Professor Henry Lewis Gates of Harvard was arrested in his own house, on his own front porch on July 15, 2009. A white bystander noticed him forcing open his own door, which was stuck, and called police.
Detailed Harvard Crimson Report According to the Crimson:
But according to an e-mailed statement from law school Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., a friend of Gates’ who is now representing him, Gates was returning on Thursday from a week-long trip to China and tried to enter through his front door, which was damaged. Ogletree said that Gates had forced open the front door with the help of his car driver, who also helped carry Gates’ luggage into the home, after first entering through a backdoor and turning off his alarm.
“I think that the charges should be dropped because Professor Gates was a suspect for being a burglar in his own home,” Ogletree said in an interview with The Crimson. “This was precipitated on a false assumption that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He added that Gates has been “traumatized” by the entire affair and is now resting comfortably in his summer home in Martha’s Vineyard.
According to Ogletree, Gates noticed a police officer on his porch while he was on the phone requesting a door repair from Harvard Real Estate Services, which owns the home. The professor reportedly stayed inside when the officer asked him to come outside, but provided the officer with both his Harvard identification card and his driver’s license as proof that he lived at the home and taught at the University. Ogletree said Gates then asked the police officer for his badge number and name several times but received no response.
For another account: New York Daily News
The police report is available: Police report
The question in my mind is this:
Would Professor Henry Lewis Gates have been arrested in his own home under these circumstances if he were NOT an African American male?
The problems with “racial profiling” in our state are fairly well known, see for example Commonwealth v. Lora