America's preeminent Black scholar, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was arrested last night. His crime was one count of GHWB: going home while Black. Gates, the director of Harvard University's W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research had just returned from a trip to China when he and his driver discovered his front door was wedged shut. Gates let himself in the back door, disarmed his alarm, then he and his driver pushed on the front door from the outside until it opened. The driver left and Gates called Harvard's property management company. The police arrived while he was on the phone and proceeded to question him.
According to Gates, he informed the officers that he lived at the address and produced both a driver's license and a Harvard photo ID, but officers continued to question him. Gates became upset at the repeated questioning after he had proven his residence and requested the officer's name and badge number. When the officer repeatedly refused, he followed him onto the porch where he was arrested and handcuffed in front of other officers.
The police report tells another story. According to officers, Gates was arested on a disorderly conduct charge after exhibiting "loud and tumultuous behavior." Police Sgt. James Crowley wrote in his police report Gates said, "Why, because I'm a black man in America?" and kept yelling the responding officers were racially biased.
Gates' attorney, Harvard scholar Charles Ogletree simply said, "I think the incident speaks for itself."
Text: Wild Safari
UPDATE: The Middlesex County D.A. "has agreed to enter a nolle prosequi in this matter;" they will not pursue charges.