Cambridge Police Release 911 Tapes From Gates Incident

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- A Cambridge police sergeant who responded to a 911 call about a possible break-in at the home of black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. told dispatchers that Gates was being uncooperative and to "keep the cars coming."

Another voice can be heard in the background of the transmission, but it is unintelligible and unclear if it is Gates.

Cambridge police released recordings of police radio transmissions and of the 911 call Monday following more than a week of controversy over Gates' July 16 arrest on a disorderly conduct charge. The charge was dropped, but the encounter sparked a national debate about racial profiling.

Gates' supporters called his arrest by Sgt. James Crowley an outrageous act of racial profiling. Crowley's supporters say Gates was arrested because he was belligerent and that race was not a factor.

Interest in the case intensified when President Barack Obama said at a White House news conference last week that Cambridge police "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates. He later tried to quell the uproar about his comments and invited both Gates and Crowley to the White House for a beer, a meeting that could happen this week, according to the White House.

In the 911 recording released Monday, caller Lucia Whalen tells police she saw two men pressing on the door of a home, but says she is unsure whether the men live there or if they were trying to break in. She said she saw two suitcases on the porch.

"I don't know if they live there and they just had a hard time with their key. But I did notice they used their shoulder to try to barge in and they got in. I don't know if they had a key or not cause I couldn't see from my angle," Whalen said.

Whalen does not mention the race of the men she saw until pressed by a dispatcher to describe them. At that point, she said one of the men may have been Hispanic.

Whalen was vilified by some bloggers and others last week after it was incorrectly reported that she reported two black men trying to break into a home.

In the radio transmissions, Crowley tells a dispatcher he is at the home where the possible break-in was reported.

"I'm up with a gentleman says he resides here, but was uncooperative, but keep the cars coming," Crowley said.

In his written police report, Crowley said Gates became angry when he told him he was investigating a report of a break-in, then yelled at him and called him a racist.

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  • by Brandy Location: greenville on Jul 28, 2009 at 09:00 AM
    I don't understand why the 911 caller needs a lawyer.
  • by Brandy Location: greenville on Jul 28, 2009 at 08:56 AM
    this was no slip of the tongue by Obama. He new exactly what he was saying and has a hidden agenda here.
  • by RealityCheck Location: Washington Park on Jul 28, 2009 at 02:34 AM
    Why did this officer accept an invitation to go to the White House and meet with Barack Hussein and Herny Louis Gates Jr? After The President's "straight from the heart" comments about the police acting stupid show his true feelings about police in America. Go to CNN and read the officer's report. You see that Gates is a hot headed intellectual who doesn't mind displaying his own biased feelings. Shame on the Distict Attorney in Cambridge for dismissing the charge. This in an example of why I will never live in the the north east.
  • by Tom Location: Windsor on Jul 27, 2009 at 06:42 PM
    The public and the media should explore the fact that Professor Gates has made a 'name' for himself by conducting several research projects that are 'race' based. At least one major project was filmed and presented on PBS. Gates researched the ancestral roots and biological racial makeup of well known black Americans, including himself. Gates has simply made a career out of promoting racial issues. He wants race to be a constant source of discussion. I think Gates welcomes and enjoys the publicity he is receiving from this incident. He will use this for the rest of his life in writings and speaker presentations and books. I can't help but wonder if someone with this much to gain from the situation didn't play a part in setting the entire thing up.
  • by Wolfgang Location: Chocowinity,NC on Jul 27, 2009 at 05:09 PM
    With all fairness I see White & Black Police Officer in the picture posted at Mr. Gates front door. Where the Black Police Officers at the scene racist against Black people too?
  • by Carol Location: NC on Jul 27, 2009 at 01:43 PM
    I agree with Brandy. Officers will hesitate to respond appropriately, and in their line of work, they cannot hesitate. It could be a life and death issue. As for someone acting "stupidly," that was Obama and his comments with, admittedly no facts, and Mr Gates for his actions. I personally have lost a little respect for Pres. Obama. He should have never commented with no facts. He knows that, and if he doesn't he needs to go back to school.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on Jul 27, 2009 at 01:40 PM
    This whole incident just proves what a Bigot Obama is.A big half breed Muslim Socialist Bigot!
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on Jul 27, 2009 at 01:39 PM
    Can we say C.Y.A.? Obama is now trying to sweet talk(what he does best)his way out of this blunder. But now the cat is out of the bag, and White people should be able to see for themselves what his TRUE feelings and viewpoint is.The Police Officer(Sgt. J. Crowley)should have told Obama where to stick his little politically motivated apology.I know I sure would.As far as Louis Gates, concerned, in my opinion he is a BIGOT!Just as much as any white man has been.
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Jul 27, 2009 at 01:37 PM
    "Obama Snake Oil Co", that would have been funny if he had gotten tasered. Instead of asking the officer if he knew who he was, he would have been declaring his knowledge of who the officer is from that point forward. You are right though, Crowley was very professional. Gates was very typical.
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Jul 27, 2009 at 12:26 PM
    I'm not tired of hearing about it "Jimbo". I think this illustrates just what kind of victim mentality the false messiah has. obuma's freind got out of line. He should have answered the officers questions in a respectful way and thanked him for looking out for his property. If he had, the officer would have thanked him for his cooperation and left with a handshake and a smile. There are some people who always have to be a downtrodden victim of racism and cannot accept the responsibility of their own mistakes. obuma, short of facts and long on hate and anger should have kept his pie hole shut until he knew the facts. He didn't, so now this becomes a story of how long he will continue to be a belligerant jerk and refuse to apologise and admit that both he and his friend lashed out in racist rants.
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