An officer in the Boston Police Department was suspended yesterday for allegedly writing a racially charged e-mail about Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. to colleagues at the National Guard, a law enforcement official said. Mayor Thomas M. Menino compared the officer to a cancer and said he is "gone, g-o-n-e'' from the force.

The law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Officer Justin Barrett referred to the black scholar as a " jungle monkey" in the letter, written in reaction to media coverage of Gates's arrest July 16.

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