Monday, June 9, 2014
It was announced today that the town of East Haven, Connecticut has agreed to pay $450,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit that alleged its police department profiled Latino residents. As part of the settlement, the department has agreed to limit its questioning of people about their immigration status and it will decline to enforce immigration detainer notices issued by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Yale University professor Michael Wishnie of the Yale Law School Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the case, describes this policy as some of the strictest constraints on immigration enforcement of any city or town in the country.
The 2010 lawsuit was filed on behalf of a priest and Latino residents who alleged repeated abuses by police officers, including false arrests, illegal searches and obstruction of justice. Settlement discussions began in the fall after four officers were convicted of criminal charges.
Specifically, the settlement agreement among the participating parties calls for a monetary payment by the Town of East Haven to the defendants in the amount of $450,000.00 dollars, inclusive of all claims for attorneys fees. It also calls for a revision to the East Haven Police Department’s policy relating to the “Secure Communities Program.”