The Justice Department today announced that the town of East Haven, Conn., memorialized its intention to enter into a settlement agreement to resolve the department’s civil investigation of allegations that the East Haven Police Department (EHPD) engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination against Latinos on account of their race, color or national origin.
Joseph Maturo Jr., the mayor of East Haven, outlined in a letter broad institutional changes in EHPD’s policies and practices. The proposed agreement builds on reforms initiated by the town and is intended to strengthen the community’s trust in EHPD.
In September 2009, the Justice Department opened a pattern or practice investigation into allegations that EHPD officers engaged in discriminatory traffic enforcement, use of excessive force, and unconstitutional searches and seizures in violation of the Constitution and federal anti-discrimination laws.
In December 2011, the department completed its investigation and issued a letter finding reasonable cause to believe that EHPD engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination against Latinos and other misconduct.