Black Officer at Scholar’s Home Supports Arrest

Bob Salsberg, AP, July 24, 2009

A black police officer who was at Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s home when the black Harvard scholar was arrested says he fully supports how his white fellow officer handled the situation.

Sgt. Leon Lashley says Gates was probably tired and surprised when Sgt. James Crowley demanded identification from him as officers investigated a report of a burglary. Lashley says Gates’ reaction to Crowley was “a little bit stranger than it should have been.”

Asked if Gates should have been arrested, Lashley said supported Crowley “100 percent.”

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THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP)–A multiracial group of police officers on Friday stood with the white officer who arrested a prominent black Harvard scholar and asked President Barack Obama and Gov. Deval Patrick to apologize for comments the union leaders called insulting.

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Dennis O’Connor, president of the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association, said Obama’s remarks were “misdirected” and the Cambridge police “deeply resent the implication” that race was a factor in the arrest.

“President Obama said the actions of the CPD were stupid and linked the event to the history of racial profiling in America,” O’Connor said. “The facts of the case suggested that the president used the right adjective but directed it to the wrong party.”

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