Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Harvard professor, author, friend to Oprah, and chronicler and excavator of African American culture, was arrested for disorderly conduct Thursday at his home in Cambridge, Mass., according to the AP.
A spokeswoman for the Cambridge Police Department confirmed to Gawker that Gates was arrested on a single charge of disorderly conduct at 12:44 a.m. last Thursday, but declined to elaborate or offer any further information: "We are not releasing information because this is currently under investigation." The Middlesex County office of the district attorney declined to immediately return phone calls.
Police say they were called to the home Thursday afternoon after a woman reported seeing a man try to pry open the front door.
They say that they ordered the man to identify himself and that Gates refused. According to a police report, Gates then called the officer a racist and said, "This is what happens to black men in America."
While the AP story says the incident occured Thursday afternoon, the Cambridge Police Department told us it was early Thursday morning. Gates' attorney is his fellow Harvard professor Charles Ogletree. We're hoping to talk to Ogletree this afternoon to get details on the arrest.
The fact that someone as prominent as Gates could get arrested late Wednesday night and it doesn't get out until the following Monday just goes to show what happens when the Harvard Crimson takes its summer vacation.