Caller in Gates Arrest Didn't Mention Race

Tapes show I'm not a racist, says woman who alerted police
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2009 2:20 PM CDT
Lucia Whalen, the woman who placed the 911 call that led to the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., speaks in Cambridge, Mass., today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Massachusetts woman who called 911 on Henry Louis Gates and his chauffeur as they wrestled with the Harvard professor’s front door said today she never mentioned race to Sgt. James Crowley, the officer who arrested Gates. Lucia Whalen’s statement contradicts the police report filed by Crowley, which states that Whalen described “two black males with backpacks,” after he arrived in person, the New York Times reports.

Speaking in Cambridge, Whalen took issue with being portrayed as racist. Whalen said she was glad police released the recording of her 911 call, in which she repeatedly says that the two men may live at the house, and mentions race to the dispatcher only when prompted. Hopefully, Whalen said, the tapes show “that I tried to be careful.”