James Crowley, the Cambridge, MA., police officer who arrested Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates at the professor’s home, said he's not a racist, despite how some have cast his actions in the Gates case. “Those who know me know I'm not,” he told the Boston Herald. The newspaper noted that Crowley gave prominent black basketball star Reggie Lewis mouth-to-mouth resuscitation 16 years ago in an unsuccessful attempt to save him.
Gates, 58, an acclaimed scholar on black history and a PBS documentarian, has demanded that Crowley apologize for arresting him for disorderly conduct last Thursday while investigating a reported break-in at his home. Though he harbors no “ill feelings toward the professor,” Crowley said, “I just have nothing to apologize for. It will never happen.” Last night, President Obama said that Cambridge police had “acted stupidly” in the case. “Separate and apart from this incident is that there's a long history in this country of African-American and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately,” the president said.