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

Obama to meet this week with professor, officer

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/07/22/harvard.gates.interview/art.gates.demotix.jpg caption=" 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.

Full story

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (313 Responses)
  1. JoblessInSeattle

    A loud-mouthed professor arrested by a cop who was possibly overreacting, and a president who helped catapult this story into a media frenzy. The President then said he didn't understand why the "uproar", and complained that the Media didn't have enough coverage on other important issues (aka healthcare). Wonder whose fault that was. Now Obama once again helps bring the story back into the spotlight with this "beer get-together" thing. What is he thinking?

    July 27, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Rick in OP

    The majority of Americans do not fear the police and have good to excellent relations with the law enforcement community. Obama made the “mistake” of actually expressing his true feelings about the men and women of law enforcement when he described the Cambridge Police as acting “stupidly”.
    I resent the fact that Sgt. Crowley is being brought to the White House to act as a stage prop for Obama’s non-apology.

    July 27, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. MarcusAurelius, FL

    Funny....VERY few media outlets are reporting that the police report was FALSIFIED. When the media got it, the PD took it down and put up another report and the story completely changed.

    Just another example of the media not doing its job and jumping all over a "story" simply for controversy.

    July 27, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. john

    Saint Obama is going for another photo opportunity instead of leading the country like he was elected to do. What a joke. The problem is that the joke is on us.

    The root of the problem is that Obama does not know how to lead, he does not know how to make decisions at that the level that the position calls for so he does the only think he knows how to do.... photo opportunities and campaining.

    July 27, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. Zeb

    "He is a Professor of African – American Studies. We all have our prejudices to over come." Well said, McAdoo!

    If he cooperated with the police this incident would have resolved itself peacefully. Sorry prof, you can't have affirmative action AND a chip on your shoulder. I don't have a personal driver.

    SHAME on President Obama for encouraging African Americans to be disruptive and to disrespect the law! What an ignorant response to a non-event. He should have kept his nose out of it. Instead he created racial tension. SHAME!

    July 27, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. JDG

    Obama is brilliant. He is going to reestablish, in a comprehensive way, the strength, prestige and vision of the U.S. of A.

    July 27, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    I think this is a great idea!

    I would like to see the CNN reporter (T.J.?) who interviewed the Cambridge police woman (drooling as he went along) there also for a lesson in how to be a reporter/journalist without getting personally involved on air–he went on and on about how upset the Cambridge police dept was over the Gates situation.

    Cops need to go after the bad guys, not law-abiding citizens. I don't like cops.

    July 27, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. HSNP

    Let's keep things in context. Look back a few months to when George Bush and his merry band or criminals was running the country into the ground.

    I'll personally take a President who occasionally slips on his tongue or occasionally makes an error to one who made a career of being STUPID.

    July 27, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. ferg

    Mr Obama needs to realize that problems can be solved without alcohol–ban the beer!!

    July 27, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. James M. Holmes

    Proves how bad the media has become in this country when THIS is the lead story...

    July 27, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Has anyone ever heard of a white male or female complain about being "racially profilied?" I think not. Don't forget that this policeman from Cambridge was originally hired because he was an "expert" in racialally profiling individuals....Wouldn't you be upset if you were "arrested" trying to get into your own home? I wonder if they asked the professor for any ID first.

    July 27, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Mark

    Unbelievable!!! That the President of the United States is taken time during an economic disaster, which seems to be on the back burner due to his administrations’ attempt to shove his “Socialist Healthcare program” down our throats!!! His attacks to distribute wealth… This is what happens when Obama doesn’t have a teleprompter or planted questions with-in the crowd by his staff & speech writers to rely on… The man is a joke an I fell for it!! I won’t be fooled again in 2012...

    July 27, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. Ken McClintock

    I am sure Officer Crowley did not respond to this incident with the intention of arresting Prof. Gates – however, Prof. Gates demeanor justified the end result. I certainly feel our President has more pressing issues to bring to conclusion than this issue. Had our President not commented we all would have moved on and this situation would have closure.

    July 27, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |

    Enough of this story already......hopefully another republican man will be caught cheating on his wife so we can have something new to talk about!!

    July 27, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. So Sad

    I'm really dissapointed in Obama, I can't believe it he is losing my respect day after day, first that he never opened his mouth to make a statement about Michael Jackson, that we lost a legent, and then the racial issue, seriously he is an embarrassment, instead of opening his mouth making comments like that he should start concentrating on Health Care, he is weak person, and he has a huge ego, I will not vote for him for his second turn I hope until then we have a better candidate and no Sarah Palin does not count. Obama concentrate on your ego, even though you are the President that doesn't give you the right to insult the police who put their lives in danger everyday, and if I was that cop I would refuse Obama's invitation.

    July 27, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. JS

    Do American taxpayers have to pay the travel expenses?

    July 27, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. Bayousara

    Gosh, what can I do to get an invite to the White House?

    This is totally unfair to the rest of us!

    July 27, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. suz

    Why officer Crowley is not being investigated for civil rights violations of Dr. Gates? Where is the spirit of of public service in the minds of police officers? Those people and organizations defending the actions of officer Crowley seem to forget that the public service role and duties of the police officers. Who pays their salaries?

    July 27, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. fellow from Chicago

    If Barack had thought this through when the question was raised, this meeting would not be taking place now. If he can't answer a reporter's question without ensuing controversay in this country, imagine what may be in store when he answers a foreign head of state's question that may be taken offense too. World War III? Think the consequences through Barack before answering.

    July 27, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. Alice

    If our Clown-in-Chief didn't make his STUPID racist remark in the first place, there would have been no need for a meeting. If the RACIST "Professor" hadn't gone crazy falsely accusing people of racism, there would have been no arrest to begin with.

    July 27, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Joyce

    Why do we need to add powder to the campfire?

    The President, and I assume the police office and the college professor, think of themselves as leaders. Two African-Americans and 1 Euro-American.............have to have a beer in order to talk about problems of communications? What does that teach our young children..........of all races?

    Have a fight, talk about it in the media until everyone is simply tired of it, have a beer, shoot a basketball..........we're men. Grow up....Be like us!

    This gets almost as sad as Sarah who is palin'.


    July 27, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. The Lady

    Obama answered a question he was asked by a reporter now he is the bad guy, He also answered the questions from experience. People of color deal with racial profiling everyday and so it is very hard for them to belive this officer is telling the truth. My son and I were stopped by an officer and she was yelling and screaming at us and then when I mentioned to her tha I was recording the event on my cell phone she turned into cop of the year, yes mama , no mama- if yelling at people is ok why did she stop when she found out I was recording the incident. By the way she stopped us because she said my son was not wearing his seat belt and when she made the statement I pointed right to him with his seat belt on, Thank God for video, cell phones and anything else that can capture that kodak minute. I suggest everyone one of color keep some type of video divice in your car and use it everytime you are stopped by the police.

    July 27, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. Beny

    Gates shoudl have gave him his ID. The cop was just doing his job. gates made this a racist issue!

    July 27, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. Larry

    Nice gesture on the part of President Obama.

    It was an unfortunate situation that got way out of hand.

    July 27, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. Teo

    Wow, three different men from completely different backgrounds are going to sit down to have a conversation about their very public disagreement. I can see why intelligent and mature people would have a problem with this. Why would men want to understand one another or improve relations between the races? Why would law enforcement officers want to understand the attitudes of citizens? Certainly, no good can come from this meeting.

    July 27, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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