Boston cop fired in racist e-mail flap

The officer used a racial slur about Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Boston Herald

BOSTON — A Boston cop who fired off an e-mail that used a racial slur about Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. has been bounced from the force.

Police announced this afternoon that Officer Justin Barrett has been “terminated” after five charges were filed against him by a hearing officer for the insulting missive.

Barrett, 36, wrote a widely disseminated e-mail calling black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. a “banana-eating jungle monkey” this past July.

The e-mail prompted Menino to tell the Herald and other media that Barrett was “gone, G-O-N-E.”

Police Commissioner Edward Davis also denounced Barrett’s e-mail and launched the process that was expected to end in the cop’s termination.

Davis announced today he backs the firing.

“Given the egregious nature of his actions and its effect on our community, I strongly believe that the only appropriate discipline is termination. I commend the officers who voiced their disapproval of Officer Barrett’s actions,” Davis said in a statement.

Barrett’s e-mail came six days after Cambridge Sgt. James Crowley arrested Gates for disorderly conduct. Gates charged he was a victim of racial profiling, which Crowley denied. Charges against Gates were dropped.

That case led to the now famous “Beer Summit” with President Obama and Vice President Biden along with Gates and Crowley at the White House.

Barrett, who earned about $78,000, is fired as of today, police added.

Copyright 2010 Boston Herald

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