London. July 25 (ANI): President Barack Obama has been urged by American police unions to tender an apology after he accused an officer of "acting stupidly" by arresting leading Black scholar, Professor Henry Louis Gates.
Police representatives queued up at a press conference to insist race had played no part in the incident and the president should retract his "disgraceful" comments and apologise to Sgt James Crowley, The Telegraph reports.
However, Obama refused to apologise at a hastily arranged White House press conference where he said: "In my choice of words, I unfortunately gave the impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department or Sergeant Crowley specifically."
Obama criticised police earlier this week after the incident involving Professor Gates who was arrested after trying to force a jammed front door at his home near Harvard University.
A neighbour reported seeing two men trying to break into the building and Gates was taken into custody after a confrontation, even though he had shown his identity card.
At a press conference, Obama admitted he did not have all the facts but linked the incident in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to a history of racial profiling by US police.
Deval Patrick, the Governor of Massachusetts, who is also black and a friend of Prof Gates, supported Obama yesterday.
"In some ways, this is every black man's nightmare, and a reality for many black men," The Telegraph quoted Patrick, as saying.
But Dennis O'Connor, chairman of the Cambridge Superior Officers Association, accused the president of blundering into something he knew little about.
He said: "When you don't have all the facts, your next words should be 'I have no comment'."
Stephen Killian, the president of the Cambridge Police Patrol Officer's Association said that Obama's comments were disgraceful. (ANI)