Civil Liberties

What Should a Mayor Do About Police Abuse of Latinos? He 'Might Have Tacos'

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On Tuesday the FBI arrested four East Haven, Connecticut, police officers, charging them with conspiracy, false arrest, excessive force, and obstruction of justice. The federal indictment describes a pattern of harassment, violence, and false arrests targeting Latino residents of the city, followed by efforts to cover up the crimes.

Among other things, the indictment alleges that one of the officers attacked a man outside La Bamba, a local restaurant, on November 22, 2008, knocking him to the ground and repeatedly kicking him in the back and legs while he was handcuffed, then arrested him under false pretenses to cover up the assault.

The indictment lists various other examples of assault, bogus arrests, illegal searches, harassment, and intimidation. It refers to Police Chief Leonard Gallo, who has not been charged, as "Co-Conspirator No. 1," alleging that he repeatedly tried to get a local priest who had complained about the police abuses transferred to a different parish.

After the officers were arrested, Gallo's patron, Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr., who reinstated him despite the Justice Department's investigation, said, "I'm still very surprised, and it's a sickening feeling to have your officers arrested, but nevertheless they're innocent until proven guilty….I have confidence in all the men and women of our East Haven Police Department, from top to bottom." When a WPIX reporter asked Maturo what he might do to improve relations with the Latino community in light of the indictment, he replied, "I might have tacos when I go home. I'm not quite sure yet." He later apologized for the "insensitive and off-collar comment," saying, "I let the stress of the situation get the best of me."

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  1. “off-collar”?

    Autocorrect, or stupid? Or, to be fair, [sic]?

    1. What he meant was that such blunt racism would be acceptable for someone “blue-collar,” but as a professional, he is expected to state his racism in more elegantly constructed terms.

      1. Speaking of collars, can’t this idiot even get his tie in the proper position in relation to his collar for a formal picture?

        What a fucking slob.

        1. Agreed, Sloopy the Inca. In addition, his tie is hideous and is the wrong type of fabric to go with his suit.

          1. What the hell are you all talking about? To me its like watching a television program about gays trying to tell people what to wear.

            1. Believe it or not, there was a time when straight men knew how to dress.

              Then came the Boomers.

          2. If you’re gonna go silk with a light gray suit, the tie should be raw silk so it has less sheen. That tie would possibly work with a much darker gray or even a black suit.

            Now, as to the tie pattern: pinstripe suits should be accompanied by solid or striped ties only. Paisleys or patterned ties with pinstripe suits look cluttered and/or confused.

            1. Exactly. Are you a fellow forumite at Ask Andy About Clothes, sloopy?

              1. No, but I may become one now.

                And I’ve got a wedding to plan and will need some formalwear advice since my wedding in pre-Memorial Day, yet in the warm southwest.

                1. The bestest thing about being in the service was being able to say “fuck it, I’m wearing my dress uniform” when formalware issues become convoluted.

            2. Just to clarify, I meant broad diagonal stripes, not vertical or horizontal ones, as they will detract from the strips of the suit.

              Think: college tie.

              1. Here’s the real question: if no one but you and a few gay guys notice the difference, does it really matter?

                1. It does to me and the homos apparently.

                  I’m just saying: if you’re gonna dress formally, do it right. Otherwise, wear a potato sack to work.

                  1. Eh, I literally don’t know a single male who has the knowledge you and HM displayed there, and I live in one of the wealthiest cities in America (true fact).

                    Not saying it’s gay or wrong, but nobody really seems to be paying attention to whether one is doing it “right” or not.

                    1. Does it even matter to homosexuals? Because their standards appear to vary considerably with many of them being comparable to the “bros”.

                    2. Not saying it’s gay or wrong, but nobody really seems to be paying attention to whether one is doing it “right” or not.

                      What is “right” is often what looks “good.” I believe that even if the average person is not consciously paying attention to it, subconsciously they are. It’s due to our neurological makeup that certain colors and patterns just go well together. If you ignore that, then your appearance might be distracting and/or unsettling to someone else, and they will treat you accordingly, again consciously or not.

                    3. String ties are only appropriate with the cowboy tuxedo. Boots should always be black. Even if you are wearing a four beaver hat, you should remove it if the event is indoor. That should get you by in Dallas.

                    4. ^^Pretty much Brett has it nailed. I do wear string ties with a sport-coat and white shirt occasionally, and have been complimented on it.

                    5. Hold on there, Brett! I’ve got a pair of boots that are cordovan or oxblood. Very deep color with a hint of red. You mean to tell me I can’t wear them to a function?

