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National Briefing / Massachusetts

Scholar won't face charges

July 22, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Prosecutors dropped a disorderly conduct charge against prominent black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., who was arrested after forcing his way into his own house last week.

The city of Cambridge called the arrest "regrettable and unfortunate." Police and Gates agreed that dropping the charge was a just resolution, but it did not quell the anger of one of America's top academics.

"I'm outraged," Gates said in comments to TheRoot.com, a website he oversees. "I can't believe that an individual policeman on the Cambridge police force would treat any African American male this way, and I am astonished that this happened to me; and more importantly I'm astonished that it could happen to any citizen of the United States, no matter what their race."

Gates, 58, is director of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research and is a documentary host.

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