WASHINGTON President Barack Obama has called the white policeman who arrested black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. The president says he believes the sergeant to be an outstanding police officer.
The president said Friday that he continues to think both the officer, Sgt. James Crowley, and Gates overreacted during the incident but Obama also faulted his own comments.
Making an impromptu appearance at the daily White House briefing, Obama told reporters: "I could've calibrated those words differently."
The president caused a stir when he said at a prime-time news conference earlier this week that police in Cambridge, Mass., had "acted stupidly" by arresting Gates.
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