28, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  52. Fred Barr

    People are in denial. The word Black was never mentioned, but Hispanic was. "I'm not sure" (911- what race?) leaves African American as a strong possibility. The police report errantly state that the 911 call referred to "two Black men." President Obama (like the rest of us) was misinformed by members of the press which, after ample investigation time, got it all wrong.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:35 am |
  53. Jim Watts

    I read the Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Police Report and feel the police acted very reasonably...Gates has an attitude and needs to grow up., I'm also disappointed the President Obama got into the middle of a very local issue.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:35 am |
  54. Arlene Towers

    Lots of teachable moments – – In my opinion the first offender was the 911 operator who mentions race more or less forcing the caller to guess one potential offender might be Hispanic. Race relations have to be built from the ground up so I hope the 911 operator is invited for beer also. Why is it in this country that whenever one is surveyed for any reason you are asked about your racial origin?

    July 28, 2009 at 7:34 am |
  55. Will

    This issue is simply about domain. Both parties were wrong.
    When a burglar trespasses and a officer arrives, the officer has authority over both the burglar and the location where the burglar is trespassing as it is a crime scene.
    When a officer arrives and the suspected burglar is instead the resident/owner of the location then the owner has authority over his location as it is not a crime scene.
    This should be the end of the story, the resident/owner should be grateful that the officer was there on behalf of the resident/owner to protect and serve.
    However, if the resident/owner acts angry and curses the officer without question this is an act of no gratitude for the officer protecting and serving the citizen.
    That said, the resident/owner is inside of his property and has a liberty to be and act anyway he wants because he is on private not public property that he owns and his location is not a crime scene.

    Last Tuesday, I was driving with my 14-year old daughter to Alburqerque, NM and we took what we believed was a short cut which meant traveling on a U.S. highway as opposed to the Interstate. 7 miles outside of a small Oklahoma town in which we passed through abiding by the speed limit we were pulled over by a police officer which we passed when we were leaving the town. He gave me a warning for a "Lane Violation", asked me several questions about where I was going, why was I going, who did I call on my cell phone and was there anyone traveling behind us.
    I did nothing wrong, I was not speeding, I was not outside of my lane but I still got a warning, asked to sit in the police officers car and leave my daughter in my car.
    I was vulnerable, scared and did not dispute or argue the officers false claim of a Lane Violation.
    I am african-american, I knew why we were chased down and stopped, remember we passed the officer 7 miles back, but I kept my mouth shut as I was scared for my daughter.
    If I had disputed, argued or told the truth, who knows where the escalation would have taken this incident.
    I guess by keeping my mouth closed, I adhered to the power of authority.
    It also prompted us to return home traveling on the Interstate the entire way which economically hurt the rural communities in which we ate, lodged and purchased gas.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:33 am |
  56. Julia

    Are you kidding!!!! Maybe in that incident the cop was actually doing his job and not racial profiling. But cops do it. Shame on CNN for having a white cop saying they don't do that. Cops always stick up for other cops right or wrong. When it comes to African-Americans, cops have a habit of shoot first ask questions later, get a lawyer, say it was an accident or in self-defense and then they get a slap on the wrist. Cops in America and in Quebec, Canada and famous for it and no-one wnat to do anything about it.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:32 am |
  57. RDR

    Along with being the President, Obama also happens to be human with friendships and opinions. If as the officer in "Good Morning America" is sincere he would at least have acknowledged that a police who is legitimately armed and licensed to shoot has no business arresting citizens who are in no real situation which is criminal. An adult , specially a policeman who is in the business of keeping order, who cannot take a common emotion such as chagrin of a citizen at being accosted in one's own house, should not be in the business of policing anything. He obviously has ego issues. And his act was rather stupid. The president might have overstepped to have even bothered to comment but as a citizen who is ordinary...I can say it. It WAS STUPID.

    I suggest getting the force together and having some classes teaching some form of coping mechanisms with normal emotions of ordinary citizens!

