The Cambridge Police Department has changed its story twice regarding where they got the information that the two people on Henry Louis Gates, Jr's porch were Blacks. First they said the information came from a 911 call made my Lucia Whalen, a neighbor. But the audio tape of the call proves that the caller never mentioned the skin color of the 2 people on Professor Gates' porch.
When that claim was proved to be false, Office James Crowley changed his story and said that Lucia Whalen had told him in a conversation before Crowley's encounter with Gates that twho Black men were on Gates porch. However, Lucia Whalen says she never told the officer any such thing. Needless to say, if Officer Crowley seeks to rely on Lucia Whalen during his rumored civil suit against Gates for Gates calling Crowley a "racist," it will become apparent in any such trial that Officer Crowley's testimony directly contradicts the 911 tape and the statements of the witness after the fact.
So, who is telling the truth, Crowley or Whalen? The fact that this cannot be determined will make any defamation suit by Crowley an embarrassment to him, his colleagues and the City of Cambridge.
The risk remains that Crowley played fast and lose with the truth in order to implicate two men in association with the color of their skin. If "racist" means "engaging in behavior that's aroused by emotions and ideation associated with the color of someone's skin, it seems apparent that Officer Crowley had some "two Black men" ideation and report writing behavior that he tried to attribute to a witness but that actually came entirely out of Officer Crowley's ideation.
Is the skin color of a person suspected of a crime relevant? If so, then how can America ever expect to become a "color-blind society" when skin color is an essential part of defendants' identification and when others' reactions to defendants' that skin color remains central to the results and resolution criminal cases?
Cambridge police Commissioner Robert Haas acknowledged that the police report contains a reference to race, but said the report is merely a summary of events. The arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley, has said his information on the race of the suspects came during a brief encounter with Whalen outside Gates' house; she contradicted that Wednesday, saying she made no such description.
The arrest of Gates for disorderly conduct in his own home by a white police officer sparked a national debate over racial profiling and police conduct. The controversy intensified when President Obama said police "acted stupidly" when they arrested Gates, his friend.
Gates has said he was outraged and has demanded an apology from Crowley; Crowley said he followed protocol and responded to Gates' "tumultuous behavior" appropriately. WaPost
The United States of America cannot and will not become a color-blind society until and unless police stop using skin color as a partial means of identifying suspects. And since skin color is one of the most obvious physical features of human beings, we can just forget about "color-blind society" right now. It's an unworkable fantasy.
What we can do is work toward the day when Americans' perception of the skin color of a person's brown skin will not automatically lead to the ideation that the person must be guilty of something. We can work toward the day when the mere perception of anothers' white skin color will not be considered de facto evidence of the white person's innocence. We need to reach that place where perception of brown skin does not lead police officers into an angry determination to arrest and convict that person of something - anything - based on the color of their skin.