A Boston police officer has been suspended and could be fired for a mass e-mail in which he used a racial slur to describe black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Commissioner Edward Davis put 36-year-old Justin Barrett on administrative leave pending a termination hearing after learning of the slur.
A person with knowledge of the case who was not authorized to speak publicly about the details told the Boston Herald that Barrett, a member of the National Guard, sent the e-mail to fellow Guardsmen and to The Boston Globe.
Barrett called Gates a "jungle monkey" in the e-mail, according to a copy posted online at MyFOXBoston.com. Officials told the Herald that Barrett admitted writing the e-mail.
The new controversy in Boston comes on the heels of the media frenzy over Gates' July 16 arrest in his Cambridge home on a charge of disorderly conduct by a white police officer. Police were responding to a report of a possible burglary.
The charge later was dropped, but the case sparked a national debate on racial profiling, with even President Obama weighing in.
Barrett and the police union did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the disciplinary case in Boston. He has no previous disciplinary history in his two years with the department, the Herald reported.
Meanwhile, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, a Democrat, accepted the resignation of Lee Landor, his deputy press secretary, after she called Gates a racist and referred to President Barack Obama as "O-dumb-a."
Landor's comments on the social networking site Facebook were inappropriate, Stringer said in a statement.
Landor defended her entries, but added: "It is understandable that a black man encountering police will be suspicious of racial profiling, based on the long history of racism in this country."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.