East Haven Officers Head To Trial On Civil Rights Charges

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HARTFORD – Jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday in the trial of two East Haven police officers charged with violating the civil rights of Latinos.

Dennis Spaulding and David Cari were charged last year with conspiracy against rights, deprivation of rights and obstruction of a federal investigation. Spaulding also was charged with using unreasonable force.

Based on complaints of police harassment by Latino drivers, the justice department opened an investigation into East Haven in 2009. Two years later, the justice department reported that local police officers targeted Latinos for traffic stops and treated them more harshly than other drivers. It also said the police department failed to adopt internal reporting systems that would have detected bias.

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