UPDATE: Miller Changes Plea to 'Guilty' in East Haven Police Civil Rights Case

Sgt. John Miller — one of four East Haven Police officers indicted by a federal jury for allegedly violating the civil rights of Latinos — admitted to investigators he "struck a handcuffed individual while the victim was in the secure custody"

UPDATE at 5:45 p.m.

Sgt. John Miller — one of four East Haven Police officers indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly violating the civil rights of Latino residents — plead "guilty" today "to violating an individual's civil rights by using unreasonable force during the course of an arrest," according to the Connecticut U.S. States Attorney's Office.

Miller, along with the other three officers arrested in January — Dennis Spaulding, David Cari and Jason Zullo — originally entered a "not guilty" plea when the four men were first arrested in January.

But today, Miller pleaded guilty to Count 10 of the indictment, which charges the East Haven Police officer with "depriving an individual of his right to be free from the use of excessive force by a law enforcement officer," according to Thomas Carson, a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office.

'No One is Above the Law'

Carson reports that Miller admitted that, on Jan. 3, 2010, while in the course of making an arrest, "he struck a handcuffed individual while the victim was in the secure custody of two other East Haven Police officers."

“The conduct of this officer, in striking a defenseless individual, is abhorrent,” U.S. Attorney David Fein stated in a press release late Friday afternoon. “Police officers serve the people of Connecticut with dedication and distinction, putting their safety on the line to protect others. This case reminds us that no one is above the law. This police officer abused his authority and violated the civil rights of a person he is sworn to protect. Such conduct will never be tolerated.”

“When a police officer uses excessive force, he not only victimizes the person whose civil rights he violated, he undermines public trust in the professionals who are sworn to protect and serve, and do so honorably,” stated FBI Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge Mary Galligan. “The integrity of our profession requires that law enforcement officers never be above the law.”

Mayor's Office Reaction

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr released the following statement regrding Miller's plea:

"Today’s event is unfortunate for our Police Department and the East Haven community; however we have been and will continue to move our Department forward  working for a better future that we can all be proud of."

The Mayor's Office added that there will be no additional comment at this time.

Miller to 'Cooperate Fully' with Ongoing Investigation

Chief Judge Thompson has scheduled sentencing for Feb. 1, 2013. Miller now faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

As part of his plea agreement, Carson said Miller — who is on administrative leave from his post at the East Haven Police Department — has "agreed to cooperate fully with the government in the investigation and prosecution of this matter."

Prior to his arrest, Miller was the president of the union that represented East Haven Police officers, Local 1662.

'Investigation is Ongoing'

Fein stated that the investigation is ongoing and encouraged individuals with information that may be helpful to the investigation to call the FBI at 212-384-2240.

As to the other defendants who are awaiting trial, U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

ORIGINAL STORY (Posted at 2:35 p.m.)

One of the four East Haven Police officers indicted earlier this year by a federal grand jury for violating the civil rights of Latino residents has scheduled an appearance in federal court today in order to change his not guilty plea, according to the Connecticut U.S. States Attorney's Office.

"John Miller is scheduled for a change of plea hearing at approximately 4:00 p.m. today before Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford," Thomas Carson, spokesperson for the office, stated in a press release a short time ago.

Sgt. John Miller, along with the other three officers indicted, Dennis Spaulding, David Cari and Jason Zullo, had previously entered a plea of not guilty to all charges.

Prior to his arrest, Miller was the president of the union that represented East Haven Police officers, Local 1662.

The results of this afternoon's court proceedings are expected to be released by the state's attorney later today, Carson confirmed for East Haven Patch.

East Haven Patch will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.


