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

Who stole the strawberries?

Cambridge police certainly have their priorities straight. Department spokesman Jimmy DiFrancesco tells the Cambridge Chronicle that the police are trying to figure out who leaked the Henry Louis Gates arrest report to the media.

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Gates disputes police report


“I’ll be meeting with my legal team”


  1. lkcape

    Somebody with an agenda, I would presume.

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Like making public records public, perhaps?

  3. Michael Pahre

    Let me preface by saying that I am not fully aware of the legalities of this and am not a lawyer, but…I don't think there is anything illegal about somebody leaking the arrest report to the media. The arrest report itself is a public document, period, regardless of whether or not the Cambridge PD chose to release it on 7/20/09. They may choose to withhold a public document for exemption (f) under the state's Public Records Law, but that doesn't mean that the document becomes classified — just that they have cited a reason not to release the report that day.Once the reason(s) given to justify non-disclosure no longer apply, then they can no longer claim the exemption and must release the document upon request. Unless they are in the process of an internal investigation against their arresting officer, I am guessing that exemption (f) no longer applies and they should release it now.The document's release could, however, cause the person to be subject to administrative action, if the person is a public employee and was not authorized to make the disclosure.But if it were released by, say, Gates' attorney Ogletree, then I think nobody has broken a law.Any lawyers familiar with the PRL wish to weigh in on this?

  4. Robin Edgar

    Speaking of someone with an agenda I have heard an unsubstantiated rumor to the effect that Gates' "legal team" are currently investigating who released this rather embarrassing public record. 🙂

  5. Stella

    The Keystone Kops are at large. As remarked by many, Sept. 11th unsheathed offical lunacy.

  6. Robin Edgar

    Speaking of official lunacy. . . there are unsubstantiated rumors to the effect that the mayor of Cambridge is trying to block the public release of police recordings of Sgt. Crowley's radio conversations that have Henry Louis Gates Jr. yelling like a lunatic in the background.

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