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article imageCPD Officer James Crowley Defends Himself, Gates Threatens To Sue

By Johnny Simpson     Jul 23, 2009 in Politics
Sgt. James Crowley, the CPD officer who arrested Dr. Gates last week, has denied charges of racism. Crowley was also the officer who attempted to save Celtics star Reggie Lewis' life in 1993. Also, Dr. Gates has threatened to sue. UPDATES ADDED.
UPDATE: Here is a Boston affiliate FOX News interview with Officer Crowley outside his home. He cannot comment much, but he has sworn no apology will be issued. Ever.
UPDATE #2: As reported by NewsBusters, the Boston Globe has scrubbed a .pdf arrest report from its website: "Page Not Found." You can see in the URL address at the top of the page that it did reference the redacted police report.
UPDATE #3: The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has condemned President Obama's remarks on the case.
From the New York Daily News:
The cop who arrested African-American scholar Henry Louis Gates refused to apologize and denied he's a racist, saying he once gave black basketball star Reggie Lewis mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
"I wasn't working on Reggie Lewis the basketball star. I wasn't working on a black man," Sgt. James Crowley told the Boston Herald. "I was working on another human being."
"I just have nothing to apologize for," Crowley said of the arrest. "It will never happen."
Sgt. Crowley, an 11-year veteran of the Cambridge Police Department, has the full backing of the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association, calling him a highly respected veteran supervisor with a distinguished record:
The group's statement called Crowley's actions "consistent with his training, with the informed policies and practices of the department and with applicable legal standards."
The Boston Globe has more in-depth coverage on Sgt. Crowley and the incident in question.
In related news, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, an African-American, said he was troubled and upset over the incident. Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons, also African-American, has apologized to Dr. Gates on behalf of the City of Cambridge.
President Obama recently addressed the case before the White House Press Corps, admitting he was a friend of Prof. Gates, and talked at length on racial profiling. This case is now receiving wide national attention, and is raging across the blogosphere more and more with each passing day since the incident took place. Charges have been dropped in the case by the Middlesex DA, with all sides agreeing that it was an 'unfortunate incident" in which no one was to blame.
However, divisions seem to be forming along racial lines in the case nationwide, between African-Americans who believe the arrest was racially motivated, and those who side with Officer Crowley, noting that his official report of the incident contains numerous references to Dr. Gates' belligerent behavior at the time, including shouted accusations of racism on the part of Dr. Gates, which Officer Crowley reported was attracting numerous passersby at the scene. Dr. Gates is a Black Studies scholar at Harvard University,
Rev. Al Sharpton immediately sided with Dr. Gates, and blasted the conduct of the Cambridge Police Department and Officer Crowley. Dr. Gates himself called Crowley a "rogue" cop who targeted him because of his race, demanded an apology, and has threatened to sue in an interview on Sirius XM Radio. The no-fault dismissal of the case by all parties may complicate that effort. However, any civil case filed by Dr. Gates where all parties, including whatever witnesses at the scene can be found, have to testify to the truth of the matter under oath, may go a long way in resolving the unanswered questions of this case.
It would appear President Obama is finally getting his long-desired discussion on race relations in America.
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