Boston officer sues over Gates discipline

Aug. 4, 2009 at 12:08 PM
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BOSTON, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- A Boston police officer suspended for using a racial slur against Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., says his civil rights have been violated.

Justin Barrett has filed suit against the city's police department, police commissioner and mayor, accusing them of depriving him of his due process and civil rights when they moved to fire him after an e-mail he authored came to light, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

Barrett was suspended last week by Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis over the e-mail, which compared Gates to a "banana-eating jungle monkey." Davis stripped Barrett of his badge and gun, later releasing a statement that called the officer's remarks "racist and inflammatory," the newspaper said.

The arrest of Gates at his Cambridge, Mass., home last month generated a nationwide controversy over racial profiling.

In his lawsuit, Barrett claims the disciplinary actions against him have caused him "pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, post-traumatic stress, sleeplessness, indignities and embarrassment, degradation and injury to reputation," the Globe said.

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