Lawyer: East Haven Police Case 'Reeks of Identity Politics'

Norm Pattis, attorney for one of four East Haven officers indicted for alleged civil rights violations, argues the charges "look flimsy" and has filed for a dismissal. And another CT lawyer has also publicly criticized how the DOJ has handled the case.

The lawyer for one of the four officers for alleged civil rights violations against Latino residents has argued the charges "look flimsy, like a trumped up set of allegations," and has asked for the case against his client to be dismissed.

And a second Connecticut lawyer, who is unaffiliated with the East Haven case, has also publicly criticized how federal officials have handled the affair, arguing that prosecutors engaged in "inflammatory rhetoric and gratuitous aspersions on the accused" in relation to their announcement of the indictments.

Motion to Dismiss

Norm Pattis, the criminal defense attorney for East Haven Officer Jason Zullo, has asked to have the case against his client dismissed in part because of the “Barnum-like pre-trial publicity" by federal officials, according to a variety of press reports.

Pattis filed the written motion to dismiss the case with the court yesterday.

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.

'Identity Politics'

Pattis' remarks in the dismissal echos those he made in a post about the East Haven case on his blog Monday.

In "Crossing the Line," Pattis argues that the federal indictment against Zullo and the other officers "looks flimsy," like a "trumped up set of allegations that could not withstand the light of day in civil court."

"The case reeks of identity politics: Four white male cops being prosecuted by a couple of female prosecutors for allegedly violating the civil rights of Hispanic folks; the prosecution pushed by a Justice Department some suspect of having abandoned race neutrality in the enforcement of the law; a bevy of Yale Law students cheering them on with the glee of zealots unschooled in the reality of the streets," Pattis wrote.

He added that he fully expects Zullo to eventually walk out of the "courthouse a free man."

"My client is being used to serve an agenda unrelated to the merits of the case pressed against him," he wrote. "My job is simple: I will protect him."

'Gratuitous Aspersions on the Accused'

And Pattis is not the only Connecticut lawyer who has been publicly critical of the U.S. Department of Justice's handling of the case against the East Haven police officers.

In a recent opinion piece published in the Connecticut Law Tribune, Karen Lee Torre argues that the timing of the release of the Justice Department's civil investigation findings that East Haven Police had mistreated Latino residents and engaged in racial profiling was "deliberately" and "unconscionably timed to coincide with the criminal indictment."

The New Haven-based attorney continues, writing that the announcement of the indictments last month was also "made most public way," and filled with "inflammatory rhetoric and gratuitous aspersions on the accused," which federal officials knew "would be TV broadcast, newspaper headlined, and Internet viral."

"Among the improper commentary: statements denouncing the accused officers as a 'cancerous cadre' and 'bullies with badges," the Connecticut lawyer wrote,

Torre added that the U.S. Attorney’s office usually announces indictments by paper press releases only, which usually steer clear of "any statements that amount to personal attacks, undermine the legal presumption of innocence, or work to poison the jury pool."

'Rhetoric by Federal Offiicals'

The lawyer also asks readers to consider whether "you would ever hear such rhetoric by federal officials" at a press conference held to announce the arrests on criminal charges and the holding for deportation of 12 Ecuadorians or Mexicans illegally in the U.S.

"Imagine one of them taking to a public podium to denounce those arrested as a 'cancerous cadre' and 'low-lives with stolen Social Security numbers.' I could just see the headlined condemnations in the press, and hear the hysterical screams in the hallways of Yale Law School," Torre wrote, referring to the brought against East Haven Police last year.