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Patrick Madley September 23, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Ann, I'm not sure why you were giving me an attitude but okay, I know that. I was just saying anyone who had the time to track an IP address on every anonymous name is kind of sad. It is a sad day for this to happen. We have some excellent officers here and this was just one bad one. I hope this ends soon so our officers don't have to deal with this anymore.
frank swan September 23, 2012 at 07:20 PM
wow that was a lot gosip All I can say is, after growing up here and then moving away for many many years now moveing back. i WAS SHOCKED AT WHAT I FOUND WHEN I RETURNED. Since mr gallo left it seams to be getting better.
Richard Poulton September 23, 2012 at 09:01 PM
I never condoned any form of police brutality. But in this incident, Miller admitted to, using agreed upon terms mentioned in the story, to having "struck a handcuffed individual". He was wrong, there is no doubt about that. BUT, looking at a 10 year prison term and or a $250,000 fine. GIVE ME A BREAK. Those sentences are never given to people changed with manslaughter or bank robbery. The possible sentence does not fit the crime. Sorry. I have by the way seen handcuffed arrestees injure PO's using their feet, or bite, spit, all kinds of stuff. There is an automatic defence reaction when these things happen, but no one cares about that, only the poor person was handcuffed. See what it like to get kicked in the groin by a handcuffed person and see how you react. Don't know the full story on why this was done in this case and neither does anyone else commenting.
Ivanna D. Truth September 23, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Ok he plead guilty, admitted assaulting a prisoner who was handcuffed. Why hasn't he been fired already? Why is he still taking my tax money? How convienent he started having Panic Attacks "after" he found out the feds were here to stay and the cowboy squads antics were exposed. Just like Cari, I am sure an unquestioned disability retirement will come out of this.
Ann Della Camera September 24, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Patrick, I in no way intended to offend you, that was not how I meant what I said. My apoligizies if you thought it was against you.
Ann Della Camera September 24, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Richard, you are so right. Some seem to want to judge what happened when they were not there, do not know what caused the action of Officer Miller. They love gossip Richard, but have no compassion. A police officer's job is a tough one today, as you said they get kicked in many weak places. As to the sentence, again you are right, a judge hit and killed a police officer on frontage road when the officer was doing road duty. I noticed we never heard another word about that. Seems to me its who you are as to what you get handed to you. The sentence is far too strong for the incident. So to me, if you were not there, do not condem!!!
JACOBO ARBENZ September 24, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Steve Evermore September 24, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Does Miller's guilty plea impact his status of 'administrative leave'? What impact would a conviction have on his eligibility for continued employment in EHPD?
ASmith September 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Mr. Patrick thought Missy Anne had more brains and smarts than to embarrass herself playin a silly game with you. only folks that track IP finders can do so with a warrant. that was proven in the josey wales debacle. so i guess maybe missy anne is a losin it. seein she claims to knows me, sure hope she calls me. we can go for a cup of joe and discuss her delusions of grandeur. hate to see another ole folk losin it.
Bob Fawkes September 24, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Steve, Good Question. The man's employment obviously should be terminated post haste. We shall now see if the Police Commission does its job.
Bob Fawkes September 24, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Jacobo is honored to have an imitator. Thank you for your support. ~ Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán; Since 1951, speaking up for the oppressed indigenous peoples of Central America and all over the world.
Patrick Madley September 24, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Sorry, Ann I jumped the gun so to speak. It was just the way it was typed. Nevertheless, my apologies. :)
Patrick Madley September 24, 2012 at 07:52 PM
And Jacobo, I don't know why but I've come to like you... Maybe it's because I don't know your true identity but nonetheless, you are very funny and I give you credit because you speak the truth.
Luigi (the original) September 24, 2012 at 08:46 PM
All I read from this story is that Miller pleaded guilty to one charge. Count 10 of all the charges doled out by the DOJ. Now we got every no name shill acting like some preacher on a pulpit.....hallelujah, praise the lord, the truth shall set you free......... PLEEESE! I know of at least four guys who got arrested, then mouthed off to the arresting officer and got a slap on the back of the head for their diatribes. None of those guys I knew where Hispanic, just mouthy. So now what, Miller is a rat? .... Why because he admits to slapping some perp for mouthing off? Seems to me this case just keeps getting weaker and weaker, not the other way around. You guys make me laugh. THANKS....oh and HALLELUJAH!
