911 Report On Gates Case Didn’t Mention Race


The woman whose report of a possible house break-in led to the arrest of Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates said she never mentioned race during her 911 call and is “personally devastated'' by media accounts that suggest she placed the call because the men she observed on the porch were black, reports the Boston Globe.

The woman, Lucia Whalen, 40, saw the backs of both men and did not know their race when she called 911. Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas said it was accurate that Whalen did not mention race in her 911 call. He acknowledged that a police report of the incident did include a race reference. The report says Whalen observed “what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the front porch'' of a home on July 16. That reference is there, said Haas, because the police report is a summary. Its descriptions – like the race of the two men – were collected during the inquiry, not necessarily from the initial 911 call.

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