August 6, 2009

You may remember Officer Justin Barrett, a Boston police officer who inserted himself into the Henry Gates controversy by sending out an inflammatory, racist e-mail to friends and media outlets in which he referred to Professor Gates as a "banana eating jungle monkey." Now, he's claiming that his first amendment right to free speech is being infringed upon and that the Boston PD violated his civil rights by suspending him:

Justin Barrett, the Boston police officer suspended from the force for his e-mail likening Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., to a “banana-eating jungle monkey,’’ has filed a lawsuit against the Police Department, police commissioner, and mayor, saying the city violated his civil and due process rights.

The 18-page lawsuit accuses the three parties of “conspiring to intentionally inflict emotional distress and conspiring to intentionally interfere with the property rights, due process rights, and civil rights of the plaintiff.’’

According to the lawsuit, the mayor and commissioner’s actions caused Barrett pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, posttraumatic stress, sleeplessness, indignities and embarrassment, degradation, injury to reputation, and restrictions on personal freedom. Read on...

Barrett and his Lawyer are trying to conflate criticism of speech and free speech itself just like Sarah Palin has in the past -- criticizing my free speech is taking away my free speech.

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