TRANSCRIPT: 911 Call And Police Radio Dispatches in the Arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Cambridge Police Department release audio tapes from the day of the arrest.

ByABC News
July 27, 2009, 3:12 PM

July 27, 2009— -- Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested on June 16 on charges of disorderly conduct, which were later dropped. The police was dispatched to Gates' house after a 911 call reporting a break-in. Here is the full transcript of that 911 call, made by Lucia Whalen, and the subsequent police dispatches.

DISPATCH: 9-1-1 (inaudible) what's the exact location of your emergency?

CALLER: Hi, uhm, I'm actually at (inaudible) Ware Street in Cambridge in a house, number is 17 Ware Street.

DISPATCH: Ok ma'am. Your cellphone cut out. What's the address again?

CALLER: Hi, uhm, it's 17 Ware. That's W-A-R-E.

DISPATCH: The emergency's at 7 Ware street?

CALLER: No, sorry, some other woman is talking next to me. It's 17 one-seven Ware Street.

DISPATCH: What's the phone number you're calling me from?

CALLER: I'm calling you from my cell phone number.

DISPATCH: Ok what's the problem? Can you tell me exactly what happened?

CALLER: Uhm, I don't know what's happening. I just had a, uh, older woman standing here and she had noticed two gentlemen trying to get in a house at that number 17 Ware Street. And they kind of had to barge in and they broke the screen door and they finally got in and when I (inaudible) and looked, I went closer to the house a little bit after the gentlemen were already in the house I noticed two suitcases. So I'm not sure if these are two individuals who actually work there or maybe live ther.

DISPATCH: You think they may have been breaking in?

CALLER: Sir, I don't know. Because I have no idea. I just noticed --

DISPATCH: You think the possibility might have been there? What do you mean by barged in? Did they kick the door in?

CALLER: No they were pushing the door in, like uhm, uhm, like the screen part of the front door was, had like cuts --

DISPATCH: How did (inaudible) the door itself with the lock?

CALLER: They -- I didn't see a key or anything so -- I was a little bit away from the door, but I did notice that they pushed their --

DISPATCH: What did the suitcases have to do with anything?

CALLER: I don't know I'm just saying that's what I saw.

DISPATCH: (inaudible) that they broke into?

CALLER: No there's just a first floor, I don't even think that it's an apartment. It's 17 Ware Street. It's a house. It's just a yellow house. Number 17. I don't know if they live there and they just had a hard time with their key but I did notice that they had to use their shoulder to try and barge in. And they got in. I don't know if they had a key or not, because I couldn't see from my angle. But when I looked in closely that's what I saw.

DISPATCH: Was it a (inaudible) or Hispanic?

CALLER: Uhm...

DISPATCH: Are they still in the house?

CALLER: They're still in the house I believe, yeah.

DISPATCH: Were they white, black, or Hispanic?

CALLER: Uhm, well they were two larger men. One looked kind of Hispanic but I'm not really sure. And the other one entered and I didn't see what he looked like at all. I just saw her from a distance and this older woman was worried thinking someone's breaking into someone's house. They've been barging in and she interrupted me and that's when I had noticed otherwise I probably wouldn't have noticed it at all to be honest with you. So I was just calling because she was a concerned neighbor. I guess.

DISPATCH: OK, are you standing outside?

CALLER: I'm standing outside, yes.

DISPATCH: Alright police are on their way you can meet them when they get there. What's your last name?

CALLER: Yeah, my name is (censored)

DISPATCH: Ok they're on their way.

CALLER: OK. OK I guess I'll wait. Thanks.

CONTROL1: Control to Car 1, 18-4-0.


CONTROL1: Respond to 17 Ware Street for a possible B-D in progress, two S-P's barged their way into the home. They have suitcases. (inaudible) S-P. Standby. Trying to get further.

OFFICER1: 52-0. Ware Street right now, 17?

CONTROL1: 17 Ware Street, uhm, both S-P's are still in the house, unknown on the race. Ah, one may be Hispanic I'm not sure.

OFFICER1: Is there an apartment number there?

CONTROL1: Negative on the apartment. Single family yellow house.

OFFICER1: (inaudible)

OFFICER1: You have the (inaudible) coming in the front door?

CONTROL1: I'm sorry, repeat?

OFFICER1: Do you have the caller coming to the front door?

CONTROL1: Not her house, she doesn't live there. She's a witness in this.

OFFICER2: C-13 to control, I'm on Broadway, I'm going to respond.

CONTROL1: Received.

OFFICER3: 52 (inaudible)

CONTROL2: Answering 52.

OFFICER3: A (inaudible) gentlemen says he resides here, but uncooperative. Uh, keep the cars coming.


OFFICER3: Can you also send the Harvard University police this way?

CONTROL2: Ah, we can send them in.

CONTROL1: 13 and 5-2 when you get a chance I need to talk to you.

OFFICER3: 52 Control.

OFFICER2: Answering.

OFFICER(unknown): Can have a (inaudible) escape.

OFFICER(unknown): Channel 2.

OFFICER2: C-13's off.


OFFICER1: 52's on 2.

CONTROL2: Answering 52.

OFFICER1: Going to give the name of the resident, a Henry Louis Gates Jr. of the Harvard faculty.

CONTROL2: Sir can you repeat?

CONTROL2: Control to 52.

CONTROL2: (inaudible) 52.

CONTROL2: Control to 52.

CONTROL2: Control to Car 52.

OFFICER1: (inaudible)

CONTROL2: 52 go back to channel 2.

OFFICER4: One's on.

CONTROL2: (inaudible) Car 52.

UNKNOWN: (inaudible)

UNKNOWN: 18 I didn't copy 52's last when he got on 2.

OFFICER(unknown): Right, standby.

CONTROL2: Control to 1-R.

OFFICER4: I'm off on Ware Street with 52.

CONTROL2: I received.

OFFICER(unknown): This is (inaudible) do we have a wagon coming to the location?

CONTROL2: Control to wagon.

WAGON: Wagon.

CONTROL2: Uh 17 Ware Street.

WAGON: Copy.

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