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Cambridge Police Department 911 Audio for Henry Louis Gates Arrest

Mon July 27 2009 12:49 pm
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9-1-1 Call Audio prior to arrest of Henry Louis Gates.

The 9-1-1 Audio reveals a woman calling Cambridge Police Department, on behalf of an elderly woman that asked her to call police, for a possible break-in.

9-1-1 Audio

The tapes of the 911 call and radio dispatches affiliated with the incident of the arrest of Henry Louis Gates by Sgt. James Crowley at a Ware Street home in Cambridge, Massachusetts on July 16, 2009 were released on July 27, 2009.

The woman who made the 911 call on Sunday, July 16, 2009 that led to the arrest of Henry Louis Gates used a spokesman to express that she never mentioned race during the call and was “personally devastated” by media accounts that suggested she placed the call because the men she saw on the porch of Gate’s home were black, according to a Boston Globe report.

Radio traffic from Cambridge Police Department of Sgt. James Crowley responding, arriving on the scene, and telling backup units to keep coming because the suspect who says he resides at the home is uncooperative.

Cambridge Police Dispatcher: Respond to 17 Ware Street for a possible B and E (breaking and entering) in progress. Two SPs (suspicious persons) barged their way into the home, they have suitcases. R-P 5 – SP. Stand by, trying to get further.

Officer 52 (Crowley): 52. Ware Street right now, 17?

Dispatcher: 17 Ware Street … both SPs are still in the house, unknown on race. One may be a Hispanic male, not sure.

Officer 52: Is there an apartment number there?

Dispatcher: Negative on the apartment. Single family yellow house.

Officer 52: Stand by. Can you have the caller come to the front door?

Dispatcher: I’m sorry, repeat?

Officer 52: Can you have the caller come to the front door?

Dispatcher: It’s not her house, she doesn’t live there. She’s a witness in this.

Officer 13: C-13 to patrol im on broadway (inaudible)

Dispatcher: Received

Officer 52: 52

Male patrol: Answering 52-

Officer 52: I’m up with a gentleman who says he resides here (background voice) but uncooperative. But uh, keep the cars coming.

Male patrol 1: Copy.

Officer 52: Can you also send the Harvard university police this way?

Male patrol 1: We can send ‘em in.

Officer 17: 17 to 5-2, when you get a chance I need to talk to you.

(14-second pause)

Officer 52: 52 to patrol

Male patrol 1: Answering.

Officer 52: He gave me the ID of a Henry Louis Gates. …

Male patrol 2: Answering 52.

Officer 52: He gave me the name of the resident of Henry Louis Gates Jr. (background voice) on Harvard property.

Male patrol 2: Sir can you repeat?

(14-second pause)

Male patrol 2: Patrol to 52.

Two simultaneous voices: Try calling him again— (inaudible) to 52.

Male patrol 2: Patrol to 52.

Male patrol 2: Patrol to car 52.


Male patrol 2: 52 go back to channel 2.

Officer 1-R: 1’s on.

Male patrol 3: Let’s see 12-52.

Officer 18: 18’s on 2.

Male patrol 2: 18 I didn’t copy 52’s last uhh, when he came on 2.

Officer 18: Right, stand by.

Male patrol 3: Patrol to 1-R.

Officer 1-R: (background voice) I’m off on Ware Street with 52.

Male patrol 3: Alright received.

Officer 2: (inaudible) to patrol. Do we have a wagon coming through to the location?

Male patrol 3: Patrol to wagon.

Wagon: Wagon.

Male patrol 3: 17 Ware Street.

Wagon: Copy.

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