The BPPA did not respond to interview requests. At the BPD, spokesman Mike McCarthy said, "The First Amendment applies to police officers," but emphasized that Pax content does not represent views of the department. That's been the BPD's position for some time. But for many, including everyone from fellow cops to lawmakers to activists — and now blue-chip advertisers — denial of ownership is no longer an adequate response.
"This speaks to the need to have greater ethnic and racial diversity and training not only at the patrol level but in command staff as well," says Dorchester State Representative Carlos Henriquez, who is particularly critical of Pax editorials in favor of racial profiling. "This is an issue that I and others have tried to speak with Commissioner Davis for years now, but we have yet to be truly heard."
"I'm glad to see Occupy Boston doing something about this, because the black community has been screaming about this forever and no one cares," says Jamarhl Crawford, a Roxbury neighborhood organizer and past target of Pax slander. "It's the Boston Police Department's dirty little secret. They talk about gays, about Muslims, and everything else you can imagine. It's that Archie Bunker outer-space banana-cake type of thinking that people don't even realize goes on anymore."
Reach Chris Faraone at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @fara1.
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