    Was the officer actually saying that it is a lie that people of color feel shaky in the presence of the law? It would be healthy if the fear was the same all around. But there are several groups in society who remain supremely uncaring about law. Maybe he needs to talk to more people of color before he writes another book.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:32 am |
  58. tallimae

    You should have played the whole tape and that cop would have heard that the lady stated that they might live or work there. Also where right after the cop stated Dr. Gates was uncooperative, he gave his ID. You are misleading people when you play bits and pieces.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:31 am |
  59. CHUCK

    I will ask everyone American to think properly. Since the Attorney for the the woman that called the police CLEARLY said that the woman never at NO TIME said BLACK MEN and Sgt. Crowley wrote two black men on his documents speaks VOLUME about this cop. for him to write down TWO BLACK MEN on his documents clearly shows what was passing through his mind first. Don't forget before he wrote a word his mind was already in operation with his instinct. You could clearly see that the cop realise that he did something wrong by arresting someone who was in his own home and was drawing the racial line by writing "two black men" on his documents.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:31 am |
  60. Carol Allen

    People need to stop criticizing the President. He is entitled to his personal opinions just like anyone else in this country - even if he is a person of color. The comment that he made was NOT racist, it was simply a fact of how some Americans of color are perceived. Those who are criticizing his statement apparently ARE racist or they would NOT be commenting as they do. Their focus on making the statement a racist comment says a LOT about them and their deep dark secrets or thoughts. The New Jersey Detective was right: Mr. Gates should have come out of the house and assured the policeman that he was ok and that it was his home, even if he was put into cuff (by mistake) - but the policeman too should have been professional in his job and checked out WHO was suppose to be at the house BEFORE he got there, i.e, when Mr. Gates identified himself everything should have been over..... and nothing else said. Like Mr. Gates I too am an educator, and I think that we just assume that everyone (especially the police guarding our community) who comes to our home know who we are and will treat us with a bit more respect - this just didn't happen in this case..... let it go! Stuff just happens to us all!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:31 am |
  61. HRH

    At first I thought the police acted inappropriately. But, now after all the facts have come in....it seems Mr. Gates was rude,inappropriate and has a big chip on his shoulder. For the president to make the comment that the police acted supidly is absurd....he didn't have all the facts.....people are getting so ticked off about blacks always using the race card....bottom line, Mr Gates is an elitist,rude,bad- attitude person that should apologize for his actions......as far as Prez Obama....first there was Rev. Wright, now Mr Gates, three strikes and you're out......what an idiot.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:30 am |
  62. Lynn

    Your guest this morning was correct, there was no profiling. Prof Gates and all of us must comply with requests and instructions of a police officer and keep our mouths shut. Police officers have no idea of the real risk when then enter a situation and deal with folks who intend to harm them every day. We must respect that risk and comply. Prof Gates brought the arrest on himself.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:30 am |
  63. Tom Lowery

    I am an african american man living in a typically white community in Roscoe, Illinois. I am in total disagreement with the gentleman who was just interviewed on TV. There was no reason for Professor Gates to have to leave his home to show his identification. My alarm system in my home had gone off however I was unaware of it. By the time I heard it, I was walking down my stairs and a police office was walking up them. He asked for my identification on the spot, followed me to get it and once he saw it was my home, left. There was no reason to take me outside and no reason Professor Gates should have been required to do so. Sgt Crowley was wrong and overstepped his boundry.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:30 am |
  64. T-Minus

    Kathie, you're worried that the facts aren't being reported and then say you'd rather them extrapolate from AN OFFICIAL POLICE REPORT what actually happened when you don't like that version of events??? They reported what Crowley made official, if you'd like someone to change the story for you, maybe you should ask Crowley.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:29 am |
  65. Brian Covington, Ga

    I am a middle aged white male. If I was trying to get in my home and the police were called I would first of all be grateful that someone was looking out for my property.

    Secondly I would cooperate with the police with full understanding that they will have to secure the scene first and then sort out what was going on.

    I am really getting sick of everything that happens being race!! The only person in my opinion who has put race into the mix was Prof. Gates and Pres Obama.

    Reverse discrimination IS the leading factor in keeping racial issues alive. The majority of whites have moved on or obama would never have been elected.

    It is time now for the blacks to grow up and set aside their own issues.

    I voted for Obama and am starting to think that black america was not ready for it yet.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:29 am |
  66. Michael

    It would be nice if the media would stop putting all these people on to discredit the president. I am so sick and tired of how the media tries to discredit everyone that is a minority. The situation about Mr Gates is not whether he was profiled prior to the police arrived to his house. The main issue should be if he should have gont to jail for being at his own house. He presented his identification and still went to jail.

    Your guests are alway focused on what the president said and should not have said. Heck, if they would have focused on what the previous president said or did not say, we would not be in the mess we are in now. Two wars, one of which is not even against a country, but the focus is on one word the president said. This is unfair and it is rediculous.

    The media cannot even stop focusing on whether the president is an american citizen. You are giving media attention to something that is not real and again to discredit his existence and qualification to be president. If it was a white person, we would not even be hearing this nonsence.

