"A Boston police officer who sent a mass e-mail referring to Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. as a "banana-eating jungle monkey" has apologized, saying he's not a racist. Officer Justin Barrett told a Boston television station on Wednesday night that he was sorry for the e-mail.
"I regret that I used such words," Barrett told CNN affiliate WCVB-TV. "I have so many friends of every type of culture and race you can name. I am not a racist." Barrett was placed on administrative leave
Barrett's lawyer Peter Marano didn't win over to many sympathizers when he tried to defend the comment: "He didn't call him a "jungle monkey" to malign him racially..."Oh boy..
I don't believe Officer Barrett should lose his job, but get the neccessary help in sensitivity training. Sometimes I think blow-ups like this are major learning moments for individuals like this officer. I hope I don't have to change my mind once he appears on Larry King tonight.
Update August 6th: I take it back, he should be fired.