Arrest Of Harvard’s Gates Was “Avoidable,” Review Panel Says


The arrest of a high-profile Harvard University professor last summer by a Cambridge officer that sparked a national debate on race relations was an “avoidable” situation that came to pass as a result of missteps made by both men, said a report released today by the Cambridge Review Committee, says the Boston Herald. The panel, charged with investigating the July 16, 2009 arrest of scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. by Sgt. James Crowley, found the men share responsibility for the incident. The report can be found here:

“Sergeant Crowley and Professor Gates each missed opportunities to 'ratchet down' the situation and end it peacefully,” the report said. The report found while both men reported “feeling a certain degree of fear of the other” at the onset, those emotions should have subsided after Gates showed Crowley his identification and Crowley explained why he was at the house. The report makes 10 recommendations on how the public can better understand the danger law enforcement face and how police officers can be more in tune with how their actions are perceived. The panel was chaired by Chuck Wexler of the Washington, D.C.-based Police Executive Research Forum.

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