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I’ll Speak With Your Mama Outside.

Ah, thes esteemed halls of one of our finest institutions of higher learning in the US. Harvard. Where one can sit at the feet of world renowned scholars and listen sagacious phrases such as "Ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside."

Below you will find the text of a police report in which a top American black scholar Henry Louis Gates,Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, where he is Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Professor Gates, for his part, suspects that race played a part in his arrest. After reading this report, I suspect that racism played a large part in the events of that evening. We report - you decide.

On Thursday July 16, 2009, Henry Gates, Jr. - -, of Ware Street, Cambridge, MA) was placed under arrest at Ware Street, after being observed exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior, in a public place, directed at a uniformed police officer who was present investigating a report of a crime in progress. These actions on the behalf of Gates served no legitimate purpose and caused citizens passing by this location to stop and take notice while appearing surprised and alarmed.
On the above time and date, I was on uniformed duty in an unmarked police cruiser assigned to the Administration Section, working from 7:00 AM-3:30 PM. At approximately 12:44 PM, I was operating my cruiser on Harvard Street near Ware Street. At that time, I overheard an ECC broadcast for a possible break in progress at Ware Street. Due to my proximity, I responded.

When I arrived at Ware Street I radioed ECC and asked that they have the caller meet me at the front door to this residence. I was told that the caller was already outside. As I was getting this information, I climbed the porch stairs toward the front door. As [reached the door, a female voice called out to me. I looked in the direction of the voice and observed a white female, later identified {} who was standing on the sidewalk in front of the residence, held a wireless telephone in her hand arid told me that it was she who called. She went on to tell me that she observed what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the porch of• Ware Street. She told me that her suspicions were aroused when she observed one of the men wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry. Since I was the only police officer on location and had my back to the front door as I spoke with her, I asked that she wait for other responding officers while I investigated further.

As I turned and faced the door, I could see an older black male standing in the foyer of {} Ware Street. I made this observation through the glass paned front door. As I stood in plain view of this man, later identified as Gates, I asked if he would step out onto the porch and speak with me. He replied “no I will not”. He then demanded to know who I was. I told him that I was “Sgt. Crowley from the Cambridge Police” and that I was “investigating a report of a break in progress” at the residence. While I was making this statement, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed “why, because I’m a black man in America?”. I then asked Gates if there was anyone else in the residence. While yelling, he told me that it was none of my business and accused me of being a racist police officer. I assured Gates that I was responding to a citizen’s call to the Cambridge Police and that the caller was outside as we spoke. Gates seemed to ignore me and picked up a cordless telephone and dialed an unknown telephone number. As he did so, I radioed on channel I that I was off in the residence with someone who appeared to be a resident but very uncooperative. I then overheard Gates asking the person on the other end of his telephone call to “get the chief’ and “whats the chiefs name?’. Gates was telling the person on the other end of the call that he was dealing with a racist police officer in his home. Gates then turned to me and told me that I had no idea who I was “messing” with and that I had not heard the last of it. While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me. I asked Gates to provide me with photo identification so that I could verify that he resided at Ware Street and so that I could radio my findings to ECC. Gates initially refused, demanding that I show him identification but then did supply me with a Harvard University identification card. Upon learning that Gates was affiliated with Harvard, I radioed and requested the presence of the Harvard University Police.

With the Harvard University identification in hand, I radioed my findings to ECC on channel two and prepared to leave. Gates again asked for my name which I began to provide. Gates began to yell over my spoken words by accusing me of being a racist police officer and leveling threats that he wasn’t someone to mess with. At some point during this exchange, I became aware that Off. Carlos Figueroa was standing behind me. When Gates asked a third time for my name, I explained to him that I had provided it at his request two separate times. Gates continued to yell at me. I told Gates that I was leaving his residence and that if he had any other questions regarding the matter, I would speak with him outside of the residence.

As I began walking through the foyer toward the front door, I could hear Gates agai,n demanding my name. I again told Gates that I would speak with him outside. My reason for wanting to leave the residence was that Gates was yelling very loud and the acoustics of the kitchen and foyer were making it difficult for me to transmit pertinent information to ECC or other responding units. His reply was “ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside”. When I left the residence, I noted that there were several Cambridge and Harvard University police officers assembled on the sidewalk in front of the residence. Additionally, the caller, md at least seven unidentified passers-by were looking in the direction of Gates, who had followed me outside of the residence.

