Saturday, May 18, 2024

A progress report by the so-called Gates committee was posted Monday on the Cambridge Police Department Web site, estimated by city councillors to be going up about three weeks after promised.

The delay was the topic of an unusual suspension of rules during a City Council meeting, requested by councillor Craig Kelley as City Manager Robert W. Healy took his seat to discuss his week’s agenda. Kelley usually opposes late policy orders and other last-minute business at council meetings, and councillor Tim Toomey called him on it and voted against allowing the suspension.

But councillors such as Ken Reeves, who spoke in support of Kelley’s request, wanted to follow up on questions from past weeks about the progress of the $210,000 panel. When the move came to a vote, it was 6-3 to allow Kelley’s question: Where was the report?

The report was posted, Healy said, and Toomey later mentioned to Kelley — interjecting it while discussing an entirely different topic — that it was prominent on the police department’s site.

“And it was posted this morning,” Kelley fired back.

The progress report by the Cambridge Review Committee, formed in the aftermath of the racially charged July 16 arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., was indeed at the top of the department’s Web site listing of “News & events,” the most recent item added after the day’s crime log.

Kelley noted he’d run into the Gates committee’s public liaison, Jennifer Flagg, today and took the opportunity to ask her about the report. Based on city officials’ promises about the report, Cambridge Day posted it March 13.