'COOLER HEADS DID NOT PREVAIL'
In announcing that charges would be dropped Tuesday, police blamed both sides for escalating the conflict. "You had two human beings reacting to a set of circumstances and cooler heads did not prevail," said Cambridge police spokeswoman Kelly Downes.
"It was not Professor Gates' best moment and it was not the Cambridge Police Department's best moment."
"I think both parties were wrong. Our position is race did not play a factor."
The city, the police department and Gates issued this joint statement just before noon:
"The City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Police Department have recommended to the Middlesex County District Attorney that the criminal charge against Professor Gates not proceed. Therefore, in the interests of justice, the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office has agreed to enter a nolle prosequi in this matter.
"The City of Cambridge, the Cambridge Police Department, and Professor Gates acknowledge that the incident of July 16, 2009 was regrettable and unfortunate. This incident should not be viewed as one that demeans the character and reputation of Professor Gates or the character of the Cambridge Police Department. All parties agree that this is a just resolution to an unfortunate set of circumstances."