Times Wire Reports

Harvard University scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. has sent flowers and a note to the woman who unwittingly sparked a national debate on race by calling police to report what she thought might be a break-in at Gates' home.

Lucia Whalen's lawyer, Wendy Murphy, called the flowers a "gesture of gratitude." Murphy declined to say what was in the accompanying note.

Whalen's 911 call July 16 drew police to Gates' Cambridge home. The subsequent confrontation between Gates, who is black, and Sgt. James Crowley, who is white, ended in Gates' arrest for disorderly conduct, a charge that was later dropped.

Whalen was vilified and accused of racial profiling. The release of the 911 tapes showed that she never described Gates or his driver as black.

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