The Washington Times - July 23, 2009, 08:19AM

July 23 08:46 PM UPDATE: Real Clear Politics Video: President Obama defended his comment about the Henry Louis Gates arrest last night saying to ABC’s Terry Moran,

“I think that I have extraordinary respect for the difficulties of the job that police officers do,” the president told Moran. “And my suspicion is that words were exchanged between the police officer and Mr. Gates and that everybody should have just settled down and cooler heads should have prevailed. That’s my suspicion.

SEE RELATED:


Jul 23 01:25 PM -AP UPDATE: The White House has responded to clarify the President’s remarks from last night on the Henry Louis Gates arrest:

“The White House tried Thursday to calm a hubbub over President Barack Obama’s comments about a white police officer’s arrest of a black scholar near Boston, saying Obama was not calling the officer “stupid.”

Spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that Obama felt that when it was clear that Harvard scholar Louis Gates Jr. was not a burglary suspect last week, ‘at that point, cooler heads on all sides should have prevailed.’

In the meantime, Sergeant James Crowley defends himself amid accusations of racism.

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President Barack Obama capped off a press conference on health care last night by answering a question about the arrest of Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, but as with his answers on health care, the president glossed over the facts.

“My understanding is that Professor Gates then shows his I.D. to show that this is his house and, at that point, he gets arrested for disorderly conduct, charges which are later dropped,” Obama said.

However, Newsbusters P.J. Gladnick caught the police report before the Boston Globe scrubbed it from their website(Boston Globe’s “redacted revised docket” update here 7/24/09-h/t Newsbusters )and discovered Mr.Gates was not so cooperative when the officer first arrived at the scene.  Good for Mr. Gladnick for catching this. Here are some excerpts from the report:

“On Thursday July 16, 2009, Henry Gates, Jr. - -, of Ware Street, Cambridge, MA) was placed under arrest at Ware Street, after being observed exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior, in a public place, directed at a uniformed police officer who was present investigating a report of a crime in progress. These actions on the behalf of Gates served no legitimate purpose and caused citizens passing by this location to stop and take notice while appearing surprised and alarmed.

…When I arrived at Ware Street I radioed ECC and asked that they have the caller meet me at the front door to this residence. I was told that the caller was already outside. As I was getting this information, I climbed the porch stairs toward the front door. As [reached the door, a female voice called out to me. I looked in the direction of the voice and observed a white female, later identified {} who was standing on the sidewalk in front of the residence, held a wireless telephone in her hand arid told me that 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. She told me that her suspicions were aroused when she observed one of the men wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry. Since I was the only police officer on location and had my back to the front door as I spoke with her, I asked that she wait for other responding officers while I investigated further.

As I turned and faced the door, I could see an older black male standing in the foyer of Ware Street. I made this observation through the glass paned front door. As I stood in plain view of this man, later identified as Gates, I asked if he would step out onto the porch and speak with me. He replied ‘no I will not’. He then demanded to know who I was. I told him that I was ‘Sgt. Crowley from the Cambridge Police’ and that I was ‘investigating a report of a break in progress’ at the residence. While I was making this statement, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed ‘why, because I’m a black man in America?’. I then asked Gates if there was anyone else in the residence. While yelling, he told me that it was none of my business and accused me of being a racist police officer. I assured Gates that I was responding to a citizen’s call to the Cambridge Police and that the caller was outside as we spoke. Gates seemed to ignore me and picked up a cordless telephone and dialed an unknown telephone number. As he did so, I radioed on channel I that I was off in the residence with someone who appeared to be a resident but very uncooperative.” 

Go to Newsbusters for more

Last night President Obama played the race card as much as Mr.Gates did with the Cambridge police, saying,

“I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that [Gates case]. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”

The fact is Mr. Obama seemingly accused local police officers of racism without having the facts on hand.