Leominster officer fired for racist remarks
Posted in the Fitchburg Forum
#1 Jul 27, 2012
Leominster officer fired for racist remarks
Mayor: Ofc. Perreault "brought discredit" upon himself, LPD
Posted: 07/26/2012 07:07:27 AM EDT
The Leominster Police officer who directed a racial insult at a black Boston Red Sox player earlier this month has been fired, Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella announced Thursday.
John A. Perreault, 38, of Leominster, failed to demonstrate the police department's standards when he called Sox outfielder Carl Crawford a "Monday,"which can be interpreted as a slur against African Americans, at a July 5 minor-league game in Manchester, N.H.
In a letter to Perreault terminating his employment, Mazzarella wrote that the officer's pattern of racial remarks and the manner in which he yelled at Crawford are "so egregious that severe discipline is warranted."
"I have concluded... based upon other incidents where you uttered racist remarks, that you called Mr. Crawford a 'Monday' because he is African-American, not simply because you do not care for him as a baseball player," the mayor wrote. "In arriving at this conclusion I did not check common sense at the door. The word 'Monday,' as you used it at the Fisher Cats' game, while not containing the offensive 'N-word' was certainly directed at Mr. Crawford's race."
On Wednesday at a disciplinary hearing, Chief Robert Healey presented a series of Facebook entries on Perreault's page referring to the incident, such as: "Carl Crawford wanted to fight me for calling him a Monday. PRICELESS." When somebody suggested he would be put on administrative leave, Perreault responded with a smiley face. The most damning post may have been "Run n---a, run #popo." "Popo" is slang for police, Healey noted.
Healey also presented testimony that Perreault was heard using the "N-word" at a city bar and insulted a black man
SENTINEL PHOTOS / ASHLEY GREEN Leominster police Officer John Perreault, right, and attorney Joseph G. Sandulli look over paperwork submitted as evidence against Perreault, stating that he had used a racial slur toward Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford on July 5 during a minor-league baseball game in Manchester, N.H. at a Boston St. Patrick's Day celebration.
Perreault was charged with violating the department's rules and regulations, including conduct unbecoming an officer, making disparaging remarks and failing to be courteous.
"What I uncovered in the investigation was a disturbing pattern of misconduct by Mr. Perreault," Healey testified. "His comments were repugnant and violated the standards we expect from all Leominster police officers."
During the hearing, Mazzarella cautioned Perreault that declining to testify could be interpreted negatively, but the officer declined to address the allegations. He has not publicly commented since the incident came to light.
In his letter Thursday, Mazzarella expressed disappointment in Perreault's
Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella, left, heard Police Chief Robert Healey advise that Officer John Perreault be fired during a disciplinary hearing at the Leominster Office of Emergency Management, Wednesday morning. actions, saying he has "brought discredit upon (himself) and the Leominster Police Department."
"As Mayor, it is my expectation that city employees of any department will never use racially-motivated statements against anyone, whether on-duty or off-duty," he wrote. "There is simply no place for your behavior in the workplace and there is no place for someone who exhibits such objectionable behavior in the Leominster Police Department, or any other city department for that matter. "As a law enforcement officer, the city expects and demands that you comport yourself in an exemplary fashion," the letter continues. "As a sworn police officer you are held to a higher standard. Your actions have not lived up to that high standard. You have demonstrated through your racist comments that you cannot continue as a patrol officer with the Leominster Police Department."
#2 Jul 27, 2012
Healey said he got an anonymous tip that Perreault yelled out a racial epithet before a Double-A game in Manchester, N.H., between the Manchester Fisher Cats and the Portland Sea Dogs in which Crawford was playing on July 5. Healey started an investigation the next day with the help of Lt. Michael Goldman and Lt. Scott Bernier, and put Perreault on paid administrative leave.
Perreault's attorney, Joseph G. Sandulli of Boston, said on Wednesday that Perreault would appeal to the Civil Service Commission, which could take three years to hear the case.
"Two or three years from now this case will be reversed, and you will have to pay back pay for two or three years," Sandulli said.
Perreault, who has worked in Leominster since 2010 after transferring from Winchendon, has no history of making racist or improper remarks before now, Sandulli said.
The case centers on the word "Monday," which nobody in the Police Department interpreted as a slur when they first heard it, Sandulli said. Reading from various Internet definitions, Sandulli said there are plenty of slang associations having nothing to do with race.
The Internet website UrbanDictionary.com lists 33 definitions. One of them is closely associated with calling a person the N-word, according to the dictionary.
Sandulli argued that Perreault called Crawford a Monday simply to tell the ballplayer nobody likes him, just as nobody likes Mondays.
According to an email from a Manchester police officer to Healey, Perreault immediately admitted he made the Monday comment and because the officer did not know its slang definition, told him, "You know, nobody likes a Monday, like the day of the week," Sandulli said.
Healey did not accept that interpretation.
"In this incident I do not agree with that at all, and Mr. Crawford did not agree either, and he was the recipient," Healey said.
As part of the investigation, Bernier and Sgt. Ryan Malatos reported that during a visit to Boston on St. Patrick's Day, Perreault made racially insensitive remarks to a young black man, Healey said.
The man was wearing a Guinness beer T-shirt when Perreault allegedly said, "I did not know they served Guinness in Africa," Healey said.
The man was so upset that other officers and witnesses had to separate the two men, he said.
