Justin Barrett, 36, Suspended by Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, for Sending Email Describing Henry Louis Gates, Jr., as a "Jungle Monkey"

The fallout from the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., continues. This time the racism is actually coming from one of the Boston Police Department’s Finest — Justin Barrett. He has been suspended for using a racial slur in reference to Mr. Gates in an email. Apparently once Commissioner Edward Davis learned of the slur he put Barrett, 36, on administrative leave pending a termination hearing. What did this man say? According to the Boston Globe, he referred to Henry Gates as a “jungle monkey,” and he reportedly used it while reacting to the media coverage of the arrest. I guess the Boston Police Department has their own Mark Fuhrman. I am sure Fox News will be only too happy to have his as a regular contributor as they have done for Fuhrman.

In his e-mail, which was posted on a local Boston television station’s Web site, Barrett declared that if he had “been the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana-eating jungle monkey, I would have sprayed him in the face with OC [oleoresin capsicum, or pepper spray] deserving of his belligerent noncompliance.”

Barrett used the “jungle monkey” phrase four times, three times referring to Gates and once referring to Abraham’s writing as “jungle monkey gibberish.”

He also declared he was “not a racist but I am prejudice [sic] towards people who are stupid and pretend to stand up and preach for something they say is freedom but it is merely attention because you do not get enough of it in your little fear-dwelling circle of on-the-bandwagon followers.” Source: CNN

Barrett, allegedly wrote the racially charged e-mail about professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. to colleagues at the National Guard. He has been on the job for two years and was stripped of his gun and badge yesterday. Here’s the bigger issue that we should take away from this suspension — this police has a racist view of blacks. Do you really think this mindset wouldn’t manifest itself when he comes in contact with a black or Latino on his beat? Yes it would. I would caution readers not to judge the entire police force across this country by the actions of a few racist cops. There are many decent and hardworking police officers out there.

Glenn Beck Calls President Barack Obama a Racist Over His Comments about Henry Louis Gates’ Arrest by White Officer (VIDEO)

Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck is a lunatic. This morning on Fox and Friends, Beck accused President Obama of being “a racist.” The group was discussing the recent Gates controversy, and Beck exclaimed that Obama has “over and over again” exposed himself as “a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don’t know what it is…”

When another guest on the program pointed out that many people in Obama’s administration are white, so “you can’t say he doesn’t like white people,” Beck pressed on. “I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people, I’m saying he has a problem,” Beck said. “This guy is, I believe, a racist.” Um, in case Glenn Beck hasn’t noticed, President Obama is half-Caucasian. This is what they pay this idiot millions of dollars for? This is the type of vile garbage that incites the extremists in our country. Well, since he’s making stuff up? How about I call him a racist?

Kelly King, Colleague of Sgt. James Crowley, Says She Will Not Vote for President Barack Obama Again because of His Comments about the Cambridge Police Dept.

The drama continues from Gatesgate — Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s arrest by Sgt. James Crowley. Now the Drudge Report has the picture of Kelly King, a black female officer who spoke to CNN’s Don Lemon is defense of her colleague, Sgt. Crowley. What I found sad is the resoluteness of her position that she will not vote for President Obama again because of his statement that the Cambridge Police Department “acted stupidly.” I agree that he should have recused himself from making any comments about the arrest, but her position seems to be very extreme, considering that Sgt. Crowley has accepted the President’s invitation to meet at the White House on Thursday.

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R.-MI) To Offer Resolution Demanding Formal President Obama Apology To Cambridge Police

It is absolutely unbelievable that the Republican Party continues its petty attacks on President Obama as the country is going through the worst economic distress in decades, two wars, a stalled health care reform effort, rising foreclosure rates and a collapsed auto industry, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) could have the nerve to introduce a bill calling on the president to formally apologize to the Cambridge Police department. To go out on a limb here — was President George W. Bush ever pressed by Rep. McCotter to formally apologize for the eavesdropping activities that extended to civilians and not alleged terrorists? Or did they press President G. W. Bush for the inadequacies of the government in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? I don’t think so and this is a waste of everyone’s time. This move by Rep. McCotter is nothing more than a political ploy to take attention away from health care reform, among other issues. President’s Obama’s apology to Sgt. Crowley and the CPD is the least of McCotter’s worries, considering that his state is literally imploding around him — highest unemployment rate in the country. He is clearly an obstructionist and he is one misguided politician.

