City Priest Pleads Not Guilty

by Thomas MacMillan | March 4, 2009 2:34 PM | | Comments (50)

030409_028.jpg(Updated with police report) After making his first appearance in court since his arrest in East Haven, Father James Manship decried an “abuse of power” perpetrated by the East Haven police department.

Manship was arrested on Feb. 19 while videotaping police officers in My Country Store, a Latino-owned convenience mart in East Haven.

Click here for a back story.

Click here to read the police report.

Standing before Judge Philip A. Scarpellino in New Haven Superior Court Wednesday morning, the priest pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer. The priest leads a parish in the heart of New Haven’s Latino immigrant community. He contends that at the time of his arrest, he was bearing witness to police harassment of Latinos in East Haven, which he said has been ongoing since June 2008.

Following his brief appearance in court, Manship was joined by over a dozen supporters for a press conference on the snow-covered New Haven Green. The group painted Manship’s arrest as part of a larger problem of racial profiling in East Haven. Three Latino owners of East Haven businesses testified to experiencing police harassment, saying that East Haven police officers pull over Latino drivers without cause, threaten them, and tell them to leave town.

East Haven police deny the allegations.

Maria Chacon, owner of two East Haven businesses, called for an apology from the East Haven police and a meeting with the East Haven Mayor April Capone Almon and Police Chief Len Gallo. The mayor and chief had not returned phone calls requesting comment as of press time.

“Not guilty”

Manship was called before Judge Scarpellino shortly before 11 a.m. Wednesday. The priest is being represented by members of Yale Law School’s Criminal Defense Project.

030409_014.jpgManship spoke only once during the proceedings. “Not guilty,” he said.

Second-year law student Basha Rubin made a motion to preserve evidence, asking the judge to require the East Haven police to preserve any footage on Manship’s confiscated video camera, any typed, handwritten or electronic, communications pertaining to the arrest, including cell-phone calls, radio communication, text messages, and emails.

“That’s a little broad,” protested the state’s attorney, Joseph LaMotta.

But the judge approved the motion. “I’m ordering the police to keep everything they now have in existence.”

A court date was set for March 27 at 10 a.m. Manship’s lawyers elected to have the case heard by a jury rather than a judge alone.

Arrest Report: Manship Had “An Unknown Shiny Object”

At the time of his arrest, Manship was videotaping East Haven police in the process of removing license plates from a wall at the rear of My County Store. Wilfred Matute, the owner of the store, said that the plates were simply decorative. Matute said that he was told by police that his possession of the plates was illegal and that they would have to be removed.

Father Manship’s arrest report, providing more details about police activity in the store on the evening of Feb. 19, was released on Wednesday morning, 13 days after the priest was placed in custody.

Reached by phone, Hugh Keefe, a high-powered criminal defense attorney who’s representing the East Haven Police Department, summarized the report as follows:

According to the Officer David Cari, Keefe said, Officer Dennis Spaulding had approached Father Manship when he entered the store, advising him to keep his distance from the police. Spaulding had reportedly given Manship a similar warning earlier in the week.

Manship allegedly walked toward the police with an “unknown shiny object cupped in his hands.” Manship stopped and “fully extended his hands” towards the officers. Officer Cari reported that he felt unsafe. He asked Manship if he was holding a video camera, asked him to reveal what was in his hands. Manship reportedly didn’t answer.

Cari reported that he approached Manship and put a hand on his arm. The priest concealed the camera and “moved in an aggressive manner” shouting repeatedly “I’m a priest and you cannot touch me!” Cari reported that Manship tried to pass the camera to someone else, and fought with the police, who promptly arrested him.

“When you have something in your hand and the police ask you a simple question, common sense dictates that you answer that question,” attorney Keefe said.

“I wasn’t there, but it sounds like [Officer Dennis] Spaulding was investigating a legitimate case,” Keefe said, explaining that many of the 78 license plates on the wall looked current and had price tags on them, as though they were for sale. Store owner Matute has said that the price tags were from when he had purchased them. “It would have been a dereliction of duty if [Spaulding] hadn’t seized the plates.”

“What the hell are license plates doing in a retail store with price stickers on them?” Keefe asked. Keefe said that Officer Spaulding’s report states, “it appeared that the plates on the wall were for re-sale.”

“He had the absolute right to investigate,” Keefe said.

Yale Law Professor Chris Lasch, who’s representing Manship, said that it was “unusual” in his experience that a arrest report would be released after lawyers had had a chance to look at it. “There are certainly inferences that can be drawn,” from the nearly two-week delay, Lasch said. He declined to elaborate.

