The Cambridge Police have released the 911 call by Lucia Whalen about a possible break-in at the home of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Here is the complete audio.


The interesting part of the call is the caller, Lucia Whalen, is very circumscribed in what she says. She says only that she saw two men, one of whom might have been Hispanic (in response to the 911 operator’s question) pushing open the door to the house, and that she wasn’t sure if they were breaking in, or lived there and merely having trouble with the door. She mentioned that they were still in the house. Whalen mentioned that an older woman had interrupted Whalen out of concern that someone was breaking in: “I was just calling because she was a concerned neighbor, I guess.”

Listening to the tape, it is clear that the attacks on Whalen, including many in the blogosphere who called her racist for having engaged in racial profiling, were way off base. Whalen should be commended for getting involved when stopped by one of the elderly neighbors who thought there might be a break-in in progress, and for reporting what she saw — and what she didn’t see — accurately and without hyperbole.

UPDATE: The tape of the dispatch also has been released, calling for a car to respond to a possible “B&E; in progress”. It does not appear that the cautious words used in Whalen’s 911 call were conveyed to the officers, only that there was a possible B&E; in progress, and there is mention (presumably by Crowley) that one of the individuals “says he resides here” but is “uncooperative” and he requests to “keep the cars coming.”

[Note: I have substituted the video below for the one previously in this post because it contains more audio of when Crowley was on the scene, including some faint background of Gates talking – h/t to Patterico, who has some transcription.]

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