Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Commish gets the last word on Gates affair

Police Commissioner Ramsey says Harvard prof and cop were equally dunderheaded.

Commish gets the last word on Gates affair

Henry Louis Gates, director of Harvard University´s W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research, accused the Cambridge police of racism after he was arrested while trying to force open the front door of his home. The police said he "exhibited loud and tumultuous behaviour" Gates shouted to a police officer "this is what happens to a black men in America," according to a police report.
Henry Louis Gates, director of Harvard University's W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research, accused the Cambridge police of racism after he was arrested while trying to force open the front door of his home. The police said he "exhibited loud and tumultuous behaviour" Gates shouted to a police officer "this is what happens to a black men in America," according to a police report.

Can't say I'm surprised about the just-released results of the investigation into the confrontation between Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley. The report concludes that both men equally contributed to the escalation of tensions at Gates' home when Crowley, summoned via a 9-1-1 call, checked to see what Gates was up to.

But I was startled to see that our very own police commissioner, Charles Ramsey, was among the 12 panelists who investigated Gates' claim of racism in the incident. Who knew?

Ramsey, according to USA Today, "said there is 'nothing to suggest' that race drove this."

Read the story here.

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.


Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at polaner@phillynews.com.

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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