Apology Demanded

Following his morning court appearance, Manship held a press conference on the New Haven green. Flanked by over a dozen supporters, including several Latino residents of East Haven, Manship decried “racial profiling” and an “abuse of power” perpetrated by the East Haven police department.

“People are living in fear,” said Father Manship. “It’s immoral and unjust and it must be remedied.”

Invoking the memory of the Amistad slaves and the establishment of the Knights of Columbus, Manship said, “As a catholic priest, I stand in solidarity with all who are vulnerable and defenseless.”

Pedro Gutierrez (at right in photo below), owner of Guti’z Bakery on Main Street in East Haven, said that he noticed the presence of East Haven police at his store immediately after opening his business in January. At first, he said, he thought that the police were watching out for his business and protecting his customers. Then the police began stopping his Latino customers and harassing them. “They essentially intercepted my clients based on the color of their skin,” Gutierrez said, through a translator.

030409_037.jpg“We have seen much injustice,” said Luis Rodriguez (pictured, center), owner of Los Amigos Grocery. Rodriguez said that his family is “terrorized” and that his pregnant wife had to visit the hospital after being confronted and yelled at by Officer Dennis Spaulding.

Rodriguez said that Officer Spaulding has shouted things like “I don’t like you Spanish here,” and “Get out of here.”

030409_047.jpg“We have been here over ten years and paid taxes,” said Marcia Chacon, owner (with her husband, Wilfred Matute) of My Country Store and Kathy’s Hair Salon.

The activities of the East Haven police have “created an atmosphere of fear in our community,” Chacon said. “My family, my children, are afraid to walk down the streets of East Haven.”

“We demand an apology from the chief of police,” Chacon said. “We demand an investigation of the misconduct of certain officers. We would like a meeting with the mayor and with the police commission. We are, after all, people who want to work and who contribute to the economy of this country.”

“The police in East Haven are not prepared for a changing demographic reality,” said Sister Mary Ellen Burns, an attorney and advocate for immigrants. Burns said that the East Haven police have insufficient training to work with the seven Latino businesses and 2,000 Latino residents of East Haven.

Father Manship said that he had been working with the Latino community of East Haven to document police abuses, in preparation for a meeting with the mayor and the police chief. Manship said that complaints against the police had not been made prior to his arrest because “people are terrorized” and because of a lack of resources to contest police charges.

“These are folks who are just managing to stay on top of things,” Manship said. “A lot of folks can’t miss a day of work to be in court.”

Nardo Marin, owner of La Bamba restaurant in East Haven, walked down Elm Street after the meeting. He said that Officer Dennis Spaulding had been parked outside his business the night before. “He’s still there, hunting Latinos.”







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Posted by: Bill | March 4, 2009 2:54 PM

This man should be censured.

Calling Liberation Theology a "singular heresy," Ratzinger went on the offensive. He blasted the new movement as a "fundamental threat" to the church and prohibited some of its leading proponents from speaking publicly. In an effort to clean house, Ratzinger even summoned outspoken priests to Rome and censured them on grounds that they were abandoning the church's spiritual role for inappropriate socioeconomic activism.

Posted by: jackie | March 4, 2009 3:08 PM

"What the hell are license plates doing in a retail store with price stickers on them?" Keefe asked. Keefe said that Officer Spaulding's report states, "it appeared that the plates on the wall were for re-sale."

I think this detail was left out of the original NHI report (or I missed it). But it seems significant. Let's wait to hear the whole story.

Posted by: a.w. | March 4, 2009 3:39 PM

Jackie-- In the original article, it stated that a few of the plates still had visible price tags that were clearly remnants from purchase at a tag sale. Give me a break.

Posted by: MTP | March 4, 2009 4:02 PM

This is pretty sad, but then again this type of news doesn't suprise you coming out of Staven.

What's even more precious is that the East Haven PD's attorney (Mr. Hugh Keefe) is probably one of the best criminal defense lawyer's in the state. Just look how he's already begun to spin the story.

How long do the East Haven Mayor and Police Chief cover their eye and ears?

Hear no evil, see no evil.....

Posted by: Left out of the story | March 4, 2009 4:02 PM

The price tags were described in the original story as what they were -- evidence that the shop owner purchased the license plates.

Now the police department is twisting that. Keefe is a very good lawyer and is doing his job, but make no mistake one of the things Keefe does best is protect cops who face jail.

