Obama: Cops 'Acted Stupidly' in Gates Arrest

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2009 8:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama thinks police in Cambridge "acted stupidly" in arresting Henry Louis Gates Jr. and noted that minorities have a "long history" of unfair treatment by police. Obama took the question at the end of his press conference, and he prefaced his answer by saying that he's a friend of "Skip" Gates and that he doesn't know all the facts, reports the Boston Globe. He also tried to put himself in the same position before remembering he lives in the White House. "Here I'd get shot," he said to laughter.

On the Gates arrest: "I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, 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. That's just a fact."