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Harvard professor arrested, accuses police of racism

world Updated: Jul 21, 2009 09:33 IST

AFP
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An acclaimed black US scholar accused a police officer in Cambridge, Massachusetts of racism for investigating reports of a break-in as he entered his own house, after which he was arrested, police records showed on Monday.

Henry Louis Gates, 58, considered a preeminent professor of African American studies at the prestigious Harvard University was charged with disorderly conduct, citing his “loud and tumultuous behavior.”

According to the police report from July 16, Gates was seen by a woman to be attempting entry to a house. The woman alerted the police, and they arrived -- with no one realizing it was Gates’ own home.

Gates, who declined to identify himself to police, repeatedly told officers who arrived at the scene: “This is what happens to black men in America.”

After the professor, according to the police report, kept on “yelling” at the officer and loudly protesting the situation to passersby, he was arrested.

Gates, who in 1997 was declared to be one of the 25 most influential people of United States, also repeatedly told the officer that he had “no idea who (he) was ‘messing´ with.”

He was released from police custody later that day and is expected to be arraigned in court on August 26.