CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) -- The President tried to quiet a storm Friday afternoon. He told reporters he called Sergeant James Crowley to talk about the controversy surrounding the arrest of prominent black Harvard professor, Henry Gates.
Crowley says President Obama offended police when he accused the Cambridge authorities of having acted "stupidly."
"I was a little surprised and disappointed that the president, who didn't have all of the facts by his own admission, then weighed in on the events of that night and made a comment that, you know, really offended not just officers in the Cambridge police department but officers around the country," Sgt. James Crowley told CNN affiliate WHDH.
Friday afternoon, Mr. Obama said he talked with Crowley in a five minute conversation. He said he told Crowley he knew he was an outstanding police officer and a good man and the conversation confirmed it. He continued to say his choice of words contributed to the frenzy and he says both parties may have overreacted.
Wednesday night Obama waded into the story by answering a question about it during his news conference, he admitted that he "may be a little biased" because the professor, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is a friend. "I don't know all the facts," he added.
He said he did not know what role race played, but, "the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home."
Gates told CNN the experience made him realize "how vulnerable all black men are, how vulnerable all people of color are and all poor people to capricious forces like a rogue policeman -- and this man clearly was a rogue policeman."
Crowley, in the police report about the incident, accused Gates of refusing to cooperate with him and repeatedly accusing him of racism when he went to Gates' home following a report of a possible break-in on July 16.
Crowley said he tried to determine whether there was someone else at the home and wanted to ensure Gates' safety. But Gates told him "that I had no idea who I was 'messing' with," and was being so loud that he could not give pertinent information to the department when he was calling in.
Crowley's report said that when he asked to speak with Gates outside instead of inside the home, Gates at one point responded, "I'll speak with your mama outside."
Authorities have said they may release tapes of the officer calling in, in which Gates is heard in the background.
Gates' attorney Charles Ogletree told CNN the professor never made such a remark.
"This is not a Jeremiah Wright moment," Ogletree said, referring to Obama's former pastor who became the source of controversy when some of his remarks circulated online.