A woman called the police to report a possible break-in in progress when she saw two black men with knapsacks trying to enter a house, one of whom was leaning against the door to force it open. It turned out to be Gates shouldering open his own front door, which had been damaged in a break-in some time ago. The policeman, of course, couldn’t know that at first, so he had to investigate. It wasn’t his fault that someone called in a break-in.
From the police report:
As I turned and faced the door, I could see an older black male standing in the foyer of __ Ware Street. I made this observation through the glass paned front door. As I stood in plain view of this man, later identified as Gates, I asked if he would step out onto the porch and speak with me. He replied “no I will not.” He then demanded to know who I was. I told him that I was “Sgt. Crowley from the Cambridge Police” and that I was “investigating a report of a break in progress [sic] at the residence.” While I was making this statement, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed, “why, because I’m a black man in America?” I then asked Gates if there was anyone else in the residence. While yelling, he told me it was none of my business and accused me of being a racist police officer.
It continued like that for quite a while. The Boston Globe
and other sites posted the full police report earlier in the day but eventually pulled it. Here is a direct link
to the police report.
It was no doubt disconcerting, but if Gates had cooperated with the police officer instead of yelling and crying racism, the incident would have shortly been over. Instead he flew off the handle and made everything worse.