Although Professor Louis Gates clearly communicated to officer James Crowley that he was the owner of the house, the officer told dispatch “keep the cars coming” and called for back up. Why did the shady officer need all that back up with a nerdy looking professor telling him he owned the damn house?
BOSTON – A police sergeant who responded to a 911 call about a possible break-in at the home of black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. can be heard calling Gates uncooperative during a radio communication with a police dispatcher.
Sgt. James Crowley said he was with a man who claims to live in the house and with identification showing he was Gates. Crowley said the man was not cooperating and told the dispatcher to “keep the cars coming.”
Another voice can be heard in the background of the transmissions, but it is unintelligible and unclear if it is Gates. Cambridge police released a recording of the police transmissions Monday after more than a week of controversy over Gates’ July 16 arrest on a disorderly conduct charge.
Police also released the 911 call that led to the incident.
The caller, Lucia Whalen, says she saw two men pushing on the door of the house. She tells police she is not sure if the men live there or not. When pressed for a description by a dispatcher, she says one of the men may have been Hispanic.
The call led to the arrest of Gates on a disorderly conduct charge, and a resulting national debate about racial profiling.
Gates called his arrest by Crowley an act of racial profiling. Crowley’s supporters say Gates was belligerent.
In an earlier statement by her attorney, Whalen — who has not spoken publicly — said she only saw the backs of the two men and did not know their race when she made the call. Whalen, who works nearby, called because she had been aware of recent break-ins in the area and wanted to correct “misinformation” suggesting that she placed the call because the men on the porch were black.
“Contrary to published reports that a ‘white woman’ called 911 (police) and reported seeing ‘two black men’ trying to gain entry into Mr. Gates’ home, the woman, who has olive colored skin and is of Portuguese descent, told the 911 operator that she observed ‘two men’ at the home,” the statement read.