Black Scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. Arrested at Own House: Racial Profiling Suspected

- By Bossip Staff

A black scholar and director at Harvard University by the name of, Henry Louis Gates Jr., was arrested at his own house. It looks to be a case of racial profiling:

Henry Louis Gates Jr., the nation’s pre-eminent black scholar, is accusing Cambridge police of racism after he was arrested while trying to force open the locked front door of his home near Harvard University. Cambridge police were called to the home Thursday afternoon after a woman reported seeing a man “wedging his shoulder into the front door as to pry the door open,” according to a police report.

An officer ordered the man to identify himself, and Gates refused, according to the report. Gates began calling the officer a racist and said repeatedly, “This is what happens to black men in America.” Officers said they tried to calm down the 58-year-old academic, who responded, “You don’t know who you’re messing with,” according to the police report.

Gates was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after police said he “exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior.” He was released later that day on his own recognizance and arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 26. Gates referred comment to his lawyer, fellow Harvard scholar Charles Ogletree, who was not immediately available. Cambridge police declined to comment, and the Middlesex district attorney’s office said it could not do so until after Gates’ arraignment. The woman who reported mentioned Gates did not return a message Monday.

Many of Gates’ African-American colleagues believe his arrest is part of a pattern of racial profiling in Cambridge, said Allen Counter, who has taught neuroscience at Harvard for 25 years. Counter has said he was stopped on campus by two Harvard police officers in 2004 after being mistaken for a robbery suspect. They threatened to arrest him when he could not produce identification. “We do not believe that this arrest would have happened if professor Gates was white,” Counter said. “It really has been very unsettling for African-Americans throughout Harvard and throughout Cambridge that this happened.” Counter said he spoke to Gates, who told him police continued to question him after he showed them his license and Harvard identification. “They did not believe him when he said that he was in his own home,” Counter said. “He was totally mistreated in this incident.”

Gates is the director of Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research and served for 15 years as chairman of what is now the Department of African and African-American Research. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1991 and holds one of 20 prestigious “university professors” positions at the school. He also was host of “African-American Lives,” a PBS show about the family histories of prominent U.S. blacks. Time magazine named him one of the 25 most influential Americans in 1997.

This is some bullsh*t. A black man of his stature is arrested? Yeah, them pigs deserve some kind of punishment for this one. F*ck a Racist Pig!


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  • charlieblanko

    F*ck a Hannibal!

  • WordtotheWise

    Ah, yeah, why didn’t he just identify himself and THEN if they continue to harass you, then get in their behinds.

    Anyway, I love this man.

  • Dominique Devereaux

    Did he just move in this house? Wouldn’t his neighbor know him? I never believe these stories since I wasn’t there and it doesn’t make sense to me.

  • charlieblanko

    This man has been a staple and pillar in that community for years. What neighbor could have called the cops on him? He has been living there for ever! what kind of man in a suit over the age of 50 is breaking into a house. I would put money on that being a white man in a suit doing the same thing…”IF” the police where called it would have been cleared up as soon as they seen his suit and asked if he lived there.

  • charlieblanko

    Cosign Cocoo!!!

  • Ummmmmm....

    I need someone with some legal expertise to break this down for me!

    Is it illegal to ask someone for ID if they appear to be attempting to break in??

    Is it obstructing justice to REFUSE to be identified and worthy of arrest??

    Could they not have found out who the owner of the house was WITHOUT having to ask who he is and have avoided arresting him?? ( IF SO – – this is some racist B.S.)

    Only then, can I really comment…this makes no sense. You can’t assume everybody knows who this man is (even in his own neighborhood, unfortunately) nor can you assume it’s ok to refuse providing identification and not think something is going to happen, IE. ARREST!

  • white male

    So he admits that he was breaking through the front door and thinks its racism the cops came up to him???

  • rexeffex

    have to agree. He could have identified himself and THEN after they continued to harass/arrest him THEN he can cry racism. At night or day, if you see someone’s back trying to bust a door open in your area who you dont recognize and they are not doing it with keys YOU would want someone to call the police. He was fishing. Doesnt mean there arent racist cops or people but use common sense…it makes him look foolish.

  • charlieblanko

    I have never heard of a burglar parking his car in a drive way, claiming to have left his keys in the house, been in a suit, and told the cops who exactly lived at the residence. To not give this prominent scholar his respect and due is asinine. This is baffling to me…I hate victimology, but damn, I can’t turn a blind eye to blatant racism and class profiling.

  • rexeffex

    cocoloco…its your mentality that will never change anything…but I also believe this whole white people have to approve of us is crazy. What other racial or ethnic group bases their whole self esteem on whether or not white people respect or like them or want to hang with them. Asians dont give a F. INdians dont give a F. Hispanics dont give a F. Why does our identity and approval of ourselves have to be based on whether an outside racial group accepts us. If we actually started focusing on improving our own communities and lives and families and children, we wouldnt care because we would be doing whats right for us and helping ourselves. Indians, asians, hispanics, dont expect a handout from whites neither should we. This is why we are so screwed as a people.

