Two police officers from East Haven are facing charges that they harassed Latinos and violated their civil rights. Prosecutors are making their cases against David Cari and Dennis Spaulding in Hartford federal court. As they do, they're calling members of East Haven's largely Ecuadoran community to testify.
The town of East Haven has gotten national attention for years for its alleged treatment of Latinos.
The U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division has said the town's police department had a deeply-rooted practice of discrimination. And four of the town's police officers have been arrested. Now, this week, two of those officers are on trial in federal court in Hartford.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 8:38 pm
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It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
Two Connecticut police officers are on trial in federal court this week. They're accused of harassing and intimidating Latino residents in the city of East Haven. The police department there has been working to change a culture of discrimination. Jeff Cohen of our member station WNPR has the story.
Connecticut jurors heard opening statements Monday in the trial of two police officers accused of multiple civil rights violations in East Haven. The cops are charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice stemming from a federal racial profiling investigation.
Evan Cossette, a former Meriden police officer, was sentenced today to 14 months in prison in New Haven federal court. Cossette was found guilty in June for using unreasonable force against a handcuffed prisoner, and for trying to cover up his actions by lying about it in a report. He is the son of police Chief Jeffry Cossette.
Luis Luna, a Wallingford man who was arrested three years ago for filming police as they broke up a fight in New Haven, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city. Luna was arrested on September 25, 2010, and filed the lawsuit on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.
More than 200 years after his death, the remains of an 18th century Connecticut slave will soon receive a proper burial.
The slave is known as Fortune. He, his wife, and three children were owned by a doctor whose medical practice was in Waterbury.
After Fortune died, the doctor used his skeleton as a teaching tool for students. Later, it was donated to the Mattatuck Museum and put on display. The skeleton was called “Larry." After the display was removed in the 1980s, researchers determined that the bones were, in fact, those of the slave, Fortune.
Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 9:58 am
For the month of August, Morning Edition and The Race Card Project are looking back at a seminal moment in civil rights history: the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream Speech" Aug. 28, 1963. Approximately 250,000 people descended on the nation's capital from all over the country for the mass demonstration.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:50 am
"The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans' e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials," The New York Times reported Thursday.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the civil rights' movement March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, President Obama will deliver remarks from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the White House said today.
It was on those same steps that 50 years ago on August 28, that Martin Luther King delivered his iconic "I Have A Dream" speech.
Russian President Vladimir Putin keeps insisting that he doesn't want the case of a fugitive American intelligence contractor to harm relations between Russia and the United States.
But Edward Snowden remains an irritant, stuck in diplomatic limbo in the transit area of a Moscow airport.
A Putin spokesman said Friday that the issue is being discussed by the Russian federal security service — the FSB — and the FBI, but it may be that Snowden has become a problem that can only be solved at the top of the two governments.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was not aiding the enemy when he leaked the largest cache of classified information in the history of the United States, the defense argued today during closing arguments of his military trial in Fort Meade, Maryland, today. Instead, he released the information in an attempt to spark debate about things he found troubling about war and American diplomacy.
In the war over the right to vote in the U.S., the Justice Department's choice of Texas as the battleground for its first legal action following the Supreme Court's weakening of the Voting Rights Act has a feeling of inevitability.
Willie Louis may be one of the most celebrated but least-known figures in a pivotal point in American history: He testified against the men accused of kidnapping and murdering 14-year-old Emmett Till. He died July 18, but his wife, Juliet, announced his death this week.
Yesterday’s landmark Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act will allow same-sex couples to access hundreds of federal benefits. One of those benefits will be to allow a U.S. citizen to help a fiancé or spouse get a green card.
Russ Hanoman is a systems engineer in Stamford. His finance lives in the Netherlands..
"I always had DOMA in the back of mind as an impediment to how this was eventually going to turn out."
The US Supreme Court still has to rule on several major cases before the end of the term. Same-sex couples across the country are waiting for a decision on The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. A report now on how the DOMA ruling may affect one Connecticut family.
Under Connecticut law, same-sex couples can marry and adopt children. But under DOMA and in the eyes of the federal government same sex marriage is not valid.
"This is my room, the best room in the house because I sleep in it!"
Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness has been an unlikely and controversial best seller.
In it, Alexander makes the case that the prison system we have long filled with a disproportionate number of young black men is not just a byproduct of policy decisions, but an intentional effort to undo the civil rights movement.
Four Danbury police officers have been placed on administrative leave over the alleged verbal harassment of an undocumented driver. The traffic stop was recorded on a cell phone.
During a March 9th traffic stop, Danbury police allegedly subjected the driver - an undocumented immigrant – to a long, verbally abusive tirade. A recording of the incident circulated among other police officers. Then in April, a complaint was filed.
After an internal investigation, Chief of Police Alan Baker says he referred four police officers to Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.
Fair housing advocates are celebrating a victory. They recently won a settlement from a Hartford-area landlord who allegedly denied apartments to people using public assistance to pay their rent. The Connecticut Fair Housing Center claimed the landlord, Paul Rosow, discriminated against people who received disability checks and housing assistance.
Yale University has introduced new workshops for students aimed at reducing sexual misconduct and improving the sexual climate on campus. Many sexual misconduct and prevention programs for college students center on decision-making and consent.
But if you’re at the point where there’s a question about consent, then you already have a communication problem, says Yale student Matt Breuer. He’s a Communication and Consent educator at the university. He says Yale’s workshops begin with conversation about sexual pressure.
A huge crowd turned out last night for a transportation committee public hearing in New Haven. People testified in support of proposals to allow undocumented residents in Connecticut to obtain driver’s licenses.
Close to 2,000 people crowded into Wilbur Cross High School. Angela Munoz of Bridgeport says she’s been driving for ten years without a license.
"I want my driver’s license. Because I need it for pick up my children. And I need my car for my job, too."
She says her children live in fear that she’ll be arrested.