                    6. I wouldn’t recommend it. You can wear light-colored boots if they’re snake-skin, which are usually pale.

                    7. Not where you would wear a suit instead. If you would wear a sportcoat, you can get by with it. But clean, dark bluejeans, black ropers, a white shirt, a dark sport jacket and a string tie are the equivalent of a suit. If you wear a starched white shirt and a tuxedo jacket, you are sufficiently formal for black tie.

                  2. Otherwise, wear a potato sack to work.

                    I wish we lived in a culture where that was O.K.

                2. Here’s the real question: if no one but you and a few gay guys notice the difference, does it really matter?

                  if no one but you and a few gay guys, and attractive women notice the difference….

                  1. if no one but you and a few gay guys, and attractive women notice the difference….

                    Ding! Ding! Ding!

                  2. I’m married. Attractive women are dead to me. Just a cruel reminder of what might have been. I’d rather they all be fat and ugly.

                    1. I’m married. Attractive women are dead to me. Just a cruel reminder of what might have been. I’d rather they all be fat and ugly.

                      All the more reason to offend their senses (sensibilities?), ammirite?

            3. Sloopy must have got the “fabulous” gene that was supposed to go to me. Heh.

            4. I whole-heartedly agree dude. Moreover, that looks like a single windsor knot. People who cannot tie double windsors have no business wearing suit AT ALL.

              /end rant

              1. I looked closely at the knot before commenting. With the little pucker under the knot, I’m pretty sure it’s a double windsor.

                If it had been a single windsor, I’d have broken out in a cold sweat by now.

                1. Its an awful thin tie for a double windsor to be that compact. Probably synthetic and cheap.

              2. People who cannot tie double windsors have no business wearing suit AT ALL.

                Fuck off with that shit, or find me a tie that fits around my enormous neck with enough length to tie a double windsor.

              3. “It was tied with a Windsor knot. Bond mistrusted anyone who tied his tie with a Windsor knot. It showed too much vanity. It was often the mark of a cad.” -From Russia With Love

        2. He probably has to put the tie lower than you would like in order to keep the foreskin from peeking up over the collar…

        3. my sense of fashion was developed in creating color schemes for my WH40k figures…so, yeah, I don’t even try to dress formally.

    2. He said was he was off collar(ds). An anti-black statement.

    3. Either way, its wrong.

      Of course, its not “off-collar”, since there’s no such thing. I’m sure he said “off-color”, but its not that, either.

      1. Meant to say “off the cuff”, I’d guess.

    4. He meant it’s the kind of comment his police make when they collar someone.

  2. Congratulations on your election to Mayorial office, Slappy!

    1. Good one, HM.

  3. I’m still very surprised, and it’s a sickening feeling to have your officers arrested…

    His tears are so yummy and sweet.

    1. I’m sure it is. Who knows what those cops know about him, and what kind of deal they might cut?

    2. It is surprising and sickening, isn’t it Chief Dickbag?

  4. The indictment lists various other examples of assault, bogus arrests, illegal searches, harassment, and intimidation.

    The cops were stupid to focus on Latinos.
    If they had done this to white people as well then it wouldn’t be a Civil Rights violation, the feds wouldn’t have gotten involved, and they’d still be out there busting heads.

    1. Exhibit A: Seattle, Washington.

  5. The Fuzzy Zoeller of politics

  6. Pet peeve alert:

    nevertheless they’re innocent until proven guilty

    No, they’re not. What they are is “presumed” by the courts to be innocent. You can be guilty as sin, and still be presumed innocent. What you can’t be is guilty as sin, yet actually innocent until proven guilty.

    1. Good clarification, Esquire

    2. Anybody who uses “innocent until proven guilty” as an epistemological/social interaction tool is in for a world of hurt.

  7. Think maybe the Times reporter misheard or mistyped what the Honorable M. Maturo said? Granted, he still seems like a racist idiot, but I assume he probably has better mastery of idiomatic expressions than that.

  8. Another food/racism association. It makes me ponder if dinning/food choices have a caste system

    1. Yes. Peoples from poor nations have the best tasting food for the price. They have to work to make horrible ingredients taste good.

      Rich people simply buy already delicious ingredients.

      1. The more spice you use, the less you taste the rot. The longer you cook a bad cut of meat at low temperature the softer it gets. Unless you come from a place devoid of spices, then you just boil the shit out of it. That’s my one paragraph summary of world food trends.

