Target: The Honorable Alvin W. Thompson, Chief United States District Judge
Goal: Bring East Haven police officers to justice for civil rights violations against Hispanics.
Police officers in East Haven, Connecticut were arrested recently for harassing and abusing Hispanics. The East Haven Police Department has been under federal scrutiny since 2009, when the FBI launched an investigation into claims of civil rights violations. This discriminatory and abusive behavior will not be tolerated and the offending officers must be punished.
The allegations against the four indicted police officers include assaulting Hispanics while they were handcuffed, illegal searches of Latino businesses, and intimidation of people trying to report the misconduct. Other unnamed police union leaders were charged with interference to protect the officers, posting warning messages on a bulletin board and in the police locker room.
The rise in racial profiling claims came along with a dramatic demographic shift in East Haven. The suburb of New Haven went from being predominantly Italian-American, with only a 4.4 percent Hispanic population, to 10.3 percent Hispanic in 2010.
Jason Zullo, one of the offending officers, described his enjoyment of singling out Latinos, referring to them in the indictment as “persons who have drifted to this country on rafts made of chicken wings.” Officer Dennis Spaulding threw a handcuffed man to the ground and kicked him repeatedly, while Sgt. John Miller slapped a handcuffed man repeatedly in his car. And half to a third of all people pulled over by certain officers were Latino, and Latinos were served harsher punishments overall.
Officers in the East Haven Police Department made life as a Hispanic very difficult with assault and other illegal behavior. Demand that justice be served to show that racism and abuse by the police is unacceptable.
Dear Hon. Alvin W. Thompson,
An investigation by the FBI revealed egregious violations of civil rights against Hispanics by East Haven police officers. This behavior is appalling and the officers must be held accountable.
This is not the first time the East Haven Police Department has come under scrutiny. In 2003, a federal jury ruled that a white East Haven police officer violated the civil rights of a black man by using excessive force and fatally shooting him after a chase. Clearly, they have not learned from their mistakes.
Please bring the offending police officers to justice to show that racial profiling and abuse will not be tolerated in our society.
[Your Name Here]