A Boston police officer has been suspended and likely will be fired after sending an anonymous email that referred to Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. as a "jungle monkey."
According to the Boston Herald, 36-year-old Officer Justin Barrett 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."
ABC affiliate WCVB reports that Barrett sent the email to colleagues at the National Guard -- he is also a reserve soldier in the Guard -- and to the Boston Globe. Police traced the email back to Barrett on Tuesday. As of the writing of this report, the Globe has not run a story confirming this.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis "immediately stripped the cop of his gun and badge," the Herald reported Wednesday.
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was arrested on the front porch of his own home on a public disturbance charge July 16 in an incident where a police officer suspected the Harvard scholar of being a burglar after Gates jimmied his way in. Gates says he was a victim of racial profiling. Charges against him were quickly dropped.
The incident became an even larger controversy when President Barack Obama said last week that the Cambridge police had "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates. And most recently, the neighbor of Gates whose 911 call started the incident said she never mentioned that the two persons on Gates's porch were black, and didn't talk to the arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley, at the scene.
Both of those claims contradict Sgt. Crowley's police report on the incident.
-- Daniel Tencer