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Patrick 'Troubled' By Harvard Professor's Arrest

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Patrick 'Troubled' By Harvard Professor's Arrest

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CAMBRIDGE (WBZ) ― Gov. Deval Patrick, who is a friend of Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., says he's troubled by the prominent professor's arrest last week.

Patrick says he did not play any role in the charge being dropped against Gates Jr., but that he has reached out to the professor.
 
Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley arrested Gates last Thursday outside the professor's home on a disorderly conduct charge after police said he "exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior" when approached by officers.
 
Gates claimed the arrest was racially motivated.

'UPSETTING' TO PATRICK

Patrick said the arrest was "troubling."

"It's upsetting to me as a friend of Skip Gates, as a black man, and as a governor."

"I'm delighted the parties were able to resolve the charges and drop them quickly."

Patrick said the parties involved are working on an apology.

Gates is considering a lawsuit against the police department.

The governor said he did not ask local officials to intervene and he did not have any conversations with them or Cambridge police.

WITNESS ACCOUNT

A neighbor who claims he witnessed the incident told the Boston Herald Wednesday that Gates was screaming at police.

"When police asked him for ID, Gates started yelling, 'I'm a Harvard professor . . . You believe white women over black men. This is racial profiling,' the unidentified man told the paper.

APOLOGY WANTED

"I would like an apology," Gates told WBZ by telephone from his Vineyard home Tuesday.

"If he [Sgt. Crowley] would give me a sincere apology and I believed it, I'd be prepared to forgive him."

Crowley has not made a public statement about the incident.

A Cambridge police spokeswoman blamed both sides Tuesday for escalating the conflict.

CAMBRIDGE MAYOR: 'RACE PLAYS A ROLE IN EVERYTHING'

Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons said Wednesday she wants to bring police and Gates together to discuss what happened.

She said she sees the incident as a "teachable moment" and that she is planning to hold a community town hall event, encouraging residents to share ideas and to help move the community forward.

When asked is she thought race played a role in Gates' arrest, Simmons said she believes race plays a role in everything.
 
SUPPORT FOR SERGEANT

The president of the Cambridge police officers' union told the Herald Crowley is a "good sergeant."

"He's been an officer for several years. He's got the respect of all of us," said Cambridge Police Patrol Officer's Association President Stephen Killion.

(© 2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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