Angry Gates to Make Film on Racial Profiling

Harvard prof. inspired by recent brush with the law
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2009 4:40 PM CDT
This booking photo released by the Cambridge, Mass., Police Dept., shows Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr.   (AP Photo/Cambridge Police Dept.)
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(Newser) – After his up-close and personal look at the criminal justice system, Henry Louis Gates Jr. intends to tackle the issue of racial profiling in a documentary for PBS, the Harvard scholar tells the Washington Post. "It had never crossed my mind but it has now," says Gates, who was arrested when a neighbor thought he was breaking into his own home. Charges have been dropped.

Gates said he wants his documentary to ask, "How are people treated when they are arrested? How does the criminal justice system work? How many black and brown men and poor white men are the victims of police officers who are carrying racist thoughts? I want to be a figure for prison reform," Gates said. “I think that criminal justice system is rotten."