A Boston police officer has been put on administrative leave after using racist slurs when referring to Harvard professor Henry Gates, who has been at the center of a controversial arrest last week and even drew president Obama to comment on the event.
The officer is 36-year-old Justin Barrett. He was stripped of his gun and badge on Tuesday afternoon when Boston Police Commissioner Edward David learned that Barrett was the author of an e-mail which included racist remarks towards Henry Gates.
"Commissioner Edward Davis has placed Officer Justin Barrett on administrative leave pending outcome of a termination hearing," said Elaine Driscoll, who is a spokeswoman for the Boston Police Department. "Commissioner Davis was made aware that this officer admitted to being the author of correspondence which included racist remarks," she added. Driscoll did not know how many people received the e-mail or at what date it was sent.
According to BNO News sources with direct knowledge to the contents of the e-mail, Barrett called Gates, among other racists remarks, a "jungle monkey." The e-mail was described as a "mass e-mail."
Boston Mayor Tom Menino called Barrett a "cancer in the department" and said he should be fired immediately, his office said.
Barrett was assigned to Boston's Mattapan district and has been on the job for about two years and has no prior history. An investigation has been launched.