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East Haven Enforces Law Against Police Racial Bias

EAST HAVEN, CT - FEBRUARY 01:  An East Haven Police car is viewed on February 1, 2012 in East Haven, Connecticut. Following an investigation by the FBI, four East Haven police officers were arrested last week and accused of abusing Latinos in the working class community of 28,000 people which was nearly predominately white a generation ago. A recent civil rights investigation which was released last month revealed a pattern of discriminatory policing East Haven and the town has been warned by the U.S. Justice Department to make reforms. The arrested officers have been accused of subjecting Hispanics to beatings and false arrests among other things. Currently East Haven's Latino population is around 10 percent.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

EAST HAVEN, CT - FEBRUARY 01: An East Haven Police car is viewed on February 1, 2012 in East Haven, Connecticut. Following an investigation by the FBI, four East Haven police officers were arrested last week and accused of abusing Latinos in the working class community of 28,000 people which was nearly predominately white a generation ago. A recent civil rights investigation which was released last month revealed a pattern of discriminatory policing East Haven and the town has been warned by the U.S. Justice Department to make reforms. The arrested officers have been accused of subjecting Hispanics to beatings and false arrests among other things. Currently East Haven's Latino population is around 10 percent. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)  (2012 Getty Images)

East Haven, Conn., officials have signed an agreement that calls for broad reforms of its police department to avoid a federal lawsuit over accusations of bias.

The New Haven Register reports that East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. joked as he and Police Commissioners Chairman Joseph Civitello signed the agreement on Thursday.

"As I'm signing this, should you put a whip behind me?" he said.

The agreement also must be signed by federal officials and filed in court.

Four officers were arrested in January on charges they discriminated against Latino residents. One has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and another pleaded guilty to using unreasonable force during an arrest.

Two others have pleaded not guilty.

New standards to be enforced include plans to establish policing free of bias and monitor use of force, searches and seizure.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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