Article: Diversity in Law Enforcement

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Diversity in Law Enforcement

On the afternoon of July 16, 2009 Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., one of the nation's pre-eminent African-American scholars, was arrested at his home by Cambridge, Massachusetts police investigating a possible break-in. Police Sergeant James Crowley responded to a report of a possible break-in in progress at the Gates address by a neighbor, Lucia Whalen. Whalen said she observed two black males with backpacks try to break into the home. Crowley reported that after observing Gates in the foyer of the residence he asked if he would step out onto the porch to talk (Jan, 2009).

The police and Professor Gates offered differing accounts of what happened next. The police said Professor Gates initially refused to show identification and repeatedly shouted at officers. Professor Gates said that he had shown photo identification to Sergeant Crowley but that the sergeant had not appeared to believe that he lived there. He also said he had brought up race during the confrontation but was not disorderly (Saulny and Brown, 2009).

This incident received national attention and raised concerns among many that Gates was a victim of racial profiling. Many felt that Gates was arrested for being upset, and he was arrested because he was black. Wayne Martin, an official at the Atlanta Housing Authority, and also black, felt the only way to explain the situation was racisms and wondered, "…when it became illegal to be angry at a law enforcement official." At a news conference President Barack Obama chimed in stating that he thought the Cambridge police had "acted stupidly" (Saulny and Brown, 2009).


According to Gary Coderoni (2002) research shows the 90% of the major civil disorders that have occurred in the United States resulted from police-citizen conflicts, many of which could have been avoided. Multicultural training can reduce the number of lawsuits, as well as the possibility of civil disorder. Strategies employed by police in dealing with minorities… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Diversity in Law Enforcement.  (2010, October 12).  Retrieved August 19, 2019, from

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"Diversity in Law Enforcement."  12 October 2010.  Web.  19 August 2019. <>.

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"Diversity in Law Enforcement."  October 12, 2010.  Accessed August 19, 2019.