Well, this stuff happens all the time.
That's why people worried that a law specifically focused on making sure people who look like immigrants have papers at all times would lead to abuse.
F.B.I. agents arrested a sergeant and three police officers from East Haven, Conn., on Tuesday after they were indicted on conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges for singling out and mistreating Latino residents.
The four were accused of conducting unreasonable searches and seizures and of using unreasonable force, including hitting suspects in the head while the suspects were in custody. The indictment said two officers had “regularly conducted traffic stops of Latino customers” going in or out of Latino-owned businesses and had arrested or detained the people they stopped.
The indictment, unsealed in federal court in Bridgeport, Conn., also said the officers had filed false and misleading reports to cover their actions.
The four were also accused of trying to prevent civilians from videotaping the police on duty. The indictment said the officers had maintained that the videotaping was “interfering with police operations,” while the officers actually wanted “to prevent these civilians from capturing their and other officers’ misconduct on videotape.”
The indictment also detailed what it described as a campaign of intimidation and harassment of the East Haven Police Commission when it tried to investigate some of the accusations against the four officers. In one instance, the indictment said, a union leader forced a commission meeting about possible police misconduct to end early because he behaved in such an intimidating manner.
“The residents of East Haven should not need protection from those that are sworn to protect and serve them,” Janice K. Fedarcyk, assistant director-in-charge of the F.B.I.’s New York office, said at a news conference in Bridgeport several hours after the arrests.
Ms. Fedarcyk said the indictment outlined “a four-year pattern of egregious behavior” by a “cancerous cadre” of officers from East Haven. She said the officers had abused their positions and damaged their department’s reputation.
Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. of East Haven said Tuesday that he stood by the town’s police force, which he said numbers 50 officers. He said the Police Department would begin an internal investigation of the sergeant, John Miller, and Officers David Cari, Dennis Spaulding and Jason Zullo.
“It’s certainly very unfortunate and very tough for the families,” Mr. Maturo said, “but it’s tough for the Police Department and our community. I am proud of our Police Department. I stick by our men in blue.”
The mayor said he spoke to the department on Tuesday. “I reiterated, go out there and continue to protect our citizens and do what you are paid to do,” he said. “We will get through this day by day.”
Donald Cretella, a lawyer for Sergeant Miller, said the sergeant would be vindicated. “Nothing in the indictment is a surprise to us,” Mr. Cretella said, “and it doesn’t appear that Sergeant Miller did anything illegal. He’s a 16-year veteran police officer. He’s been decorated, he’s a wonderful officer and hopefully we’ll address all this and he can get on with his life.”
East Haven has had a long history of tension between the police and minorities. The Justice Department opened an investigation into allegations of discriminatory policing in 2009, and Yale law students went to court to force the release of police records. In 2010, nine Latino immigrants filed suit against the police department and 19 officers, saying the police had practiced racial profiling and intimidated Latinos with beatings, false arrests and unwarranted raids on local businesses.
The indictment echoed allegations in a separate Justice Department report issued last month that said there had been a pattern of police discrimination against Latino residents. “They were allegations,” Mr. Maturo said in a telephone interview. “Now there’s been an arrest made. The judicial system will take its course and we’ll find out what, when and where.” He added, “I don’t think it’s a systemic problem within the police department or community.”
Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general with the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said at the news conference in Bridgeport that the officers had abused their power and then intimidated witnesses, creating a “climate of fear.” He said the “stark” findings in the Justice Department investigation, a civil rights inquiry that was separate from the investigation that led to the arrests, “depict a department that is lacking some of those basic systems” necessary to prevent abuses.
David B. Fein, the United States attorney in Connecticut, was asked at the news conference if the person identified in the indictment as “Co-conspirator 1” was the East Haven police chief, Leonard Gallo. Mr. Fein said he would not name people who were not named in the indictment.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/25/nyregion/connecticut-police-officers-accused-of-mistreating-latinos.html?_r=1&hp
I mean, it happens without a brown-person-papers law, so why is a fear that it would happen even more with one so unreasoanble?