An email from the black police officer who assisted Sgt Crowley with the arrest of Gates, Leon K. Lashley, saying that he sent a letter with Crowley, in part reading that after coming to the defense of Crowley he had been called an “Uncle Tom.”
“One of the major problems stemming from the events of July 16 is that I, now known as ‘the black sergeant’, have had my image plastered all over the internet, television and newspapers. Subsquently, I have also become known, at least to some, as an ‘Uncle Tom.”
I am forced to ponder the notion that as a result of speaking the truth and coming to the defense of a friend and collegue, who just happens to be white, that I have somehow betrayed my heritage.
Please convey my concerns to the President that Mr. Gates’ actions may have caused grave and potentially irreparable harm to the struggle for racial harmony in this country and perhaps throughout the world.
In closing, I would simply like to ask that Mr. Gates deeply reflect on the events that have unfolded since July 16 and ask himself the following questions: “What can I do to help heal the rift caused by some of my actions?; What responsibility do I bear for what occurred on July 16, 2009?; Is there anything I can do to mitigate the damage done to the reputations of two respected Police Officers?”
Sgt. Leon Lashley says Gates was probably tired and surprised when Sgt. James Crowley demanded identification from him as officers investigated a report of a burglary. Lashley says Gates’ reaction to Crowley was “a little bit stranger than it should have been.”
Asked if Gates should have been arrested, Lashley said supported Crowley “100 percent.”