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July 21, 2009

Henry Louis Gates arrested, charges dropped

henry louis gates arrestedHere's a disturbing report: Henry Louis Gates Jr., a prominent Harvard scholar of African-American history, was arrested last week at his Cambridge, Mass., home after police were called about a possible break-in.

Today, local officials said the charges would not be pursued, but the whole episode is unsettling for someone who has written several books on the black experience in America. They include Colored People: A Memoir and In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past. He also wrote The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism.

Gates was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct after a confrontation with an officer at his home, according to news reports. Charles Ogletree, a Harvard Law professor who is Gates' lawyer in the case, told CNN today that Gates had returned from China on Thursday to his home and discovered his front door jammed. He opened his back door with his key and tried unsuccessfully from inside his home to open the front door.

That's when a police officer appeared and asked Gates for identiffication. Gates apparently balked at being questioned about his own home, and it all spiraled out of control from there.

Update 7/23: Here is the officer's arrest report, which sheds more light on the incident.

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 1:04 PM | | Comments (70)
        

Comments

Racial profiling is a problem in this country but is this incident an example? The Cambridge police received a call about a possible break-in. Were they not to respond? Dr. Gates provided them with identification and that should have been the end of the story.

A logical person would understand why the cop was asking and comply, instead of acting up. He deserved being called out. Any of us "non famous" would. Why would he deserve special treatment?

This is unfortunate. Many people have blamed Dr. Gates' behavior for being arrested. But in America, there is no law against becoming agitated, particularly when one is accused of being a robber and thief in one's own home. The police officer, once having established Dr. Gates' identity through photograph and two separate ID's, should have IMMEDIATELY apologized and left the residence, regardless of Gates' mood at the time. I say this because I believe that in america, we should have the freedom to express our human dignity in whatever way appropriate. At no time at all was Gates threatening to the police, the neighbors or himself. He wasn't stealing anything or causing destruction to anything or anyone. What is "disorderly conduct", after all? What does this mean for someone who's been quite blatantly and falsely accused of theft and wrongdoing? My point here is that a human being with self-respect and dignity should have the right to be angry at anyone else's false accusation without being subject to arrest by the police. I applaud you, Dr. Gates. Any self-respecting home owner SHOULD be angry and upset when others falsely accuse them of trespassing on their own property. As for the police officer, I think his error is understandable. He was, after all, reporting to the scene out of obligation to job and community. However, I also believe that once the officer saw TWO photo ID's, this incident should have immediately come to an end. The officers should have left the scene, thereby defusing the situation. Upon producing identification, Dr. Gates should not have had to respond to any more questions or interrogations on the part of the authorities. And they certainly should not have arrested anyone. The police department and prosecutor, therefore, were absolutely right to drop the charges against Dr. Gates... And lest I be misunderstood, Dr. Gates was absolutely right to be angry and outraged.

All Gates had to do was to cooperate with the officer. Instead he has decided to make a big deal out of his being black. No doubt we shall soon see Jesse JAckson and Al Sharpton bloviating endlessly on TV about how this great man of letters has been laid low by racism.

Please.

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If you have ever watched Mr. Gates on television this would make more sense. When I first saw him on tv it was very clear to me that he is a racist with a chip on his shoulder. He thinks he is better than everyone else and is a perpetual victim. His tirade only confirms what I have thought for years.

Crazy, Ignorant racism in North America... No matter what a person of colour has achieved he either stole the car, pimps the woman or broke into the house or steals the purse.
At the supermarket in Palm Beach, a woman once rushed to get her purse which was in the shopping cart about a foot away from her as I approached. If only I could describe the look on her face.
But there are multiple occasions where others who did nothing and carried on shopping as there purses were laying in the cart. If only they could describe the look on my face!
Oh hell! My God, what if someone removes their wallet, what if they have left the wallet at home?
To think of the possibility of me, the black customer who drives off in a Bugatti or a DBS probably being arrested and searched because someone lost their purse is ludicrous makes no sense.
But things are better here, at least there is something that can be done about this nonsense in the USA, much unlike Canada. EH!