    You the media, do not even provide President the respect of calling him president. It was always President Bush, but now it is just Obama. What a shame and disgrace and in a way profiling and I am sick of it.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:28 am |
  67. terence carter

    I just watched your interview with the police officer from Nutley, NJ....and it's sad to see that people like this still just don't get it.

    He wants to continue to make this an issue about the President.

    Many of us who've ever encountered the arrogance of police officers, and been profiled know exactly what Professor Gates experienced.

    And I'm glad that the President identified with this issue himself, was honest about his feelings, based upon what all of knew at the time of the arrest, and gave his opinion...which he is entitled to

    But people like the officer from Nutley keep trying to diminish the real opportunity to address issues like poor communication between officers and the public they are supposed to protect and serve.

    The arresting officer could have chosen to walk away from a supposedly ranting Gates, if that's how he saw the situation, after it was established that Gates was the homeowner.

    But the officer, after having his integrity questioned by this "uppity" you know what, felt he had to leave that house with an arrest of some kind....he wasnt going to leave there without arresting Gates for something.

    It's sad...when profiling does happen, it is usually very subtle, and sure doesnt announce itself....the officer would be an idiot to say, yes, I targeted you because you were a verbally abusive African American man

    And the guest in your interview today, like so many others, have missed the opportunity to learn from this incident...instead, they truly do seem to be stuck on "stupid", and getting caught up in the politics and small, unimportant detals.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:27 am |
  68. Pam F

    I'm a middle aged white woman living in the northeast. My initial gut feeling when I see a police car is always fear. I've never been arrested, never been involved with crime. My gut feeling comes from the casual police contact that we all have. Police have, with a few exceptions, impressed me with their bullying, arrogance and over inflated self importance. I can only imagine what it's like to be male and black or hispanic. Your 30 year police "force" veteran guest this morning did nothing to dispel my antipathy for police. The president and professor have my sympathy.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:27 am |
  69. Michelle

    Why is the discrepancy between Ms. Whalen's claim of never saying "black" and not speaking to Sgt. Crowley prior to his entry into the Gates home vs. Sgt Crowley's police report not being questioned? This is pivotal as it is the first injection of "black," into the incident.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:27 am |
  70. mamanding

    I CANT BELIEF THAT JOHN YOU DONT ASK THAT MAN ABOUT THE POLICE REPORT.THERE WAS NO RACE MENSIONED IN THE 911 CALL.WHY SHOULD HE PUT 2BLACK IN THE REPORT?THE REPORT SAID HE ARRESTED HIM FOR YELLING.DONT YOU READ THE REPORT.AM DONE WITH AMFIX

    July 28, 2009 at 7:27 am |
  71. Michael

    I am so sick and tired of how the media tries to discredit everyone that is a minority. The situation about Mr Gates is not whether he was profiled prior to the police arrived to his house. The main issue should be if he should have gont to jail for being at his own house. He presented his identification and still went to jail.

    Your guests are alway focused on what the president said and should not have said. Heck, if they would have focused on what the previous president said or did not say, we would not be in the mess we are in now. Two wars, one of which is not even against a country, but the focus is on one word the president said. This is unfair adn rediculous.

    The media cannot even stop focusing on whether the president is an american citizen. You are giving media attention to something that is not real and again to discredit his existence and qualification to be president. If it was a white person, we would not even be hearing this nonsence.

    You the media, do not even provide President the respect of calling him president. It was always President Bush, but now it is just Obama. What a shame and disgrace and in a way profiling and I am sick of it.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  72. Janeen Martin

    After listening to all of the dialouge and conversation especially with your guest this morning there is no doubt in my mind that the police were at fault. The police in America feel they have a right to violate black men, As long as they are allowed to do this there will never be a different outcome. I think we as blacks are used to this type of event. Every black family in America haves seen their male black men violated with this type of disrespect. There really is nothing we can do about it.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  73. kurt

    gates seems like a jerk. that or this was intentional on his part to promote his book and appearance on CNN's "black in america" program. it's no coincidence that you guys continue to fan the flames of this non-issue incident while running constant promos for your show. just one man's opinion.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  74. avery

    Wow. Why is everyone rushing to denounce Dr. Gates? The release of the 911 call sheds no additional light to the situation. All they prove is that the woman who called was probably genuinely concerned about the situation and not a bigot (Mr. Gates went on air and thanked her). The real issue i believe is whether Officer Crowley is a big individual or a small man. The question is wherether to control the situation he felt it necessary to put a 60 yr-old man in handcuffs to shut him up. If Mr. Gates showed his ID why is he put in handcuffs because he is giving the cop lip? I remember seeing a clip of a cop a couple months ago tasering a "combative" grandmother... where is the same outrage from whites in this situation?