Re-read what Keefe has said. He is not saying that he talked to the cops. He is not saying that he believes the police report. He is not saying that the shop owner did anything wrong. He is laying out the best case possible for the police. He has not investigated and he won't because that is not his job. His job is to protect East Haven.

A good lawyer will not ask questions which will require that his clients lie or that they incriminate themselves. Keefe has no more information than anyone who has read this article and the police report. He does not want any additional information.

Let me explain. It is perfectly ethical for a lawyer to represent these cops and the city with the information Keefe currently has. And based on what is in the police report, Keefe can ethically say what he has said. But if Keefe were to interview the cops and it became clear that they were lying or broke the law in some way, then it would be unethical for Keefe to say that they were not lying or did not break the law. Even with this protection (ethics for lawyers is legal code not a moral one) Keefe hedges his bets which means in his own head he almost certainly has some questions.

Keefe he has found a way to frame the issue that is more palatable for the public. Let me assure you again, Keefe has not interviewed these officers -- don't even think for a minute that their union would allow that.

Expect Keefe to quietly suggest to the Mayor and the police chief that this one might be best served by a sit down with everyone involved, a re-assignment of some officers, and an effort to make this go away with no saying that anyone did anything wrong.

Take it from a criminal defense attorney, Keefe's words are highly parsed. He is being extremely careful. Nowhere does he actually blame the shop owner or the priest for anything.

The perfect example of this is that despite the fact that the EHPD has actually charged the priest, Keefe does not ever say that the priest is guilty. Instead he talks in the abstract -- for example:

"When you have something in your hand and the police ask you a simple question, common sense dictates that you answer that question," attorney Keefe said.

He does not say, for instance: "Manship failed to respond to the police and in such a case the officers involved acted within their rights to arrest him." He never uses the priests names or in any way takes ownership of the facts that the police lay out. In addition to the other reasons for doing this, it assists Keefe in disowning the cops later should their interests part way with those of the town of East Haven (i.e. should the cops be found guilty, get fired for misconduct, or get sued). Clearly Keefe wants that distance.

One more piece of food for thought -- why doesn't Keefe address why the officers were trying to get a hold of the store's recording device? Their actions were problematic for a number of reasons, so he has no clear way to defend that -- better to redirect attention elsewhere.

Good lawyer dealing with problematic clients. I'm always a fan of good lawyering -- but readers should read between the lines. Keefe clearly is concerned with this case.

Posted by: s | March 4, 2009 4:05 PM

Its strange that when I drive around New Haven that I see many out of state license plates. Many of them from PA, MA,TN. maybe its just me but the large majority of these drivers appear to be of South American decent. Not even getting into whether they are in this country legally or illegally, they are not paying taxes to the CT cities in which they reside. It seems that the city of New Haven is willing to have open arms to all people and offer city/social services to which they do not contribute via taxes. I believe that police departments should be more proactive towards enforcement these out of state plates. Its funny that the states that these plate originate have very lax registration requirements and NO yearly taxes. I think that every tax payer should be outraged by this. It's time people stand up for this type of behavior and contact your local legislators.

Posted by: Black Man | March 4, 2009 4:10 PM

The last story did say that the owner had to use a screw driver to take the plates down. Would something for sell be screwed to a wall? Would something illegal be so openly displayed? And somebody please explain why the report was seen by the city's hired lawyer (a well known and very good Criminal Defense attorney who usually takes the case of someone who most reasonable adults would think deserves punishment) before it was seen by anyone else INCLUDING the courts and States Attorney? Why did it take 13 days to write a 3 page report? (I saw it (didn't read it)... it was only 3 pages long.) The judge said he hadn't seen it and requested a copy, read it in about a minute then granted the motions.

I won't accuse ALL of East Haven of being intolerant or racist but there are obviously a few folks there who are. I've not had a run in with the police (yet) but I have experienced blatant racism at restaurants and stores in East Haven.

Should police be allowed to stop anyone because of the color of their skin to SEE if they are breaking a law? I have three friends who are in the US illegally. Should they be concerned? I asked them about it and they are not. Why? Because two are from Canada and one is from Poland. In their own words, "We look white."

Posted by: Pay Attention | March 4, 2009 4:11 PM

Hey Keefe --

The guy collects license plates.

You can too -- here's where you can go:
www.alpca.org
That's the website for the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association.

This information about price tags being on some of the plates was in the original story and Matuta said that was because he had purchased them and left the tags on.

