The FBI arrested four Connecticut police officers Tuesday for alleged discrimination against Latinos.
Federal law enforcement officials said in indictment papers that East Haven Officers Dennis Spaulding, David Cari and Jason Zullo and Sgt. John Miller denied Latino residents and their advocates the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to not be arrested and detained without probable cause and the right to not be arrested on false and misleading evidence.
The officials also charge that the police officers used unreasonable force, concealed their actions and are accused of harassing and intimidating individuals, including advocates, witnesses and other officers who tried to investigate or report misconduct or abuse committed by the four officers.
Mayor Joseph Maturo said the four men were arrested at about 6 a.m. Tuesday at their homes and at the police department.
Donald Cretella, Miller's lawyer, said his client has been honored with awards and risked his life in shootouts.
"John Miller is a hero in East Haven," he said. "He's decorated. He's a wonderful family man. Hopefully, we'll clear his name."
Maturo said he backs the police.
"I stand behind the police department," he said. "We have a great police department."
The U.S. Department of Justice said last month that the police department engaged in a pattern of discrimination against Latino residents. Investigators said their probe was complicated by efforts to interfere with witnesses and by police silence.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.