JULY 23, 2009
President Obama swiftly condemned the arrest of his Harvard scholar friend, but the commander-in-chief conveniently omitted that his buddy hostilely confronted police with a verbal whipping mentioning an officer’s mother.
The renowned black leader, Henry Louis Gates, was recently hauled away in handcuffs after a scuffle with police at his residence. A neighbor had reported a break-in at Gates’ home and when police arrived the professor refused to provide identification and instead berated officers and called a sergeant a “racist cop.” When the sergeant asked to speak to Gates outside, the acclaimed academic said “Yeah, I’ll speak with your mama outside.”
The information comes directly from the police arrest report, which was recently posted by a web site that publicizes exclusive documents. The detailed report paints the portrait of a hostile man who refused to cooperate with law enforcement officials rather than the victim of racial profiling portrayed by the president and Gates himself.
Obama said police acted stupidly in arresting his friend and Gates assures he was harassed because he’s a black man in America. The president capitalized on the opportunity to play an extra race card by adding that this country has a long history of African Americans and Latinos disproportionately being stopped by law enforcement.
Absent was the mention of Gates’ role in this incident, however. Police say the professor was confrontational and uncooperative from the start which led to his arrest and disorderly conduct charge after various warnings. Gates quickly accused officers of discriminating against him because he’s black and told officers they had no idea who they were “messing” with.
The charges were subsequently dropped by apologetic county prosecutors who likely fear the wrath of the race defense. Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons, who is black, apologized to Gates on behalf of the city and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who is also black, said he was troubled and upset over the incident. The police union supports the arrest and says the officer followed procedure appropriately.
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