I doubt seriously that any cop thought that he was selling the plates, which were from all over the country and lacked current registration stickers. Pretty much useless for the purposes you insinuate.

But it was a very clever diversion.

Posted by: Alphonse Credenza | March 4, 2009 4:29 PM

Latinos do not comprise a "race."

It is absolutely not a racial issue.

Posted by: recentcloud | March 4, 2009 4:34 PM

jackie, the price tags on the plates were mentioned in the article. the ownwer of the store offered the existence of price tags on some (no one said the price tags were on all)plates as evidence he purchased them for 'flair'.

most shrewd attorneys find a way to switch a fact that appears primae facie helpful to the 'other side' to being helpful to his side.

thus, a price tag that one party says proves the item was bought, the other party says suggests the item is for sale.

it's my opinion that the attorney is very thorough; i am surprised he didn't mention that the price tags were similar or the very same as the price tags found on grocery items for sale in this store; which suggests to me they are not.

Posted by: Jonas Maciunas | March 4, 2009 5:18 PM

Bill,

Forgive me for not being up to speed on the details of "Liberation Theology" and the position of Ratzinger (by that, I assume you mean Pope Benedict XVI).

That said, if socioeconomic activism is inappropriate, how would you describe the actions of Pope John Paul II leading up to the fall of the Soviet Union?

Posted by: jackie | March 4, 2009 5:20 PM

thanks for the clarification.

Posted by: Now we know | March 4, 2009 5:51 PM

Dennis Spaulding -- keeping up East Haven's proud history of racial tolerance and general participation in the 21st century.

/Snark

Backwoods embarrassment is more like it.

Posted by: Spirit of 76 | March 4, 2009 6:20 PM

Don't let the emotions of the immigration issues blind us to the equally important civil liberties issues. Stories are popping up around the country of police asserting the right not to be filmed, and confiscating cell phones and cameras of citizens who witness their behavior. In public places. They did it in Oakland, CA after an officer shot a captive suspect in a BART station. It's only because there were a lot of people, and some of them got away, that we can see what happened there. In France they actually passed a law forbidding citizens to film news events. But this is not France. Not yet. The Founders of this country understood, and were painfully aware, that besides the obvious fact that government has to work to keep the people honest; that we have to also allow the people to work to keep the government honest.

Posted by: robn | March 4, 2009 6:30 PM

Besides the obviously embarrassing harassment of Ecuadorians (at least it should be embarrassing for East Haven residents), this is a open and shut first amendment case. The videotaping was legal and a matter of public concern.

Posted by: William Kurtz | March 4, 2009 7:00 PM

Bill,

Would this be Cardinal Ratzinger, formerly of the Hitler Youth and now better known as Pope Benedict XVI who you're quoting about social justice?

Snarky references to His Holiness's past aside, this kind of socioeconomic activism may be the only high moral ground on which Catholic priests can still stand, what with their long history of child-molestation, witch hunting, materialism, etc.

Check out the New Testament for some stories about real socioeconomic activism.

Posted by: lance | March 4, 2009 7:35 PM

This dude is a ethnicity baiter, just like michael phleger (Obama's homeboy back in chicago) is a race baiter. if you don't know who he is, type in youtube...he's a riot.

If the mexicans and ecuadorans registered their cars properly and had legit licenses than there wouldn't be a problem. But you know what? They don't. As trivial as it may seem, protecting the town includes removing uninsured/unregistered/unlicensed motorists and motor vehicles off the road.

And for all the liberals want to talk smack about the EHPD, I want to tell you that you've had more homicides in New Haven in 2009 than East Haven has had in the last 15 years.

With regard to the license plates with the price tags on them, do you leave price tags on decorations for your home or business? I know I don't.

And getting back to the priest, all he had to do was state his purpose and display what was in his hand and there would have been no problem. But he baited the cops, and they responded appopriately. One of those cops has been shot before in the line of duty by some drug crazed maniac. He's a good kid and a brave kid. He's not one of those officers who got pushed around or mocked in high school and decided to become a cop.

First we had priests playing pocket pool with altar boys over the years. Then we had priests robbing the church coffers to keep their gay lovers in jewelry and vacations. Now the church is putting roofs over the heads of chumps like Manship and Phleger. It disgusts me to see how all of these priests have, in the eyes of many, ruined the reputation of the catholic church.

