The Cambridge Police Department would have some problems even if its account of Henry Louis Gates’ arrest proves to be entirely accurate. But Gates, a Harvard University professor, says it isn’t. According to the Boston Globe’s Tracy Jan:
This afternoon in an interview, Gates said he never yelled at the officer other than to demand his name and badge number, which he said the officer refused to give. The officer, Sergeant James Crowley, said in the police report that he did state his name. He also said Gates unleashed a verbal tirade, calling him racist, telling him that he did not know who he was messing with, and threatening to speak to his “mama” outside.
“The police report is full of this man’s broad imagination,” Gates said in response to a question on whether he had said any of the quotes in the report. “I said, ‘Are you not giving me your name and badge number because I’m a black man in America?’ … He treated my request with scorn … I was suffering from a bronchial infection. I couldn’t have yelled … I don’t walk around calling white people racist.”
Audio of the Gates interview is near the top of Boston.com right now.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the police say in response. This is far from being over.