He was booked for disorderly conduct after “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior,” according to the Cambridge police log.
Friends of Gates said he was already in his home when police arrived. He showed his driver’s license and Harvard identification card, but was handcuffed and taken into police custody for several hours last Thursday, they said.
The arrest of such a prominent scholar under what some described as dubious circumstances shook some members of the black Harvard community.
“He and I both raised the question of if he had been a white professor, whether this kind of thing would have happened to him, that they arrested him without any corroborating evidence,” said S. Allen Counter, a Harvard Medical School professor who spoke with Gates about the incident Friday. “I am deeply concerned about the way he was treated, and called him to express my deepest sadness and sympathy.”
Counter has faced a similar situation himself. The well-known neuroscience professor, who is also black, was stopped by two Harvard police officers in 2004 after being mistaken for a robbery suspect as he crossed Harvard Yard. They threatened to arrest him when he could not produce identification.
The police report is here.
This brings to mind that old Chappelle routine, where a cop knocks out a black man he think is breaking into his own home.
“Open and shut case, Johnson,” he says to his partner. “I saw a case just like this when I was a rookie. Apparently, this nigger broke into this house and hung up pictures of his family everywhere!”
UPDATE: Skip’s lawyer releases his statement.
Professor Gates then asked the police officer if he would give him his name and his badge number. He made this request several times. The officer did not produce any identification nor did he respond to Professor Gates’s request for this information. After an additional request by Professor Gates for the officer’s name and badge number, the officer then turned and left the kitchen of Professor Gates’s home without ever acknowledging who he was or if there were charges against Professor Gates. As Professor Gates followed the officer to his own front door, he was astonished to see several police officers gathered on his front porch. Professor Gates asked the officer’s colleagues for his name and badge number. As Professor Gates stepped onto his front porch, the officer who had been inside and who had examined his identification, said to him, “Thank you for accommodating my earlier request,” and then placed Professor Gates under arrest. He was handcuffed on his own front porch.
How do you think these two statements align?
Tagged: Henry Louis Gates