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East Haven Signs Police Reform Settlement

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East Haven's town attorney Joseph Zullo, Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr., and Police Chief Brent Larrabee discuss a settlement of a Justice Department lawsuit that alleged discrimination and harassment of Latinos by police officers. Photo by WTIC's Matt Dwyer.

East Haven’s town attorney Joseph Zullo, Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr., and Police Chief Brent Larrabee discuss a settlement of a Justice Department lawsuit that alleged discrimination and harassment of Latinos by police officers. Photo by WTIC’s Matt Dwyer.

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EAST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ East Haven 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 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.
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Information from: New Haven Register, http://www.nhregister.com
     
     (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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