Sgt. Crowley speaks before police convention

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Watch Crowley’s remarks above

GILLIAN FLACCUS,Associated Press Writer

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Police Sgt. James Crowley is seeing the support of the Fraternal Order of Police firsthand after his arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

More than 3,000 police officers gave Crowley a standing ovation Monday when he opened the group’s five-day convention in Long Beach, Calif., with brief remarks.

Crowley sparked a national debate on race when he arrested Gates for disorderly conduct at the professor’s home in Cambridge, Mass. Crowley is white, and Gates is black.

Dozens of officers took snapshots of Crowley. He spoke for only a few minutes to thank them for their support after the July 16 arrest.

President Barack Obama said after the incident that Crowley had “acted stupidly,” then held a White House beer summit to bring all three men together.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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