This isn't good:

A Boston police officer was placed on administrative leave after he allegedly used a racial slur when referring to Henry Louis Gates Jr.

In a mass e-mail, Officer Justin Barrett, 36, called Gates a "jungle monkey," according to a law enforcement source.

Good for Mayor Menino (who doesn't want anything to screw up his bid for an historic fifth term) for publicly calling Barrett "a cancer" and promptly suspending him. The most disconcerting part of all this is that Barrett worked in the police district covering Mattapan and Dorchester--which, if you don't know Boston, are where a good portion of the city's black residents live.

--Jason Zengerle