Police Commissioner Robert Haas announced he will appoint a professional panel to analyze what exactly occurred in last Thursday's arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. "The department is very much taking this seriously," Haas said at a press conference Thursday afternoon, adding he and the department have their support behind the arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley. "He tried to deescalate the situation."

Police Commissioner Robert Haas announced he will appoint a professional panel to analyze what exactly occurred in last Thursday's arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.


"The department is very much taking this seriously," Haas said at a press conference Thursday afternoon, adding he and the department have their support behind the arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley. "He tried to deescalate the situation."


The department, Haas said, is looking into Crowley's background and is reviewing the 911 phone call. Haas said he plans to name members of the panel in the next several weeks. "The whole story has not been told," he said.


"He's not a rogue cop in any way," said Haas.


"We thought this was a situation we wanted to move on from," said Haas, when asked why the charges were dropped against Gates. "We didn't want this to be a prolonged situation and we needed to focus on what we could do to focus on safety and protection of this community."


In response to President Barack Obama's statement Wednesday night, claiming Cambridge police acted "stupidly," Haas said officers were "stunned" that morning. "They were very much deflated," he said. "We don't have the reputation the department has been painted with."


Haas had been silent up until Thursday's impromptu news conference.


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