Harvard professor Henry Gates was allegedly the victim of police harassment as he tried to force his way back into his own home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
A neighbor heard a disturbance at his residence and subsequently called the police, who then appeared at the scene and began to question Gates.
The officer, Sergeant James Crowley, reportedly questioned the professor in a way he felt was inappropriate and potentially offensive in Gates’ opinion. He implied that the police were called because Gates is African American and were racially profiling him.
Gates was told that the police were called to investigate a potential burglary and media sources report that he replied "Why, because I’m a black man in America?"
He was then taken into custody for further exclamations – his account now differs from that of the police – but today’s charges against him were dropped.
Due to the apparent infringement of Gates’ civil liberties and potential racial profiling, the renowned professor is rumored to be considering making a documentary on racial profiling, using the incident as inspiration.