Henry Louis Gates' Side of the Story

Harvard professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates Jr., the nation's preeminent black scholar, is finally getting his side of the story out after being arrested at his home last Wednesday night. His lawyer, fellow Harvard professor Charles Ogletree, has published a statement on Gates' site, The Root. Ogletree details the events of the night, painting Gates as a soft-spoken victim in contrast to the police report that describes him as a belligerent man arrested for disorderly conduct. "Professor Gates then asked the police officer if he would give him his name and his badge number," Ogletree writes. "He made this request several times... As Professor Gates followed the officer to his own front door, he was astonished to see several police officers gathered on his front porch." According to the police officer, Gates responded to queries with: "Why, because I'm a black man in America?" When the officer asked to speak to him outside, Gates allegedly responded: "I'll speak with your mama outside." After asking again for the officer's badge number, Gates was placed under arrest on his own porch.