As I descended the stairs to the sidewalk, Gates continued to yell at me, accusing me of racial bias and continued to tell me that I had not heard the last of him. Due to the tumultuous manner Gates had exhibited in his residence as well as his continued tumultuous behavior outside the residence, in view of the public, I warned Gates that he was becoming disorderly. Gates ignored my warning and continued to yell, which drew the attention of both the police officers and citizens, who appeared surprised and alarmed by Gates’s outburst. For a second time I warned Gates to calm down while I withdrew my department issued handcuffs from their carrying case. Gates again ignored my warning and continued to yell at me. It was at this time that I informed Gates that he was under arrest. I then stepped up the stairs, onto the porch and attempted to place handcuffs on Gates. Gates initially resisted my attempt to handcuff him, yelling that he was “disabled” and would fall without his cane. After the handcuffs were property applied, Gates complained that they were too tight. I ordered Off. Ivey, who was among the responding officers, to handcuff Gates with his arms in front of him for his comfort while I secured a cane for Gates from within the residence. I then asked Gates if he would like an officer to take possession of his house key and secure his front door, which he left wide open. Gates told me that the door was un securable due to a previous break attempt at the residence. Shortly thereafter, a Harvard University maintenance person arrived on scene and appeared familiar with Gates. I asked Gates if he was comfortable with this Harvard University maintenance person securing his residence. He told me that he was.
After a brief consultation with Sgt. Lashley and upon Gates’s request, he was transported to 125 6th. Street in a police cruiser (Car 1, Off’s Graham and Ivey) where he was booked and processed by Off. J. P. Crowley.
As a learned Harvard professor I applaud Prof. Gates restraint by choosing not to quote the great poet Gibson during this ugly episode by inquiring as to the responding officer's potential Jewish heritage. Prof. Gates is someone we could all learn a lesson from.

For my part, I sympathize with Professor Gates consternation. He was obviously concerned that his treatment would mirror that of other black men in this country. Perhaps he feared that he would be thrown into a position of immense responsibility and power for which he was completely unqualified. Imagine his terror! What without a teleprompter and all. Shiver.

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28 comments:

Black/Native Am/Various White said...

I would like to hear Prof. Gates' side of the story, just for balance. However, if the report is accurate - and judging from the content there is no reason to judge otherwise at this point - then the professor let his gate swing a little wide that day. I think it's safe to say that professor does sound like he has some personal anger and authority issues with which he needs to deal. He mostly sounds like an egotistical tenured academic who is more interested in throwing his weight around.

As a person of mixed race, I can confirm that I've experienced stupid (i.e., racist, demeaning) comments from blacks, reds, yellows and whites. I'm not sure why I've been so fortunate to experience flack from a host of races. Just lucky, I guess. I might add, one isn't a racist for pointing out that a black or white or purple-with-lime-green-stripes person has acted irrationally. The officer's reporting appears coherent, and there are enough witnesses cited that it should be easy enough to verify the report's content.

Quite frankly, if Prof. Gates' actions are reported accurately, then he's not only acted in a belligerent manner unbefitting a senior academic, he's also making it difficult for anyone to be taken seriously when real racist incidents occur.

scripturelink said...

I believe Patrick Archbold: is alleging that the professor is racist, and that the Harvard Professor has judged that as the policeman was white, that he was an enemy: however, if he was drunk, or under the influence of something, this could possibly also explain the behaviour.

Otherwise, there is the possibility of past trauma: however, as this is not an excuse I buy in South Africa: when it is mentioned that a person experienced trauma from another race, it is not an excuse here: it may however be a reason: racism comes from the mis-wiring of the evolutionary instinct by which we avoid animals which are dangerous, in my view. That said, racism is illogical, and wrong: but the professor possibly has a damaged past!

It does not seem the activity we would expect from a Harvard professor,but the final paragraph: that racism in America is over, is hardly accurate. Electing Obama only showed that some Americans have heard of token ideas, and wanting to appear unbiased. It hardly means anything about racism, which is what makes all the fuss about a black president: whose ancestors were never slaves or discriminated against in America: so pointless.

