Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was mildly critical Tuesday of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., whose angry response to a Cambridge, Mass., police officer touched off a national debate involving President Obama.
Powell, interviewed by CNN's Larry King, criticized the way Gates dealt with Sgt. James Crowley, a white officer who responded to reports of a possible break-in by arresting the black professor at his home on a charge of disorderly conduct. The charge was soon dropped.
Gates "might have waited a while, come outside, talked to the officer, and that might have been the end of it," said Powell, one of the nation's most prominent African Americans.