WASHINGTON - The police officer at the center of a national dispute over race and law enforcement says a much-anticipated meeting at the White House was productive and all parties are looking forward.
Cambridge, Mass., police Sgt. James Crowley spoke after meeting with President Barack Obama and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., along with Vice President Joe Biden. Crowley described himself and Gates as "two gentlemen who agreed to disagree" about the confrontation that led to Gates' arrest.
He said that the conversation centered on moving forward, not reliving the events of the past two weeks, and that they plan more meetings.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is hailing his meeting with professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and policeman James Crowley as a "friendly, thoughtful conversation."
In a statement after the three men and Vice President Joe Biden chatted over beers, Obama said he learned that Gates and Crowley had already spent some time talking with each other. He called that "a testament to them."
Said Obama: "I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart. I am confident that has happened here tonight, and I am hopeful that all of us are able to draw this positive lesson from this episode."
Obama, Gates and Crowley were at the center of a national uproar over racial profiling.