Obama invites professor and sergeant for beer to end racial row

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Washington, July 25 (ANI): In a bid to diffuse the controversial racial row following his remark in the arrest of a Black Harvard professor, US President Barack Obama has telephoned and invited the White Sergeant and the professor to the White House for a beer.

"My impression of him was that he was an outstanding police -officer and a good man," Obama revealed, adding that he made a five minute long telephone call to the concerned officer.

Seeking to lighten the situation further, he said that he had invited both Crowley and Gates for "a beer here in the White House", The Guardian reports.

Earlier this week, Obama had said that Sergeant James Crowley "acted stupidly" in arresting Professor Henry Louis Gates in his own home. His statement had triggered American police unions to seek an apology.

Obama made a surprise appearance at the daily White House press briefing and said: "In my choice of words I think I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department or Sergeant Crowley specifically - and I could have calibrated those words differently. And I told this to Sergeant Crowley."

Police representatives insisted that race had played no part in the incident and the president should retract his "disgraceful" comments and apologise to Sergeant James Crowley.

However, Obama stopped short of apologising: "I continue to believe, based on what I have heard, that there was an overreaction in pulling Professor Gates out of his home to the station. I also continue to believe, based on what I heard, that Professor Gates probably overreacted as well.

"My sense is you've got two good people in a circumstance in which neither of them were able to resolve the incident in the way that it should have been resolved and the way they would have liked it to be resolved," he added.

Police had arrested Henry Louis Gates on charges of disorderly conduct when he was 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. (ANI)

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