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July 25th, 2009
04:56 AM ET

Coming up in the CNN Newsroom...

President Barack Obama spoke Friday with the police officer who arrested a black Harvard professor, as the uproar grew over the president saying the police department "acted stupidly."

We'll have reaction this morning from the professor's camp.

Sarah Palin is scheduled to transfer gubernatorial power to Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell this weekend.

Investigators are looking into whether employees at the Los Angeles County coroner's office leaked information about Michael Jackson's death probe to the news media, a sheriff's spokesman says.

Even though the combat role of U.S. troops has been greatly reduced, the U.S. commander in the region says Iraq is still the center of the U.S. battle against terrorism. He explains why to CNN's Arwa Damon.

Join TJ Holmes and Brooke Baldwin in for Betty Nguyen in the CNN Newsroom, 6am ET/3am PT.

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  1. jack Enoch

    Hello, we watch CNN faithfully every day morning noon and nite for our news,and enjoy the reporting and views very much. But have to say that in regard to the professor gates gaffe........... we are profoundly disappointed that everything the Professor has spoken,becried or declared has referred to race. But at anytime did the officer or officers (as there were more than one ) ever declare that professor gates was adamant or loud and agressive because the officer was white?/ No we only hear the poor professor stating that this was all because he was Black and the officer was White. Why is it always a person of color raising the race card and claiming discrimination when it can also be reverse racism ( which we have encountered more than once because we are white! Lets bring this to light on air as well.

    July 25, 2009 at 6:32 am |
  2. JM

    it is disappointing that some are not listening to what the president said and take this moment as a 'teachable' incident. it helps no one, nor the state of racial relations, when some excuse the behavior of prof. gates and continue to insist that he was a victim, thus implying that the officer was wrong. i wanted to find out the facts of the incident and found a copy of the indicent report filed by both officers at the scene. what comes through in those documents is that this is far from being a racially motivated event. the prof., who has not denied anything in these reports, behaved badly and is the one who injected race. as one who can only judge from what is reported in the documents, the prof. appears to have beem the one who had the chip on his shoulder. he was not going to be questioned by anyone in his own home, even an officer, who was in essence, at his property to protect it from a possible intruder. the salient facts in the accounts of the officers and the witnesses is that the prof., possibly feeling some sense of his own importance, felt aggrieved at being confronted by an officer whom he may have viewed as someone beneath him. lessons to be learned here are the following:
    1. cooler heads indeed needed to have prevailed in the situation
    2. commenting on any issue that one is not fully versed on, and one that one has an admitted bias about, is not prudent.
    3. race continues to be an issue in this country, because intolerance and prejudice continues to be taught by some, on both sides.

    July 25, 2009 at 6:41 am |
  3. Sophia

    Do you people have anything else to talk about except the Cambridge incident? I think you need some new writers on CNN. For goodness sake, enough already! If I hear much more about this, I'm going to stop watching all news programs, but CNN is the worst.

    July 25, 2009 at 6:45 am |
  4. Andrew from Greenville, NC

    I've been visited by cops trying to serve a warrant on a former tenant. I offered to go get my ID and made a move to do so, and the officer unclipped his holster, ready to pull the gun.

    I'm white, by the way.

    Officers have a protocol they need to follow. If they are called to someone's house with probable cause, they need to be able to do their job without a Harvard professor, no matter what his race, creating a hostile work environment for that officer, whose first priority is to protect that very resident.

    I don't care what his background might be, the assumption that this is a race related matter doesn't excuse his conduct toward that officer.

    July 25, 2009 at 6:48 am |
  5. Drew

    As to the arrest of the professor, from what I have heard the police acted properly. I live in a small city and we have an alarm system on our house. Well there have been a couple of times the police have responded to and alram from our house.

    Thye always ask for ID and never enter the house until I have presented such ID. Thye don't always explain why they are their before they ask for ID. I see nothing wrong with the reports of what the police did. Having Gates step out on the porch keeps control of the situation in the police hands. If he is the owner it protects him from someone who might be in the house, if he isn't then the police have reduced thier risk of injury while reducing the criminals power.

    As to arresting an older gentleman with a cain these days you never know who is and isn't ingaged in criminal acts. We have people of all ages in the drug market, and criminal activity. So age is not a matter.
    For awhile in the 1980's we had groups going around pretending to be movers or roofers. They would pull up to a house and find a way in then empty the house in broad daylight with neighbors looking.

    Also if you are mouthing of to a police officer no matter where you are you might be arrested for disorderly conduct.

    People get arrested for loud parties, refusing to comply with police officers orders, and much more. As a matter of fact I sat on a jury where a cop arrested a young man(teen If I remember right) for acting beligerant on a call of domestict disturbance. And these calls are perfect example of when people get arrested for disorderly conduct, it happens all the time.

    Now I am not saying their is not a lot of racism and certainly some police think they have to much power but in this case from what I have heard the only people who owe and appology are Gates and I'm sorry to say President Obama. Gates needs to apolgize to the officer, and the department. He also needs to apologize to the public and the President for taking time from more important issues with his overreaction.

    From what I have heard Gates overreacted, he may have had reason to think it was a racial act but for an educated man I would have expected a little more restraint before hitting the roof.

    The fact of Gates following the officer as he tried to leave suggest that Gates was going to press the issue he was making and could have caused a public problem so arresting him is not an uncommen act. And I do believe that if he would have been a white average man he still would have been handcuffed and arrested.

    I would like to know what the other officers have to say and what Gates driver has to say on these events. i assume the police sent more then one officer on a B&E call.

    July 25, 2009 at 6:56 am |
  6. Victor Galloway

    It's absurd that the Cambridge Police Department is demanding an apology from President Obama for his comments but feel that Dr. Gates does not deserve one from them. The fact that there was no admission that the situation could have been handled better leads me to question their training. What arrogance!!

