Charge dropped against Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
by desmoinesdem, Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 11:03:21 AM EDT
Police in Cambridge, Massachusetts dropped a disorderly conduct charge against Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. today. Gates was arrested at his own home last week in an incident that could have happened to any tenured Harvard professor (not!).
The police report said Gates was shouting at officers and refusing to comply with their requests. Click here for Gates' side of the story, a statement released by his attorney Charles Ogletree. Returning from a trip to China, Gates discovered his home's front door had been damaged. As he and his driver were trying to force it open, someone called the police to report a break-in in progress.
Of course police need to respond to a call like that, but as soon as Gates showed officers identification proving that he lived in the home, they should have apologized for the inconvenience and left immediately. The incident never should have escalated to an arrest for disorderly conduct. Ideally, people don't yell at police officers, but if I were tired and jet-lagged, facing the hassle of getting my front door fixed, and police showed up accusing me of robbing my own home, I might get angry too--especially if the police kept asking me to step outside even after seeing my photo ID.
Share any relevant comments in this thread.