The arrest of, and dropping of charges against, Henry Louis Gates

If I had been able to, if this blog were not still acting up, I'd've been on time posting this story, which caught like wildfire and spread across the web; I'd've posted it yesterday.As it is, I'm tempted to raise it in the seminars that I'm attending as part of this faculty meeting at the Aspen Institute's Wye Faculty Seminar. I'm not sure how it'll slip in, though I am sure it's relevant, as the subject is "Citizenship in the American and Global Polity". But nevertheless. Here's the story as it began:

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., one of the nation's pre-eminent African-American scholars, was arrested Thursday afternoon at his home by Cambridge police investigating a possible break-in. The incident raised concerns among some Harvard faculty that Gates was a victim of racial profiling.Police arrived at Gates’s Ware Street home near Harvard Square at 12:44 p.m. to question him. Gates, director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, had trouble unlocking his door after it became jammed.He was booked for disorderly conduct after “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior,” according to a police report. Gates accused the investigating officer of being a racist and told him he had "no idea who he was messing with,'' the report said.Gates told the officer that he was being targeted because "I'm a black man in America.''

Friends of Gates said he was already in his home when police arrived. He showed his driver’s license and Harvard identification card, but was handcuffed and taken into police custody for several hours last Thursday, they said.

--Harvard professor Gates arrested at Cambridge home

And here it is as it ended, one day and a burning internet later:

(CNN) -- A prosecutor is dropping a charge against prominent Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. after Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the city's police department recommended that the matter not be pursued.Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested last week on a charge of disorderly conduct.In a joint statement, Cambridge and the police department said they made the recommendation to the Middlesex County district attorney and the district attorney's office "has agreed to enter a nolle prosequi in this matter," meaning that it will not be pursued.Gates was arrested last week on a charge of disorderly conduct after a confrontation with an officer at his home, according to a Cambridge police report.

--Charge against Harvard professor dropped