Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Busted Harvard Prof

Drops 'Yo Mama' Joke

on Cop

7/20/2009 4:20 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0720_gates-1Even the nation's pre-eminent African-American scholar isn't afraid to bust a yo' mama joke -- especially when he's getting busted by cops.

Cambridge police arrested Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for disorderly conduct last Thursday night. Gates was going into his house when police responded to a call that two black males were breaking in.

According to the police report, 58-year old Gates got into it pretty good with Sgt. Crowley, and that's when ...

"As I began walking through the foyer toward the front door, I could hear Gates again demanding my name. I again told Gates that I would speak with him outside. His reply was "ya, I'll speak with your mama outside."

As you can imagine, the argument got more heated after that and Gates was taken into custody.

Professor -- everyone knows it's "yo' mama." Not "your mama."


No Avatar

Chuck Cardiff    

Yeah, I agree, if an officer responds to a report of a break-in he should just assume that if the person has already entered the house, he is the owner/occupant of the house. Makes sense to me. Also, when a police officer asks an adult for ID, he should accept a library card or a school ID as positive proof of identity, especially when investigating a possible felony. Surely a wise policy. Finally, if the suspect starts yelling at and abusing the officer, the officer should assume that he is in the wrong and leave immediately.

1929 days ago


Sue the cop! Take away his mobile home NOW!

1929 days ago


All the CR@CKERS that keep projecting that all black people commit crimes are nothing but TRASH. Pure Filth. I've never committed a crime in my life and don't know anyone who has. I do know that Bernie Madoff is a crook. Prick Cheney is a crook. GW Bush is a crook. And the crimes they commit involve not only the theft of quadrillions of dollars, but the murders of millions of innocent people. I would say that in the thousands of years since white people have, unfortunately, surfaced on the planet, that billions of innocent people have been slaughtered in the name of white supremacy.

That's what your race is.... a tribal, hate filled, murderous klan of inbred mutants.


1929 days ago


As far as hand outs are concerned...

The only time I'll stick my hand out is to smack the pink smirk off your swine face.


1929 days ago


love the part when he produced his Harvard ID, and officer called for backup from the Harvard Police wtf?

he was identified by the maintenance man, but they just wanted to further humiliate him

ah, those pesky misunderstandings, luckily he didn't get shot in the back

wonder how many of these stories he has

then he blames him for the crowd outside of police officers, uses it to arrest him for DC

the crowd was 'alarmed' by the 5'4 unarmed Black man addressing a crowd of armed police officers

1928 days ago

runescape gold    

The police are not required to jump through hoops. The police are allowed to come on any property to check out a report. Your suggestion that they go throught some long investigation before going up and knocking on a door means that many burglars would be long gone.

1928 days ago


That's why he received an official apology!

1928 days ago


Gates is the real racist here. He was breaking into his own home, but a concerned neighbor called the police. When the police showed up, they didn't know who Gates was and Gates refused to produce any identity. If Gates had been civil and provided his ID, this confrontation could have been avoided. Instead, he decided to act ghetto and "keep it real." What did he expect the police to do?

1928 days ago

Auntee Rach Rach example.......and I always say.....u can take the "Ninja" out the hood.......but u can't take the hood out the "Ninja".......................well good for him

1928 days ago


WTF!?! What if there really were some black guys breaking into his house? Would Mr. Scholar have even appreciated that the cops were trying to do their job or would he still have been yelling the race card? When the officers came to the house, they had no idea who was what,but instead of cooperating with the cops, this smart guy starts yelling racism and wouldn't show them any i.d. What the hell did he think should have happened? It's cases like this and attitudes like that , that are the very definition of racism!!!! Maybe look at the reality of the situation and let's all try to use a little common sense. It's people who play the race card every chance they get who seem to be the biggest problems where racism is concerned!

1928 days ago


Let's see. You have a report of a black male breaking into a home. You get on scene and there's a black male that just broke into a home but you can't suspect the guy because he's in the home already and he's black or you'll be a racist. How ridiculous. I'm so tired of being accused of oppressing the black race. That's why the white and black communities will never get along the way they should. Half of us were't even born yet when slavery existed and it's been abolished already so move on. I never believed in slavery, I never owned a slave so I owe you nothing. Stop taking advantage of something that never happened to you.

1928 days ago

Rodela Walters    

Yo dude, the cops was just bangin on another brother that did good an escapeded the grips of the man. It tooks us a while but the white man is now rights were the black man was. Having to say we is sorry for messin with the black man. So all ins all wes WIN.

1928 days ago


Am I missing something? There was a call for a break in .. the police respond ... You answer the door, tell the cops, "there must be some mistake, I live here, here's my I.D." .. Then the cops respond with, "sorry, sir, we just wanted to make sure everything was okay" . Then both sides bid farewell, and it's a done deal. BUT NO! Mr. Education over reacted, yelled foul, and the cops take offense to a "MOMMA" reference. WOW. BOTH sides are at fault. Just show 'em your ID, geeze. And don't cops have to pass some kind of psych evaluation before getting hired? If this "COP" is easily offened that quickly, (by WORDS), he should NOT BE A COP carrying a gun.

1928 days ago


Hey #127. For the record......was that English?????????

1928 days ago


Sadly, this incident does not surprise me . As I read the article, I could only shake my head. Unless, I missed something, who was the other black man with Gates? The individual who reported the activity must have felt that it would have more of an impact if she reported two black men were breaking in instead of one. At any rate her credibilty is shot because she can't count or see. Number 12 and 14 are you kidding me? Easy for you to say it wasn't you in the situation.Well, the arresting cop will not get "Officer of the Year", but then again he may become a town hero. It wouldn't surprise me. Although it is hard not to play the race card, it would still be stupid even if all parties involved were the same race. Common sense is what the officer failed to use.

1927 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web