The Longest Now


Boston police shamed in earnest
Saturday August 01st 2009, 3:56 am
Filed under: chain-gang,Too weird for fiction

When Skip Gates was arrested last week for disorderly conduct after breaking into his own home – by a policeman known for his calm demeanor who teaches racial sensitivity to other cops – the Cambridge Police could at least say they were working to protect their community.

Then the day after Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham published an article on the arrest, the Boston force found itself in a truly embarrassing spot.  Police officer, National Guard reservist, and self-proclaimed writer and English teacher Justin Barrett wrote an incredible half-coherent racist and sexist screed to a large cc: list — including his fellow officers and Abraham herself.   She responded with style:

I didn’t make it to the part where he calls me a fool and an infidel (he correctly pegged me as Catholic). And I certainly didn’t make it to the bit where he invites me to serve him hot Panamanian coffee and a warm cruller on a Sunday morning.

I wish I had gotten that far. That would have given me a good laugh.

Barrett was soon suspended from his police and reserve positions; but not before making the whole Boston Police Department hang their collective head in shame.


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Had we, as a society, a bit thicker skins, we would broadcast these lunacies far and wide, with an appropriate apology to the more sensitive among us, demonstrate a little Common Sense for our fellow man, and let the fringe element drown in the laughter and public ridicule generated by their own thinking or lack thereof. Along with the right to free speech comes the right to make a public fool of oneself; and like the naked, fools have little or no influence on society. We should “Never Underestimate the Power of Laughter.”

Comment by Reggie Greene / The Logistician 08.02.09 @ 4:51 pm



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