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. Bob

    They (Obama and Gates) want Crowley to slip up and admit some sort of fault with this arrest. If he does Obama and Gates will run with it.

    July 27, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. chelle

    In the first place the cop did his job. Do cops overstep sometimes – you bet. In this case no. I have seen unruly men of any race arrested for the same thing. The professor over-reacted to the situation. As to President Obama's remarks – he let his friendship overshadow his smarts – not a wise decision and one I am sure he regrets.

    July 27, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. mskirby

    Now we know we now have a president who is racial and is not the president of all the people. Question what does he think we are a bunch of dummies? Even an idiot would know that to pop off when he did not have all the facts would one day bite him on the butt

    July 27, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. Joan B

    For those of you that voted for this kook we call Pres, start a Petition to get the nut out of office.
    Joan B
    'Wi

    July 27, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. Cromwell

    President Obama made a huge mistake.
    I voted for Pres. Obama and I want his programs to succeed.
    That's why I was shocked that he let himself get dragged into this.

    The Pesident was briefed ahead of time that he might be asked a question about the Cambridge affair. Apparently, none of his staff has the political savy to tell the Prez to dodge the question.
    They should have said: Don't go near this Mr. President.

    President Obama needs somebody on his staff who understands mainstream America.

    July 27, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. Your Kidding me

    Great, more of my Tax dollars going to waste....

    July 27, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. Republican

    Hopefully Crowley will learn how to act more professional next time!

    July 27, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. Nick

    Sgt. Crowely is a better man than I – I would have either hung up on Obama or told him to go find his photo op elsewhere. The unmitigated gall of Oabama to first criticize the man and now try to use him to turn public opinion sickens me.

    July 27, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. Dennis

    This was blown out of proprtion. There was no need for Obama to become invoved in it. Maybe it was a smokescrren for a very lacking healthcare reform proposal.

    July 27, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. One and done is gonna be fun

    Funny, anyone else notice his true colors come out when there is no binkyprompter with pre-written text by Rahm TELLING him what to say?

    Calling cops stupid, Grandmother is a typical white person, 57 states etc, etc.

    Coward runs around the world apologizing for this once great Country (he's ruining it) but yet he can't apologize for his own words.

    Coward in chief period,

    July 27, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. John

    I am disappointed with the press for jumping on the love fest idea and giving Obama a pass on his earlier remarks, just because he followed up on them and reworded them. The key word is "reworded" – he just couched his comments in less inflamatory terms, but didn't change the essence of what he said. Rather than saying the police were stupid, he said that cooler heads should have prevailed, and he still insinuated that the whole thing was racially motivated.

    July 27, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. johnrj08

    OHMYGOD! Would I love to be a fly on the wall in that little meeting. I think officer Crowley shows a lot of courage and class in agreeing to go to the White House to meet the President of the United States and close friend of the belligerent little toad that he arrested last week. I wonder what Obama will do if Gates starts lecturing Crowley on racial profiling and calls him a racist. Of course, there are probably going to be strict ground rules for this meeting which forbid getting into any kind of discussion of the incident and why Gates was arrested. That could lead to a lose-lose situation for all involved.

    July 27, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. Go Sarah

    Obama , the cop and the grouchy professor...

    aka = The 3 stooges

    July 27, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  14. jane

    If I were Sgt. Crowley, I would set some pre-conditions for this meeting, the first being an apology from both President Obama and Gates. The president not only owes the young exemplary police officer an apology; he owes an apology to the millions of family members of law enforcement officers who heretofore have only asked that their loved one come home alive at the end of the day.
    I supported Pres. Obama's campaign and voted for him, but I'll not do it again if this is the best he can do in dealing with this situation.

    July 27, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. RJ- GA.

    This will be a very serious mistake for President Obama ! We look to the president to be our moral compass in difficult times. As an African-American, he has conceeded we must keep our place, when speaking to the police ! I know of no law or amendament which says the police can say and do as they please and we have No Right to voice our objections ! Was it not in Boston, when a white man who killed his wife, said a Black man did it, and the entire Boston police force threw Black people to the ground and abused our civil rights ! Did not the police chief of the department say, he owed no Black citizens an apology! Did not the policeman in question, say he owed professor Gates no apology ! Why should any citizen of the US be subjected to this double standard ! Shame on you, Mr. President !

    July 27, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. Steph

    Add this to the Obama apology tour.....Obama tell Crowley you are sorry and when you are there tell Louis you messed up big time, What is with this racial divide that blacks continually bring up. I thought we were past this with Martin Luther King movement and speech,,,.Your life is what you make it and yes 'get over it' and move on. Live with all Americans and quit putting yourself in this special class that you think you are in. I predicted that Obama would divide our nation more and he has done it. Please add this spectacle to the Obama Apology Tour.

    July 27, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. Justin

    I'm white. If I was "jimmying open" my front door and a cop showed up to see what was going on, I'd be grateful, respectful and provide identification. If instead I started screaming at him to get off my property, insulting his "mama", and (let's say he was a black officer) making racially charged statements, guess what "Skip": I'd very possibly get arrested too.

    July 27, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Why can't people get past the fact that both the cop & Gates were to blame in this situation. However I feel that the cop who handled this case is not well trained to handle a situation like this. I don't think this is an unqiue situation that cops do not see everyday. They should know how to de-escalate a situation like this. Instead of looking at the roles and responsibilities – Gates as a citizens and the Crowley as cop, objectively, people are making this out to be race and class issue.

    While I agree that both the cop and Gates acted "stupidly", I do not think that it was president's place to make such a comment. However in thte end Obama admitted the flaw in his statement and handled it very graciously. Time to move on.

    July 27, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. Janice

    What kind of beer will be served? BUD LIGHT or COLT. What if one of the parties does not dring beer? does that mean he is a RACIST?
    Sorry, this whole invitation issue is a JOKE!

    July 27, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. chris

    Who is paying for the parties to come to Washington DC?

    July 27, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  21. JA/TN

    the sign of greatness is to admitt fault and move on, let's look at this meeting as an opportunity

    July 27, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. scotte

    Is Crowley going to apoligize for abusing his power and making a false arrest? It's obvious that he can't work under pressure and was intimidated by the professor for exercising his free speech. Good that the President is behind him because the District Attorney sure is not, he dropped the trumped charges.

    July 27, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. FreedomOfSpeech

    I think the police officer abused his power.

    According to the definition, "Disorderly Conduct" is any behavior that tends to disturb the public peace or decorum, scandalize the community, or shock the public sense of morality.

    Did Prof. Gates comment about the police officer being a racist anywhere close to this level of severity of "disorderly conduct"? Don't we all have freedom of speech? Did being loud or angry entitle that person to be arrested?

    This might not be related to race or color. However, the police officer should not have categorized Gates' reaction as Disorderly Conduct, and should not have arrested the professor based on that ground.

    July 27, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. PJ

    Rather than admit a mistake; that would be a first, Obama is calling for a CoverHisPresidentialAss sitdown. Weigh all the facts, and put your bias' aside. The officer's response was consistent with 99.99% of all officers of any color. He deserves an apology, and the good professor needs to stop looking for the imaginary klansmen under his bed.

    July 27, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. scotte

    Is Crowley going to apoligize for abusing his power and making a false arrest? It's obvious that he can't work under pressure and was intimidated by the professor for exercising his free speech. Good that the President is behind him because the District Attorney sure is not, he dropped the trumped up charges.

    July 27, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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