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Obama Comments on Gates arrest


Obama says police acted 'stupidly' in Gates arrest

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that police acted "stupidly" in the arrest of prominent black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. and that despite racial progress blacks and Hispanics are still singled out unfairly for arrest.

"This still haunts us," Obama said.

Obama called Gates a friend, and said he doesn’t know all the facts of the case. Nonetheless, Obama said, anyone would have been angry if treated the way Gates claims police in Cambridge, Mass., treated him. Gates claims he was arrested in his own home after showing ID to police who responded to a report of a possible burglary.

"Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof he was in own home," Obama said during a prime-time news conference that otherwise focused on the health care debate.

"What I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately," Obama said. "That’s just a fact."


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  1. Cecil Jones
    July 24, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Pres. Obama’s magic is gone. He lost his mojo or he left it in his Mom Jeans? I think he shouldn’t have weighed in with an obvious bias. We must always give respect to the badge and that doesn’t change even if you are a Harvard Professor. Now they may take this issue up in one of those secret handshake Harvard meetings, but you don’t talk about it in a healthcare press conference. No comment would have been appropriate like he did on “Gorilla Glue.”

  2. Jim Davis
    July 24, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I agree, why did he weigh in on this. Extremely obvious that there is bias. I am a supporter of Obama but I have a little less luster today.

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