July 24th, 2009
06:05 PM ET
14 years ago

Holder remains silent on Cambridge incident

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/08/art.getty.holder.jpg caption="Attorney General Eric Holder will not comment on the Cambridge, Massachusetts incident."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Attorney General Eric Holder who made headlines when he referred to the American people as "essentially a nation of cowards" in failing to openly discuss racial issues is staying mum on the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police incident.

Holder's chief spokesman said Holder would defer to the White House for comment on the controversial issue.

"Given that the president just spoke on this, I don't think we have anything to add," said Justice Department Director of Public Affairs Matthew Miller, a senior aide to Holder.

President Obama waded into the issue again Friday, informing the White House press corps he had spoken with Cambridge Police Sergeant James Crowley and said he had not meant to criticize either Crowley or the city's police department. The president later also called Professor Henry Louis Gates.

Holder issued his blunt assessment of race relations in a major speech at the Justice Department on February 19, where he addressed an overflow crowd celebrating Black History Month.

"Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be in too many ways essentially a nation of cowards," he said then.

Filed under: Eric Holder
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    you forgot the rest of the article's headline "...much to the frustration of the 'news' media"

    July 24, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  2. Ted Tartaglia


    Why are you trying to provoke an escalation of this incident? Why are you trying to drag the Attorney General into the current controversy? Is it a slow news day or you people too stupid to quit fanning the flames?

    It is time to shut up, reflect on the issue and defuse the situation.

    July 24, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  3. jen

    Obama is wrong and it is so annoying that he keeps bringing up the race issue, He made me turn , i will not vote again for him

    July 24, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. stormerF

    What can he say he was not on the scene,he shows more education on the matter than our President.

    July 24, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  5. Loup Garou 782

    He just needs a little time to consult with obama to decide what constitutional rights violations they want to charge the police officer with. After all the black guy was an upstanding Haaavaard Professor, and one of obamas mentors like the Rev. Wright.

    July 24, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. m

    Well, if we are being brave (as apposed to being cowards), we would recognize that Gates was wrong to accuse this cop of being a racist.

    Obama should be brave and admit that race had nothing to do with this incident.

    This was one man, Gates, who got himself arrested because he could not communicate properly with other adults.

    Apparently, Gates naturally assumes that all white men are racist. He attempted to use that assumption in some misguided power trip that got him locked up for 4 hours. Way to go!

    July 24, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  7. Barb

    If Holder won't comment on this , does that mean he is a COWARD.

    July 24, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  8. annie for Palin

    What? He's already yelled racist before – guess he thinks it is obama's turn!

    July 24, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  9. Mary

    Obama, Holder, and Gates need to apologize to the police and particularly address the issue of racial profiling. Obama was wrong to say blacks are disproportionately profiled. They are actually under-profiled in proportion the crimes they commit. And they should apologize to all inner city black communities everywhere, because racial profiling of black criminals for black crimes, serves and protects black inner-city residents more than anyone else.

    July 24, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. Tatianna

    Holder is essentially a coward in failing to openly discuss if racial issues played a part with Gates and Cambridge police

    July 24, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  11. Ren from Baltimore

    CNN, what are you trying to start here? And you with such a proud multi-racial heritage at the Desk.

    Be more helpful-

    July 24, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  12. George

    Wow, Obama's racist comment apology and his healthcare fraud falls apart, and you lead with the Palin story all day?

    July 24, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  13. yuri

    Once bitten twice shy, we suppose. That Crowley character need not be so uppity and he did not do anything heroic. BHO must have explained himself about why he said what he sad, and he has been apologizin' a lot lately. No cop has been deemed to have valiance just because he arrested a weak sexagenerian walin' with a cane, in the latter's house. This is preposterous.

    July 24, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. Marc in Virginia

    So the Justice Dept is basically endorsing what Obama's thoughtless comments. Tell me, at what point did Officer Crowley inject race into the situation? Since the officer was white, and the "victim" black, it's automatically profiling? Read the police report, people. Gates got exactly what he deserved. He should also be fired since he has no business teaching anything having to do with race relations.

    July 24, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  15. Mario, mtl, ca.

    why should he ?

    July 24, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  16. Bpin

    Now, this is a smart man. He does not have the facts so he is not going to comment publically. He realizes that he is a public official and if he speaks on something that could be criminal in nature, he wants to know what it is about. He probably well has a personal opinion, and that is obviously his right. Our president is in the same boat with Holder, but he let his personal opinion come out, without having the facts. That is the difference,

    July 24, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  17. joe m

    probably the better position to take. too bad the president's advisors did not give him the same advice before his press conference.

    July 24, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  18. tonyt

    as I said, so what

    July 24, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  19. Legna

    He is too busy trying to prosecute Chaney for protecting this nation..Also trying to figure out how to release all the Gitmo kind inmates.

    July 24, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. The Truth

    EH is a racist and it was proven with his COWARD comments. BO is a racist as proven with his Gates comments. When will people quit using the victim CARD?

    July 24, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
1 2