The East Haven police department has installed new dashboard cameras in its cruisers in light of recent claims of racial profiling targeting local Latinos. In January, four town officers were charged with abusing and harassing Latino residents. The claims prompted a federal investigation, which has led to criminal charges against four officers.
According to the New Haven Register, the Town Council recently approved spending $115,000 to install cameras in 16 police cars now, and two more in the future.
The chairman of the town’s Board of Police Commissioners, Joe Civitello, says cameras can help show what really happened in the event officers are sued or questioned over their actions. Interim Police Chief Brent Larrabee says local officers wanted cameras to rebut allegations and complaints against them. He says that’s unusual because many police departments fight to keep cameras out of cruisers.
The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators called for an investigation of the East Haven mayor for what the group alleges was his role in creating anti-Latino hostility in the community. Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr., further outraged the Hispanic community by saying that “he might have tacos” to offer local Latinos in reparation for the scandal.