Even if one believes the police report verbatim and ignores Dr. Gates' side of the story, it still comes down to this: The police are the trained professionals, and they had the advantage of knowing why they were on the scene. As soon as Dr. Gates had identified himself, they should have left because at that point they were uninvited trespassers in Dr. Gates' home. He had a perfect right to call them anything he liked. Dr. Gates on the other hand was probably irritated after a long trip and being unable to get into his home, and shocked when police appear out of nowhere banging on his door and demanding that he identify himself. Adrenaline was running high on both sides and it's not surprising unfortunate words were said on both sides. However, it still comes back to: the police are the professionals who are supposedly trained to deal with these situations. Dr. Gates was caught off guard. Once he showed his identity, that should have been the end of it. The fact that the situation escalated is the fault of the police.

Racial profiling is wrong for anyone, but how could the cops be soo stupid as to mess with Henry Louis Gates of all people. They picked the absolute wrong person to mess with!

Have I seen this man on MPT's History Detectives?

RACISM IS SO INSIDIOUS IN THIS COUNTRY! This officer did not look at the apparent situation(if it were not Dr. Gates home and he was breaking in to it, when he saw the cop, a moron would have stopped and in all probability ran off). But, the man was African American, the policeman was white, the neighborhood was upscale, and the officer made a racist assumption. Not to be outdone, he had to show his power by arresting him. Dr. Gates was on his own property. What are the rights of a person in their own home? Did the Bush regulations pass in that town? Would the officer have taken the same actions, under the same circumstances if Dr. Gates was a white person?

WHO called 411 about the break-in?
Was it Gates?
If so, did he tell the police it was HE who called.

Raul, are you kidding? The neighbor reported the incident and the police responded to the scene in efforts to PROTECT Dr. Gates' property. He should have thanked them all for the efforts they made on his behalf. I'm so sorry the police intestigation was embarassing for him, but that's the price we grown-ups have to pay for the protections we enjoy. I'm sure it's also embarassing when we cause our own house fires, but we don't lash out when the fire chief asks "did you leave the stove on, sir?" To be clear, Dr. Gates prolonged this incident and fueled its escalation, not the Sergeant who had exited the home after following appropriate procedure to verify Dr. Gates' identity. Dr. Gates chose to pursue the officer outside in order to further antagonize him. This childish, elitist response led to Mr. Gates' arrest. The man lost his composure and threw a hissy-fit. Not unforgiveable. What is unforgiveable is Gates' choice to use the race card and make others scapegoats for his bad behavior. That the charges have now been dropped only speaks to the political pressure that we're slaves to now in our upside-down politically correct society. It has nothing to do with any kind of justice. I look forward to the day when we regain our moral common sense and react with the same venom toward people like Dr. Gates who falsely accuse others of "racism" as we do toward those who are accused of it.

I'm surprised that so many people fault Prof. Gates for being upset and expressing his frustration. Consider his situation: if a man of 58 needs a cane to walk, it probably indicates a serious,
uncomfortable physical problem. After a long flight from China, he was probably very tired and perhaps in pain. We should have some empathy for him and his lack of patience after presenting ID that ought to have settled the matter.

This is clearly racial profiling. Regardless of whoever thinks that Mr. Gates is in the wrong here,,,in which he clearly isn't, the police questioned, he showed his ID,,,the police should've left him alone. End of story. Just come to show that blacks aren't allowed to have a nice house in a nice neighborhood.

As someone who have read all of Mr. Gates works and seem him in countless documentaries. I was SHOCK to learn that had been arrested and what was not shocking to me was the reason he was arrested. In America regardless of how prominent you are, nor how innocent you are, we as Afro-Americans blacks are always faced with the reality of going to jail.Even when we show our ID or Driver License, white police will keep you detained and keep asking same stupid questions until we aggravated with the situation and they really believe they have a legal right to do. White Americans claim they cann't believe that Afro-Americans are constantly being arrested and later the charges are dropped.This country still had a long way to go regarding Race Relations.

Eve, you're right. Gates is a regular on PBS, and on History Detectives this year, he examined the myths surrounding Abraham Lincoln. the show was called "Looking for Lincoln."
He also had a documentary series, African American Lives, in which he used genealogical research and DNA science to traces the family history of 19 famous African Americans.

On the profiling question: We can't get into the head of the Cambridge cop, but I do know there have been too many episodes of blacks being charged with DWB (Driving While Black), so racial Left unsaid is whether the cop made a reasonable request for I.D. -- if so, Gates should have complied so the cop could complete his investigation and be on his way.

