Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates accuses police of racism over arrest

Matthew Weaver and agencies
Henry Louis Gates

Henry Louis Gates has accused police of racism Photograph: Christopher Pfuhl/AP

A black Harvard professor, who has been named by Time magazine as one of the top 25 most influential Americans, accused police of racism after he was arrested trying to get into his own home.

Henry Louis Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct after police said he "exhibited loud and tumultuous behaviour". He was later released.

The head of Harvard's WEB DuBois Institute for African and American Studies, shouted to a police officer "this is what happens to a black men in America" according to a police report.

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Posted on 12:00 PM by x and filed under , | 2 Comments »


Inspector Clouseau said... @ July 23, 2009 at 2:21 PM

We have three observations about the Harvard professor incident:

1. We find it interesting that the fact that this was the professor's home was evidently not established early on way before the dispute escalated;

2. We find it fascinating that the versions of two members of society, who most would ordinarily view as responsible and honest citizens (this obviously does not include politicians), would vary so dramatically from a factual point of view.

3. Finally, considering that the reading and viewing public were not present at the scene (and thus have no first hand knowledge), and that there is no video tape to our knowledge of the sequence of events and what was said, how so many have formed conclusions, and made assumptions, about who did what and who was wrong.

There are some things which Professor Gates might have considered upon the arrival of the police, no matter how incensed he may have been.

sitfu.com said... @ July 23, 2009 at 5:31 PM

I agree to a point. It would seem like the professors identity would have been established by a concerned neighbor, but that's just an assumption. After his identity was established, you would think the cops would have backed off. and let him proceed about his business. Without video, all you have is two sides and it's up to the people to pick sides. It really makes no sense for the professor to be arrested.

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