Video: Dispatcher asks about race in Gates 911 call

updated 7/28/2009 9:49:26 PM ET 2009-07-29T01:49:26

The woman whose 911 call led to the arrest of a Harvard scholar at his home and a national debate on racial profiling plans to speak publicly for the first time.

A lawyer for Lucia Whalen says Whalen plans a news conference Wednesday in Cambridge because she wants to get on with her life. The attorney says Whalen has been hounded "relentlessly" by the news media.

Police responded to her call about a possible break-in at the home of scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., and white police Sgt. James Crowley arrested Gates, who is black, on a disorderly conduct charge, touching off the debate.

Police later dropped the charge.

Gates is a friend of President Barack Obama, and the president's comment at a nationally televised press conference that the Cambridge police had "acted stupidly" stoked the debate about whether race was a factor in the arrest.

Crowley and police groups took offense at the comment and called on Obama to apologize. Obama later said he regretted his choice of words, and he invited Crowley and Gates to join him at the White House on Thursday for a beer.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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