Cop Suspended for Gates Slur Sues Over Civil Rights

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2009 12:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Boston police officer suspended for referring to Henry Louis Gates as a “banana-eating jungle monkey” is suing the city and the department for violating his civil rights, the Globe reports. The BPD, police commissioner, and mayor are “conspiring to intentionally inflict emotional distress” and interfering with Justin Barrett’s “property rights, due process rights, and civil rights,” the suit claims.

Though Barrett has tried to clear up his reputation on the national stage, the commissioner called his remarks “racist and inflammatory,” and the mayor said Barrett is “gone. G-O-N-E.” Barrett’s suit alleges that because of the publicly avowed decision to fire him, any inquiry into his case is tainted. He seeks payment for lost pay, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.