Ol' Duke Pascerella was good with a shoe long before the bush shoe dude. I have a feeling it would have said florsheim backwards on Manship's head if this occured twenty years ago....and in a figurative sense, rightly so.

Posted by: lance | March 4, 2009 8:03 PM

OH, and ANOTHER thing (because this has me all torqued up now), congrats on scooping the reigister and wtnh on this one. But you know what? Just when I was starting to view the independent as having a scintilla of objectivity and was actually starting to consider it a "news source" on certain matters, these two articles from MacMillan pop up.

Paul Bass, after years of reporting with some of the worst possible pro-liberal bias imaginable, was finally starting to be more objective in his old age and new web site.

So to the main man in charge....you have a chance to make the independent blow up into something big. Circulation of the paper version of the register is flat if not declining, and their website and "scoops" are lacking. It's the perfect storm for you guys, but you should make it an objective news source rather than a soap box for self hating guilty white rants. Manship is an ass clown who intentionally baited the cops, and equadorans and mexicans seldom do things legally when it comes to automobiles. And that's the facts Jack. And Tom. And Paul.

Posted by: Bill | March 4, 2009 8:24 PM

William Kurtz how do you feel about the abortion of over a million babies every year. Don't try to take the moral high ground with your bloody liberal views. Hitler would be proud of you and your kind. Exterminate the weak. That's your morality.

Posted by: Joel | March 4, 2009 9:12 PM

Hey everyone,

Let's keep talking about the license plates on cars...because THATS the real issue here...

Posted by: robn | March 4, 2009 10:17 PM

LANCE,

Before getting smug about successfully fleeing the urban core and walling off a secure zone with a cushy unburdened tax base, burb residents should consider this. There may have been much less murder in East Haven over the past 15 years, but in the same period, guess how many successful open heart surgeries there have been? If you guessed zero you'd be right because people come to New Haven's for that treatment, as well as for other complicated surgery, hip replacements, cancer treatment, etc...

Posted by: Bruce | March 5, 2009 9:22 AM

S: New Haven is full of college students from all over the country (and the world). That is probably why you see so many out of state license plates.

Black Man: good point about the plates being screwed into the wall. I wonder how many other objects for sale in that store are screwed down.

Posted by: lance | March 5, 2009 12:01 PM

you're right about that robn, new haven has some great resources..... as long as you're up for the challnge of getting in and out of there without getting t-boned by an uninsured equadoran.

Posted by: ehhs | March 5, 2009 12:47 PM

well as i see this story growing and i hear the opinions of my class mates i dont know how to feel. i want to wait out and hear the truth from the police and the priest.i myself live in east haven and im ecuadorian. i have a hard working mom who has a ct license and plates and we pay our taxes.
so lance dont say ecuadorians dont want to follow the law.
this story interests me because i sarted hearing some of my moms friends who said they felt harrassed by the police. i didnt think much of it because i havent expierenced harrassment by the police but it seems like this case could get out of hand and i dont want to be jugded and put down by my race. i think that even though the icense plates were there for decor if its the law to take them then sure and arresting the priest was reasonable since he didnt describe what he was holding but trying to take the hard drive from the store is suspicious.

Posted by: Malik | March 5, 2009 5:15 PM

"i want to wait out and hear the truth from the police and the priest"(EHHS).


Don't hold breath waiting to get the truth from the police, because telling the truth is not a part of their doctrine.

Posted by: lance | March 5, 2009 8:43 PM

man I'm laughing my ass off over here. I just pulled up an old article with an audio link in which manship matter of factly refers to himself as a "gringo".

the dude has issues.

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2007/06/fr_jim_manship.php

Posted by: happy | March 5, 2009 10:19 PM

Lance, is your last name Bass by any chance?

Posted by: QuestionAuthority | March 5, 2009 10:30 PM

Some looney tunes would have us believe that the issue is the priest.

What about the many other people the EHPD intimidated from ever video taping them? Just ask around Staven, folks will tell you, the cops go nuts when they see a video camera directed at them.

The issue is the behavior of the East Haven Police. Their lawyer (aka liar in Texas) reviewed and probably wrote the police report that was only released the morning of the arraignment. Smells fishy to me.

The smell grows more pudgit as we watch the videos of the police frantically trying to get their hands on the store video, once they knew their were being watched for their racial profiling and brutality. How pathetic.

Keep your rants going about the priest. I will prefer to watch the EHPD much more closely.

You dont think the police are capable of some horrible shit? Just watch the you tube of the officer slamming a 15 year old teenager to the floor. How about the BART police officer shooting the man without cause? How about the woman who called police for help, and who was forcibly stripped by men and women officers in what she describes as a rape?

