Cambridge Officer: We Followed Protocols In Gates Arrest

The second Cambridge police officer who was inside the home of black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. during his arrest says he and the arresting officer “followed protocols,” New England Cable News reports.

Patrolman Carlos Figueroa says he and Sgt. James Crowley were investigating a report of a burglary at Gates’ home near Harvard University, and they needed to be sure everyone was in the house legally. He said that’s why Crowley asked Gates for his identification.

The arrest sparked a national discussion about race, when President Obama, at the end of a news conference about health care on Wednesday, said the officers “acted stupidly” when arresting Gates, a Harvard professor and friend of Obama.

Massachussets Gov. Deval Patrick, who is black and a Harvard graduate, also chimed in, saying he was troubled by the incident.

In the wake of the arrest, black and white officers and police union leaders have backed Crowley and asked for an apology from Obama and Patrick.

Listen to a short audio clip of Crowley speaking about the arrest that was featured on MSNBC. He says, “I know what I did was right.”

In response to the controversy, President Obama, Crowley and Gates will get together at the White House for a beer. The meeting, scheduled for this Thursday, is intended to begin a dialogue on police relations with minorities, as well as de-escalate the tension surrounding the incident.

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