    July 28, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  75. Brandon White

    The Dr. Gates situation shows premature moves on all parties, the police officer, Dr. Gates, and the president. This case seems to be less shrouded in race, and more in wrong moves. It also shows how our country’s racial past has made many sensitive to situations like this. It will take time and continued dialogue to overcome this.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  76. Celeste

    John Roberts has to do a better job getting his guest to ANSWER THE QUESTION! The guest never answered WHY the police report was false and John, unfortunately, allowed him to do so.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  77. Jack Miller

    Prejudice means to pre-judge. Sometimes, pre-judgements are based on past experience. A white police officer may make a judgment that a black is likely to have commited a crime, and a black may make a judgment that a white cop is likely to be profiling. Understandable, but not right.,

    Both may have experience to support these pre-judgments – but make no mistake, in either case, it is pre-judgment and prejudice.

    Perhaps both the professor and the cop were guilty of prejudice.

    To me, that is the teaching lesson: either form of prejudice is a form of racism.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  78. Kathie

    Perhaps you are being misleading. The 911 tape you are referring to is a call placed by one woman ON BEHALF OF another woman who actually witnessed what she thought was a breakin. When questioned by the 911 operator the caller indicated she didn't truly know the race of the suspected individuals, BUT both women were there when the police arrived and an officer other than Crowley interviewed the eyewitnesses and it is VERY possible that the OTHER WOMAN did tell the police that she saw TWO BLACK MEN attempting to break into the house. I wish you would repoort that actual facts and not sensationalize those which are guaranteed to whip up a frenzy. It greatly reduces your credibility. Please search further.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  79. sande

    I am still not clear as to why the police report has not been investigated. Clearly it says 2 black men with back packs. Where did that come from? It certainly didn't come from the 911 caller. Also, when you are arrested aren't your meranda rights suppose to be given? Was Gates read his rights?

    July 28, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  80. Mrs Jones

    Now that the police report is out. It shows that Crowley LIED in his report. He stated that it was African American men. Again the caller never mentioned Afrian American. So can we really believe what he put in his police report??? I think NOT!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  81. Scott Clifton

    While President Obama began his response to the reporter that he did not have all of the facts, I do believe he mispoke. A person in the position of head of a company or country has a real problem separating opinion from policy or fact.

    I hope that the officer and Mr. Gates are able to work together in first defusing what could be a cause of further uprising or racial issues or claims and secondly to teach the nation how be better on both sides of the issue. The law/policies/rules we sometimes have to adhere to are sometimes not as fair as we may prefer, but are such that those upholding them are doing so in a manner that is safe and effective with all things considered, not just our feelings.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  82. Ron

    Crowley was answering a B&E call. Once he established there was no break in, LEAVE THE MAN ALONE!!!.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  83. Henry

    Your guest's only concern was to justify the activity of the officers involved; not for resolve of arrogant police behavior. When told that Prof. gates lived in the home, the officer's entire demeanor should have changed into one that "protects and serves" the homeowner; rather than one that attempts to express his authority. If the officer needed to confirm ownership, then THAT should have been his objective. Clearly proof of ownership was not on Sgt. Crowley's mind. By the way, why did Sgt. Crowley stop answer the "Control's" request for a response?

    July 28, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  84. Solon

    I have lived in Cambridge for a few years and can tell you that the police there are notorious liars interested only in c.y.a. activities. If you canvass the large number of students in Cambridge you will find that most don't trust the police there. How come we haven't been able to see the actual police report? What the President said was the honest to goodness truth.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  85. T-Minus

    I'm sorry, but your guest misrepresented the facts of the Gates case. Officer Crowley did ask him to come outside before he knew whether or not he lived there, but Gates did not come outside until after his ID had been verified. As to why the officer lead Mr. Gates outside so that his private grievance with the officer came to the view of the public, just look at the police report: the acoustics were bad in his kitchen... I think some explaining is in order.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:23 am |
  86. Patrick J. Lisbon

    I have followed this story and it just surprise me to see how many people miss the true story. The police asked Gates to step outside so that he could arrest him. It is a know fact that the Police with stack charges to make some stick. I truly believe that it had to do with race and the President only stated the facts that we all as African-Americans know and many have faced( racial profiling). Then this morning the Police commented that he did not know who he was he said it several times during his many calls. I feel that the officer himself was pissed and had to prove a point. Last but not least why were all the charges dropped?

