At this point, we have the following narrative on the events of last July 16th in Cambridge, Massachusetts — one which appears to have won majority acceptance by the public (and I think rightly so): A neighbor called the police on seeing two men forcing their way into a house on her street; a house which had been broken into just weeks earlier. (Obviously she failed to recognize Professor Gates as the legitimate resident — but this is hardly a huge surprise these days, in an urban environment, when so few people really know their neighbors.)
Sgt. Jim Crowley, who happened to be very nearby, attended to the scene. Professor Gates, seeing a white police officer in his doorway and hearing a request to step outside of his home to talk, took deep umbrage on an immediate basis. The encounter progressed with Gates yelling accusations and demands, and Sgt. Crowley attempting to ascertain the facts of the situation. It ended with Gates pursuing Sgt. Crowley out of the house, still yelling and carrying-on, in the presence of other police officers and the general public, and with the arrest of Gates for disorderly conduct.
In the days following, competing narratives attempted to hold sway Continue reading What if it hadn’t been Sgt. Crowley (who met Professor Gates that fateful day)?