Any semi educated person who has watched educational TV shows would recognize Prof. Gates. I am white and I recognize him from his TV shows. Of course, racial profiling exists even when watching TV. Why would some white folks watch any show that featured an all black casts?
If I came home and suspected my house was burglarized, I would also become aggravated if the cops showed up and considered me a suspect. PLEASE. Who wouldn't loose their cool in this obviously already emotionally charged situation. Say nothing of the jet lag Prof Gates was probably suffering.

The police failed to think,they failed their training.

I live in one of the most exclusive villages in a gated community in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago Illinois. The homes in the area cost upwards of $1M. Without sharing a lot of details, I have been asked to show ID, twice, in the foyer of my home. Once they saw my ID, they wished me well and left. My father, who had to leave his hometown after beating up the son of a white grocery store owner for attacking his twin brother with a group of boys, taught me to ALWAYS respect the authority of police, because if you are black and they are white, they CAN kill you. I have always remembered that. I am racially profiled at least once a year. I always try to keep my cool and even though I know it's wrong, I know that it's the ignorance of the officers. They don't know me, my contributions to the community or my contributions to society. So why would I allow them, why would I give them an "opportunity" to make things very unpleasant for me? But then, I'm a black woman and the response from a black man would probably be more aggressive than mine. Until you walked a mile in Henry Louis Gates' shoes, you don't really know what was going through his mind.

It is very sad that Dr. Gates was treated in the manner that he was, however this is not news to black men. This year I also was assualted and arrested by a white policeman. I have heard of several stories of black,prominent gentlemen, and I do stress the word gentlemen, having similar experiences. Dr. Gates is noted American, if it can happen to him, think of what is happening to us black men of less status. To those who critized Dr. Gates reaction, I say walk in those shoes, while you are being disrespected. Most would not be able to remain "cool"under should an attack on one's dignity. I am of the blief that there is a white supermactist back lash due to the election of Pres. Obama. This maddness has not ended! I wish some news organization would look into the increase of incidents of this sort happening to black men all status

A photo of the arrest carried by AP shows Prof. Gates and what appear to possibly be two caucasian officers and one black officer. Goodness knows in what order they arrived or were involved, but the photo makes it difficult to believe that the police's conduct was purely motivated by racism. If anything, they appear as upset as Prof. Gates.

A black person playing the race card after being questioned by police? How surprising.

The guy jumped right into his victim position as if the cop asking him questions magically had to do with him being black as many of them do I'm finding.

People expecting this officer to just leave while the guy was spouting his racial diatribe screaming about thew officer being a racist are delusional. The guy deserved to be arrested for his behavior.

The only people who do not share outrage at what happened to Dr Gates are people who are racist themselves or who are apologists for racists

Ok all, here's my piece:

Did anyone actually notice that there was a BLACK officer that was responding to the call as well? I saw 2 white offices, and a black officer. Can anyone tell me how this is racist harassment? Why is the fact that a BLACK cop was there dealing with this guy as well being totally ignored and not reported? I'll tell you, because it's the same tired story....blacksploitation, victimization, "poor black man in America" routine.

Extremely unfortunate incident! Dr. Gates gets to reflect on his actions/words, while the police officers determine if they could have handled it differently. Welcome to the world of the "average" citizen, Dr. Gates! Of course, this whole episode needs to end, but we know it will not. This is America and now the legions of newspeople will descend on everyone possibly connected to this incident. From what I understand, Gates got a little too "bent out of shape", while the police could have been a bit more polite. Please: keep Jackson and Sharpton away from this thing! Apologies are in order--let it go at that.

I am so sick and tired of this crying of racial profiling. And, for a man of this reputation to cry race makes me sick to my stomach. Are we blacks going to be mature ever in this matter? Yes, that's right I am black and this is getting so old. Oh, I am black so that's why you did this to me Mr. Cop. Sick on it I say! It's like the boy crying wolf, it I was not black then etc.

As a former police officer I can understand the officers reporting to the scene to investigate the possible burglary in progress. Once two forms of identification were produced, the case should have been resolved. Without knowing all the details, once the top brass and prosecutor looked at the totality of circumstances it was decided that the charges be dropped. Mr. Gates should be afforded some understanding since it is his property. Regardless of race, place yourself in his situation and let me know how you would have responded.