        1. “The longer you cook a bad cut of meat at low temperature” is the basis of the greatest taste treat the world has ever known, Texas-style barbecue.

          1. I believe people from the Carolinas would take exception to that. And rightfully so, since their BBQ is immensely better than Texas’ version.

            1. You’re dead to me.

              See, if you delayed your stupid trip by a couple of days, I could take you to some places to prove you wrong.

              1. Jimbo has the right of it here. Carolina BBQ is great, but Texas BBQ blows it away.

                In general, Texan is the best white-people food on the continent. Much better than anything up North.

                1. The only thing I’ll give the yanks are 1) they do have superior pizza, can’t argue it, and 2) better Italian food.

                  There might be an Italian somewhere within 50 miles of here…but then again, there might not be. People here go to Olive Garden and act like it’s Venice.

                2. I’m from Texas, but I’ll take Memphis style any day.

            2. Wat? Oh, son, I am disappoint. Beef BBQ with chili and vinegar based sauce is superior. Pork is for sausage.

              1. Pork is for sausage.

                I can destroy this in two words: Country Ham.

                And FWIW, I’ve only had Texas BBQ a few times, and it was mind-numbingly delicious. Just wonderful if you’re in the mood for beef BBQ. Nothing in the world comes close to it…for beef. I’m just partial to Carolina-style pulled pork..

                1. Being a firm pantheist when it comes to BBQ, I’ll second that. Texans do beef quite well. They wouldn’t know what to do with a pork shoulder if you beat them with it.

                  1. “They wouldn’t know what to do with a pork shoulder if you beat them with it.”

                    Hopefully make carnitas out of it. Cube it, slow cook it in water with a cup of OJ until most of the water has evaporated, turn up the heat and stir until the pork is just coated in its own rendered fat, add a little salt and cayenne, and serve on corn tortillas with cilantro and diced onion.

  9. This guy’s an idiot.

    Everyone knows that chalupas are a much more sensitive entree for repairing ties to the latino community.

    1. He should have said BEANS!

  10. The East Haven, CT must not be as ideologically aligned with the DoJ as is Seattle. They actually charged these fucks, while the widespread and rampant abuse and coverups in the Emerald City end up leading to training.

    1. WHAT KIND OF TRAINING?!

      ARRRRRRRRMY SWAAAAAAAAAT TRAINING!!

      *sound of dogs running away*

    2. Training makes everything better, sloopy. At least to the feds. Part of compliance with lots of federal regulations is training so everybody knows you can’t bribe foreign officials or sexually harass people or pour gasoline in the toilet.

      1. wait, why can’t you pour gas in the toilet?

      2. What’s this about gasoline and toilets?

        1. I took a shit in a toilet once

      3. ^this

        I just completed my annual “Dont’ Bribe Gummint officials, Even In Places Like Somalia or Libertopia” ‘training’.

        Therefore, I will not act unethically for one more year! Thanks, gummint training requirement!

        1. Ah yes. Annual Ethics Training. *yawn*

        2. I love the questionnaire we get as part of the FCPA complaince. Have you, acting for the company, committed a felony and bribed somebody? (Asked 11 different ways.) If yes, please explain.

          Really? This counts as part of a monitoring program? Anybody who answers yes is too stupid to be employed.

          1. They do it so they can overcharge you with an additional 11 charges of falsifying an official statement and obstruction of justice.

            It’s meant to make their position at the plea bargain stronger when they tell you you could spend an additional 257 years in prison.

          2. That FCPA bullshit all boils down to:

            Only US government may do these things.

            Which makes sense, since it has the word corrupt in it.

  11. Fuck me. I always say, “It’s 2012, surely we’re further along than this kind of blatant racism.”

    Uh, wrong again, Almanian.

    “I might have some tacos.” Jesus Christos. Really? Yep – really.

    1. Maybe we’re going about this the wrong way. Perhaps, Mayor Maturo, being Italian-American, culturally identifies food with love (per his Grandmother’s Sunday dinners).

      Examples:

      Q. Mayor, what do you have to say about allegations of police harrassement of African-American drivers?

      A. Nothing a nice place of Soul Food couldn’t fix.

      Q. Mayor, what are your comments concerning the alleged Antisemitism in your administration?

      A. We should all sit down to a nice bowl of chicken soup and a plate of tongue and pastrami.

      etc.

      1. Oh, you could have played the “salt on your fruit” at dinner card and you missed it.

        1. I’m not sure I get the reference. Who does that?

          1. Teh Jooz!!!!

            But in all seriousness, I think it’s mostly a ceremonial thing at certain feasts.