  • charlieblanko

    that is true rex

  • Come now

    It seems to be two stories here. He says he showed them his id and that he was faculty–it’s the bottom paragraph. Yet he was still arrested. I believe his story honestly, the cops have to say they had probable cause–they are not going to say he was cooperative and we were racial profiling–come on yall

  • Slide Like A Fresh Pair of Gators

    Good, I bet he’ll do a REAL INTERESTING PBS Special on this…

    And I hope he’ll interview Oprah on it and ask her about that incident over in North Africa when they wouldn’t open the door at the Hermes Store ’cause *in their words & explanation* = them North Africans were stealing too much and they didn’t recognize her without her make-up on…

    *However, in the Hermes Stores Defense = have you seen Oprah without make-up on? You know what I’ma leave that alone…

  • enkogkneegro

    I have to co-sign everyone that sees the bullshyt in this story, I hope theres more to it and it shows he cooperated with their request to identify himself. I live in a simi wealthy suburb of Los Angeles in a multicultural neighborhood and I don’t know everyone of my neighbors personally. If one of my neighbors kids came home from school for the summer or they had in-laws staying for a bit they wouldn’t know me either. Somtimes we just wrong when we jump to racism, so if his house gets broken into and his neighbors tell him “yea I saw the person but he was black so I minded my business” would that make him feel better……

  • charlieblanko

    i didnt notice the parenthesis. My bad…lmao

  • tania

    you mean to tll me that the neighbor who called( who had to live close by to see that there was someone wedging their shoulderin the door. thats very descriptive) didnt know who he was? i know everyone that lives in my development. i know what they all look like so when something is amiss i know who to call. so please fall back with that he should have just identified himself bullshit.

  • Slide Like A Fresh Pair of Gators

    He had his car parked in front and lived there! In a suit! He was over 50!


    And you forgot to add he has a BIG A$$ limp cause one leg is shorter than the other from surgery and he wears one of those shoes that has a 3 inch sole… With that being said and explained = what kind “cat burglar” is gonna rob a home in that kind of condition with a suit and a tie on?

    I know Black people like to steal but damn!!!

  • white male

    this is racial “boy who cried wolf”

    you can’t say racism for every little thing. The cops see someone breaking through a door after they are called by neighbors reporting it. He can’t assume they said “lets harass a black person today”.

  • WordtotheWise

    rexeffex>>>There’s a long, drawn out reason as to why many black folks still want the white man’s approval. All those other groups you mentioned have something in common: A language and country of origin. Even the Indians have their sovereignty. We were taken away from our homeland and indoctrinated, thus many of us are confused. It’s too long to go into. You might already know the story.

    However, wanting handouts doesn’t solely have a black face. We are a race of millions of people, many of whom are hardworking, law-abiding citizens working hard to get theirs. There are a lot of black people doing their thing. There are blacks helping themselves and others, but the media will never show them. Maybe if we start reading more and turning off the television we would realize that black people are moving up. We have a long ways to go, but we aren’t as doomed as many think.

  • Necy


  • Negrodamus Believes

    Chris Brown did it.

  • Necy

    who the hell breaks into someones front door wearing a suit???

  • charlieblanko

    white male

    this is racial “boy who cried wolf”

    you can’t say racism for every little thing. The cops see someone breaking through a door after they are called by neighbors reporting it. He can’t assume they said “lets harass a black person today”.

    i agree pale male…but!

    That does not mean that subconscious behaviors do not get the best of white people.

    “The black guy did it” theory is deeply embedded in almost all people.

    If you dont think they went extra hard on a black man being a smart ass… then i have a tank im selling on craigs list tonight…tune in.

  • Slide Like A Fresh Pair of Gators

    The man cooperated to his standards.


    Those of us with a brain knows he did…

    And plus he grew up back in the Jim Crow era = probably got bit by a dog or two, got hosed down by the police, had to sit in the Rosa Parks “section” of the bus, etc…

    He’s educated and knows how to follow directions…

    You see what it said up top = “police continued to question him after he showed them his license and Harvard identification”

    If I’m not mistaken doesn’t your drivers license have your address on it? Mines does, and so after he showed it to them why are they continuing to ask this old man questions?

    Knowing cops like I do, they know where ALL the Black people live – ESPECIALLY the wealthy and accomplished ones. SMH

    We know what the deal is here…

  • soJazzy

    Clearly this has been an on-going problem at Harvard..and America for that fact. I don’t know why ppl are trying to act like it does not exist it does. AND he DID identify himself showing ID and harvard ID, but you know PIGS don’t like to feel stupid, dumb, or admit they are wrong. I hope they get what they deserve really…And for the noisy neighbor–she need to find some business…PIGS smh

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