BOSTON – Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. has sent flowers and a note to the woman who unwittingly sparked a national debate on race by calling police to report what she thought might be a break-in at Gates' home.
Wendy Murphy, the lawyer for Lucia Whalen, called the flowers a "gesture of gratitude." She declined to say what was in the accompanying note.
Whalen's 911 call drew police to Gates' Cambridge home on July 16. The subsequent confrontation between Gates, who is black, and Sgt. James Crowley, who is white, ended in Gates' arrest for disorderly conduct, a charge that was later dropped.
Whalen found herself vilified by critics who accused her of racial profiling. The subsequent release of the 911 tapes showed she never described Gates or his driver as black.