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Feds: East Haven Police Settlement Agreement Jointly Filed In Court [DOCUMENT]

The consent decree, which will result in federal oversight of the East Haven Police Department, also "resolves allegations that EHPD engaged in a pattern or practice of use of excessive force and unconstitutional searches and seizures."

The following is a press release from the U.S. Justice Department. The settlement agreement has been attached to this post as a PDF document.

The Justice Department today announced that it has entered into a comprehensive settlement agreement with the town of East Haven, Conn., to resolve the department’s complaint alleging that the East Haven Police Department (EHPD) engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination against individuals on account of race, color or national origin. 

The agreement also resolves allegations that EHPD engaged in a pattern or practice of use of excessive force and unconstitutional searches and seizures. 

The department and town jointly filed the agreement in federal district court today seeking the court’s approval and continued jurisdiction to enforce its terms.

The agreement is designed to ensure that the policies and practices of EHPD uphold constitutional protections against unlawful discrimination and unreasonable searches and seizures for the town’s 29,000 residents and other individuals who visit the town. 

The agreement, which draws from contemporary policing practices from around the country, is also designed to strengthen the community’s trust in EHPD and enable police officers to more effectively protect public safety. 

Once the agreement is implemented, the town is required to maintain two years of sustained compliance to ensure that the reforms become part of the agency’s standard procedures and institutional culture.   

On Oct. 22, 2012, the department and the mayor of East Haven signed a letter of intent to enter into the agreement that provided the mayor an opportunity to consult with other town officials on the agreement’s comprehensive reforms.  Following a series of board and council meetings, town officials unanimously endorsed the agreement. 

On Nov. 15, 2012, the mayor and police commission chairman executed the agreement. 

“We are pleased that town officials have joined the mayor and the board of police commissioners in supporting the broad reforms embodied in the agreement.” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  “The agreement reflects a strong commitment to effective and constitutional law enforcement in East Haven for all who live, work and visit the town.”

“We commend the mayor, board of police commissioners, police chief, police officers and other town officials for taking this important step forward toward reform,” said David B. Fein, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. “This agreement will provide the men and women of EHPD with the necessary support and guidance they need to fulfill their duties in a manner that protects public safety and upholds individuals’ civil rights.”

The agreement provides for comprehensive reforms in seven core areas, and provides for a joint compliance expert who will independently assess EHPD’s implementation of the agreement. 

The seven core areas are:

  • Biased-free policing, including measures on mandatory training, collection and analysis of data on police encounters, development of a meaningful language access plan, notification to consulates when foreign nationals are detained, and steps to promote biased-free policing in EHPD’s hiring, promotion and performance assessment processes;
  • Use of force, including the development of current policies on use of force and measures that provide for comprehensive training, consistent force reporting and thorough force reviews and investigations by supervisors and the internal affairs officer;
  • Searches and seizures, including the development of up-to-date policies and measures on applying for search warrants, documenting consent searches, notifying supervisors of felony arrests and other “contempt-of-cop” situations, inspecting detainees for injuries and preserving individuals’ First Amendment rights to observe and record police activity;
  • Policies and training, including measures to ensure that officers  and supervisors have sufficient guidance to carry out their law enforcement responsibilities in a lawful, effective and ethical manner;
  • Civilian complaints, internal investigations and discipline, including measures to ensure that all allegations of officer misconduct are received and thoroughly investigated and that officers who engage in misconduct are held accountable by a disciplinary system that is fair and consistent;
  • Supervision and management, including steps that provide for close and effective supervision to assist officers in carrying out their duties in a lawful manner and systems that allow supervisors to identify, correct and prevent misconduct; and
  • Community engagement and oversight, including measures to create robust partnerships with all segments of the East Haven community, disseminate public information on reforms and policing activities and solicit feedback on the relationship between EHPD and the community.

In September 2009, the Justice Department opened a pattern or practice investigation into allegations that EHPD officers engaged in discriminatory traffic enforcement, use of excessive force and unconstitutional searches and seizures in violation of the Constitution and federal anti-discrimination laws. 

In December 2011, the department completed its investigation and issued a letter finding reasonable cause to believe that EHPD engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination and other misconduct. 

The investigation was conducted jointly by the Civil Rights Division’s Special Litigation Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.

Bob Fawkes November 21, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Hey sockpuppet. How have a problem with me?
Jacobo Arnez November 21, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Hey jaggo......this is for you: http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3r45td/
Bob Fawkes November 21, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Couldn't come up with anything new over the past couple of months? Again I ask, what's your problem with me?
ASmith November 22, 2012 at 03:15 PM
crick crick crick, hyocricket at it again. gots to run his mouth off, cause if he dont that will mean he sold his soul to ole joe to get favors from em. heck if it were all for nothin, then why did ole joe settle and sign this, why is ole joe and his buddy mr. lou on the police commission stickin it to Mr. Miller, one of them 4 police officers. Mr. Miller tried to get his money for his sick days and vacation days like his contract said we was entitled to and ole joe pusshed for the commisssion to deny it and his buddy on the commission mr. lou went for it. how do yall explain ole joes actions toward these 4 policemen? or did he stick it to Mr. Miller cause he was a cooperatin with the fbi now. sounds more like a stinkin fish to me on ole Mayor Jo(k)e's part, first he yell and scream and say nothin goin on, then he gets elected and does a 360, now he's stickin it to Miller. cant explain that away Mr. Hypocricket. I agree folks jes think yall are a blubber and will say anythin to make your buddy look good, even when your buddy is stickin it to the fella you claim to care bout. if yall want to say a prayer for Mr. Miller why dont yall go tell your buddy Mayor jO(k)e to give Mr. Miller the money the town owes em.
AGE November 28, 2012 at 09:49 PM
to A Smith, please stop speaking like an ignoramous - you and that attitude are what gives East Haven its bad name.

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