Rich February 12, 2012 at 09:37 PM
That is why I said it was political , who says she was not guilty? A deal was made . I have seen it in the town I live in. A similar incident but not with the mayor.
Grey February 12, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Rich, I don't have the time or the inclination to spoon feed you. Information has been made available to you. I suggest you put on your 'thinking cap' and make use of it.
insider with facts February 12, 2012 at 09:45 PM
We shall see what becomes of the investigation into the arrest of Mayor Capone. I'm sure with all the research you stated above you've read that its being looked at by the Fed's right?
Rich February 12, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Now your getting derogatory. Your just another liberal democrat that wears blinders and does not like cops. Very obvious.
Rich February 12, 2012 at 09:50 PM
We shall wait and see what the FBI comes up with they have no AX to grind. I did not do alot of research just a couple of web searches.
Rich February 12, 2012 at 10:22 PM
I just read the info you sent from east haven vine very logical. Do you think Grey will read it?
Grey February 12, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Christ, Thornton and Lawrence make this place putrid. Don't force it!
Rosie February 13, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Ok, maybe I missed something and if I did, I aologize. But, where exactly in the indictment of these officers is there any mention of a sexual assault?? I have not heard one thing about this, and if it is NOT true, then you really need to shut up and stop spreading even more lies.
noname February 13, 2012 at 03:38 AM
GREY...With all your babbling ...people are INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!
hope February 13, 2012 at 04:27 AM
Dan McCann February 13, 2012 at 05:50 AM
Bob Fawkes February 13, 2012 at 12:58 PM
The EH police scandal is a "tip of the iceberg". The Federal investigation extends far beyond the PD. What will you bootlickers say when members of the Town government and the BOE start falling like dominos? When some of you yourselves, who've benefited by having hands in cookie jars, are served arrest warrents? You loud mouths! Do you really think you're above the law? And when the indicted are proven guilty in a court of law, what will be your excuse? Rats are already singing to save their own hides. Already now, behind the scenes, deals are being cut. So much for that "Thin Blue Line". LOL There is much corruption in this town going back generations. I saw it back in 1971 when I first moved here. When the first few layers of the onion are peeled back, the onion begins to stink. The onion will stink severely until the rooten core is finally rooted out. Sleep well, Taco Joe. I know I do. A change is gonna come. ~~ Sam Cooke
Rich February 14, 2012 at 10:09 AM
If you saw this in 1971, you should have moved out of town. Your rant sounds like east haven is going to dissapear into the sea?
Bob Fawkes February 14, 2012 at 01:08 PM
No Rich, East Haven will be a majority Latino community in 10-15 years. YOU can move out of you'd like. I'm not going anywhere.
Luigi (the original) February 14, 2012 at 01:15 PM
I'd bet my last dollar you're not even a Latino, "Jacobo" You are NOTHING more than an instigating trouble maker.
Rich February 14, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Luigi good one and I do not live in east haven. I was refering to Jacobo to move out if he does not like the town. East haven as a majoity latino community will end up broke like Hartford.
Coronado February 15, 2012 at 08:22 AM
Arbenz is a very important contributor here. Enough with the ridicule.
Don Charles February 15, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Interesting that coronado shows up on Patch on February 15. Until this date he was never heard from on any Patch. Oh that's right he was resurrected like Jocobo since both had been dead for many years. We really need to laugh at these two instigators since you can see right through them and what they are attempting to do. Both of you really need a new act, this one is getting old and shopworn. Maybe you should take your act to the Huffington Post. You both should start posting for Occupy New Haven they need some people who also go along with Alinsky and his teachings.
Coronado February 15, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Don, How do your sentiments as stated above enlighten us about identity politics? You seem to be more interested in quashing the voice of people you disagree with rather than providing an educated, reasonable, rebuttal.
Coronado February 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Dear moderator, I am uncomfortabe participating on this site. Don and his 'alter egos' are more interested in filth than politics. This ruins it for those of us who are sincere about participating in social change. Could the embittered pimps and jons please take it elsewhere?
Rich February 15, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Coronad, Don vocies his opinion which you do not like and you get nasty? If your not confortable, take your nasty words some where else.
Coronado February 15, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Rich, You go. YOU, can't stay on topic.
Coronado February 15, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Nasty sexual slurrs are not political opinions. They are insulting digressions.
Don Charles February 15, 2012 at 11:57 PM
What's the matter Coronado, can't take the heat so you call on the moderator. I would like to know what I have said that you claim is filth. Politics yes because that is all that is happening since your President came into office. You are uncomfortable , boo hoo. you want social change, you really mean socialistic change. How about that settlement today on the ILLEGALS getting 350,000. in a settlement orchestrated by the Feds and the left wing yale law school. Hell if anyone is illegal in Mexico or any other Hispanic, Latino country they would be put into jail and immediately deported. Here in the USA we allow them to come in, however join with us learn how to speak our language fly our flag and not your own. Did you see the ILLEGALS who received the 350,000 today being interviewed they needed an interpreter (Spelled Correctly coronado). BTW you and Jocobo are not of Hispanic decent yet you act like you are, both of you should be ashamed of what you are doing. Since you like the Latino names maybe I should start using the name of a real Latin hero Genereralissimo Maximo Gomez, Libertador De Cuba, not a Communist, Anarchist, or Agitator. He was a real Hero.
Rich February 15, 2012 at 11:58 PM
I do not live in East Haven. I am not the one uncomfotable you are? I have not got nasty and started name calling? What is the topic? Not guilty until proven other wise.
Rich February 16, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Use to go to Mexico, got tired and broke paying off the police so they would let me go back to the USA.. You people in East Haven got a Malloy cheif of police, good luck. You will need it. Platt Tech got a Female history teacher as a principal and they need help.
Coronado February 16, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Don, Don't flatter yourself. Your comments are filled with slime. You pack no heat.
Don Charles February 16, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Coronado says "Don't flatter yourself. Your comments are filled with slime. You pack no heat." I would expect that from you coronado, you run out of real comments so you attack. That is your MO on many comments you have made on Feb 15 the first day you have come on to post under the name coronado. I Love it, LMAO!!!!!!! Genereralissimo Maximo Gomez
Coronado February 16, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Gawd! What a childish little sex-offender. This is typical cop nonsense. From now on I will ignore Don, Rosie, Rich, Patrick, and his alter egos.
Secretariat February 22, 2012 at 07:10 AM
The link below explains how to behave if you are detained by the police. http://toxiccops.com/category/your-rights


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something