Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law: Will Harvard Professor Sue The Massachusetts Police Department After Being Arrested For Breaking Into His Own Home?

African American studies scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. (of Harvard University), was arrested at his home after someone called the authorities to report a break in.

The Wall Street Journal states that a police report revealed that Professor Gates had just returned home from a trip to China. Upon his arrival at his residence, he had difficulty opening his front door. The Professor reportedly had his driver push his front door, while he opened the door from the inside. While this was transpiring, police who were allegedly responding to the call of a break in arrived. Professor Gates was subsequently asked for his ID and arrested. [SIDEBAR: I wonder if the driver was arrested for breaking in too. Smh.]

The arresting officer claims that Mr. Gates was hesitant to show his identification, and accused him of racism. Mr. Gates' attorney says the officer refused to give his client his badge number. The charges against Professor Henry Gates included a charge for disorderly conduct. However, all of the charges have been dropped. Police officials have reportedly called the incident "regrettable and unfortunate."

It has yet to be determined whether or not Henry Louis Gates will file a lawsuit against the police department for this inexplicable incident.

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