Though falling short of a formal apology, as far as I am concerned, President Obama’s comments on Friday were widely seen as conciliatory and accepted by the CPD and Sgt. Crowley. “I want to make clear that in my choice of words I think I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department or Sergeant Crowley specifically,” Obama said, “and I could have calibrated those words differently.”

Here is the full text of his resolution:

Whereas on July 16, 2009, Cambridge, Massachusetts Police Sergeant James M. Crowley responded to a 911 call from a neighbor of Harvard University Professor Henry Louis (“Skip”) Gates, Jr. about a suspected break-in in progress at his residence, which had been broken into on a prior occasion;

Whereas on July 22, 2009, in responding to a question during a White House press conference President Barack Obama stated: “Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don’t know all of the facts involved in this local police response incident;”

Whereas President Obama proceeded to state Sergeant Crowley “acted stupidly” for arresting Professor Gates on charges of disorderly conduct;

Whereas, as a former Constitutional Law Professor, President Obama well understands that all Americans are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and their actions should not be prejudged prior to being fully and fairly judged by an appropriate and objective authority after due process;

Whereas, President Obama’s nationally televised remarks may likely detrimentally influence the full and fair judgment by an appropriate and objective authority after due process regarding this local police response incident and, thereby, impair Sergeant Crowley’s legal and professional standing in relation to said incident; and

Whereas, President Obama appeared at a daily White House Press briefing on July 24, 2009 to address his denouncement of Sergeant Crowley and stated: “I could have calibrated those words differently” but “I continue to believe, based on what I have heard, that there was an overreaction in pulling Professor Gates out of his home to the station.”

Whereas, President Obama’s refusal to retract his initial public remarks and apologize to Sergeant Crowley and, instead, reiterate his accusation impugning Sergeant Crowley’s professional conduct in the performance of his duties;

Now therefore be it, Resolved, That the House of Representatives — Calls upon President Obama to retract his initial public remarks and apologize to Cambridge, Massachusetts Police Sergeant James M. Crowley for having unfairly impugned and prejudged his professional conduct in this local police response incident. Source: Huffington Post

Here’s my parting question, does this incident rise to the level of a congressional resolution? Didn’t right wing nutjob Michelle Malkin and others criticize Sheila Jackson Lee for introducing a legislation to honor the late Michael Jackson for his humanitarian service? This seems like a complete waste of time and the voters in Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s district need to remind him to whom his is accountable and that he can be voted out of office for not meeting their expectations.

Wendy Murphy, Lawyer for Lucia Whalen Who Called 911 in the Henry Louis Gates Jr., Arrest Case, Speaks Out, Says her Client isn’t Racist

The drama continues with the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Wendy Murphy, the lawyer for Lucia Whalen, the woman who made the 911 call, said that she is not a racist. I thought this incident was slowly moving behind us, but here comes another media blitz. I am not sure where the allegations of racism against this woman came from, but this is the first I have heard of that. Didn’t the professor say that he didn’t blame her for calling the police?

Attorney Wendy Murphy said, in part: “She did not know the race of the men when she called 911 because of her distance and that their bodies were turned away from her vantage point. Criticism was exacerbated when Mr. Gates challenged police to explain why they would believe “a white woman over a black man.”

This statement is issued solely to correct the record and to emphasize that the woman is not racist and was acting as a responsible citizen, with appropriate concern for the safety of the community. She has worked in Cambridge for more than fifteen years, about a hundred yards from where Mr. Gates resides, and was aware of several recent break-ins in the area.” Source: NECN

The 911 tapes will be released shortly and it should put the rest some of the lingering doubts of racial profiling in this case. In retrospect, I think Professor Gates was the one who pulled the race card first and blew a fuse without just cause.

