By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

“I’ll be meeting with my legal team”

Henry Louis Gates gives a lengthy interview to the Root, an African-American webzine of which he is editor-in-chief. (Via Universal Hub.)

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18 Comments

  1. O-FISH-L

    I love how someone redacted Gates' house number in the report, even though his complete address is readily available from on-line directories. D'oh!

  2. Treg

    Dan, I've been thinking – maybe you should turn off comments after all. The heckling and mindless one-liners pretty much drown out any serious conversation.

  3. Robin Edgar

    Seems to me that Henry Louis Gates might have been well advised to exercise his Miranda right to remain silent. . . The interview does not reflect all that well on him. It is clear from his own testimony that he refused to cooperate with the police officers investigating the 911 call from the get go. Quite frankly he sounds just a tad paranoid when he says -All of a sudden, there was a policeman on my porch. And I thought, ‘This is strange.’ So I went over to the front porch still holding the phone, and I said ‘Officer, can I help you?’ And he said, ‘Would you step outside onto the porch.’ And the way he said it, I knew he wasn’t canvassing for the police benevolent association. All the hairs stood up on the back of my neck, and I realized that I was in danger. And I said to him no, out of instinct. I said, ‘No, I will not.’

  4. lkcape

    It might have been best if his legal team had told him to stop putting his foot in his mouth and he had listened.He is trying to salvage something that he, himself, cocked-up.First rule for getting out of the hole: Stop digging!The man is becoming a characture….

  5. Dunwich

    How did he "refuse to cooperate" if he asked "can I help you" and later gave up his ID's? It's become clear that Gates didn't care for the approach and the police felt there were too many questions in his response (not good). Why could the CPD not quickly conclude that Gates was the property owner? Why was this not an easy situation for them to defuse? Even if Gates was a pain (and I'm not conceding he was).

  6. lkcape

    No, he seems to be conceding that he was!That's the essence of this tempest in the Cambridge teapot.He mouthed off and now is paying the price for his arrogance.

  7. mike_b1

    Paying the price? No police charges. A possible payday from the offering officer(s). Worldwide indignation against the perpetrators (aka the Cambridge police).Some price. Where do I sign up for that job?

  8. O-FISH-L

    Some woman dressed in what appeared to be native tribal garb came on TV, identified as the Mayor of Cambridge, and she apologized. Other than that, I haven't heard any official apologize. A friend watching with me said, "Is that really the Mayor of Cambridge?"Curious about this woman, I googled her name, E. Denise Simmons. I'll just give you the opening sentence from her wikipedia profile. "E. Denise Simmons is the current mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, (United States) and is the first openly lesbian African-American mayor in the United States." I can't wait for the movie. Should be a blockbuster. Gates claims that PBS (channel 2) has shown interest. Maybe they can squeeze it in between Caillou and Sesame Street.

  9. Robin Edgar

    :How did he "refuse to cooperate" if he asked "can I help you" and later gave up his ID's?What part of the first paragraph of the "interview" do you fail to understand Dumbwich?Read it again. . .So I went over to the front porch still holding the phone, and I said ‘Officer, can I help you?’ And he said, ‘Would you step outside onto the porch.’ And the way he said it, I knew he wasn’t canvassing for the police benevolent association. All the hairs stood up on the back of my neck, and I realized that I was in danger. And I said to him no, out of instinct. I said, ‘No, I will not.’It seems to me that if Gates *really* wanted to help the officer he would have stepped outside onto the porch as requested. . . Was that request so different than being asked to step out of one's car so the officer can verify that you are not armed?

  10. Robin Edgar

    "I'll be meeting with my legal team"Perhaps Gates should have met with his "legal team" before publishing this lengthy self-serving interview in the online magazine aka webzine of which he is editor-in-chief. Chances are pretty good they would have reminded him of his right to remain silent. As it is he hasn't done himself any favors in terms of his own well-documented testimony in this "interview".

  11. Renee

    What I find sad is that neighbors couldn't even recognize each other. While Gates is a busy individual who may not of been able to chat and know his neighbors well, may of us are, one should be able to identify persons who live around you. I may not know people by name or even had a personal conversation with them, but I have a good idea of what my neighbors look like as the come and go, and not to call the police on them.

  12. mike_b1

    The woman who was scared of a black man in Cambridge was not a neighbor but a visitor from Malden who apparently couldn't mind her own business.

  13. Renee

    Thanks for the clarification.

  14. Ryan

    dressed in what appeared to be native tribal garbNice to see someone who says he went through a local police academy confirming the suspicions of those who say Boston cops are racially insensitive boors.

  15. Peter Porcupine

    DK – So his legal team will be acting. Has it occurred to him that the people paying the piper for his self-aggrandizement will be the taxpayers, via the legal defense of the City of Cambridge? Even if he tries suing the officer individually, the City will still have to defend him as he was acting in the course of duty.Deficit? Local Aid Cuts? Property tax hikes? Pfui! After all – who can mend a broken heart?I heard the gentleman say that the apology offered wasn't craven enough to satiate his ego, and he would be happy to outline something more servile, as 'that's what I do for a living'. Will he be extorting more tax dollars to require the City pay him for penance?Harvard even owns the house and will be repairing the lock. HE is able to enjoy his drama with others picking up the tab thoughout.

  16. Ryan

    Peter Porcupine,You know what else costs the City of Cambridge money?Cops. Cops and their salaries. And their training. And their pensions.You know who pays for those things? The residents of Cambridge, and disproportionately the wealthy ones, including college professors like Skip Gates.Sounds to me, based on the conduct of the officer in this case, that their tax dollars could be better spent. If you're going to beef about city money being wasted, you might start there.

  17. mike_b1

    PP, although somewhat inefficient, the courts are nation's (only) way of keeping the big guys from running roughshod over the little guys.Are you now suggesting we get rid of them, too? Perhaps we could have Gates and Sgt. Crawley appear in front of Iran's Supreme Leader?

  18. Robin Edgar

    So I can't help but wonder what Henry Louis Gates' legal team is telling him now that President Barack Obama has invited Sgt. James Crowley to have a beer with him at the Whitehouse? Oh ya Henry Louis Gates Jr. is invited too but I have a feeling he might Skip that date with destiny.

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