Prof. Gates may well have suffered recent discrimination- that said, he seems very emotional and illogical- even racist, if the allegations are to be believed.

Patrick sources the police report, the article sourced may well give more, or you may want to judge their accuracy!
Pax Catholici Tecum!

Deirdre Mundy said...

Not only were his ancestors never slaves---his father's family OWNED slaves.

I like to throw people off-- When they tell me how wonderful it is someone like BO could be elected I say "Yes! It's so wonderful to live in a country where a boy who was raised Unitarian, attended prestigious prep schools, and graduated from the Ivy leagues can become president! I mean, that's really a first, isn't it?"

About Gates--- When I first heard the report, I assumed that Gates was in his 80s by now, and possibly confused. But he's only 59?!?!?! He really might want to see a doctor about that erratic behavior...

Dirtdartwife said...

We might have "evolutionary" reactions to things resulting from past experience, however God made us thinking beings with the ability to adapt and overcome. Emphasis on the last word.. .OVERCOME. We will never overcome racism with people like Gates. I'm personally tired of it being thrown in my face that I'm a racist because I having nothing but disgust for BO. I don't care what race he is, I just think he's an idiot.

Scott W. said...

Give me a beat cop and a Harvard prof, and my instinct is to believe the cop. Regardless of skin pigmentation.

Anonymous said...

Considering the fact that the Cambridge police department dropped all charges against Professor Gates, maybe, just maybe, there was truth to his version of the story.

It seems giving him the benefit of the doubt is too much to ask for most of the readers and authors here.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Funny how according to the officer's report there were apparently so many other officers and witness around who could easily corroborate his version of events. Yet the case is dropped. Odd. You don't think the officer was actually lying or covering up any misconduct here, do you? Police never do that!

Michael D. said...

It could just be that the Cambridge police department decided that this wasn't worth the time and resources to fight. After all, most police departments aren't going to risk their standing with the African American community over a disorderly charge.

Anonymous said...

Riiiiiight.

John Hetman said...

Anonymous wrote "Yeah. Funny how according to the officer's report there were apparently so many other officers and witness around who could easily corroborate his version of events. Yet the case is dropped. Odd. You don't think the officer was actually lying or covering up any misconduct here, do you? Police never do that!"

Anonymous, do you know what year this is, the politcally correct atmosphere of Cambridge of all places, the current President of the US who plays his race card, the decades of extortion of whites and false racist charges thrown out by such illumaries as J. Jackson and A. Sharpton, ad nauseum? Or is it just that you don't get much of a view from sitting on one of the moons of Jupiter?

It's a 1000-1 that the police officer was acting properly.

Anonymous said...

1000 to 1? wow. Do you have any facts to support that? Like the arresting officer's record? Or did you just pull that little statistic out of your boxer shorts?

I lived in Waltham MA for 6 months in the late 90's. Cambridge, while very liberal, is still VERY white; and the police force reflects those demographics. Police don't simply drop charges to be politically expedient. They stand their ground as much as they can or they loose credibility and more importantly, city funding. You don't seem to have a grasp of local politics at all. So, don't talk to me about living on the moons of Jupiter when you are clearly talking from Uranus.

John Hetman said...

Anonymous wrote: I lived in Waltham MA for 6 months in the late 90's. Cambridge, while very liberal, is still VERY white...."

Madam or Sir, being white is not the same as being racist. That is to say, for most thinking people, it's not. There are those folks, some who even teach at prestigious universities who openly espouse the racist lies that whites, per se, are inherently prejudiced. And there are some whites who are stupid enough to believe them. In spite of the crime statistics which don't support your point and your vast six months of experience in Waltham.

Anonymous said...

No one is saying white's are predisposed to being racist more than any other race is. But you are just being ridiculous and making up facts as you go along with no basis in reality. Just fun pointing that out.

John Hetman said...

Madam or Sir,

By your statement and caps, "I lived in Waltham MA for 6 months in the late 90's. Cambridge, while very liberal, is still VERY white...," you are inferring that whites are racist, even liberal whites, such as yourself. But if not comprehending what you write gives you fun, whom am I to rain on your parade.