Police Unions Call on President Obama, Governor Deval Patrick to Apologize for Comments about CPD, Sgt. James Crowley in Arrest of Henry L. Gates, Jr.

The fallout from from Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates’s arrest is taking an ugly turn. Police union officials appeared at a Cambridge hotel today calling on President Barack Obama and Governor Deval Patrick to reconsider their “misguided” comments in the arrest of a Harvard scholar and issue an apology. There should be apologies on all sides, not just from the president and governor. To add insult to injury, during a White House press conference earlier today, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “I think the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed McCain,” referring to Obama’s Republican opponent in the 2008 election. “If I’m not mistaken.” He dismissed a suggestion that the backlash from police groups could be distressing to the White House, considering the fact that the president has enjoyed a positive relationship with law enforcement. He was then reminded that the president had won the support of the Policemen’s Benevolent Association, then he conceded: “We got some.” This cannot help President Obama’s position and the fact that he wishes this would go away. He should not have openly criticized the Cambridge Police Department. Clearly, this had nothing to do with the White House and he should have found a way to stay out of this dogfight.

“I deeply resent the suggestion” cops acted improperly in the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., said Dennis O’Connor, president of the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association. Members of city and Bay State cop unions called on President Obama and Gov. Deval Patrick to apologize to officer Sgt. James Crowley.

Crowley arrested Gates July 16 on the porch of the professor’s Harvard Square home. Gates was charged with disorderly conduct. That charge has since been dropped, but the charges of racial profiling swirling around the arrest have yet to soften. The president said at a primetime press conference Wednesday that Cambridge police “acted stupidly” in arresting Gates.

The governor called the arrest of Gates “every black man’s nightmare” and said Gates should have been able to raise his voice in his own house. Both the president and governor, however, admitted they don’t know all the facts in the case. O’Connor said he hopes Patrick and Obama – both “admitted friends” of Gates – will “reflect upon their past comments” and apologize to Cambridge police.

“President Obama said that the actions of the CPD were stupid and linked the event to a history of racial profiling in America. … The president used the right adjective but directed it to the wrong party,” he said. “His remarks were obviously misdirected but made worse yet by its suggestion that somehow, this case should remind us of a history of racial abuse by law enforcement.”

He said Cambridge police “deeply resent the implication and reject any suggestion that in this case, or any other case, that they have allowed a person’s race to direct their activities. “We hope that they they will reflect upon their past comments and apologize to the men and women of the Cambridge police department,” he added. Source: Boston Herald

For what it is worth, if anything, this has brought the issue of racial profiling front and center. I was very reluctant to label this police officer as a racist and I still stand by that reluctance, since it has not been substantiated. I am sure that Professor Gates “mouthed off” to the cops, but did that arise to the level of disorderly conduct, since he was in his own home. Why was he lured to the porch, where he could have been arrested? This is an unfortunate situation and I am deeply troubled that President Obama got involved in this matter, but was aloof and not very forthcoming about the Jena Six case, which was clearly racially motivated.

All the parties involved need to take a step back and revisit the situation. Sgt. Crowley needs to apologize if he made Professor Gates feel threatened and denigrated. Professor Gates needs to apologize for pulling the race card so readily and President Obama needs to end his involvement in this controversy by saying he spoke too quickly or he did not mean to infer that the CPD “acted stupidly” in the arrest of Mr. Gates. This is clearly not the way for us to engage in constructive dialog about racial profiling. This case is pitting black against white for all the wrong reasons. President Obama needs to worry about the health care overhaul that seems to be hanging on by a thread. He needs to focus on the ailing economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea, Honduras, the failing education system in America, the rising foreclosure rates, etc.
The fallout continues to develop. More to follow…..

