Should President Obama have had to apologize to the Cambridge Police Department or was it necessary?

When Henry Louis Gates Jr. cried to the media last week on his arrest by the Cambridge Police Department as being racist, for a moment I thought The United States of America might explode into a race riot. He stated, "This is what happens to black men in America." For years, race has been used as a tool to cry in anger over situations that many deem unjust. I will not go backwards and discuss how the treatment of certain cultures were mistreated in certain times. I will only speak of it in a day when a man of color rules The White House.

Let's take a look at the scene

On July 16th, 2009

A neighbor of Henry Louis Gates Jr. called 911 about a supposed break in across the street. She saw a man continually " wedging his shoulder into the front door as to pry the door open ,"

When officers arrived, an officer ordered the man to identify himself, but Gates refused, according to the report. Gates began calling the officer a racist and said repeatedly, "This is what happens to black men in America."

Officers then tried to calm down the 58-year-old Harvard professor, who responded, "You don't know who you're messing with," according to the police report. Also in the report, the officer most in question, Sgt. James Crowley asked to speak with Gates outside and then the professor responded, "I'll speak with your mama outside."

Many of Gates' African-American colleagues believe his arrest is part of a pattern of racial profiling in Cambridge, said Allen Counter, who has taught neuroscience at Harvard for 25 years.

"We do not believe that this arrest would have happened if professor Gates was white," Counter said.

Gates Talks With Soledad O'Brien on a CNN Special

Gates said on Wednesday that although charges were dropped, he will keep the issue alive. He said to O'Brien during a special on CNN that included Roland Martin in the crowd, "This is not about me; this is about the vulnerability of black men in America,"

Obama's Press Conference Wednesday

President Obama was asked to respond to the controversial arrest of distinguished Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr at a press conference on Wednesday. He responded that Gates "is a friend, so I may be a little biased." Obama argued that the "Cambridge police acted stupidly,"

Sgt. James Crowley Responds

Crowley has said he would not apologize. The police incident report states that Crowley twice provided his name to Gates, who subsequently asked for it two more times.

Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas said he "deeply regrets" the arrest but stands by the procedures his department followed."I trust [Crowley's] judgment implicitly. He is a stellar officer," He praises the Cambridge police department by saying "very proud about its diversity within this community and how hard we've worked over the years to build a strong, solid relationship [between] the department and the community."

Numerous police officers, including African-Americans, have spoken up on Crowley's behalf and portrayed him as a good and fair officer. Crowley, who is white, had once been chosen by a black police officer to teach a police academy course on ways to avoid racial profiling.

A Call for the President's Apology

Dennis O'Connor, the president of Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association and police unions across America urged the president to apologize to members of the Cambridge Police Dpt. for stating they acted stupidly in the arrest of Gates. O'Connor also said he was saddened the president would express publicly his opinion on the case before he knew the details of the case.

The President Apologizes

President Obama said today , he spoke with the police officer who arrested the Harvard professor and told the officer he did not mean to malign the Cambridge Police Department. The president also acknowledged his words "helped to contribute to ratcheting" up the situation when he criticized Sgt. James Crowley.

I severely hope one day no person of race, sex, gender, religion, creed will the use the word racism. I want it to die so we stop worrying about bringing past hurts to the surface. It's a new time. Look who's in The White House! If we could all come together instead of trying to separate our differences, imagine what we can do!

Was Obama out of line to apologize to the Cambridge Police Department or necessary?

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