Justin Barrett Kills Two Jobs with One Stone
Justin Barrett, a 36-year-old soon-to-be-former Boston cop and Massachussetts Army National Guard captain, is making the headlines with a letter he circulated describing, a bit too enthusiastically, his views on a Boston Globe column on the Henry Louis Gates incident.
Alan Colmes has the background:
Barrett refers to himself as “a former English teacher, writer, current police officer, father, husband and military veteran.” He says he’s “embarrassed I paid the 1.50 for the paper” which he calls “sub standard,” “one sided” and “fourth grade level.” About Gates he writes, “He is a suspect and will always be a suspect.”
The “former English teacher” goes on to state, “if I was the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana-eating jungle monkey I would have sprayed him in the face with OC deserving of his belligerent non-compliance.” Barrett continues to criticize the Globe by mockingly asking, “I might as well ax you the question, ‘Is this your first test at reporting’?”
Attacking Gates’ credentials, Barrett asks, “[He’s] famous for what?…What has he done for me and my family? What has he done for the law enforcement community or military veterans or to secure freedoms and our borders in this country? What has he done to help limit and reduce my income tax?”
The author of the article to which Barrett objects is told she is a failure who deserves to be serving him coffee and donuts. The officer concludes by screeching, “Go ahead, ax me what I think? Gates is a goddamned fool, and you the article writer simply a poor follower and maybe worse, a poor writer. Your article title should read ‘CONDUCT UNBECOMING A JUNGLE MONKEY-BACK TO ONE’S ROOTS’.” JB
The National Guard has already suspended Barrett,
The Massachusetts National Guard does not and will not tolerate racially insensitive language.
The language contained in the e-mail violates policies of the Massachusetts National Guard and what it stands for in its commitment to uphold and protect the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Constitution of the United States.
Capt. Justin Barrett’s actions and opinions are his own and do not reflect those of the Massachusetts National Guard. Capt. Barrett’s opinions are in complete violation of Army and National Guard Values and will not be tolerated.
Not surprisingly, he’s been suspended from the BPD as well and the mayor says he’ll be gone permanently.
Barrett, a 36-year-old who has been on the job for two years, was stripped of his gun and badge yesterday and faces a termination hearing in the next week, said police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll. He has no previous disciplinary record, she said. “Yesterday afternoon, Commissioner Davis was made aware that Officer Barrett was the author of correspondence which included racially charged language,” she said. “At that time, Commissioner Davis immediately stripped Officer Barrett of his gun and badge, and at this time we will be moving forward with the hearing process.”
[…][Mayor Thomas M.] Menino said he was angry when Davis informed him of the incident Tuesday night. Of the suspended officer, Menino said he told Davis: “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 mayor stressed that the incident was about one officer, and ”one officer doesn’t make up a police department.”
Menino, speaking to the Globe before an evening event in the South End, said he hadn’t seen the e-mail Menino said while the officer is not officially terminated, he might as well be “He’s gone, g-o-n-e. I don’t care, it’s like cancer, you don’t keep those cancers around.”
Barrett says it’s all a big misunderstanding.
In an interview that WCVB-TV aired last night, Barrett said he used “a poor choice of words.”
Barrett and his lawyer said they will fight the charges. “People are making it about race. It is not about race,” Barrett said. Gates was arrested by Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley on charges of disorderly conduct. “I did not mean to offend anyone,” he said. “The words were being used to characterize behavior, not describe anyone . . . I didn’t mean it in a racist way. I treat everyone with dignity and respect.”
Except, apparently, members of the public with whom he has disagreements.