Connecticut

Former Connecticut Cop Given Prison Sentence After Arresting Priest Who Was Recording Him

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Reason

Former Connecticut cop David Cari, who was filmed by a priest as he harassed an Ecuadorian immigrant in 2009, has been given a 30-month prison sentence after having been convicted of civil rights abuses.

From Photography is Not a Crime:

An East Haven cop who claimed he was in fear for his life when he arrested a priest for video recording him as he bullied an Ecuadorian immigrant in a convenience store was sentenced to 30 months in prison Tuesday, indicating that justice prevails every once in a while.

Even if the cop was allowed to retire with a full pension.

The 2009 incident, which went viral, opened a federal investigation against David Cari and several other officers, revealing that they were engaging in an ongoing harassment campaign against the immigrants living in that community.

But it was only because Father James Manship filed a federal complaint after his charges were dropped two weeks after his arrest.

And it was only because it was all caught on video.

The New Haven Register reports that audio from the footage shot by Rev. James Manship discredited Cari's arrest report:

Lima Church in Fair Haven and the man whose 26-second video shotwhile inside an East Haven general store proved to be the most crucial piece of evidence in the government's case against Cari.

"Never did I think that video would get us to where we are today," he said outside the courthouse, after Thompson handed down Cari's 30-month sentence.

But it was precisely the audio of Manship's February 2009 video that proved to discredit the arrest report Cari filed when he slapped handcuffs on the priest for filming him and Spaulding in the process of ordering employees at the Hispanic-owned My Country Store to remove more than 70 license plates mounted on the back wall.

Reason's Jacob Sullum wrote about the case and the harassment suffered by East Haven's Latino residents in January 2012.  

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