Lessons from the ongoing East Haven, CT Police Abuse Scandal

It’s been a terrible few weeks for the residents of East Haven, Connecticut. The town has been the center of a scandal around four police officials who have been alleged to abuse their law enforcement power to harass and denigrate the rights of certain members of the city’s Latino community. The case has received national media scrutiny, with new allegations and details emerging every day.

Sources report that the alleged actions of three officers and the president of the police union in New Haven are under investigation by the FBI, which has looked into the city before for similar charges of policed misconduct. The allegations assert that the officers knowingly tried to restrict and infringe upon the rights of certain Latino citizens of the city in a direct misuse of their powers as law enforcement officials. These abuses were played out either in false arrests, needlessly aggressive behavior, or intimidating tactics used by the police to undermine the rights of New Haven citizens.

It’s an unfortunate case for many reasons. For one, the case reminds us that police brutality and officers’ abuses of their powers is still a very real threat to U.S. citizens. Though the subject has received more attention in the wake of violet police reactions to the various Occupy movements throughout the country, the national media has mostly glazed over the details of these cases in favor of more buzz worthy stories. With 24/7 presidential race coverage and a poor U.S. economy as the hot-button topics of the season, it’s hard to find substantial reporting on any other issue.

Perhaps one of the reasons why this case is still slightly prominent in the media spotlight is due to the East Haven Mayor’s poor response to the allegations in the case. Mayor Joseph Maturo was asked how he felt about the case recently, to which he replied “I might have tacos when I get home. I’m not quite sure yet.” Mayor Maturo’s comments seem to reflect the “who cares” attitude that pervades these stories of police brutality, especially when they target minority communities. The worst part about his comments aren’t even the comments themselves, it’s that they’ve distracted from the important story of police brutality that people need to hear. It should also be noted that the Mayor immediately apologized after uttering his comment, but the damage had been done.

The New Haven case is a sober reminder that some police are wrongly abusing the citizens they swore to protect, flaunting their power at people who have no means of protection. More disturbingly, these police officers have the protection of high city officials willing to defend them from persecution (and in
the New Haven Mayor’s case, a willingness to degrade the victims of the allegations). It’s a dire situation, but one that can be redressed if enough people pay attention to the crimes.

What do you think of the New Haven case? Do you know of any cases similar to it?

– Jacelyn Thomas

Byline: This is a guest post from Jacelyn Thomas. Jacelyn writes about identity theft protection for IdentityTheft.net. She can be reached at: jacelyn.thomas @ gmail.com.


Tactical Combat Spring Assisted Open Pocket Rescue Knife EDC  Fitness , Hunting picture

Tactical Combat Spring Assisted Open Pocket Rescue Knife EDC Fitness , Hunting

$11.99



1PC New York Police Coin Department Department Challenge Collectible Coins picture

1PC New York Police Coin Department Department Challenge Collectible Coins

$5.99



obsolete police badge us picture

obsolete police badge us

$144.99



ASSISTED POCKET Folding Blade KNIFE Tactical Survival Rescue Outdoor Camping EDC picture

ASSISTED POCKET Folding Blade KNIFE Tactical Survival Rescue Outdoor Camping EDC

$8.99



Two FOP Fraternal Order of Police Bumper Sticker Car Outside Window Decal 3” picture

Two FOP Fraternal Order of Police Bumper Sticker Car Outside Window Decal 3”

$12.00



Vintage Old Homewood Alabama Police Department Uniform Shirt Conquerer 16 1/2 33 picture

Vintage Old Homewood Alabama Police Department Uniform Shirt Conquerer 16 1/2 33

$49.00



2 Inch Non-Reflective Massachusetts State Police Logo Sticker Decal picture

2 Inch Non-Reflective Massachusetts State Police Logo Sticker Decal

$3.99



1950 Summons Police Court Gowanda NY Ticket Passing double line $5.00 fine picture

1950 Summons Police Court Gowanda NY Ticket Passing double line $5.00 fine

$9.99



8

8" NEW POLICE Rescue Spring Assisted Open Tactical Folding Pocket Knife Grey

$13.95



Police Challenge Coin Lot Bundle Officers of States St. Michael Guardian Angel picture

Police Challenge Coin Lot Bundle Officers of States St. Michael Guardian Angel

$29.95



CopBlock

When you see "CopBlock" as the author it means it was submitted via our submission tab - you can share your story too. If you enjoy this content and/or believe "Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights" get yourself some CopBlock Gear from our store or donate just $1/month to the CopBlock Network.