            Oh, and I took a ham to a “holiday party” at a Jewish household once. I did it to protest the phrase “holiday party.” It was an awkward evening.

            1. Southeners do the salt on melons thing–canteloupe, honeydew, watermelon.

      2. Chicken soup is a Jewish thing? Now if he had said a lox bagel…

        1. Chicken soup is a Jewish thing?

          It’s not exclusively Jewish, but it does hold a special place in the Yiddisher heart.

          1. Matzo Ball soup. Now that is some good Jew food.

            1. good Jew food.

              Pretty sure they prefer the word Jewish.

              1. Not if the soup’s actually -made- from jews.

                1. Not if the soup’s actually -made- from jews.

                  I’ve heard of them in ovens, but never on the stovetop.

                  /rimshot

              2. I know a lot of Jews and all of them seem to use the term.

                1. They use Jew as an adjective? Then why did I get called our for referring to my Jew lawyer?

                2. Yeah my Jew friends throw it around a lot, and as long as you’re friends, they don’t seem to mind if I use it, either.

                  Best article I ever read: in an issue of Heeb magazine (not sure if it’s still around or not), there was an article titled, “Why Do So Many Goddamn Jews Love Billy Joel?”

                  1. “Why Do So Many Goddamn Jews Love Billy Joel?”

                    Because he made a song about trying to get into a Catholic shiksa’s pants.

            2. Dude, you just dropped a hard J.

      3. Except that it’s likely that Mexicans aren’t a plurality of the Latino population in East Haven. He’s be better off saying something like tostones or empanadillas de carne. Of course, most racists don’t understand that there are different kinda of brown folks.

        1. The wogs begin at Calais Nuevo Laredo.

      4. He should have gone for the SoCon vote and just thanked Jesus

    2. Racism is always going to exist because there will always be people that can’t differentiate between a stereotype and reality.

      I stereotype hobos all the time; when reality proves me wrong I accept it and move on. A racist stereotypes (insert class/race/etc here) and when confronted with reality, refuses to accept it.

  12. If the President thinks he can smooth things over with the police by having a beer with them (what is that, some kinda Irish stereotype, huh?), then I don’t see why a mayor cannot talk about sitting down to some delicious tacos with the local Latinos.

    1. He said he might have them at home for dinner, not in the community that is beyond the walls of his state-secured home.

      1. *shrug* I’m just skylarking at this point.

        1. And beer would be a German stereotype; whiskey would be Irish.

          1. Err, remind me again which country it is that makes Guinness, Harp, Smithwick’s, Kilkenny, and Bass Ale…

            1. It’s the United Kingdom, isn’t it?

            2. You mean a bunch of mass-produced mediocrity, half of which is made by the same brewery? That’s like saying America is a great beer nation because we produce Coors, Bud, Keystone, etc.

              Everybody produces beer, but the Irish are known for their whiskey, and the Germans are known for their beer. Hence to Irish up coffee is not to pour beer in it, but rather liquor, and Oktoberfest is all about the suds.

              And I actually think Bass is English, though I may be wrong about that.

              1. Personally, when it comes to ANY kind of alcohol, there’s no more overrated country than Ireland. As you point out, their beer is mediocre and overrated (and, to the extent it’s any good, it’s only because they appropriated styles from England). And their spirits aren’t much better. I mean, Jameson? Even their good stuff (which is what? Bushmill’s?) pales in comparison to a decent Scotch or quality American whiskey.

                1. I agree with you; I infinitely prefer good scotch to Irish whiskey, I was just saying that’s more what they’re associated with. But the beer is hella overrated.

                  1. Not disagreeing; just ranting. 😉

                2. or quality American whiskey.

                  LOL

            3. Bass ain’t Irish. And I’ve had Smithwick’s and Kilkenny (in a restaurant _in_ Kilkenny, no less) and they’re nothing to write home about.

  13. So does he eat tacos on Tuesday and fried chicken on Friday to demonstrate his non-racist-ness?

    Wow, what a dick.

    1. NO, fish on friday so as not to upset the catholics. Summers, however, are reserved for watermelon.

      1. Watermelon Wednesday!

    2. Dick is Monday’s meal when he demonstrates his gay-friendliness…

  14. To be fair, “‘Staven” has some awesome taco shops.

  15. You should read the mayor’s wiki

    n a bid to become major again, Maturo ran against John Finkle for the Republician nomination, where he lost. Maturo decided to run as an independent until John Finkle withdrew from the race. The town Republican committee gave Maturo the party backing. He went on to face Almon in a rematch of the 2007 elections. Just has it happened in 2007, the challenger defeated the incumbent by 31 votes. The slim margin forced an automatic recount, mirroring the events of 2007. After a recount was finished on Saturday, November 12, 2011, Maturo won back the mayors seat with 34 votes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_A._Maturo,_Jr.

