dot dot dot.

UPDATE: The e-mail.

From the Boston Herald, via the Root:

A Boston police officer allegedly sent a mass e-mail using a disgraceful racial slur in referring to Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., prompting the commissioner to move immediately to fire the cop, the Herald has learned.

Officer Justin Barrett, 36, a two-year veteran assigned to District B-3, was placed on administrative leave pending a termination hearing yesterday afternoon. When a supervisor confronted Barrett about the e-mail – in which he called Gates a “jungle monkey” – he admitted to being the author, according to officials.

Police Commissioner Edward Davis immediately stripped the cop of his gun and badge, according to officials. Barrett, who could not immediately be reached, has no prior disciplinary history.

Barrett is also a member of the National Guard, a source said, and the e-mail was sent anonymously to his fellow guard members and the Boston Globe. It was unclear whether the scurrilous missive was sent to members of Boston police as well.

“There is no room on the department for someone who uses those words,” said Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll, who declined to provide the specific text of the letter.



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.
  • OMG I cannot take this story much longer. Living up here in Boston, I can assure you that coverage of this case will not end. And now sh*t like this (of which there are a multitude of examples, I am sure) to keep it in the news. Meanwhile, Gates and Crowley will be drinking at the White House tomorrow night and morons and bigots and the lowly well-intentioned and our media enablers all will continue to discuss this and go over and over and over this and I’m just not sure what we’re learning from it, anymore, if we ever were.

    That it’s unfolding in Boston which is always the public’s favorite example of Northern Racism (It’s not just the South! EleventyOne!) leaves me as an original Masshole sad and disappointed and frustrated to no end.

    That Gates and Crowley and even maybe Obama will end up making a range of fatuous or passive aggressive or conciliatory statements on this whole episode, while it continues to fester at the lower echelons of society is beyond annoying.

    Good on Davis for firing that asshole; we’ve got too many dudez like that up here. But can’t we have some sort of system-wide come to jesus about the whole thing?

    Christ. (Apologies for my cursing)

  • Hmm, based on Sotomayor’s Pappas dissent (link), doesn’t this guy have a right to say what he wants to whomever he wants?

  • Yay they fired the guy! Reprecussions for stupidity are all I ask for.

  • mute

    I’m suprised Boston cops don’t have their own so they can spit their racism anonymously.

  • ladyfresh

    nice action on the quick firing

  • K.

    Racial slur aside, that whole email was bizarre and indicative of mental instability.

  • I couldn’t stop laughing at “warm cruller and hot panamanian, black.”

  • This guy continues to say he’s not racist yet continues to say these horrible things.

    What kind of a man would have black friends (as he say’s) and continue making comments like this?

  • I just did a dramatic reading of the email for my fiance who hasn’t had a chance to read it. I’m no Shattner, but seriously, re-reading it again – that guy is seriously unhinged. It’s unbelievable. Racist slurs, tell this woman to get him some coffee, talking about freedom and taxes and our borders (total Palin supporter, btw), it’s nonsensical and beyond bizarre. I’m really not pleased that this guy is going to be out and about after being fired; he needs to go to a mental health facility, not back onto the streets or into the Guard, etc.