Here’s an interesting take on the original trigger for the whole East Haven police brutality/racial profiling investigation: if the priest who video-recorded cops harassing Latinos had done it in Illinois, his arrest would have been totally legal.
The federal civil rights and criminal investigations of the East Haven police were the result of a 2009 incident in which two local cops were being video recorded by Father James Manship, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church. The police were harassing a Latino business owner and didn’t like Manship recording their actions, so they arrested him.
He was charged with “interfering” with Officers David Cari and Dennis Spaulding (two of the four East Haven cops arrested on federal charges last week), but the charge was later dropped. The case did trigger complaints to theU.S. Justice Department, which responded with both a civil rights probe and a criminal grand jury investigation.
The result has been a massive scandal surrounding the allegedly systematic abuse and harassment of Latinos by East Haven police.
But in Illinois, what Manship was doing was a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Check out this Slate article on the potential impact of the Illinois situation.
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