Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lucia Whalen, the 911 Caller in the Prof Henry Louis Gates arrest case, said she thought one of the men might be Hispanic.
The woman whose 911 call set in motion the events that led to the arrest of Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates did not tell police during the call that the two men she saw forcing their way into a house were Black.
Her account of the incident, provided by her attorney, differs from a report written by the Police officer Crowley who arrested Gates. Officer Crowley's report said the witness told him at the scene the men were Black. The woman's lawyer denies that.

In a recording of the 911 call released Monday 28 July by police in Cambridge, Mass., Lucia Whalen said she could not see the men clearly. She said one man might be Hispanic.

According to the 911 call, Whalen wasn't sure a crime was taking place. She told a dispatcher she saw suitcases and didn't know whether the men lived in the house.

"I don't know what's happening," Whalen said. Several times during the 21/2-minute call, she said she made the call for an older woman who lives in the neighborhood and was worried when she saw two men trying to barge into the house.

Whalen, who works near Gates' home and was on her way to lunch when the incident occurred, spoke about it Monday through her lawyer, Wendy Murphy. According to Murphy, Whalen said officers did not interview her at the scene, she never said the men at the house were Black, and the only thing she told Crowley was that she was the 911 caller.

The release of the tape and a recording of subsequent police radio transmissions provided more details about the incident that has ignited a debate about race and racial profiling by police. The tapes do not explain how a routine call about a possible burglary led to Gates' arrest at home on a charge of disorderly conduct.



Blogger ichbinalj said...

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Black friend of Prof Henry Louis Gates' who had called the arrest "every Black man's nightmare," said Monday that he won't apologize for his remarks. A multiracial group of police officers supporting Crowley has demanded an apology.

6:01 AM  

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