Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley declined today to criticize President Obama for saying Wednesday night that police "acted stupidly" in the arrest last week of Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., but he did say it was "regrettable" that anyone would speak without knowing the "whole story" of the confrontation at Gates's home near Harvard Square. Speaking at length this morning on the Dennis & Callahan show on WEEI radio in Boston, Crowley maintained that "I know what I did was right." When the hosts asserted, however, that "professor Gates and the president of the United States owe you an apology," Crowley refused to bite.
"The president has a lot of other daunting tasks ahead of him," Crowley said. "I wish for the good of the whole country that he is successful in efforts to do the many things that he has to."
The radio show hosts persisted: "Well, hopefully on those other tasks he actually gets his facts straight, because clearly he didn't know what he was talking about when he addressed your little issue."
Crowley said: "I think it is regrettable that anybody on either side of this issue would make comments -- and you know I saw some of them, but I think it's regrettable that anybody, either somebody who supports me or somebody who thinks I acted inappropriately -- without knowing the whole story, without talking to those who were there who have firsthand knowledge of the events and who saw themselves the way in which professor Gates acted and what led to his arrest." (continues...)