As far as Ellison is concerned, it's a reckoning that's long overdue. "I'm all for people having the right to free speech," he says. "But in the position we're in as police officers, we have to be careful about how we characterize people — especially when it comes to Carnell and his blanket indictment of people of color. I'm glad to see people pushing back. I'm disturbed by the comments in there, and I can understand why others would be, too."
THUGS AND SCUMBAGS
It's unclear how long Carnell has been writing and editing the Pax Centurion — the BPPA did not return phone calls on this story — but he started on the force back in 1982. It was a simpler time, when cops "let the gang-bangers and street maggots know that we — the police — owned the streets, not them," Carnell wrote on the American Police Beat Web site last year. In his rookie years, according to the same nostalgic entry, "police officers enforce[d] the law and arreste[d] scumbags." If that wasn't dandy enough, the department in those days didn't force officers to worry about racial-profiling checks, which Carnell deplores since he considers himself "'of color,' as tawny pink and lobster red are both colors, too, you know."
Politically, most of Carnell's rhetoric is far-right-wing boilerplate, a stance complicated by his staunch pro-union bent. According to Pax's masthead, the "opinions expressed in [the newsletter] are not necessarily those of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association." But Carnell has no problem speaking for for the whole team. He responded to a 2011 Boston Herald story titled "Mom Forgives Cops Who Beat Son" — referencing a 16-year-old who was pummeled by authorities, on camera, at Roxbury Community College — by labeling the minor a "scumbag," and writing, "on behalf of the police officers involved in the incident . . . no forgiveness or apologies are needed or accepted."
It's hard work being so angry, and Carnell has a chorus line to back him up. One Pax regular is Jay Moccia, who once starred in a 2004 Bush-Cheney radio ad in which he joked, "I'm a law enforcement officer in the greater Boston area. And for the record, I think you guys have a funny accent, too." The newsletter's resident funnyman, Moccia quipped in a January-February 2012 Pax column, "I saw a fat woman wearing a fur coat, and one of those stupid animal hats. I thought she was a bear and shot her." His joke starts to sound sinister when you consider that Moccia is devoutly anti-gun-control. In his view, liberal threats to gun ownership are comparable to racial segregation. "Jim Crow is alive and well," Moccia wrote in the November-December 2011 Pax, "and he's after your 2nd Amendment Rights!"
Whether Muslims, women, or gays, no pedestrian is safe from Moccia's rhetorical wrath. In the March-April 2011 issue he questioned, "Are we breeding the fight out of American males?" He opined, "Men have become feminized, these 'metrosexuals' indulge in manicures, pedicures, yoga, and all sorts of other sissified pursuits." Green-lighting all this chest-pounding is tireless BPPA president and member advocate Thomas Nee, whose name appears atop the Pax masthead. Nee also presides over Carnell's condemnation of young offenders as "thugs" and "scumbags" in Pax — this while his own son Joseph was convicted in 2008 of conspiracy to commit murder for plotting a school shooting at Marshfield High School.