Mass. Police Unions Ask Obama for Apology
By Krissah Thompson and Cheryl W. Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, July 24, 2009; 1:09 PM
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 24 -- Police officials and union leaders on Friday entered the heated dispute among President Obama, a white police officer and the prominent African American he arrested, saying Obama and Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick should apologize for insulting the police officer and implying that his actions were racist.
Obama said during a nationally televised news conference on Wednesday that Sgt. James Crowley "acted stupidly" in arresting Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. on charges of disorderly conduct. On Thursday, Patrick (D) -- who, like Obama, is black -- said the arrest was "every black man's nightmare."
The noon news conference by a multi-racial group of police officers added to the imbroglio ignited by the July 16 arrest.
Dennis O'Connor, president of the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association, said the Cambridge police "deeply resent the implication" that race was a factor in the decision to take Gates into custody. He said "the president used the right adjective but directed it to the wrong party."
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July 24, 2009; 2:11 PM ET
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