Listen people, open your eyes. Put cameras and microphones in the police cars. Let the public video the police. All of us will benefit in the end.

Posted by: kamb | March 5, 2009 10:42 PM

If GOD could, he'd fire Priest Manship!

Posted by: Dominican | March 6, 2009 2:45 AM

I have lived in East Haven for 15 years, I've never had a problem with the East Haven p.d., I was given a ticket earlier this year for running a stop sign, and guess what..I deserved it.

I work, pay taxes, and own my home. This Manship guy is clearly a madia hound, why would he not listen to the cops request to show him what was in his hands, it was a reasonible request, and then he acts like a criminal by trying to conceal the camara, and this clown is a man of God?

Here are a few questions that maybe someone could clarify...Why would one decorate, and leave the price tags on?, also the cop ran the plates and they were canceled tags, don't you have to return them to DMV?, and since when is it acceptible to allow the rantings of a lunatic (Ellis Copland) in this forum?, shouldn't he be posting at the mental ward weekly?

And one last thing to the woman who blogged that they were the children of God, maybe Jimmy Manship should have explained to you that we are all the children of God.

Posted by: anon | March 6, 2009 7:57 AM

Let's think of what factual evidence might suggest whether the price tags indicated the license plates were for sale or not.

How about....price? If say the plates were marked with tags like $3, it's a pretty fair chance they were not part of illicit license plate trade. Now, if they said $50 or $100 or $250, then I'd say yeah, not your typical tag sale.

Posted by: Mark Colville | March 6, 2009 9:13 AM

To anyone who thinks the cops were just doing their job when they decided to harass that store owner about the license plates on the wall: Get back to me when they go into the Chili's in East Haven and tell the owner to take their license plates down.

Posted by: resident | March 6, 2009 11:45 AM

Cons:

1. New Haven crime must not be allowed to proliferate here because of a lack of vigilance on the part of the community. The incidences of homicide are too high there to ignore at all. Therefore, the police must be welcomed as an obvious presence.

2. License plates should not have been on display in a retail store, esp. w/ prices attached. Responsibility for this must be accepted and acknowledged, rather than being turned into the more general claim of profiling, which is an often wrongly overused.

There are subtle anti-Italian-American and anti-Catholic attitudes. This is a fact, and they are also "racist" generalizations.

Pros:

1. Filming must be allowed. Get used to it. It saved me once.

2. A police department can foster a culture of belligerence or general perspectives, which infect other aspects of their work if it is not recognized for what it is.

3. There are real anti-immigrant issues and attitudes that must be recognized.

Posted by: Dee | March 6, 2009 12:19 PM

You people who are believing the police report at face value just make me laugh. As if cops aren't capable of lying to cover their butts after they screw up? Please. Besides, as many have pointed out, the police report wasn't released until the MORNING OF MANSHIP'S ARRAIGNMENT, 2 weeks after the incident. Who do you really think wrote that report? I'm going with the EHPD lawyer, written AFTER he read the first story in the Independent, where he realized he could make hay out of the fact that the store owner said there were still price tags on some of the plates. And speaking of those plates, the police report indicates that the store owner was using a "DRILL GUN" to unscrew them from the wall. Would a guy planning to SELL the plates fasten them so securely to the wall? Use your heads, people.

Posted by: Steph | March 6, 2009 9:25 PM

Oh geez, now we have the EHPD on here. Go away Lance. Everyone around the East Haven area knows who you are and how you are. You and your kind are not admired. Deflate that ego because no one likes you.

Well it happened again today. Three cop cars in front of My Country Store. They towed another Latino. It takes three cop cars for this??? The middle aged man they stopped looked like he was in tears. Traffic was stopped. The cops had intimidating looks like they were in attack mode. But then one cop turned to me, put a big smile on his face, and said "You could go honey." I am white.

The cops lie in wait every day, parked in the same spots. They are bullying these poor people. They want to drive them out of East Haven. The poor man from The Country Store is not going to be able to pay his bills. He is going to end up closing. He came to this country legally and wants to make a better life for himself and his family. I have been going in his store because I want to show my support. I urge everyone who feels badly about what the cops are doing to this man and the Latinos to go into the store and make a purchase. We need to help him.