It’s very interesting to read all of the different points of view. My personal opinion is that the officers should have apologized and left the premise. I’m sure they knew the home owners name. It’s pretty easy to get that information from the dispatcher. No matter what attitude was presented to them by Dr. Gates they should have ignored him and laughed about it as they drove down the road. It’s very easy to get the home owners name from the dispatcher.
Regarding the comments centered on the race card I have these comments. I don’t think it’s quite understood by other nonblack Americans the sheer volume in the number of insults that one black American may experience in a day or week, if they venture outside of their neighborhood. The racist experiences are typically thought to be as a consequence of an encounter with a white American but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The truth is the insults may come from an American Mexican, American Japanese, American Indian, American Chinese, American Vietnamese, American Iranian, American Saudi Arabian, American Moroccan, American Puerto Rican, American Hawaiian or those that are not Americans. My point is this, as a result of how American Whites treat American Blacks all of the other ethnic groups feel a sense of entitlement to the same ill-gotten privilege, that some white Americans wield, in order to side with those people that they think are of the highest class. It’s perfectly ok for them to feel that way about what they think white Americans are in terms of class but it should be understood and stated that there was a time when the high class whites didn’t have any room in their hearts for them either.
I’m always puzzled by the fact that if it were not for the protests, sacrifices and punishments that black Americans endured for civil and human rights, the groups of people that I mentioned above most likely would not have had the opportunity to come to America, to take part in the American standard of living; that’s enjoyed so well. So, they think they too have to put down and insult the people that white people don’t like or white people might not like them. Those people are standing on black bodies with their hands out. They disrespect the people that paved the road to opportunity with dead black bodies. Opportunity in the land of America, for immigrants, came at a cost, and that cost was paid for by Black African Americans.
I understand how it can appear that blacks are always playing the race card, but I don’t think anyone except a Black African American really knows the sheer volume one experiences in a week, month, a year, a life time. It gets old.
We, Black African Americans, have paid the price over and over for respect and decent fair treatment

Gates behaved like a Leona Helmsley.

He harassed the policeman (one of the "little people") because he could. Disappointing, for someone who teaches young people and who has 50 honorary degrees.

Racism still exists, but this is not an instance of it. It is an instance of arrarrogance and disrespect for police who risk their lives every day to protect the community.

Of course they are deferring to the police we have spent a lot of time constructing the Black man as a criminal the fact that he is a Harvard professor is probably just some sort of aberration.

REMEMBER THE MOVIE WITH SAAMUEL JACKSON "AMOS & ANDREW SAME THING !!!!!!!!!! HOW IRONIC

Unfortunately racisim is alive and well in the USA. If Dr. Gates was a white man he would not be arrested once he showed his id. But because he is a black man (the police did not believe this black man could live in this neighborhood.) The police all over this country need to have extensive diversity training and stop assuming that all African-Americans male or female are criminals. I pray for this country daily. Really this will all be resolved when the Lord comes for his people.
God Bless!

Uh . . . isn't Boston a racist city anyway? I mean, why I people feigning surprise? What the hell?

There are still several questions. The police were called by a white neighbor who suspected Gates' house was being burglarized by a 70ish, gray-haired black man. Obviously she was not a member of the neighborhood welcome wagon, and had no idea who lived in the house. Dozens of commenters have recognized that, after Gates had shown two forms of picture ID, the officer should have left. If Gates followed the officer outside angrily accusing him of racism, that merely exemplifies all our rights to let loose whatever angry, frustrated, even primal screams we want in our own homes. If the officer believed he was within his rights to arrest Gates because he followed him outside, clearly he should be suspended to be reinstated only after a bout of re-training. The last time I looked, I also own my lot, at least out to some arbitrary building limitation line near the street, road or dog path on which I live.
This incident was quite a mess. I would be interested to know how the alert neighbor feels, thinks or believes about all this.

Give me a break. Who does he think he is? Gates story changed from what was first posted on his web-site and what is there now. His "second" story. Shut up Gates and oh, you too Al Sharpen. Cry me a river, geez.

