July 27th, 2009
12:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama to meet this week with professor, officer

 Professor Gates was arrested at his home in Massachusetts on a charge of disorderly conduct.
Professor Gates was arrested at his home in Massachusetts on a charge of disorderly conduct.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama will meet this week with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police officer who arrested him for disorderly conduct, James Crowley, the White House said Monday.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs did not say which day the three men will get together at the White House.

UPDATE: The White House has revealed what beer will be served at the much-anticipated meeting later this week: Bud for the president and Blue Moon for Crowley. The Boston Globe reports Gates likes Red Stripe and Beck's.

–CNN White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux contributed to this report.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (313 Responses)
  1. Dorothy Miller in CAMBRIDGE, MA

    I live in Cambridge and ask any minority about the REAL Sgt. Crowley. You'd never know he taught "sensitivity training". But like another poster said, just because you have to teach it for your job, doesn't mean you live by it.

    Why is NO ONE bringing up the fact the initial police report was taken down, then put back up with a completely falsified version???

    July 27, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Open Your 3rd Eye

    This has been a very serious issue throughout communities all across America for too long.

    It's about time!

    Hats off to Prez Obama for shining the spot light on this.

    I can't stand the police. Not all, but a good percentage of them act stupid on a regular basis.

    I've seen these morons in action more than enough times to confirm this.

    July 27, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. JB - NYC

    Crowley should have turned him down. Obviously, Gates is a racist. All one has to do is read his past writing, and quotes from Yale. Whereas, Crowley teaches anti-profiling classes in the Police Academy.

    Pretty clear to me and most people with common sense. Obama is now practicing CYA, it wont work.

    July 27, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. PGraber

    Hope they both are bringing designated drivers, or they will get picked up for DUI after they leave the White House.

    That would be entertaining to say the least.

    July 27, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. lhines

    After reading through some of the comments, I suspect that a lot of whites and minorities will never see eye to eye on this subject. Just because the racial divide doesn't affect you, does not mean it does not exist. For many minorities, it exists. Ask all the victims of racial profiling (including myself) if they are imagining this phenomenon. This incidence with the professor and the police man, as it may just be an unfortunate set of circumstances, reminds us that it is still a disscussion we need to have, respectfully.
    The President did not willingly engage in this issue, he was asked about it in a press conference and he answered instead shying away, which would have brought on even more criticism.
    My point is that race will probably always be with us, but if we just have a little empathy for the circumstances of Americans of different backgrounds, the issue will exist but not interfere.

    July 27, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Whites and Blacks will never see eye to eye. It's so sad.

    July 27, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Mike in SA

    Amazing how the tone and rhetoric changed as soon as Crowley's union said they wanted the tapes released. Both Gates and Obama immediately started backing off their original positions. Within two hours Obama had called both parties, arranged a meeting, and announced it to the White House press corps. At lightning speed Gates went from saying he would keep the pressure on to saying he wanted to put it behind him. My guess is that those tapes will show Dr. Gates in an unflattering light. It will most probably show him being verbally abusive, uncooperative, and generally being the fool.

    July 27, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. adamandkanani

    Anyone with any intelligence knows that if the professor was white he would have never been arrested.

    If you think the police treat everyone equally you are ignorant.

    Plain and simple.

    Police brutality/racism is still out of control even in this day and age.

    July 27, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. John

    IT only shows what is inside lurking to come out of OBAMA...... REMEMBER – REV. WRIGHT ....well it's finally showing on OBAMA

    July 27, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. doublesidedsword

    Why is this even a story. First off if George Bush would have said this he would have been called an idiot and ripped apart by the media. But Barack Hussein Obama says it and its just a joke and its so cool that he is doing this. If you rip on one for it, you must rip on the second for the same thing. Maybe Barack Hussein Obama should skip the drinks and fix our health care program.

    July 27, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. karen saproti

    I am appauled that Our Fearless Leader selecting a beer for his upcoming summit meeting with the professor and police is news. Seriously? Aren't there many better things that should be making the news.

    July 27, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. Lynne

    It was Crowley who suggested talking things over with a beer!! How convenient CNN overlooks this....CNN has been race baiting since the primaries with their constant dicing the voting population into race and framing the questions and data based on race.