Sandulli pointed out that none of the officers, who included Perreault's superiors, was concerned enough about the alleged incident in Boston to report it to Healey.
If Bernier or Malatos felt the comments violated the department's rules and regulations, they should have reported it at the time, Sandulli argued, but the two policemen believed it was an isolated incident and were not officially reprimanded for failing to report it, Healey said.
Once the Crawford incident came to light, they noticed a pattern developing and reported the St. Patrick's Day incident, he said.
Referring to another incident, Healey presented Mazzarella with a copy of a five-page letter in which a witness claimed Perreault repeatedly used the N-word at Classics Pub in recent months. The witness stepped forward with the allegation after seeing the media attention over the Crawford incident.
Sandulli objected because Healey redacted the witness' name from the document.
He rebuffed allegations of using the N-word as hearsay from a "drunk" recounting an after-hours conversation at a bar, but Healey said the testimony was corroborated by another witness.
"This is a witness we dispute," Sandulli said. "He has got to come here to testify. What I brought to your attention was the fallibility of this document."
After the hearing, Perreault received hugs and handshakes from family and supporters. Meanwhile, Sandulli said he believed he punched holes in Healey's case.
"I hope Dean Mazzarella understands my arguments and spares the citizens the enormous cost of back pay," Sandulli said.
#3 Jul 27, 2012
Sandulli also said it was his decision not to have Perreault testify since there were enough holes in the case without him speaking.
Union President Officer John Fraher said the union may wait until Mazzarella's decision to issue a statement.
Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/topstory...
#4 Jul 28, 2012
Lynch is a piece of garbage and bad for Ditchburg. Don't waste your vote on a felon.
#5 Jul 28, 2012
Your remarks are unwarrented. What were you out late drinking again?
#6 Jul 28, 2012
The remarks are warrented, why do you feel the need to copy the whole article here on topix? This cop will eventually get his job back either that Leominster will pay a huge amount of taxpayer money to settle. I know black people that didn't even know the word "Monday" was a racial slur. The evidence presented at the hearing was very questionable and never would be allowed in a court of law, which is where this case is going to end up. If this case involved a regular person and not a sports celebrity the officer would have gotten a suspension with some counciling. To me this case was more about the Mayor and Chief trying to look good to the media because of the person involved. Even Crawford wanted this to end and move on but that won't happen because of the firing. The cop wasn't in uniform, on his own time and alcohol was involved in all incidents presented at the hearing. Witnesses were involved with alcohol. From a legal standpoint this cop just got a winning lottery ticket, it will take a while for him to collect his winnings but the city of Leominster and its taxpayers will end up paying the jackpot.
#7 Jul 28, 2012
Today is Saturday and in two days it will be.....oh shit I can't sayitday.
#8 Jul 28, 2012
But Lynch is determined to expose any mistake a law enforcement officer has ever made. I suppose he thinks of it as "pay back" for the fact that his own crimes have been exposed.
#9 Jul 28, 2012
I am very tired of this lynch fellow, I wish he would just move
#10 Jul 28, 2012
We all wish that. He just leeches off of the taxpayers, and is going no where in life.
#11 Jul 28, 2012
He's a loser and his mommy failed as a parent. She's a real winner.
#12 Jul 28, 2012
Remember? several weeks ago he accused the Fitchburg Police Dept. of be racist because they fired A Lt. who was friends with a known drug dealer and was staying at his house in the Dominican Republic. He was also accused of tipping of this dealer who was arrested during an FBI sting. The police Lt. is dominican.
#13 Jul 28, 2012
I do understand that you were in a fight. You wanted nothing to do with it and you tired to stop it.(as you say)
So if you had nothing to do with that man dieing.(as you say)
Then PLEASE tell me what you were convicted of that sent you to jail???
Do you understand the question??Do you need me to type slower so you can understand??
Let me help you. Just fill in the blanks.
Hi my name is Kevin Lynch 20 years I was charge with__________ and went to jail for ______ years for this crime.
Please if you need more help just ask.
#14 May 7, 2013
WHO DERTERMINED THAT MONDAY WAS RACIST? THE BLACKS DIDNOT KNOW ABOUT THE WORD. MY OPINION NO ONE WAS HURT BY IT, SPORTING EVENTS ALLOW PEOPLE TO USE SOME LANGUAGE AS LONG AS IT DONT GO TOO FAR. HAVE FUN PLAY BALL ENJOY THE GAME AND DON'T TRY TO BE POLITICALLY CORRECT ALL THE TIME, LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE IF THE BLACK FAN CALLED THE WHITE PLAYER MONDAY, WHERE WOULD THAT GO.
SORRY FOR THE CAPS, LOWER CASE NOT WORKING RIGHT NOW.
#15 May 12, 2013
Good for Fitchburg that you are no longer on the force! You hid your racist ways under the radar. It will catch up to you in your retirement years. Hopefully you call an African American a Monday and they hand you your head!LMAO, Karma is lurking around you and I hope that it gets you good!!
#16 May 13, 2013
Why did you kill somebody?
#17 May 13, 2013
Someone seems to be afraid of black people. Not all black people are as violent as you seem to think. Also don't blame me for my beautiful skin tone while you spend hundreds of dollars at tanning salons.
#18 May 13, 2013
Fire jtn for racist comments
#19 May 13, 2013
The only bad thing I have ever said was in Chinese ,fortune cookie says isn't it fit and fun in fitchburg
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