Whatever happened to the days where parents taught their children to respect authority. If Dr. Gates and others would respect the police this story and others like it will never be aired. I am not black and I have had the police for no reason treat me disrespectful and spoke rudely to me but I was taught to response yes sir, no sir. There are way too many stories of officers in the line of duty losing their life and please can't people have the dignity to treat them with respect even if they don't treat you that way. I am guessing the officers should have handled it better but that does not give us the right to disrespect them in return. Just remember to treat others the way you want to be treated. God Bless.

I don't understand how a person can be arrested in their own home. I've seen reality shows where a person receiving a ticket had torn up the ticket and called the police officer every name in the book and drove away fast. It was considered funny yet this police officer arrested the professor for yelling at him !!! Get me a f@#$#ing break. You asked for the job ! Watch cops and see how many police officers get yelled or cursed out without the person getting arrested. Please... I hope the sargeant 'feels' good about himself and the backlash. He should have given his name and badge number, apologized and left the premises.

Most police officers are doing their job just right. The problem is not the police, it's the witness or some police officers that assume that black men are criminal in any situation. If it is a white male trying to get in a home, people would assume that the door of his place is jammed and they would probably wait and see if he's going to get out with objects in case he may be a thief. But if the person is black, most people would call the police right away without questioning themselves whether he may live there. This is the reality today in America. Mr Gates was angry as anybody would be. Who knows how you would react if that happens to you at your place, especially if you need a rest after long hours of travelling ?

Actually I'm Glad Gates went through this situation. Even though he may have already understood that this racism thing isn't something black folks are just making up. Many blacks that are ALLOWED to participate in a more refined level of American society become unaware of the day to day humiliation of poorer folks and nonpriveleged blacks in this nation not realizing they themselves are just one mistake from becoming an example (like Vic or Mike Jackson). Even the Obama's are the victims of constant unheard of insults because of their race no matter how much they help this country's residents. THIS ISN"T HOW IT SHOULD BE AND ALL BLACKS (whites if they choose) whether or not you personally feel racism should make efforts against things like this

in reponse to american, it a fact that your white and never been mishandle and disrespected by the police. i have never heard of a white middle aged man with a cane having to prove that the house that was reported to have been broken into, having to prove the the cop that he not the thief, becuase as we all know thief are black and hispanic not white the proof of that is that the minority make up 90% of the prison population while only account for 20 % of america population. so all you white folks sure a hell should not have a opionion on something you know nothing about, and the one who say gate is wrong just show how much of a bigots you all areperiod

hey rick since when is a hizzy fit against the law, you my friend are what i call a cold stone bigot period.

all i know is that every cop i have incountered is a racial bigot in one way or the other. even the minority police they are the worst because they have to proof to the white cops that they are one of them. it pervasive thru out all police dept acrross america. black , hispanic we all are criminal is like one cop told me once you didnt break the law this time but you all we eventaully you all can't help your self it's in your blood. man i have heard that on more time than i can count why i was born hipanic and lived in the ghetto so that what i was tha what i ever going to be. like a cop told me once your a spic just cuase you drive a 35,000.00 car just make a spic with money which i probly got from selling drug. all you white people out there who has something to say about this shut up until you walk ten mile in my shoe then come and talk.

I had a similair experience where cops showed up when a neighbor reported hearing "Noise" (actually doors which were to be installed had fallen over) at around 2AM. I was in bed at the time and got up to answer the door, (threw on a coat having nothing underneath) and I was hand cuffed....by two police officers and slambed up against a panel wall until I was going unconscious. Yes and they had seen my ID. and realized I was living there. Yet they continued to assault me and if it had not been for my roommate coming in a the critical moment, I believe they would have killed me. So to you skeptics about police mistreatment of black people--obviously you have not experienced this yourself. Every black person I know practically have encountered similair negative and unfair responses from police officers including black offf duty police. So since Dr. Gates obviously resided where he said he did and the police had made a false assumption; they should have just dropped it as they should have in my case. The police did take me to jail ( then found out I didn't even have a traffic tickey on my record) and trumpped up similair charges in my case but though it took 3 years and two trials and a law suit, I prevailed on all counts. Some Police hate to be mistaken and found wrong especially in front of people of color. To some of them power is everything. The reason I know this is because I have firends who are police officers. So Stop blaming the citizens for police escalation of incidents such as these. Their job is too protect us and find solutions to problems, not create them. Too many officers misuse their power and authority. I've worked in social services and profesionalism is required at all times. If police get so easily set off balance and reactive, maybe they need to consider another profession. And if you are a white person making judgments about Mr. Gates or any other black person, as far as police are concerned--maybe you might consider just listening and trying to better understand what we are saying. It might be you nexty who is stareing death in the face.

