911 Caller Just Wants to Put 'Gates-gate' Behind Her

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 27, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: There is breaking news here in Washington tonight. FOX News has learned that Professor Henry Louis Gates and Sergeant James Crowley will meet at the White House at 6:00 PM on Thursday. During his phone conversation with President Obama, Sergeant Crowley suggested the idea of sitting down with the president and Professor Gates for a beer. We're going to let you know more when we learn more.

Now the story behind the 911 call that started the "Gates-gate" controversy. Wendy Murphy is the lawyer representing the woman who called 911. We went to Cambridge today to the scene, and Murphy went "On the Record."


VAN SUSTEREN: OK, Wendy, nice to see you, as always.

WENDY MURPHY, ATTORNEY FOR 911 CALLER: Good to see you, too, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Your client is what relationship to this story?

MURPHY: She's the 911 caller, the famous, or infamous, depending on how you viewed her, woman who decided that she saw something suspicious and called 911.

VAN SUSTEREN: So she's walking down the street, or did someone else tell her? Let's walk a little bit.

MURPHY: She was walking to lunch and came upon an older woman who said, I don't know what I'm seeing, but I'm concerned. Maybe we should call police. Elderly people tend not to have cell phones, so my client dialed 911. And the rest is recorded for all to make their judgments, but in a nutshell, she said, I see something I'm concerned about. It looks like two men are trying to force their way into a home. She also said, I see suitcases, so maybe they live here. I don't know.

I mean, she was very restrained in what she -- what she said she saw. She didn't particularly fear what she was witnessing, but she was being a good citizen. You know, this is an area where there have been a lot of break-ins lately. She works here, has worked here for 15 years, so she knew that this was something to be concerned about, something to bother to call the police about, although she also said, I don't know what I'm seeing.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know how close she got to the house?

MURPHY: She was walking right here on this sidewalk, and so she couldn't exactly see. Remember, there's a post here. She was behind -- her vision was partly back here, so the bush -- she's described the bush as being in front of her view. The men she saw had their backs to her, and so she was very clear that she couldn't really tell too much about what was going on.

But the most important part of the story, Greta, is that she didn't say, "I see two black men," because from here, she couldn't tell their race. Their backs were to her. She didn't report that she saw two black men because she had no idea their race.

And the report that she was racist and the only reason she called police is because she saw black men is just utterly ridiculous, totally false, and it really hurt her terribly because if you can hear them in the 911 tape, she says, I see two men, and it's he officer who says, Well, are they black, white, or Hispanic? And she says, Well, I'm not sure. And then, you know, to make an effort to answer that question, leans a little bit and says, Oh, I see one guy, he looks like he might be hospital.

The word "black" never came out of her mouth, and yet people have said she was the racist spark that fueled this controversy, and nothing could be further from the truth.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did she hear anything?

MURPHY: She did, although to tell you the truth, she wasn't focused on what she was hearing. And she doesn't want this to become more controversial, so we're not revealing the things that she heard. She heard a lot of yelling. She heard Professor Gates yelling. And she doesn't want to -- she doesn't want to add to the controversy. Even correcting the record she's worried might create more controversy. She doesn't want that to happen. She's glad that it's working toward an amicable resolution. She respects the police. She respects Professor Gates. And she's glad the truth is out there, but she wants to move on.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, without going into the content of what was said, which is, of course, part of the controversy, but in terms of the -- of whether the arrest itself might have been a disorderly, did she describe it to you that it was an out of control screaming at any point at all so that you might think, I might have made that arrest, or, I might not have made that arrest?

MURPHY: Well, I think what's fair to say is she does not believe the police acted inappropriately. Without describing the content of what she heard, there's only one person she heard screaming, and that was Professor Gates.


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