Boston cop Justin Barrett sure did not help the cause of Boston-area police today, when he sent a mass e-mail calling Henry Louis Gates Jr. a “banana-eating jungle monkey.”

Barrett was angry when he read a column in the Boston Globe by Yvonne Abraham defending the actions of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., when he refused to cooperate with Cambridge police during his arrest at his home.

Justin Barrett is a member of the National Guard. He proceeded to send an e-mail to some fellow Guard members and the Boston Globe which stated that if he had “been the officer [Gates] 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.”

You can read the full text of the email here.

He proceeded to use the term “jungle monkey” four different times to refer to Gates. This will no doubt make people like Gates feel justified in stating that the police are racist. No doubt, this will allow Gates to argue that racist police officers are persecuting him, and that he was justified in his disorderly conduct.

Barrett was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

On the eve of the “beer summit” at the White House with Gates, Cambridge Officer Crowley and President Obama, Justin Barrett just made police officers in Boston look like racists. Officer Crowley has nothing to be ashamed of, but now, unfortunately, he has to answer questions regarding his racist colleague.

Thank you, Barrett, for hurting the cause of law enforcement everywhere.