In a diverse department, proclamations like Moccia's "Jim Crow" riff have sparked fury among BPPA members. Two years ago, after Pax ran a doctored pic of Barack and Michelle Obama saluting Old Glory with their left hands — over a caption that read, "Americans?!? Are they really?!?" — dozens of MAMLEO members signed a letter to the editor decrying the image. Speaking to BostonGlobe writer Maria Cramer, MAMLEO's Ellison noted, "there is a huge racial divide in this department, and the Pax Centurion is a large part of the problem." In character, Carnell responded with a judo flip: "Larry," he wrote, "any 'huge racial divide' exists only in the fertile imaginations of real racists, and not in the pages of the Pax."
With his current newsletter, Carnell hit a particular Occupy nerve by ripping Bil Lewis, a progressive activist and school teacher who wrote to Pax in response to anti-Occupy sentiments. "Bil(L)," Carnell wrote, parenthetically arguing "men" spell the name B-I-L-L, "let me cut to the chase: you are a hypocrite and a fraud, as are all of your fellow 'Occupiers' . . . They see a free meal and a dumb-liberal sucker offering something-for-nothing, and they're going to take full advantage, just like a seagull or a pigeon." Never mind that Carnell himself collected nearly $52,000 in sick pay last year for a total salary of $97,729 (down from his 2010 take of $155,399).
Carnell has been gunning for Occupy all along, ever since working several details at the group's Dewey Square encampment last year. He and other Pax scribes have used their columns to viciously deride Occupiers, the lot of whom, according to Carnell, are "losers," "anarchists, socialists, communists, graying hippies, level-three sex offenders, paroled criminals . . . fakes, frauds, phonies and nitwits from affluent communities . . . [who have] never worked a day in their privileged lives." (Carnell is not against all protests. In 2003, for example, he was quoted in the Globe, warning officers from outside Boston not to cross a planned picket line at the Democratic National Convention.)
Rallying around Lewis, Occupiers last Tuesday alerted roughly 50 of the newsletter's sponsors to the content that appears beside their ads — not just the anti-Occupy screeds, but all of it. They also contacted Davis, who tweeted back, "This juvenile conduct is wrong and not rep of today's officer." The first advertiser to react was Simmons College; in an e-mail to activists, the school's Vice-President for Marketing and Admission Cheryl Howard wrote, "While Simmons has no control of the editorial content in any of the publications in which we advertise, I really regret our inclusion in this publication."
In a follow-up interview, Howard told the Phoenix that her office had intended to support the BPPA Scholarship Fund for the children of Boston police, not the Pax. She also said that Simmons would never intentionally advertise anywhere that "does not support inclusion." At the time of this writing, LoJack and Harpoon Brewery have also pulled support from the newsletter, similarly citing that they meant to support scholarships, and were unaware that the BPPA peddles polarizing hatred.