    July 25, 2009 at 7:08 am |
  7. christine

    When CNN find a breaking news about Michael Jackson, they will no longer care about what Obama said. It makes me sad that the media has spent so much time talking about what Obama said and not why the POLICE officer arrested a MAN in his own HOME, regardless of his race. If same thing had happened to a white professor and George Bush had called the police officer "acting stupidly", non of it would have news. It looks like white media is offended that a BLACK PRESIDENT called their fellow white man out for REALLY ACTING STUPID. JOURNALISM IS DEFINITELY DEAD. Especially on CNN (CONSERVATIVE NEWS NETWORK).

    July 25, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  8. michael armstrong sr.

    Cant CNN put a fly on the wall when these two meet because I strongly believe that Gates is going to want an apology and Crowely is going to say no way . P.S. On the fly part make shure you stay away from the president he dont like flys .

    July 25, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  9. Larry

    Patraeus is just another Bush stooge, living the delusion that one day we'll kill all the bad guys in the world.

    We don't need to be fighting the Taliban and al Quaeda in other countries. All we have to do is keep our own homeland security tight.

    Maybe after 4300 more American lives our government will realize this. Hard to tell though. It took 58,000 lives in VietNam before we got the message.

    July 25, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  10. Kat

    Officer Crowley and prof Gates both overreacted and should apologise to each other. Crowley should NEVER have arrested him so when he said he owes him no apology he is being thick headed and unprofessional. Tehing race relations doesnot make him immune to making bad choices or being nasty to people. Shame on those old white officers who wasted tax payers money to hold press conference.

    July 25, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  11. Mary, MD

    Why focus on Obama's relevant comment and not on why a man who WALKS WITH A STICK was arrested in hs OWN home after showing ID which the police could have verified?

    That is the "Stupid act" that I support Obama's words on. Crowley was doign his job but overstepped by cuffing the professor. Had he been white, he would never have arrested him!

    July 25, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  12. Mary, MD

    This is not a race issue. It is about respecting people and the police being professionals and stop being uch foul mouth unprofessional bullies on a powertrek! The few blacks in the dept have no choice but to support them for fear of isolation.

    July 25, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  13. suz

    Are police officers public servants or are they there to exert their authority in every situation? If police officers consider themselves as public servants then they should approach every situation with rendering assistance; particularly, when some house is suspected to be burgalerized. The main question then becomes what officer Crowley offered in the way of assistance after it was established that Professor Gates was indeed the legal resident in that house? The police officers go through lots of training for public safety. Why Dr. gates was arrested if public safety was not threatened? What was the state of mind of the officer Crowley when he entered Dr. Gates’ house? The behaviour of officer Crowley is troubling for the safety of the public at large. Why do they not have public service in mind?

    July 25, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  14. Gene Nunnally

    I wonder if race played a role in the president calling the police dept. stupid, If it were the other way around would he have sided with his friend still or a black police officer

    July 25, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  15. Matt Robinson

    Let me tell two stories. You can decide which mirrors what happened to the professor.

    1) My friend, who is black, drove up my street and was pulled over because his air freshener was obstructing his view.

    2) My dad, who is white, set off the alarm at our house and couldn't turn it off. The police came and a gun was pointed at him.

    Racial profiling does exist. It's just sad that we are talking about a rich black man who had his feelings hurt by a misunderstanding rather than cases in which it has actually happened.

    I also argue that, in CA, where I live, it is easier for affluent children of color to succeed than white ones. Due to a focus on diversity in schools and workforces, white males often have more people to compete against than white women and people of color.

    It is true that, in part because of oppression by white men of previous generations, the average person of color is poorer than the average white person. It is also true that having money or power often helps someone gain more money or power. Affirmative action should be based on whether someone came from poverty or not, regardless of race. It was easier for my hispanic friends to get into college than my white friends, and they had the same advantages growing up. If you think that's fair as some kind of punishment for white people historically having oppressed those of color, I strongly disagree.

    July 25, 2009 at 8:07 pm |
  16. Matt Robinson

    The key is public schooling and law enforcement. Creating a safe environment for children to learn is what could put poor children on more equal footing. We should talk more about that and how poor neighborhoods tend to tear themselves apart, making it hard for kids who live there.

    July 25, 2009 at 8:13 pm |
  17. Jeff L

    This Cambridge incident is just another example that racism is far from over. As a Black, I keep hoping that things are getting better, but I am not so sure.

    I feel that the police acted properly. Where racism came into the picture is that Gates automatically assumed that he was being profiled by a white officer. In this case, HE was the racist, which to me means looking down on someone else simply because of their color.

    While I was in college, in Cambridge ironically, I was putting an unboxed TV into the back of my car, which was parked on the street. A police car pulled up, and a white officer got out. He asked a series of questions, which I knew were to determine car and TV ownership. I cooperated fully, mostly because I wanted to get on my way. It wasn't until the issue was resolved, and I drove off, that I felt like I had been "profiled." I had been happy to think that the police were doing their job pro-actively.

    I'm afraid that racism has so many forms. Even when Obama won, I sensed another racial divide in the country. Were all (or 98% of) Blacks voting for Barack because of his race? I was happy to see him win (would have preferred Hillary at the time) because he's a Democrat. When OJ was acquitted of the criminal case, Blacks across the country jumped for joy (I did not), which justifiably led whites to believe we only cared that a fellow Black was let off, regardless of his actual guilt.

    My final thought goes back to a saying. "When a wise man and a fool argue, it's hard to know which one is which." Since Gates is a professor, regardless of the situation, he should have at least attempted to rise up and show understanding and composure. That would have made him the wise man here, instead of looking like something less.

    July 25, 2009 at 8:49 pm |

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