Black-History Expert Arrested in His Home; Racism Alleged
Posted on Jul 20, 2009
One Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge, Mass., Police Department may have thought he was stopping a break-in when he showed up—in response to a call placed by a white neighbor—at a house near Harvard Square last Thursday, but the man he eventually arrested there happened to be professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., chair of the Afro-American studies department and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard University, who just happened to be in his own home.
Now, some of Gates’ colleagues at the university are concerned that the incident was racially motivated.
The New York Times:
Professor Gates, who has taught at Harvard for nearly two decades, arrived home on Thursday from a trip to China to find his front door jammed, said Charles J. Ogletree, a law professor at Harvard who is representing him.
He forced the door open with the help of his cab driver, Professor Ogletree said, and had been inside for a few minutes when Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department appeared at his door and asked him to step outside.
Professor Gates, 58, refused to do so, Professor Ogletree said. From that point, the account of the professor and the police began to differ.
Harvard Gazette / Justin Ide
The arrest of Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., pictured, at his home caused a stir among his friends and colleagues at Harvard University—one of whom is now representing Gates in the case.