|Boston Police Officer Justin Barrett (CNN)|
But then Lucia Whalen, who I thought initially wanted her privacy, held a news conference to say that she picked her words carefully and would call 911 again. But then her lawyer came to the mic and chided Obama and his administration for not inviting her client to the beerfest that Gates and Crowley will have today. She quipped, "Maybe it's a guy thing." So now people can incorrectly say that Obama is sexist and racist when talking about the same incident.
After Whalen's press conference I thought finally Gatesgate would die down. But then when I awoke this morning I was shocked to get a CNN alert about the Boston police. It seems that Officer Justin Barrett sent an email to coworkers and the Boston Globe calling Gates a "jungle monkey." The full text is here, but here are some lowlights: "Your defense of Gates...assumes he has rights when considered a suspect," "for if I was the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana-eating jungle monkey, I would have sprayed him in the face with OC," "You are a hot little bird with minimal experiences in a harsh field. You are a fool. An infidel," "He [Gates] has indeed transcended back to a bumbling jungle monkey," "Your article title should read CONDUCT UNBECOMING A JUNGLE MONKEY-BACK TO ONE'S ROOTS."
|Boston Police Officer Justin|
Barrett (Daily Kos)
Mayor Menino thinks so, too, and has called for Barrett's dismissal from the force: "I said, ‘He has no place in this department, and we have to take his badge away.’ That stuff doesn’t belong in our city, and we’re not going to tolerate it." The National Guard has suspended Barrett barring a full investigation into the manner. Barrett has been suspended from the BPD, but he's still being paid.
If I were Sergeant Crowley I would be extremely angry at Barrett. Crowley, who made an unjust arrest and probably just wants everything to simmer down (whether it was motivated by race we don't know and speculating about it is worthless). Now he is thrown back into the spotlight thanks to the actions of a person he's probably never met. Barrett has embarrassed himself, the Boston PD and the National Guard. Not only is he racist, but he sends a racist email to a newspaper. In his email he states, "I am prejudice [sic] towards people who are stupid." Racism and self-hate; now that's a dangerous combination.