What could Gates possibly have said to the officer that would justify him being arrested? Appearantly nothing since the charges where dropped. Gates returned from a long trip to find that his door was jammed.He thought he had been burgularized.Maybe he called the cops himself. The cops probably showed up with guns drawn. I don't care who you are black,white or whatever! You are not going to be in a "chipper" mood after this chain of events. When did being pissed off become illegal? But cops have feelings too and I'm sure that they were pissed when their attempt to stop a burgulary turned into them getting accused of being racist. Maybe they were offended by his comments and sought to make a point by arresting him. Regardless, cops are supposed to be more level headed than this. They should have just apologized and left.

It sounds like he was caught doing something he shouldn't. People don't get "loud" for no reason.

Wow. The people above who said it should have ended after the IDs were shown are perfectly right. Gates' state ID has his *address* on it. That should have ended everything as he was clearly in his own home. Police are required to give their badge numbers over when asked.

Considering that an estimated *half* of the prison population in this country is black, saying that he pulled the race card and so got off is laughable. If anything, the race card is going to get your butt thrown into jail/prison all the harder.

Kudos to Gates for not just letting this go.

The police that I ever had to deal with have two different approaches for minorities vs whites. I think if some whites should look back @ the way exslaves have been treated like in the movies depicting roots and the slaying of Edgar Evans and the harrows of blacks in the deep south they would feel ashamed and begin to treat all peaple with respect.

This is a great conversation you're having over here. I wrote about a similar experience I had on The Sun's opinion blog, Second Opinion. But things turned out differently in my case.

Any educated professor, "Black or White", who has gained that level of intelligence and prominance would truly not have acted in that manner.

none of this would have happened with Gates wasn't so full of himself and stubborn and just would have shown his identification...thats all....but no..apparently the cop is racist for doing his freakin job. Stupid moron

There are a lot of opinions about this case. But a 58 yr old man that walks with a limp and a cain no matter what ethnic group should get the benefit of the doubt. This seems to be one of those cases where the officer wanted this gentleman to stay in his so called place. Those days are long gone, so this officer undoubtedly just caused this professor to get more money than he already has.

Help me understand. Based on the facts reported, a citizen calls the police to report a possible break-in at a neighbors house. The police respond and find a man attempting to force the front door open. He refuses to idenify himself to confirm that he is the legimate resident. He becomes combative with the police and is arrested. I would expect that the police would arrest anyone under these circumstances regardless of race.

This is ridiculous. First off he should not have confronted an officer whom simply was trying to his job. All he had to do was show the proper ID and that would have ended that. Instead of being grateful that he has a police dept that response time is quite rapid he decided to verbally attack an officer. Basically no amount of degrees can give a person class and that's basically the bottom line. If your alarm goes off at your house and police are dispatched they will ask for ID regardless of your race , simple as that!

Talk about irony. Gates arrest was a page directly out of the newly released book A Black Man’s Guide To Law Enforcement In America. In chapter three of this book, author Shafiq R. Fulcher Abdussabur writes, “ Historically, most circumstances that have involved conflict between police and young African American and Latino/Hispanic males have been the result of a “failure to communicate” by all parties. What you need to know is if the police come up short on communication skills, it will not result in the officer going to jail. You will be the one to pay the price! So pay close attention!”

“if a citizen became loud and rowdy with the officer, it will most likely lead to the officer arresting the citizen for disorderly conduct or interfering with a police investigation.” Such as was the case with the locked out of the house home owner and well educated Gates.

Could the Harvard scholar maybe have a spare key made at the local Home Depot? This incident shows more about his competence to be teaching a racist form of 'history', than anything the police are accused of.

