Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, one of the nation's most powerful African-American scholars, was charged of disorderly conduct, local media reported on Tuesday.
Gates, 58, director of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African &African American Research, was arrested on Thursday at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, police said.
He was described by police as “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior, including accusing police of racism. Boston's WHDH-TV said all charges would be dropped, quoting unidentified sources.
A woman had reported on Thursday a man trying to force open the home's door, according to the arrest report.
A statement from Gates' lawyer, Charles Ogletree, released late on Monday said the professor was unable to enter his damaged front door after returning from a trip to China.
Ogletree said Gates showed his Harvard identification and driver's license to a policeman who arrived at his home.
The police report said Gates initially refused to provide identification and after the officer's explained he was investigating a reported break-in, shouted this is what happens to black men in America.
The report said Gates leveled threats against the policeman, then followed the officer outside and yelled at him. Officers then arrested him.
Gates joined the Harvard faculty in 1991 and holds one of 20 prestigious “university professors” positions at the school.
He also was host of “African American Lives,” a PBS show about the family histories of prominent U.S. blacks, and was named by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential Americans in 1997.
“I was obviously very concerned when I learned on Thursday about the incident,” Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust said in a statement.
Gates was released later that day on his own recognizance. An arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 26.