President Obama on Friday made an unscheduled appearance in the White House briefing room to address the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates in his own home, urging Americans to take a “step back” and “spend a little more time listening to each other” on the case.
President Obama reiterated his view that Prof. Gates should not have been arrested in his own home and that he wishes “cooler heads” had prevailed on both sides. The President also said he had spoken with the arresting officer, whose overall professionalism he praised, and said that he did not intend to malign the Cambridge Police Department during Wednesday’s press conference.
Here’s video of the full statement:
Update (12:06PM): Join the discussion in aaraujo’s recommended diary on President Obama’s comments.
Update (12:14PM): Transcript after the jump.