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editorial

Police union newsletter expresses contempt for the public

THE NEWSLETTER of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, not surprisingly, contains a lot of material tailored to the specific concerns of its members — messages from the union’s leaders, updates on the status of contract negotiations, complaints about policies that the union opposes. And if some items in the newsletter, called Pax Centurion, have caustic words for political figures like President Obama or Governor Patrick, that’s just free speech in action.

But some items in the May/June edition of Pax Centurion go much further, expressing contempt for what adds up to a wide swath of Bostonians: college professors; “turban tops”; residents of Jamaica Plain, Back Bay, and Beacon Hill; even younger officers. In response to criticism in a previous issue, an Occupy Boston supporter named Bil Lewis writes a letter requesting a meeting with the Pax Centurion editor, Officer Jim Carnell. In response, Carnell mocks the way the letter writer spells his name and insinuates that Lewis is in cahoots with illegal immigrants and perpetrators of welfare fraud. He goes on to say, “Most police officers have to remain quiet because of our positions, but I have the luxury of speaking on behalf of what 99 percent of police officers really think about you and your occupiers.”

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