Remember people, our ancestors migrated to this country years ago. The Italians were treated like dirt by the Irish and told to go back to Italy. The Italians were called names, not given jobs, and discriminated against. East Haven has a lot of Italian Americans and we need to remember that our grandparents were treated just like these people are being treated. It's not right. It has to stop. Everyone needs to pull together and make a statement that this behavior by the East Haven police is wrong. I see it every day. The Latinos really are being treated like dirt.

As "Dee" stated, I also believe that the pollice report is a lie. Like I said, every day I see how these people are treated and it just breaks my heart. And as another person said, why don't the police go into Chili's and take their plates down? Something really needs to be done about this. The East Haven police are harassing and acting like bullies.

Posted by: Ellis Copeland | March 7, 2009 12:14 AM

1) Jim Manship is a GREAT priest and a man of singular honor and compassion.

2)Why is Hugh Keefe involved? he's not a prosecutor. Sounds like 'Staven is trying to cover it's behind. I think anyone with half a brain knows about the degree of honor and compassion of Atty Hugh. It is a mob town after all.

Posted by: Fedupwithliberals | March 7, 2009 6:28 AM

ANON

Good observation, although I think the answer might not please you. Does the reporter have that info?

Posted by: Steph | March 7, 2009 7:41 AM

"Lance, is your last name Bass by any chance?"

"Happy"-Lance Bass is the man from 'N Sync who came out of the closet. I think you meant Lance Helms who is an East Haven police officer. I also think that the Lance on here is Lance the East Haven cop. Wouldn't it be funny if the New Haven Independent traced where the posts came from and found out that one of East Haven's cops was trashing people on their website?

Lance, I give kudos to the New Haven Independent for bringing this story to light. Great job New Haven Independent! Lance is trashing you because you are exposing the EHPD for the harassing bullies that they are. And Lance, to compare the murder rate in New Haven to East Haven is ignorant. East Haven is a small town. New Haven is not. You're not going to run the Latinos out of East Haven. They have just as much right to live where they want as you do. We live in America, not communist Korea. Get over it.

Posted by: Reality Here | March 7, 2009 8:52 AM

As someone intimately familiar with East Haveners, I have to take issue with the broad smear that they are racists. Far from it, my experience growing up there is that they really don't care about what skin color or ethnicity you are, they just don't want New Haven's criminal culture imported into their town. Many East Haveners have their roots in New Haven, fled that city for its crime and established a nice, safe community for themselves. DeStefano has wrecked it, shouting to the world that New Haven is a sanctuary for illegal aliens and consequently draws thousands of them by his own public admission. Spin it all you want, but it is a fact that many if not most of these illegals are Latinos. When the TV news stations filmed and interviewed the folks lined up to get their city "ID" cards when the program launched, I watched it and there was no doubt that this was a Latino crowd, many of them could not speak English at all, others spoke limited English. East Haveners are sick of being smeared by liberals and activists who try to put a halo on the heads of those who disrupt and endanger their community, the Malik Jones incident being a perfect example. From the outside activists, you would have thought Malik Jones was some innocent saint unfairly targeted by East Haven police when in fact he was a jobless career criminal who endangered the public by racing through the streets rather than obey the simple command of a law enforcement officer. This "racial profiling" charge is one big red herring, offered up like a broken record to excuse criminal conduct. It is a sad FACT that many illegal Latinos do not obey motor vehicle laws, putting us all in danger driving around without license or insurance, with bogus plates and IDs. If that area of East Haven has become a pocket for illegals, then the EH police are doing their jobs and should continue to. With Catholic priests, nuns and a complicit New Haven mayor ready to bash anyone who is justly concerened about the uptick in unlawful activity, these storeowners and their supporters have every reason to concoct all these allegations and stories about harassment. I don't believe any of them. Too many times when the cameras and news reporters are around, these folks start hurling all kinds of hysterical, melodramatic "accounts" of the police behavior. Sure, why not? It's so easy to be a drama queen on the New Haven Green in a press conference staged by a zealous activist priest. It helps their community to keep bashing police and when it comes time to tell their story under oath in court and have it subjected to cross-examination and the test of credibility, it's adios.

Posted by: latichever | March 7, 2009 10:03 AM

"Its strange that when I drive around New Haven that I see many out of state license plates. Many of them from PA, MA,TN. maybe its just me but the large majority of these drivers appear to be of South American decent. Not even getting into whether they are in this country legally or illegally, they are not paying taxes to the CT cities in which they reside. It seems that the city of New Haven is willing to have open arms to all people and offer city/social services to which they do not contribute via taxes. I believe that police departments should be more proactive towards enforcement these out of state plates. Its funny that the states that these plate originate have very lax registration requirements and NO yearly taxes. I think that every tax payer should be outraged by this. It's time people stand up for this type of behavior and contact your local legislators."

