Obama set for Thursday beers with Crowley, Gates

President Obama will have beers at the White House Thursday evening with Sgt. Jim Crowley and the Harvard professor he arrested, Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The beer summit is the president’s attempt to tamp down on tensions over Gates’s arrest, and Obama’s subsequent remarks about that arrest at a press conference last week.

Gates, a leading African-American scholar, was arrested at his Cambridge, Mass., home July 16 on a disorderly conduct charge by Crowley, who is white. Crowley was responding to a report of a possible break-in at Gates's residence. The police later dropped charges against Gates.

Obama, asked about the arrest during a prime-time press conference last week, said the police “acted stupidly” in arresting Gates in his own home, which prompted rebukes from Crowley and his colleagues.

Obama on Friday voiced regrets over his comments, and said he hoped that incident would result in a “teachable” moment. He also invited Crowley and Gates to the White House.

The drinks are scheduled for 6 p.m. at the White House, an administration official said.

Obama will have a Budweiser, the same kind of beer he had at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday. Crowley will have a Blue Moon and Gates will drink a Becks or a Red Stripe, CNN reported.