Henry Louis Gates arrested at his home in Cambridge, Mass.

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Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard professor and longtime PBS doc producer, was arrested last Thursday trying to force open the locked front door of his home, according to The Associated Press. Cambridge, Mass., police were called that afternoon after a woman reported seeing a man trying to pry the door open. The police report states an officer asked Gates to identify himself and Gates refused, called the officer a racist and said repeatedly, “This is what happens to black men in America.” According to the police report, the 58-year-old professor told officers, “You don’t know who you’re messing with.” An Associated Press followup, which includes Gates’ booking mugshot, added details of allegations that the arrest is part of a pattern of racial profiling in the city. Gates received the 2008 Ralph Lowell Award from CPB in May, honoring his outstanding contribution to public television for shows including African American Lives, in which he traced the lineage of famous African Americans through DNA. The police report is at The Boston Globe‘s website. UPDATE: Cambridge police dropped charges Tuesday. In a joint statement, the city, police department and Gates said: “This incident should not be viewed as one that demeans the character and reputation of Professor Gates or the character of the Cambridge Police Department.”

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