Obama to meet with Gates, Cambridge police officer on Thursday

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House "beer summit" will take place Thursday evening at a picnic table outside the Oval Office on Thursday, weather permitting.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says that's when President Barack Obama will share a beer with Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and Police Sergeant James Crowley and discuss the fallout from Gates' arrest at his Cambridge home earlier this month. It happened after a woman called 911 to report what she thought was a break-in at a home just off Harvard Square.

It turned out to be Gates, who is black, trying to get into his home after returning from a trip to China. Crowley, who is white, arrested Gates for disorderly conduct following an alleged verbal tirade. The charge was eventually dropped.

Obama got involved when he was asked about it at a news conference and responded that police had acted "stupidly." On Friday, the president went into the White House briefing room and told reporters he wished he had used different language.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs says Thursday's get-together will be "about having a beer and de-escalation." He says, "The president wants to continue to take down the temperature a bit."

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