Washington, DC – Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is not the only one under fire from the Department of Justice for cracking down on illegal immigrants. Yesterday, the DOJ issued another scathing report accusing the East Haven, CT Police Department of discrimination against Latinos for allegedly violating their civil rights.
In a 23-page letter detailing the results of a two-year investigation sent to the East Haven mayor, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez wrote, “We find that EHPD engages in discriminatory policing against Latinos, including but not limited to targeting Latinos for discriminatory traffic enforcement, treating Latino drivers more harshly than non-Latino drivers after a traffic stop, and intentionally and woefully failing to design and implement internal systems of control that would identify, track, and prevent such misconduct.”
Taking the same line from his report condemning Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Perez also described the discrimination as “deeply rooted in the Department’s culture,” citing statistical analysis showing how Latinos were “intentionally targeted” for traffic stops since nearly 20% of all traffic stops were Latino drivers. Perez however, does not attempt to address any other possible factors for the high number of traffic stops, but simply comes to the conclusion that it must be discrimination considering Latinos account for only 10.3% of East Haven’s population.
Critics are saying this report—the second of its kind in the past week—is evidence that the Obama administration is on a political witch hunt. To support their position, they point to Perez’s background as proof.
Perez previously rose from volunteer to President of the Board of Directors for Casa de Maryland, the far left pro-illegal immigration organization who has been indirectly funded by the likes of liberal billionaire George Soros and the socialist leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.
Conservative hawk Michellel Malkin took Perez to task in a column saying he was “a crusader for an ever-expanding set of illegal alien benefits from in-state tuition discounts for illegal alien students to driver’s licenses.” She also pointed out that Casa de Maryland ”opposes enforcement of deportation orders, has protested post-9/11 coordination of local, state, and national criminal databases, and produced a ‘know your rights’ propaganda pamphlet for illegal aliens depicting federal immigration agents as armed bullies making babies cry.”
When questioned about the pamphlet during his Senate confirmation hearing, Perez downplayed his involvement with Casa de Maryland and said, “the Civil Rights Division must not act in contravention to valid enforcement actions of our federal immigration laws.”—a quote that critics say is the exact opposite of what he is doing now.
The Justice Department said it will meet with community leaders as well as local agencies to address the concerns raised in the East Haven report. Additionally, just like the case in Maricopa County, the DOJ is threatening to withhold federal funding if the town fails to address the civil rights violations.