Boston Cop Behind Racist E-Mail Sues City

Claims police and mayor violated his civil rights by guaranteeing his firing

Tuesday, Aug 4, 2009  |  Updated 1:15 PM EDT
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Barrett got tossed after calling Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., a "banana-eating jungle monkey."

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The Boston cop facing unemployment after sending out a racist e-mail on the arrest of black Harvard professor Henry Gates is suddenly worried about civil rights -- his.

Justin Barrett, who was put on administrative leave by the Boston Police Department pending a termination hearing, said city officials trampled on his rights by promising to can him. Barrett, 36, waded into the race debate triggered by Gates' arrest by e-mailing the Boston Globe to blast the paper's coverage and saying if he had been the arresting officer, he would have sprayed the "banana-eating jungle monkey" in the face with pepper spray.

Days later Mayor Thomas Menino called Barrett a cancer and said he was "gone. G-O-N-E,’’ and Police Commissioner Edward Davis also publicly said that Barrett should go. Barrett claims city officials acted as “prosecutor, judge, jury” by saying he deserved to be fired bfore he had his day in court.

Barrett, who went on "Larry King Live" after his e-mail went public to apologize, said he's had to endure sleepless nights, post-traumatic stress, and a ruined reputation in the melee that followed his letter to the editor.

Get more: 

The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, MSNBC 

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