LEOMINSTER, Mass. — The Leominster police chief on Wednesday recommended firing an officer who his internal investigators say directed a racial slur at Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford during a minor league game.
Police Chief Robert Healey said during a disciplinary hearing that Officer John Perrault has made other “repugnant comments” and repeatedly violated department standards.
Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella has 48 hours to decide on the chief’s recommendation.
Perrault, who is white, has been on paid leave since he called Crawford, who is black, a “Monday” before a July 5 minor league game in Manchester, N.H. Perrault was attending the game while off duty.
Crawford, who was rehabilitating a wrist injury in the minor leagues, reported the remark to stadium officials. The word can be a derogatory term for blacks when it’s associated with the common phrase “I hate Mondays.”
Perrault has used racial slurs on at least two other occasions, Healey said.
In one instance, Healey said, Perrault insulted a black man who was in Leominster for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration and wearing a T-shirt displaying the name of the Irish beer Guinness. The man was angered when Perrault said, “I didn’t know they serve Guinness in Africa,” Healey said.
Perrault didn’t testify at the hearing or comment to the media outside the hearing.
Perrault’s attorney, Joseph Sandulli, said during the hearing that no one has ever brought a complaint against his client. Interviewed outside, he said Perrault didn’t use the term “Monday” in a racial way, but as a way to comment on Crawford as a ballplayer by saying, “You’re a bum.”
“I think it’s an overreaction by the ballplayer, by the public and by the city,” Sandulli said.