I concur that once the officer learned that Mr. Gates lived at the location he should have left. To become so argumentative when the officer was just asking to see ID to ensure that it was Mr. Gates home was immature behavior But stranger things have happened.
A couple of years ago my own son, who was 21 at the time and had partaken of a few beers decided to put his arm around an officers girlfriend in the wee hours of the morning. The officer was standing right there and my son knew she was the officers girlfriend. Just because he could he put his arm around her and made him mad. The office didn't appreciate the joke and arrested my son for disorderly conduct and hauled him off to jail. He spent 18 hours in that jail before arraignment. Once face to face with the judge the officer was very honest about what happened. The judge thought it was a hoot and sent my son off with no blemish on his record. What a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money. Would we sue or file a complaint? No. Why? Because our son was being stupid and enough time had been wasted. Should that officer be slapped on the wrist? Perhaps, but it won't be instigated by us.
I don't think that in the case of the Boston incident that an officer should take that kind of verbal abuse when he was only there because of a citizen complaint. For Mr. Gates to go off like that was immature at least and definitely racially biased. It should end now.
Mr. Obama shouldn't have commented on the incident at all, but then the media shouldn't ask questions to a President who they know can't possibly have all the facts. I don't care for the man as our President but let's cut him some slack on altercations that aren't his concern.

About one third of all women killed in their homes in the US are killed by their estranged husbands breaking into their own home, while this is not the case here, proving providence does not end the questioning if the officer is suspicious, how he determines who or what is suspicious is the caveat, however in this case, did the officer follow procedure? egos aside,was he doing his job objectively, by the 'book'?

The Gates arrest was more personality style clash than race. But we see race, so it is too easy to jump to conclusions. The DISC style analysis comes from the book Emotions Of Normal People, by Dr. William Marston. D-I-S-C Gates is a “D” Dominant style, officer an “I” Interactive style, Gates the natural “commander” the officer the natural “comedian.” In the Myers-Briggs system, Gates is ENTJ, officer ESFJ, Gates and officer naturally clash on the ENT – ESF qualities. Gates is most like a general at the Pentagon, officer most like a commander of a military base. Gates’ style is a “task-oriented” style, serious and demanding, officer is more social, a “people-oriented” style, like a coach on the sideline. Gates’ is a Vin Diesel “type” where the officer is a “Bill Cosby” type. Both are equally “extroverted” and thus very verbally powerful. Both were in a situation where “flash-point” Gates’ the king of his castle was challenged by officer’s authority being exercised “flash-point” in front of two other officers! VERY ironically, both men, are “experts” in the same field of “racial” issues in their respective professions. A greater “coincidence” rarely happens. The nation can now spin into a fury about race, or come to a higher realization that this kind of personality clash happens all the time, in organizations every where, every day–we see race, but “feel” personality style differences. From this thing, we ought to learn how to have greater respect for one another rather than contempt. The best outcome would be if Gates and the officer could reconcile the “real” differences based on what both men truly believe AND TEACH AND PREACH in their professional lives, shake hands, laugh and be filmed swapping ideas over a beer down at the neighborhood watering hole.
Make sense? More convo at wouldchuk@gmail.com 

Wow..one thing we should remember is that none of us were present when this incident happened.. Until you're in the same situation please stop coming up with scenarios which has nothing to do with this incident. What is true is that more than one policeman--age wise--30's--40s were present(from the pictures), Prof Gates is an "older" person with a cane. So number one use common sense, as a policeman- folks being upset when they are wrongly accused should go with the territory--what happend to their training and experience in handling such situations. Another thing for sure--all charges were dropped-so something that happened should not have happened--arresting him was wrong. Egos and high testosterone levels were definitely present.

President Obama should not be in the business of commenting on ordinary arrests of no consequence to the running of our country. The fact that he did gives support to a growing number of citizens concerned our President's slick veneer is wearing thin. And with that they're beginning to glimpe his own reverse-racist thoughts. Had Mr. Gates not been a Harvard alum and black, there would be no story. The only "stupidity" related to this incident was Mr. Gates acting like a jerk, and our President for publically commenting on the incident

As a young black woman and I am tired of other blacks playing the race card. Race has nothing to do with this. The man was breaking into his own house. How is anyone to know thats his home. He should have thanked the offiers for checking and thanked the neighbors for reporting someone may be breaking in a home. Most people turn the other way. If he acted the way a person is suppose to then none of this would have happen.

I'm really upset with the general attitude of police in America when they waste peoples time and harrass those with arrest solely for that purpose. I am white and know in Peru where my wife was a police officer for 21 years, you have more rights. The police respect the people much more and never arrest a person unless a crime is comitted. America doesn't really have it together than some of the porrest countries.Our President shouldn't have to bow to any pressure for what he said. The police are too well paid with benifits that exceed their productive worth in the US and I obey them with little real respect.

you know that there was a black arresting officer they were not all white. henry was not a victim, if you insult a cop no matter where you are at, or what color you are, there is gonna be a problem. the cops were called to protect henrys home, he should have noticed that when he was being a rude jerk.

