Following a four-year investigation into allegations of racial profiling and harassment against Latinos, East Haven police officers David Cari and Dennis Spaulding were convicted on Monday of conspiracy against civil rights, deprivation of rights, and obstruction of justice. Spaulding was also individually convicted of using unreasonable force. The two were originally arrested in January 2012, along with officers John Miller and Jason Zullo, following a federal investigation that revealed an excessive number of traffic stops and arrests involving Latinos, as well as evidence that Latino detainees were assaulted by the officers.
New Haven has a growing Latino immigrant population, and the case began following the 2009 arrest of Rev. James Manship, a local pastor. Manship had received multiple reports of harassment and abuse from Latino parishioners, and was arrested while attempting to video-record the officers arresting a Latino man. Cari and Spaulding submitted a false police report following Manship’s arrest, allegedly writing 27 drafts of the report.
The officers will be sentenced on January 21, and could face up to 20 years in prison. Miller and Zullo have pled guilty to related charges but have not yet been sentenced.