Sgt. James Crowley, the Arresting Officer of Henry L. Gates, Jr., also at Scene of Reggie Lewis’ Fatal Death in 1993, Refuses to Apologize for Actions

Sgt. James Crowley, Photo by Christopher Evans

The fallout from the arrest of Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. continues. Sgt. James Crowley, the police officer who arrested Gates, has said that he isn’t a racist and he will not apologize to Mr. Gates for his actions, which can be considered as racial profiling to many. There’s an interesting revelation about Mr. Crowley that has come to light. He was a campus police at Brandeis University when Reggie Lewis suffered a fatal attack July 27, 1993, during an off-season practice there. Did he do enough to save Lewis, a black man then and did he do enough to treat Mr. Gates with dignity and respect now? He claimed, during an interview with the Boston Herald, that he cried many nights when questioned about “whether he had done enough to save the black athlete.” “Some people were saying ‘There’s the guy who killed Reggie Lewis’ afterward. I was broken-hearted. I cried for many nights,” he said.

The bottom line is that once Crowley realized that Mr. Gates, 58, was not a burglar, then he could have easily just left the scene and went on his business. He owes Mr. Gates an apology and since he figured so prominently in another incident, albeit a tragic one, involving another black man, his police record is worth a second and closer look. Crowley says he harbors no “ill feelings toward the professor,” but added that “I just have nothing to apologize for,” he said. “It will never happen.” Really? It’s really unfortunate that he feels this way and isn’t man enough to admit that mistakes were made in this case.

Gates, who upon his arrest allegedly shouted to a gathering crowd on Ware Street, “This is what happens to black men in America!” believes he was targeted by Crowley – whom he called a “rogue” cop – because of his race. I wouldn’t say it started out as a deliberate act by Crowley because he was responding to a call, but it certainly ended that way. It has proven that even though blacks have made significant gains in America, we are still marginalized and are discriminated against in many instances. So many black men — decent, law-abiding, hardworking, family-oriented and educated — have been the victims of exactly what happened to Professor Gates. I am hopeful that this will bring the issue front and center for debate and change.

Crowley, an 11-year veteran of the force, oversees the evidence room, paid details and records unit. He also coaches youth basketball, baseball and softball. I seem to recall that there were many members of the Ku Klux Klan who went to church regularly, were gainfully employed and were movers and shakers in their communities, but they were still racists. I am not saying that Mr. Crowley is a racist, but it seems a little weird that he has factored so prominently in two seemingly racist cases involving two prominent black men.

Here’s my problem with President Obama’s response — he should not have said that the “Cambridge police acted stupidly,” without knowing the facts. What he did was take the side of Mr. Gates without really knowing all the facts in this case. I am not saying that there are no incidents of racial profiling in this country or that this wasn’t such an occurrence. Each black male or Latino has a story to tell about being stopped by a cop at some point in their lives, but President Obama could have declined to point fingers at the police department. Yes, he could have stated that racial profiling continues to be a problem in the United States, but he could have avoided direct criticism of the officer(s) involved. This is becoming a big distraction for President Obama and it really didn’t have to end up this way.

Watch the video:

President Barack Obama Says Cambridge Police "Acted Stupidly" in Arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Takes Heat for Comments

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I listened to President Barack Obama’s press conference on changing the health insurance system from the mess we currently have. Overall, I was very pleased with his delivery, but most people won’t remember the important points he touched on. They will, instead, focus on his comments about the recent racial profiling case involving Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the Cambridge Police. You will recall that Professor Gates was arrested for allegedly disorderly conduct — a charge that was quickly dropped — after a confrontation with a police officer inside his own home. Though some facts of the case are still in dispute, Obama showed little doubt about who had been wronged and I must say that I agree with him wholeheartedly.

“I don’t know – not having been there and not seeing all the facts – what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say number one any of us would be pretty angry, number two that he Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home,” Obama said in response to a question from the Chicago Sun-Times’s Lynn Sweet.