    That brings new meaning to the term machine politician. That guy has been voted out of office three times only to stay in anyway.

    1. He could teach African dictators a thing or two. Notice how he stays in power regardless of election results, without provoking some sort of coup attempt or civil war.

      1. And he always wins the recount. Never the first count but always the recount.

        1. Well I’m sure that’s all perfectly on the up-and-up. Tony would just use the fact that this guy is an (R) to make the case that all republicans are scum compared to the saintly democrats.

  16. He should have invited everyone over for beers to clear things up.

  17. Where the hell is Tacos mmm? He could clear this whole thing up.

    1. Deported?

  18. The Mayor is obviously a product of our public school system which, in an attempt to promote multiculturalism, serves kids tacos to teach them about life in Mexico.

    1. So true! lol

    2. I have a 60s cookbook which the family had when I was but a lower-case t. It has various suggestion for Mexican food like ‘Mexican Potato Chips’, which involving sprinkling lime juice on them or some such bs. Even as I child I thought this was rather insulting to Mexicans.

      1. I’d have been insulted as well.

        Especially if I owned a Mexican Potato Chip company. Everybody knows it’s lime and chili powder.

      2. I thought that “lower-case t” joke was very funny.

  19. Give the white dude a break, man. Us beaners do like our tacos!

    It’s funny because it’s true!

    1. At least you didn’t steal that one. I don’t think so, at least.

    2. Nothing you say is funny anymore.

  20. Taco Bell is going to sell breakfast stuff.

  21. I love how the chief of police is an un-indicted co-conspirator and still has a job. I have spent a good deal of time in the South. And the South justifiably has a reputation for corrupt state and local government. But really they are amateurs compared to the New England states.

    1. They had a head start on us, John.

      Except Louisiana. They got the jump on almost everybody, and continue to maintain a strong position.

      1. I like Louisiana and Massachusetts are about about equally backward and corrupt. Massachusetts had Whitey Bulger’s brother as speaker of the House. It has had three straight speakers go to federal prison. The only other place that is in that league is Illinois.

        1. As a native of the sucker state, I must take exception. Our Governors go to prison. Governor > Speaker.

      2. I thought bribes and brother-in-lawism was just part of Code Napolean.

    2. Whenever my fellow Massachusettsians talk to me about corruption in Florida, I smile and ask them if they think we’ll ever see a MA speaker of the house who isn’t indictible for corruption within our lifetime.

      That usually shuts ’em up quick.

      1. Amen to that. I will laugh my ass off when the casino controversy bites DeLeo in the ass.

      2. We finally got our first in a while with Sampson. According to some friends who work at the house, the new Speaker is a giant dick, even for a Speaker, but apparently not stupid enough to blatantly feather his nest while in office.

  22. He should have told them that was the mayor of the whole community and if they didn’t like that, Greyhound was ready when they are. The question being asked was more offensive than the answer.

  23. Wasn’t East Haven the town that turned away a police applicant for being too smart to be a cop?

    1. Ah, nvm, the court that heard the case was in *New* Haven, but the case was in (surprise, surprise) New London.

  24. Also, the ironic thing is that 100 years ago Italians such as Gallo and Maturo would have been the despised immigrants in oh-so-WASPy Connecticut.

  25. Nobody noticed this: Seattle (Democrat-run) gets slammed by the DoJ but no charges. East Haven (Republican-run) gets slammed by the DoJ and charges are filed.

    I know we have a post-partisan administration, so this must be a coincidence.

  26. Stress! You see, it IS a danger! It caused Newtron to cheat on his wives, and he was only stressed because he loved his country so much. And this mayor, and the cops, well, they were stressed because they were so passionate about? about? ethnic cleansing or something. Real heroes.

    1. All true. You can’t criticize a cop unless you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. No civilian can understand the stress.

      1. If I walked a mile in a cop’s shoes, I’d be breaking them in for him.

      2. I would love to see how your average cop handles and job that actually is hard and dangerous. Wonder if they’d last a full hitch offshore as a roustabout?

  27. This isn’t racism.

    It happened in the NE, and we all know that racism only exists in the south and midwest.

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