First, get a life other than spending your time doing your own private, racial profiling.

It's not strange. It's Yale--jokes about Yale's strangeness aside. That's the reason why there are so many out of state plates in New Haven.

I do agree that many if not most of these people--who are residents--should be paying property taxes here. But they way to figure this out is to cross-check voting rolls against auto registrations, not racial profiling. Most of the people doing this are likely white and/or upper-income.

Posted by: lance | March 7, 2009 12:27 PM

hey steph, why did his car get towed?

Posted by: the man | March 7, 2009 1:17 PM

the issue here is not with the store the issue is with those who are driving unregistered,uninsured motor vehicles .maybe they should wait until they kill someone and then take action.hope you never get hit by an unisured driver.hope you are well insured because that is where you will get your medical bills paid,through yor insurance company.

Posted by: Hood Rebel | March 7, 2009 11:33 PM

Until the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI step in and investigates..the sad fact is minorities should just stay out of East Haven. It's an anti-minority town. Minorities will NOT be protected by the mayor nor law enforcement.


Posted by: jjlowe | March 9, 2009 2:00 AM

Okay folks Father Jim is a problem in FairHaven. He disrupts the officers at motor vehicle stops and when you ask him to leave he calls the Mayor!! I have seen him do this. He gets special treatment at his church. The double parking in front of his church is a problem and he confronts the police with a bad attitude and says they are profiling. Well I guess he couldn't call the Mayor in East Haven. Hello its illegal to drive without a license, unregistered car or using the wrong plates. Insurance is high these days unless Father Jim wants to share his wealth. He is wrong. Good job East Haven. I'm Latino and East Haven never bothers me when I drive in their town. Excuses are getting old.

Posted by: Fedupwithliberals | March 9, 2009 6:09 AM

Not for nothing, but is the storeowner who has been here for 10 years and still needed a translator even a citizen of this country?

Posted by: Alex | March 9, 2009 6:56 PM

It is amazing to see the bigotry and racism displayed here. Nice to see them come out so we can really see how bad the situation still is and how many ignorant people are out there!

Posted by: Joseph V. Bednarsky Jr. | March 12, 2009 10:32 PM

I feel for Father James Manship and will keep him in prayer, as I know all to well how the police are. I hope and pray that justice is served and that the police officers are held responsible for their actions and words!

Where there is grace, there is No race.

www.joebednarsky.com

Posted by: citysavior [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 13, 2009 12:08 AM

If the good Father Manship is really concerned why is he rallying on the new haven green? why not the east haven green? comfort Zone? I believe is the church protecting it's flock but the archbishop in connecticut must really be getting tired of this manship circus. This is a east haven issue ! take it to east haven

Posted by: blah blah blah | March 24, 2009 6:45 PM

I can't make sense of this paragraph:

"Yale Law Professor Chris Lasch, who's representing Manship, said that it was "unusual" in his experience that a arrest report would be released after lawyers had had a chance to look at it. RELEASED BY PD OR BY COURT? THEY ARE PUBLIC IN COURT, THOUGH IT IS COMMON FOR THERE TO BE A GRATUITOUS TWO-WEEK SEAL. "There are certainly inferences that can be drawn," from the nearly two-week delay, Lasch said. TWO WEEK DELAY OF WHAT? He declined to elaborate."


I love the part in the PD report about Manship saying as a priest PD can not detain him. I can not tell you how common it is to see in PD reports, statements you KNOW the arrestee is too educated to make or believe. They are not believable.

And what's with Prosecutor LaMotta being on this case? What is with that? Does he prosecute every priest, every journalist? everyone arrested on Bastille day? along with the felonies he usually seems to do? Does he have some special affinity for prosecuting the ones he knows are innocent?

Posted by: ElishaShemuel | June 7, 2009 10:48 AM

God bless this liar, and all liars who harbor him amen. If he was investigating the license plates or tags or registration DMV plates; as the liar has stated in his report. He might have tried to buy one of the plates first to find out if in fact they were for resale. No that would actually have been investigation work, and was below a liar. Investigation was not any part of this brute beast action upon God's poor. He premeditated and contrived wickedness; as he unleashed his wicked imagination set on fire from hell upon these hard working God fearing poor people.

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