Henry Louis Gates Jr. Falsely Arrested

Charles Ogletree has issued a statement on behalf of Professor Gates who was in a dust-up with the Cambridge police a few days ago

“Colored People: A Memoir” (Henry Louis Gates Jr.)

This brief statement is being submitted on behalf of my client, friend, and colleague, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. This is a statement concerning the arrest of Professor Gates. On July 16, 2009, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 58, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor of Harvard University, was headed from Logan airport to his home [in] Cambridge after spending a week in China, where he was filming his new PBS documentary entitled “Faces of America.” Professor Gates was driven to his home by a driver for a local car company. Professor Gates attempted to enter his front door, but the door was damaged. Professor Gates then entered his rear door with his key, turned off his alarm, and again attempted to open the front door. With the help of his driver they were able to force the front door open, and then the driver carried Professor Gates’ luggage into his home.

Professor Gates immediately called the Harvard Real Estate office to report the damage to his door and requested that it be repaired immediately. As he was talking to the Harvard Real Estate office on his portable phone in his house, he observed a uniformed officer on his front porch. When Professor Gates opened the door, the officer immediately asked him to step outside. Professor Gates remained inside his home and asked the officer why he was there. The officer indicated that he was responding to a 911 call about a breaking and entering in progress at this address. Professor Gates informed the officer that he lived there and was a faculty member at Harvard University. The officer then asked Professor Gates whether he could prove that he lived there and taught at Harvard. Professor Gates said that he could, and turned to walk into his kitchen, where he had left his wallet. The officer followed him. Professor Gates handed both his Harvard University identification and his valid Massachusetts driver’s license to the officer. Both include Professor Gates’ photograph, and the license includes his address.

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’ 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’ 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.

Professor Gates was taken to the Cambridge Police Station where he remained for approximately 4 hours before being released that evening. Professor Gates’ counsel has been cooperating with the Middlesex District Attorneys Office, and the City of Cambridge, and is hopeful that this matter will be resolved promptly. Professor Gates will not be making any other statements concerning this matter at this time.

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Stop Snitchin

Crazy. And after seeing a photograph of the incident, Professor Gates looks even less like a threat. No wonder he was incensed. I would be too.

4 thoughts on “Henry Louis Gates Jr. Falsely Arrested

  1. Mike says:

    I seems the information you received about the incident is inaccurate. Professor Gates was never calm or polite in this situation. When the police officer approached Mr. Gates he immediately started berating the officer, calling him a racist and proclaiming racial profiling. Any normal person, black or white, would have understood the situation that it may have appeared the house was being broken into since he had been forcibly trying to open the door. Any normal person would have tried to graciously explain the situation to the officer and even thanked him for making sure the property was not being broken into and protecting him. But Professor Gates is not a normal person. He is a racist who sees every situation he encounters in shades of black and white. I ask this question to you, “if the officer had been black, would Mr. Gates have reacted the same way.” Because even the black officers from the scene later condemned the man for his horrific and outrageous conduct.

  2. and you were an eyewitness? And you can also explain the contradictions in the officer’s arrest report right? And when exactly did police officers become so fragile that they start fainting if somebody raises their voice? I don’t recall ever reading a statute that raising a voice is an arrestable offense. Has the officer been to a sporting event? or a bar where there is a sporting event broadcast?

  3. Brian says:

    Yep, this incident proves racism is alive and well on both sides of the coin.

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