Sgt. Crowley is a very admirable police officer. I have the highest respect for him. He is certainly no racist.
However, once Professor Gates showed him his ID, and Crowley saw that the man was sitting at his own kitchen table in his own house -- not ransacking or burglarizing the place -- the Sergeant should have defused the problem.
Crowley is a trained peace officer, trained to keep the peace, not to escalate a heated situation. He should understand that Gates was justifiably upset by being confronted by the police in his own house, for doing nothing at all. A Man's Home Is His Castle, someone once said -- at least, theoretically.
Crowley is a highly qualified police trainer and instructor. He should have calmed the situation down, not allowed it to escalate.
They are both good people, they both over-reacted, they both made mistakes. Obama is trying to bring the two parties together and put this problem behind them -- and Obama will succeed in doing that.