BOSTON – Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped disorderly-conduct charges against prominent African-American scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. after he was arrested on Thursday while trying to open the door to his own home near Harvard University.
The city of Cambridge issued a statement saying the arrest “was regrettable and unfortunate,” according to The Associated Press, and police and Gates agreed that dropping the charge was a just resolution.
“This incident should not be viewed as one that demeans the character and reputation of professor Gates or the character of the Cambridge Police Department,” the statement said.
Supporters say Gates – the director of Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research – was the victim of racial profiling.
The Associated Press reported the following:
Officers responded to the home Gates rents from Harvard after a woman reported seeing two black men trying to force open the front door.
Gates’ lawyer, fellow Harvard scholar Charles Ogletree, said the professor had returned from a trip overseas, found his front-door jammed, and had to force it open.
Police said the 58-year-old Gates was arrested after he yelled at an officer, accused him of racial bias and refused to calm down after the officer demanded Gates show him identification to prove he lived in the home.
Gates declined immediate comment Tuesday, and Ogletree did not immediately return a request to comment on the charge being dropped.
Pictured above is Henry Louis Gates Jr.