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Obama Stands By Black Scholar Arrest Remark

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is standing by his assertion that police did not need to arrest a Harvard scholar who was trying to get into his own home.

Obama said in an interview with ABC that he has "extraordinary respect" for the challenges and hardships that law enforcement officers face every day in their line of work. But at the same time he said he didn't think it was necessary to arrest Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Obama said "cooler heads should have prevailed" in the incident. But he did not retract his initial statement that he thought police had "acted stupidly" and said such incidents "get elevated in ways that probably don't make much sense."