    July 28, 2009 at 7:23 am |
  87. Jennifer Trask

    I am distressed by the whole race issue.
    Prof. Gates knows he has a whole lot of european genetic background. Maybe more than the police officer. DNA STAT!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  88. Jim in Green Spring, WV

    We now know that the police report was not accurate, that the professor was very upset (and probably justifiably) but may have gone too far in accusing the officer of racial profiling, and that the police chose to arrest the professor when they could have walked away. Increasingly, it appears the blame may be shifting back to the police. Let this White House beer be the end of it.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  89. Charles Ryburn

    For sanity's sake, let's move on. Quit making President Obama the bad guy. When he was asked the quesiton in the press conference, he prefaced his answer by saying, ' Gates is a personal friend of mind, so I'm probably biased'. It's human nature. Any of us would have reacted the same way if an aquaintance of ours was involved with or without the facts. It seems as though we have forgotten that President Obama is only human. We should have learned that from the last administration. Let them have their beers and let's move on to something new we can run into the ground.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  90. Celeste

    Did anyone else notice that the person speaking on behalf of the police simply ignored the question presented to him! The police report was at best false and at worst a bald faced LIE!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  91. Mrs Jones

    As stated in the actual 911 call the caller never stated the men were african american so why does the police report by Sgt Crowley state that. So can we really believe what his report indicates. Yes, I believe that Gates may have been upset or iriate again you have to remember that he is in his own home. The officer should have used better judgement. Even thought Gates was upset Sgt Crowley should have know how to handle himself in a better manner. This is something he should have been trained on. What if the situation was different the police office should be held to a higher standard.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  92. Tom Hansen

    Interesting conversation, but how come no one is talking about how Mr. Gates was the individual who started the racial comments in this situation. He became offended because the police came to his home and didn't know who he was. Had he just shown his ID and thanked the police for protecting his neighborhood, especially since he travelled all the time, no incident.
    Racial profiling can come from both sides.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  93. Philip Hamel

    Dr. Gates was clearly wrong for being combative and jumping to the conclusion that he was being targeted because of his race. It's a reverse bigotry where it is so easy for an African-American to cry "racist" rather than admit that he may have acted inappropriately. Both the good Doctor AND the president owe Office Crowley an apology. The president showed not only a serious lack of judgement, but likewise a very serious lack of character in refusing to acknowledge that he was gravely wrong and for not apologizing to Office Crowley and to law enforcement men and women in the United States. I voted for Mr. Obama. I regret my vote.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  94. Soothe

    What a joke this interview was that John Roberts just did with the
    ex cop.
    They are like stepford cops , they all repeat the same mantra,
    that's it's never them who acted unprofessionally or made a
    mistake , or caused the problem , it's always someone else.
    In this case it's Dr Gates and President Obama.
    Nothing will ever change with inappropriate police actions until
    they can learn to accept some responsibility.
    Is anyone really surprised that Sgt. Crowley would fudge his
    report to cover his actions or intentions.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  95. lynn

    I am so sick and tired of you having white people on the show that wouldn't know racism if it slapped them in the face. That arrogant cop you just had on was infuriating. Racial profiling didn't happen from the call or the dispatcher. It happened when Sgt. Crowley say a BLACK man in the house. The teachable moment was that the President shouldn't stereotype cops!!!! Please give me a break.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  96. Chris

    Sgt. James Crowley?? I think he should be renamed (the nickname for James) Jim Crow-ley.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:19 am |
  97. Shawn Mendoza

    the speaker this morning is typical of the blue code of silence that exists across the country within police departments. Police Officers are here to serve and protect citizens. For him to say the only learning experience ut of this is for Obama is to not group all cops... come on?

    July 28, 2009 at 7:19 am |
  98. Anna

    I agree that the officers were just doing there job, its unfortunate that everything in this country is turned into black vs white. I am hispanic and I understand that racial profiling is a problem, but Professor Gates also studies these issues for a living and is likely hyper-sensitive. The president should never have gotten involved.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:19 am |
  99. Heyward

    Sgt. Crowley LIED and falsified his police report, that's being overlooked by the media. He never spoke with Ms. Whalen and she nor anyone else mentioned ever Black males. Where did Sgt Crowley get that information from that's in his WRITTEN report. It's rather odd that no one has mentioned that. I fear an officer who would tell an outright lie and arrest someone in their home.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:18 am |
  100. Jonathan Vorndran

    I could care less if the caller said the people were purple, the professor did not follow the orders of the police officers and I am tired of the police officers being percieved as racists.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:17 am |
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