Lisa September 24, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Just so you know the true facts, Officer Miller, my husband hadnt just had panic attacks once he got arressted. No he is not a rat, actually his sentence is a bit harsh for if it was asked he was a white prisnor on meth and was asked if he would like to make a complaint. It was all in the report. That is not to say he didn't deserve suspension if one was given. HE has saved so many lives & is a great cop. One who has protected many of the citizens in East Haven. I am proud of him, I am proud that he didn't take the misdemeanor to testify against his men. He thought of his family and guaranteed no jail. Why go to trial and risk the heart ache we have been living financially and emotionally. Honestly, this case gets weaker by the days. how I know this I have lived each and every moment w/ John Miller. He is a human being who has been in so many terrible circumstances.save lives and maybe it was someone you know. Do you not think the paper is trying to sell papers here. The whole thing is unfortunate and for some reason someone had it in for the EHPD. You ruined a great cop & I know from experience he is a stand up guy who admited he was wrong. So not giving the excuse of what he did was correct, but it was a jab to the chest. And it is all in the report The guy was aked if he would like to press charges he said no I ran. If you want to know the truth than ask John Miller and he will tell you the truth. Lisa Miller
Ann Della Camera September 25, 2012 at 03:27 AM
ASmith, I knew you were illerate, but you proved it by letting me know you know nothing of computers and how they work. You need no warrant, just common sense, anyone can find anyone or anything on here. Got to you huh!!! I know who you are.
Ivanna D. Truth September 25, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Ann, three things. First the officer that was hit by the judge was in New Haven on Chapel Street. There was no criminal wrong doing found. As tragic as it was, it was an accident. Weather and visability had a big part on it. Second, if you're going to to insult someone and call them illiterate at least spell it correctly. Third, patch does not publish IP numbers, and of they did it would only trace back to the provider. Specific.identifying information has to be obtained from the provider and is not done without a warrant, let alone for a general member of the public.
Ghost September 25, 2012 at 08:06 PM
How much dope does the East Patch staff smoke? Do they really expect the public to belive this trauma-drama of a charade is true! Lol! Chaos increases ratings. Name dropping slander increases them twofold!
Ann Della Camera September 26, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Ivanna, First, I never said it came from the patch, get your story stright. Second, I don't believe I was addressing you. Third, we all typo so don't try to correct me until you are perfect. Forth. The accident did happen in New Haven, my error, the office lived in East Haven. I am not afraid to admit when I make a mistake, ARE YOU!!!. Keep hiding behind that name I will soon find you too.
Ann Della Camera September 26, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Lisa, my heart goes out to you, I am sure he is a good man and father. He had the courage to stand up and be honest. I wish some on here could be as honorable as he was. He has my prayers, and my thanks for all he did for the town when on duty.
Ann Della Camera September 26, 2012 at 02:47 AM
No apoligy needed Patrick, you know you have my highest respect. Nice to see one on here that is not a name caller.
Indybound September 26, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Officer Miller is a good police officer. He has done a lot for this pathetic Town. Years ago he was at my house a few times for domestic and he was very helpful and he was by the book and very fair. He helped me and I know I felt a lot safer with him on the force. I will always remember his kindness at such a difficult time in my life. He is human and makes mistakes like we all do. He should not be trashed on here. He doesn't deserve it and most of all his wife, children and family should not have to deal with it. They are going through enough. I wish him and his family the best and I hope they don't lose sleep reading all this typical East Haven gossip.
Ivanna D. Truth September 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Ann, you attacked someone for being "illiterate" and misspelled it to boot. You're right, we all make typo's but you took it to the next level and insulted someone who, unlike you, purposely posts in the format that they do.Second, i stand by everything else i said about IP numbers, the only thing identifying to the public is the host and that is if it is even visible.
CAjones September 26, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Oh......!! I see, Smith is posting in a "format". That's what you call it? That mockery only serves to belittle everyone. It's not cute, it's not funny, it's pathetic.
Ivanna D. Truth September 26, 2012 at 03:34 PM
As silly and ridiculous as it is yes it is a format that ASmith has purposely chosen to use.The IP issue after insulting someone was incorrectly stated in an attempt to intimidate a poster. The bottom line is, since we are refering to posts here, Short of a court order/warrant no one is assertaining anything from an IP number (which isn't even displayed).
CAjones September 26, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I think the use of a personality "format" is ridiculous to the tenth power. Anyone who reads one, is less for it. Avatar names like Ivanna D. Truth, CAjones and ASmith are enough. Buts talkin likes a fool only makes us all look foolish......... By the way, I agree that IP numbers are not obtainable that easily, so please don't confuse my point with Ann D's. Also by the way, you and Smith ARE one and the same....... No need for IP numbers to know that.
Ivanna D. Truth September 26, 2012 at 09:25 PM
I agree CAjones. Personally while i've seen many valid points or truth to some of the posts made, I don't not enjoy reading riddles or what have you. So I do usually skip by. As far as to your last statement, ASmith and I are not the same person. Nor do i have any knowledge as to his or her identity.
Candace Fazio September 27, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Lisa, good for you girl!!!! Set them straight!!!! Prayers for your family , the people that believe in you/ John, well We're still here supporting you guys!!!
Lance Coughlin February 09, 2014 at 02:41 PM
Um - turns out he is indeed a rat
Lance Coughlin February 09, 2014 at 02:42 PM


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