By PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ A former East Haven police officer has been sentenced to five years in prison for violating the civil rights of Latinos.
Dennis Spaulding told the judge at the hearing Thursday in federal court in Hartford that he is not a racist. He said tensions between East Haven police and Latinos were the result of an investigation into license plate fraud.
A jury convicted Spaulding in October of conspiring to violate the constitutional rights of Hispanics, making false arrests and using unreasonable force.
He was among four East Haven officers charged in 2012 with harassing and abusing Hispanics. One of them, David Cari, was sentenced Tuesday to two and a half years in prison. Officer Jason Zullo received a two-year sentence in December. Sgt. John Miller is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
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