I am in disbelief of how many people on here are viewing this as an opportunity to state that black people use the race card too often.As a Caucasian Male I am looking at the situation from an unbiased perspective.POLICE OFFICERS ARE AGGRESSIVE AND IGNORANT when going into these situations.They come in to take control.Read the police report (between the lines) The officer made it clear that the statement"You don't know who your messing with" is what triggered grants arrest.That was an I'll show you, you don't scare me move.All of that rederick about he was disorderly.He was in his own da*m house.I yell and get irritated in my house all of the time.Get the i.d. and go away officer.Additionally, the situation would not have even went as far as it did if the officer wasn't fueling the aggression of Grant.He was being he usual police officer cocky, I'm sure.Look at the secondary officer on the scene's report it makes it seem as thought there really wasnt anything to arrest Grant for at all.He made this remark,and that remark but where is the reason for the arrest? I believe the arrest in itself shows that race was a factor and that obviously so does alot of the educated America.People this country is not us against them.It is all of us together attempting to make the country fit for our children and grandchildren, we can vote a mixed man in office but his children cannot swim in a pool in Philladelphia because and I quote "The manager does not want to change the complexion of the pool" Now tell me what is not racists about that.

Lets keep in mind that someone saw Dr. Gates entering the home with someone else and thought they were breaking in to that house. They didn't know the man entering the house was the owner of the house. That's why they called the cops.
When the cops showed up they had to confirm Gates was the owner and make sure someone wasn't standing behing the door with a gun. Perhaps he was being house-jacked. That's probably why the cop asked him to step outside. He needed to make sure Dr. Gates was safe and there wasn't a bad guy inside with a gun pointed at him.
What if there had been a bad man inside and the police had never asked Dr. Gates to come out and show his identification and make sure that he was okay.
Had Dr. Gates been murdered inside his own home after witnesses saw two men entering his house and reported it to police can you imagine the headlines?! "Havard Professor Murdered After Police Leave His Home. Black Community Suspects Conspiracy". There would have been outrage in the Black Community for police not following procedure. There would probably be accusations of a white conspiracy to "keep the black man in his place."
The cops were damned either way in this case.
They showed up to be a punching bag for an arrogant professor who didn't want to be bothered with what all us other peons have to deal with. So, he just turned it into a racial thing after he realized what an ass he had made out of himself.
This happens to regular folks every day.
I speak from experience.
If a cop pulls a person over in their own car, guess what, even before the driver pulls out his license the cop knows the name that should be on that license. He reads it on his computer before he pulls you over to make sure it's not stolen.
This Dr. Gates is just creating his own self fullfilling prophecy to justify his position at the university. He is already working on the book deal to this story and probably creating a new course at the universtiy.
Had it been a white professor that this had happened to there would be no discussion here at all.
Gates is the very one perpetuating the racial profiling here. He see's a white cop who asked him to do what everyone else has to do in that situation and all he can think of is he's a racist white cop.
And these are the people who want to "move forward" in this country.
Like Bugs Bunny used to say, "Ah, what's up Doc?"

bottom line, gates threw out the race card

U would have had to of been there to kno, people have no right to judge! if u were not there and experienced it first hand really u have no room to say anything about the whole situatition.

THe law is the Law, Mr Gates did not provoke or break any laws, and the police are enforcers of the LAw. If they came to the house on the premise of a Robbery ok, Stop at that,. Not only did the officer enter the house with Dr. Gates he was shown I.D, he then got mad and it took it personal that Dr Gates was disgusted with his prescence and used a childish thing that most woman do often and retaliated with his badge. How many times you know you were not speeding or passed a red light but was stopped, by the quota popping police. Cmon you telling me you cant get a little upset please. Call it racism or race card anybody with feelings can be upset so please cut the nonsense

this is not about racism only. it is a matter of disgrace for this country that this man is arrested. not every one of us "non-famous" in the world. sometime, powers make someone "famous". as Mr. Henry Louis has no power, to policemen, he is of no value-i suppose.

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About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
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