Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, Jr., professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Studies, was arrested on Thursday at his Cambridge home for disorderly conduct, according to a Cambridge Police Department report.
The report, obtained from the Cambridge District Court, said that the 58-year-old professor was arrested by Cambridge police shortly past noon for "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior," during which he allegedly accused police officers at the scene of being racist. The report said that a woman had called police to the scene after seeing a man "wedging his shoulder in the front door [of Gates' house] as to pry the door open."
When a police officer arrived on the scene to investigate the tip, Gates was reportedly already having an altercation with another sergeant inside the home. The professor allegedly shouted "[t]his is what happens to black men in America" when asked for identification and repeatedly told the police officer that "[y]ou don't know who your [sic] messing with," according to the report.
The two then moved to the front porch, the report said, where Gates continued to shout that the sergeant was racist, catching the attention of roughly seven "surprised and alarmed" onlookers.
Ogletree declined to comment on whether he believes Gates was racially profiled, as some media reports have suggested, instead saying that his statement of events "speaks for itself." But other prominent black Harvard professors, including medical school professor S. Allen Counter and social sciences professor Lawrence D. Bobo, have suggested that race influenced the police actions. According to the Associated Press, the Reverend Al Sharpton has vowed to attend Gates' arraignment.
"This arrest is indicative of at best police abuse of power or at worst the highest example of racial profiling I have seen," Sharpton said. "I have heard of driving while black and even shopping while black but now even going to your own home while black is a new low in police community affairs."
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Harvard Professor Gates arrested
So what do you think, was this racial profiling or not?