Judicial Watch Files Open Records Request with Cambridge, MA Police Department Regarding Arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates
JULY 24, 2009
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed a Massachusetts Public Records Request with the Cambridge, MA, Police Department regarding the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates. Specifically, Judicial Watch seeks the following records:
Any audiotapes or videotapes recorded prior to, during, or after the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates on July 16, 2009.
On July 16, Sergeant James Crowley responded to a 911 phone call from a passerby reporting two men attempting to force open the door at Professor Gates’ Harvard Square home. Professor Gates claims that he had just returned from a trip to China and his front door was jammed. He asked his driver to help him force it open.
According to Sergeant Crowley, after approaching the house, Professor Gates was belligerent and refused to provide identification when requested. Sergeant Crowley told the press he arrested Gates for disorderly conduct after the professor followed him outside the home "continuing [his] tirade even after being warned multiple times, probably a few more times than the average person would have gotten."
The Fraternal Order of the Police has expressed its support of Sergeant Crowley, who was previously selected to teach a course on racial profiling for a police training academy.
According to Professor Gates, Sergeant Crowley was disrespectful from the beginning, refusing to identify himself or his provide his badge number. Supporters of Professor Gates, including President Obama, suggested his arrest was racially motivated. The President, noting that he did not have all the facts, also said at a press conference that he thought the police acted "stupidly."
The disorderly conduct charges against Gates were dropped the day after the arrest.
"President Obama threw the race card on the table after the Gates arrest without having all of the facts. Uninformed, inflammatory comments on this matter by President Obama have widened racial division and undermined the rule of law. Judicial Watch seeks to help the public come to an informed opinion on the controversy," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.