As part of their argument not to change the home confinement conditions of one of the four officers arrested for allegedly of Latino residents and others, Department of Justice officials released transcripts of snippets of recorded communications between two of the men while on duty.
And according to the federal prosecutors, the "car-to-car chats" support their allegations that Officer Jason Zullo "engaged in conscious and deliberate conduct against a racial minority group that he apparently believed threatened to disrupt social order in the Town of East Haven."
Screen grabs of the transcripts of those recorded communications between the two officers, which took place in 2008 and 2009, are posted in the gallery that accompanies this story.
The transcripts were part of the federal prosecutors' "Memorandum In Opposition of Bond Modification" — which is also posted in the gallery — filed with court yesterday.
Changes to Confinement
Zullo and fellow Officer Dennis Spaulding, who is also one of the four indicted officers, appeared in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport yesterday seeking changes to the conditions of their release since last month's .
East Haven Officers David Cari and Sgt. John Miller were also arrested but were not the subject of yesterday's court hearing.
According to Thomas Carson, spokesman for the Connecticut U.S. Attorney David Fein's Office, Federal Magistrate Holly B. Fitzsimmons ruled that Zullo will be released from home confinement, with electronic monitoring, between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
And Spaulding "perfected his bond and remains on full home confinement," Carson told East Haven Patch.
He added that neither officer is permitted to travel into East Haven.
In their Memorandum In Opposition of Bond Modification submitted to the court — which is included in the gallery that accompanies this article — the federal prosecutors argue that in addition to alleged incidents of civil rights violations "Zullo’s criminal intentions regarding the Latino community are also evidenced in his own words."
The federal prosecutors continue:
Zullo’s criminal intentions regarding the Latino community are also evidenced in his own words. Zullo communicated with other officers, including a co-defendant, by way of car-to-car chats between mobile data terminals in their patrol cars. As set forth in the Indictment, Zullo stated that he “likes harassing [sic] motorist” and referred to “persons who have drifted to this country on rafts made of chicken wings and are now residing on Maint [sic] St East Haven.”
The memorandum then includes a graph with brief transcripts of selected portions of those recorded communications between Zullo and Spaulding.
The transcripts, which are included as images in the gallery above, have not yet been played in court.
The federal prosecutors continued their argument against changes to Zullo's home confinement conditions, stating that:
Zullo’s actions and conduct have created fear for members of the Latino community who believed that they were powerless to do anything because the abuse that they suffered was from the very police officers who were sworn to protect them. The car-to-car chats demonstrate that Zullo engaged in conscious and deliberate conduct against a racial minority group that he apparently believed threatened to disrupt social order in the Town of East Haven. Many witnesses have spoken to the Government about their fear of East Haven police officers and the psychological and physical abuse that they have suffered.
'Trumped Up Set of Allegations'
Zullo's defense attorney, Norm Pattis, however, that the charges against his client "look flimsy, like a trumped up set of allegations," and has asked for the case against his client to be dismissed.
Pattis filed the written motion to dismiss the case against Zullo with the court on Feb. 9.
In that motion, the Connecticut-based trial lawyer reportedly wrote that "far from behaving like sober ministers of justice, the prosecution has engaged in the cheap theater of press conferences and name-calling in an effort to forever associate the name 'East Haven' with dark and sinister connotions."
Pattis continued, criticizing federal officials for holding that announced the unsealing of the against the four officers — and the tone and tenor of comments made by federal officials during the media briefing.
"The Justice Department opted to supplement this unsealing with a press boondoggle to highlight it's national campaign against racial profiling," Pattis wrote.
Pattis' remarks in the dismissal echos those he made in a post about the East Haven case on his blog last week, in which he concluded that he fully expects Zullo to eventually walk out of the "courthouse a free man."