Monday, July 27, 2009

THIS JUST IN -- The 911 call that led to the Gates arrest

I've just listened to the recording of the original 911 call that set in motion the chain of events leading to Prof. Gates's arrest in Cambridge, and it is revealing.

Remember those reports in the press that the police had been notified of two youngish black men with backpacks? Give the call recording a listen. Gates's neighbor refers to "gentlemen" with what looks like suitcases. She raises the prospect that the men seen at the door might live there. She makes no reference to their race.

Now, we have not yet been given recordings of the dispatcher's call that Sgt. Crowley was responding to, but this makes it abundantly clear that the Cambridge Police went into this situation with the knowledge that they might be dealing with the lawful residents of the property.

Also of great interest, at least to me. This passage from Sgt. Crowley's report:

"As I reached the door, a female voice called out to me. I turned and looked in the direction of the voice and observed a white female, later identified as Lucia Whalen. Whalen, who was standing on the sidewalk in front of the residence, held a wireless telephone in her hand and told me it was she who called. She went on to tell me that she observed what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the porch of ___ Ware Street."

How do we account for the apparent difference between what we hear Ms. Whalen say on the 911 call and what Sgt. Crowley reports she told him?

Well, CNN reports that Whalen's attorney has contradicted Crowley's report absolutely. Here's the link. And here's the take-away quote: "Let me be clear. She never had a conversation with Sgt. Crowley at the scene."

1 comment:

jpc said...

Well, I have to withdraw my earlier comment. This recording makes it clear that the caller wasn't attempting to get Gates in trouble. In fact, she even suggests that he might be the resident of the house. And the officer's fabrications about his interactions with her on the scene make it look like he thinks he has something to hide. I wish Obama hadn't backed down from his initial assessment of the arrest. This whole episode is infuriating.