The now famous phone call between Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley and President Barack Obama occurred last Friday at Tommy Doyle’s Irish Pub in Kendall Square, where Crowley and a group of fellow cops were having lunch following a press conference at the nearby police station.
In that call, Obama invited Crowley to the White House for a beer with Henry Louis Gates Jr., the African American Harvard professor who Crowley had arrested in his home on July 16 for disorderly conduct.
“There were a lot of smiles and some cheering among the patrons after Sergeant Crowley hung up the phone,” general manager David Dinneen told the Echo.
“Sergeant Crowley himself seemed humbled and relieved after taking the call. It’s been a stressful week for him and the other officers.”
Dinneen, a County Limerick native, said that the pub grew quiet after word came in that the president would be speaking to Crowley in a couple of moments.
“We turned the music down, and it was almost like a surreal experience when the call came in on the cell phone.”
According to staff at the popular pub, Crowley and his group were chowing down on calamari and sample platters when the president called.
Earlier that day, the Cambridge police union had held a press conference in which the leadership asked for an apology from Obama for saying during a press conference that the Cambridge police had “acted stupidly” when Crowley and other officers had arrested Gates.
“Sgt. Crowley is a good man who was just trying to do his job,” Dinneen said. “He deserves that beer at the White House.”
That beer is to be quaffed Thursday evening in a sit down between Crowley, Gates and the president. The meeting will actually be between three men who share Irish ancestry.
Crowley’s is the most obvious but Prof Gates also has Irish roots on his father’s side and President Obama’s family link to County Offaly has been well documented.