Gates, Obama allowed, “is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don’t know all the facts.” However Gates, he continued, jimmied his way to get into [his own] house.”

“There was a report called into the police station that there might be a burglary taking place – so far so good,” Obama said, reflecting that he’d hope the police were called if he were seen breaking into his own house, then pausing. “I guess this is my house now,” he remarked. “Here I’d get shot.” Source: President Obama

It is important for his critics to realize that he has been the victim of racial profiling in Illinois. He tirelessly fought against racial profiling during his tenure in the Illinois legislature.

“Separate and apart from this incident is that there’s along history in this country of African-American and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately,” the president said, eagerly engaging the issue of racial profiling, a concern earlier in his career that has seen little White House attention to date.

“That’s just a fact,” Obama said of profiling. “That doesn’t lessen the incredibly progress that has been made.” Source: President Barack Obama

I am sure the right wing will only hear the President’s criticism of the Cambridge police and not bother to understand his position in the broader context — racial profiling of blacks and Latinos is a big problem in the United States that continues to occur on a daily basis. I do believe, however, that the president should have refrained from calling the actions of the policemen involved “stupid.” They did nothing wrong up to the point where they went to the home. President Obama rightly stated that racial profiling is still a problem in the United States, but he should have stopped short of attacking the Cambridge Police Department directly, unless he was privy to information we were not.

SHOCK: Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard Professor, Pre-Eminent African-American Scholar, Arrested Outside Home, Was This Racial Profiling?


Charges have been dropped against Professor Gates. The city of Cambridge issued a statement saying the arrest “was regrettable and unfortunate” and police and Gates agreed that dropping the charge was a just resolution.

“This incident should not be viewed as one that demeans the character and reputation of professor Gates or the character of the Cambridge Police Department,” the statement said.

SHOCK: Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., 58, one of the United States’ pre-eminent African-American scholars, was arrested last Thursday afternoon at his home by Cambridge police investigating a possible break-in. Was this a case of racial profiling? Some members of the Harvard faculty seems to think so. Police reportedly arrived at Gates’s Ware Street home near Harvard Square at 12:44 p.m. to question him. Gates said that he had locked himself out of his house and was trying to get inside. According to the Cambridge police log, he was booked for disorderly conduct after exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior. I wonder, if this were a white professor trying to get back into his home, would he have been arrested as well? Sorry, too many blacks in this country have been in this situation before and have been deliberately profiled.

Friends of Gates said he was already in his home when police arrived. He showed his driver’s license and Harvard identification card, but was handcuffed and taken into police custody for several hours last Thursday, they said. The arrest of such a prominent scholar under what some described as dubious circumstances shook some members of the black Harvard community.

S. Allen Counter, a Harvard Medical School professor said he has faced a similar situation himself. The well-known neuroscience professor, who is also black, was stopped by two Harvard police officers in 2004 after being mistaken for a robbery suspect as he crossed Harvard Yard. They threatened to arrest him when he could not produce identification.

This is very disturbing that this could happen to anyone, and not just to a person of such distinction, Counter said. He was just shocked that this had happened, at 12:44 in the afternoon, in broad daylight. It brings up the question of whether black males are being targeted by Cambridge police for harassment. Source: Boston.com

The Cambridge police would not comment on the arrest, citing an investigation into the incident by Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. Gates is scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 26 and said the office could not provide details on the arrest until that time. Gates is being represented by Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree, who has taken on previous cases with racial implications. If this is a case of racial profiling, it is appalling and deplorable, but not unheard of in the black community.

There is a slightly different version of this story on The Huffington Post, which states that the police said they were called to the home Thursday afternoon after a woman reported seeing a man try to pry open the front door. They say that they ordered the man to identify himself and that Gates refused. According to a police report, Gates then called the officer a racist and said, “This is what happens to black men in America.” If that’s true, then he should have identified himself. I find it very hard to believe that this man would have been so unruly and uncooperative, knowing what the implications are. I would love to hear his side of the story.