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Anonymous said...

Wow, strong words from someone hiding behind a moniker.

Glad Mr. Archbold has seen fit to remove several of your posts.

Matt Teel

eh said...

Gates was just doing his job, which as far as I can tell is scapegoating Whites for the problems of Blacks, even his own.

These comments about the fact that no charges were filed in the end vindicating Gates -- absolutely absurd. What crime was supposed to be pursued here? Being rude and insolent to a cop?

I was not there so I do not know what happened -- exactly what was done and said. But imo the officer did make one mistake: he arrested Gates for his "tumultuous" behavior. He should have just let Gates yell and left the secene.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps he feared that he would be thrown into a position of immense responsibility and power for which he was completely unqualified. Imagine his terror! What without a teleprompter and all. Shiver.Perhaps he feared that he would be thrown into a position of immense responsibility and power for which he was completely unqualified. Imagine his terror! What without a teleprompter and all. Shiver.

Your bitterness over losing an election to President Obama makes your childish snark and wrongness about this incident all the more enjoyable.

Charges were dropped. Boo hoo for you, you big ninny.

Anonymous said...

Often officers will arrest a beligerent subject to "clear the scene". It's obvious the a clear communication with the subject was impossible due to the ranting. Removing the subject removes the audience that they are appealing to and calms the situation. Dropping the charges would be completely normal in this situation since the "arrest" was simply a tool to regain control of the situation.

Anonymous said...

It's perfectly plausible for police dept to decline to file charges against a well-known member of the community for chickenscratch - even if the chickenscratch was potentially subject to fines or whatever. Gates, acc to another story, had just come home from a trip. Maybe he had a meltdown as much because he was tired as anything else. If a large part of his reputation is built on writing about racism, it's no surprise that'd be the first thing on his mind when he got angry at the police officer. I wonder why his neighbor called the police on him, though?

S. Murphy

Anonymous said...

It's perfectly plausible for police dept to decline to file charges against a well-known member of the community for chickenscratch - even if the chickenscratch was potentially subject to fines or whatever. Gates, acc to another story, had just come home from a trip. Maybe he had a meltdown as much because he was tired as anything else. If a large part of his reputation is built on writing about racism, it's no surprise that'd be the first thing on his mind when he got angry at the police officer. I wonder why his neighbor called the police on him, though?

S. Murphy

Elizabeth said...

Oh my goodness. The tension here is a little much, on both sides! We only have the facts, which some of you might not believe to be actual facts. Can we agree that the officer was responding to a request made by a woman? (Meaning, this police officer wasn't just looking for some minority to harass) Can we agree that the man could have just showed his ID and cleared up the confusion? (Meaning, both men are responsible for their own behavior and the outcome) Sure, we don't know whether the officer involved is racist or not, but there were other people on the scene who were probably watching pretty closely to see if the officer wasn't being honorable. Their vigilance is good because officers should be held accountable, but sad because often officers are good men who are treated as if they're not because of the small group of officers who have made bad choices...*They are viewed like some people now view priests.* Why is it so difficult to believe that most men and women in service positions, like teachers, priests, and officers, try to do their best and are not just out to get the public?

Pablo said...

"As a learned Harvard professor I applaud Prof. Gates restraint by choosing not to quote the great poet Gibson during this ugly episode by inquiring as to the responding officer's potential Jewish heritage."

True. But had he simply said "What are you looking at, Sugartits?" I think everyone would have shared hearty laugh.

As for our Anonymous friend: Charges were dropped. Boo hoo for you, you big ninny.

Much like the charges against the Black Panthers intimidating voters. I'm beginning to see a pattern.

Black/Native Am/Various White said...

A follow up. Damian Thompson over at the Telegraph reports:

"It has also emerged that Sgt Crowley has taught a racial profiling class at the Lowell Police Academy in Boston for five years with a black colleague and was handpicked by a senior black officer for the role."

Prez Obama has backtracked on his stupid remarks. The fervent support of Officer Crowley's black and white colleagues should prompt a meaningful public apology from both Prof. Gates and the President. The limp words Obama offered yesterday are hardly enough to repair the damage to Sgt. Crowley's reputation.

Anonymous said...

Gates is the racist!!!

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