    July 27, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. bill blow from Stratford,ct

    For those up here who are trying to blame Prof. Gates for being arrested, let me remind you, what did Gates do to get arrested, first Gates using his first AMENDMENT RIGHT, FREEDOM OF SPEECH, isn't that what you white Americans always scream about you have the right to. Did Gates threaten the officer,NO, did he hit the officer,NO, what did Gates do, he just ran his mouth, which he had all the right to b/c he was (( HOME )) on his own property. I'm pretty sure if a police officer came to your home and arrested you for just talking, you will be upset about it too, now just imagine if the officer was BLACK, now think about that. Here's another thing you people are felling to see, if that cop was right, why did they drop the charges right away, gee, doesn't sound like the Prof. was wrong. Let's be real here people, if you truly don't think race had anything to do with this, then are part of the problem in this country. Racism to some white Americans doesn't exist. You can try to explain it to them but they won't get it, it's like trying to explain the color blue to a blind person, (( THEY WILL NEVER SEE IT ))!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 27, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. King

    Guys, forget your emotion, just analyse the fact : It was an unlawfull arrest. Period. The professor may have insulted his mother, but arresting someone because of that it's an abuse of power by Sgt Crawly. And he shows that he is a bad officer. Nithing to do with racism. And all of you who are condemnining Obama for calling that arrest stupid, must go and read Massachussets laws.

    Read also this transcript, from Bill O'reilly show last friday...

    What are the legal ramifications of the Cambridge incident heard 'round the world? Mike explored that question with civil rights attorney Jennifer Bonjean. "I absolutely think Professor Gates has a lawsuit against the sergeant," Bonjean declared. "It has to do with the fact that an unlawful arrest was made. Under Massachusetts law, to be guilty of disorderly conduct you have to have a threatening behavior and the intent of creating a public disturbance. That's not what was happening here, so it was an unlawful arrest."

    July 27, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Ken

    Obama should not have made accusations like he did until all the facts were known, plain and simple. Frankly, given that Obama did not have all the facts and assumed it was racial profiling was in fact racist.

    This incident does show how much work is to be done with race relations; it takes time to heal wounds.

    At this point, Obama needs to let this particular instance die, or it will continue to distract from his time in office. Continuing to address it will only cause further harm.

    People make wreckless comments all the time - I know I do - why should we look for their heads (ie, Don Imus, etc.) every time they make an ill-advised comment?

    I ask this, if we continue to dwell on the past, how can we ever move forward???

    July 27, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. Deb

    That question never should have been asked in that forum...it was about healthcare reform and not about what happened in Cambridge and President Obama should have refused to answer that question since it was not political and not relevant to what was happening there. My understanding is that there is a voice recording of the entire incident; let us hear it and then discuss what happened, and this is one "Caucasian White Cracker sub-human right winger's" opinion...these posters are calling whites racist...what kind of remark would you call that.? He is not an "African American President" he is The President of the United States and as such should be open minded and not see color or play his own race card by saying he is an African American....I don't go around saying I am an Irish American; I just consider myself an American. One poster said white Americans always play the race card...it was Obama that said he was an African American and brought the race card into this.

    July 27, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. OhMy

    Gees....The President has more important things to do than referee for these guys. If the professor wouldn't have run his drunken mouth to the police in the first place, we wouldn't be posting comments here.

    July 27, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. John B.

    Can this get anymore rediculous? We are hearing about beer choices! Who is paying for this trip to the Whitehouse? Another example on how Obama is wasting money when something like this could have been handled by a simple phone call between the parties. Waste, waste, waste... Obama's mantra!

    July 27, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Okay CNN. This must be Obama-haters time. I'm not changing my name to get posted, so I'll just keep trying.

    The "well trained' police officer should've seen this coming. He asked for and got ID from the Prof.; the Prof. asked for his identity, the officer did not comply; Prof. goes off, officer lures Prof. outside where he proceeds to arrest him for: disorderly conduct in a PUBLIC space.

    The Beantown Police Dept. is renowned for their racial strife and biases. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Prof. was just more than a bit 'ticked-off". It is appreciated that the officer showed up for a 'breaking and entering' call; but once he confirmed that he was speaking to the owner of the home he should've left. Period, end of story.

    July 27, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. Lisa, Saugus MA

    I can't believe we need to know what beer these men are going to be drinking or not drinking.

    Who cares! We have much more important issues that should take up the administrations day than sitting around the White House drinking beer.

    Lisa, Saugus MA

    July 27, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. Auston Wayment

    Good beverage choice!

    July 27, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. Rose

    I just watched the Cambridge officials release statements regarding this issue. The city in bringing in an expert to help police deal with these issues, that is all well and good but I think by doing that they are taking the fall, they should have also said that people of color need to step back also and stop yelling about racism, it will take both sides to make this work Why is it that in their eyes, all WHITE COPS are racists, that is not true.

    July 27, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. simon

    This is STUPID!

    July 27, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. Freedom

    come on people. obama accomplished just what he set out to do. simply add more fire to racial split in this country. this is the only way he can be re-elected. he needs all the black and hispanic votes. divide and defeat. and you folks thought the empty suit was stupid.

    July 27, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. Southerner

    It looks like most people here are for mroe government intrusion. Sure they may talk about Health Care and how they are against it but they want the police to be able to come into their homes and ask for ID.

    July 27, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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