Gates Case: Should Obama Apologize?

The Cambridge police union comes to the defense of Sgt. Crowley and demands an apology from President Obama and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Posted:
 
crowley20et20al
(Photo by Robert Spencer/Getty Images)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — A multiracial group of police officers stood with the white officer who arrested a black Harvard scholar and asked President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick apologize for comments union leaders called insulting.

Officers say they resent any implication that race played a role in Sgt. James Crowley's arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home near Harvard University last week.

At a news conference Friday, union leaders said Crowley acted appropriately when he arrested the scholar for disorderly conduct. Police say Gates flew into a rage when officers responding to a report of a burglary asked him to show identification.

Obama said the officers "acted stupidly." Patrick, the state's first black governor, said the arrest was "every black man's nightmare."

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — The only other Cambridge police officer who was in the home of renowned black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. during the confrontation that led to his arrest said Friday that he and the arresting officer followed procedure.

Patrolman Carlos Figueroa said in a police report that he heard Sgt. James Crowley, the arresting officer, ask for Gates' identification and heard Gates say, "No, I will not!" He also said Gates was shouting at Crowley, calling him a racist and saying, "This is what happens to black men in America!"

Figueroa said Crowley did what he was supposed to do when he asked Gates for identification, because they were investigating a report of a suspected burglary.

"Part of our protocol is to make sure we know who is in there (the home) and legally in there," Figueroa told The Associated Press.

Cambridge police have been defending themselves against allegations of racial bias for arresting Gates in his own home for disorderly conduct even after officers realized he was there legally. The charge was dropped five days later.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Comments
The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.
Must-See Family Attractions
July 29 2014 2:13 PM