Sgt. James Crowley, the Cambridge police officer who arrested distinguished Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. for disorderly conduct, slammed Barack Obama for saying the Cambridge police acted "stupidly" in arresting Gates.
Obama made the insulting remark during his televised press conference on health care reform last night from the White House. Obama prefaced his remarks by admitting bias because Gates was a close friend of his.
Both Crowley and his attorney Alan McDonald spoke with ABC News today. McDonald said Obama "was dead wrong to malign this police officer specifically and the department in general."
Crowley added, "I think he's way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts, as he himself stated before he made that comment.
Crowley was called to professor Gates' home last week to investigate a report of a break-in. Crowley said Gates, who was returning from a trip to China, at first refused to provide ID to the officer.
Gates then began hurling racial insults at Crowley. "Mr. Gates was given plenty of opportunities to stop what he was doing. He didn't. He acted very irrational. He controlled the outcome of that event," Crowley told WBZ. "There was a lot of yelling, there was references to my mother," he added, "something you wouldn't expect from anybody that should be grateful that you were there investigating a report of a crime in progress, let alone a Harvard University professor."
The charges against professor Gates were later dropped.