Henry Louis Gates Jr., acclaimed Harvard University academic and black history documentarian, has been arrested following a bizarre front-porch tirade about racism police said “alarmed” passers-by drawn to the uproar outside his Cambridge home.
“This is what happens to black men in America!” the allegedly “loud and tumultuous” 58-year-old divorcee is accused of having bellowed to a crowd of about seven early Thursday afternoon as Cambridge police Sgt. James Crowley sought to question him about a reported break-in attempt at his Ware Street address.
A witness, 40-year-old Lucia Whalen of Malden, had alerted the cops that a man was “wedging his shoulder into the front door” at Gates’ house “as to pry the door open,” police reported.
A source said Gates apparently locked himself out. When Crowley arrived, he said Gates was already inside. But when he asked for identification, Gates allegedly snapped, “No, I will not!”
Crowley claims in a report he tried to calm Gates, but Gates “shouted, ‘You don’t know who your (sic) messing with!’ ”
After allegedly calling Crowley “a racist,” according to police reports, the professor was charged with disorderly conduct and released for a $40 fee. Gates is scheduled to be arraigned on a single charge of disorderly conduct Aug. 26 at Cambridge District Court in Medford.