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Priest’s Video Contradicts Police Report

by Thomas MacMillan | Mar 12, 2009 3:53 pm

(51) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Immigrants

Father James Manship released video footage Thursday that contradicts an East Haven police report justifying his arrest.

Manship was arrested on Feb. 19 on misdemeanor charges while videotaping police officers in My Country Store, an East Haven business run by Ecuadorian immigrants. Manship pleaded not guilty to the charges, claiming that he was recording an incident of police harassment, part of an alleged campaign of systematic intimidation and racial profiling perpetrated by East Haven police against Latinos. Manship’s attorneys recently secured the footage from the East Haven Police Department, which confiscated his video camera at the time of the arrest.

Manship and his supporters released the footage at a press event Thursday at the St. Rose of Lima Church in Fair Haven.

031209_043.jpgThe video, taken by Father Manship (pictured), shows the seconds leading up to his arrest.

The footage appears to contradict a claim made by the East Haven police department in a police report that was withheld until 13 days after the incident. The police report, David Cari, one of two arresting officers, states that he didn’t know what the New Haven priest was holding. He wrote that he saw an “unknown shiny silver object” that Manship had “cupped” in his hands, and was afraid for his safety. Read the police report here.

The footage clearly shows that the arresting officers knew that Manship was holding a camera, not an “unknown shiny silver object.”

In the video, the Officer Cari twice refers to the object as a camera.

“Sir what are you doing? Is there a reason that you have a camera on me?” says Cari, in the video.

Father Manship is the head of St Rose of Lima Church, a Fair Haven parish made up almost entirely of immigrants from Latin America. The news of his arrest, first reported in this Independent story, has touched off a heated debate on race relations. At a widely publicized press conference following Manship’s court appearance last week, Latino business owners in East Haven spoke out about police harassment. Most recently, a Mass.-based white supremacist group delivered flyers to St. Rose and East Haven homes and Latino businesses.

East Haven business owners said on Thursday claimed that police harassment has increased since the news of the priest’s arrest broke. Marcia Chacon, owner of My Country Store, said that the window on the front door of her Branford home was broken on Monday by two bricks. Chacon again called for a meeting with East Haven Mayor April Capone Almon.

“Silver Object” Was No Mystery

Father Manship’s video footage of his arrest was presented to the media in a Thursday morning screening in the basement of St. Rose of Lima Church, on Blatchley Avenue. Flanked by over 20 supporters and backed by a portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe, St. Rose parish leader Angel Fernandez-Chavero explained how the video contradicts the police report.

031209_009.jpgFernandez-Chavero (at right in photo) replayed the moment where Officer Cari, in the leather jacket, identifies the camera by name. The other officer in the video is Dennis Spaulding.
“They arrested him only after confirming he was videotaping,” charged Fernandez-Chavero.

The police report alleges that Father Manship concealed the fact that he was videotaping the officers, by cupping his hands over “a silver object.”

“Not knowing if Manship was holding a camera or a possible weapon this officer asked Manship to show me what was in his hands,” Cari’s report reads.

In direct contradiction of Cari’s claim, the video from Manship’s camera shows Officer Cari twice verbally identifying the “silver object” as a camera.

“Sir what are you doing? Is there a reason that you have a camera on me?” says Officer Cari, in the video.

“I’m taking a video of what’s going on here,” Manship replies.

“Well, I’ll tell you what, what I’m going to do with that camera,” Officer Cari says, as he walks around a shelving unit to approach the priest.

Father Manship’s responses to the officers were calm and non-threatening, Fernandez-Chavero argued as he showed the footage.

East Haven’s Attorney: Video “Clearly Inconclusive”

Contacted by phone, Attorney Hugh Keefe, representing the East Haven police department, said that the video doesn’t discredit the police report.

“The problem is we don’t know what happened prior to the video,” Keefe said.

Keefe said that prior to start of the video recording, the police officer had been unaware of what Manship was holding. “The issue is before that whether he was concealing something,” Keefe said.

The attorney called the video “clearly inconclusive.”

“It also doesn’t have a video camera on [Manship],” Keefe said. “You don’t know what the police were seeing.”

Keefe compared the situation to the videotaped beating of Rodney King, in which a jury acquitted the police officers involved, even after an apparently damning video was shown. The jury was convinced that the video wasn’t the whole story, Keefe explained.

Keefe said that Manship’s arrest occurred not because of any alleged concealment of what he was doing but because of his behavior once he was approached by Officer Cari. Cari’s report states that Manship started to fight with the officer when the officer asked to see what Manship was holding.

Keefe called for Matute and Chacon to turn over any footage of the arrest that was recorded by the My Country Store security cameras. “They ought to cough it up,” Keefe said.

Asked if the police had requested the security footage, Keefe said “I think so.”

Harassment Continues

Marcia Chacon, owner of My Country Store, said police harassment has only gotten worse since she spoke out about alleged racial profiling at a press conference last week. At the press event outside New Haven Superior Court, she recounted how the police wait for Latino customers to leave her business, then pull them over without cause.

“I did not know that I would have to pay a price for speaking out,” said Chacon, choking back tears in the basement of St. Rose on Thursday.

“The day after the press conference, my husband and I saw police cars waiting outside of the store in the middle of the night,” Chacon said in Spanish. When she and her husband, Wilfred Matute, drove out of the parking lot, they were immediately pulled over by East Haven police. The officer shouted at Matute and accused him of driving with a suspended license, Chacon said. The officer checked the couples’ licenses and the car’s registration and then told them to leave, without any explanation.

“We feel this was retaliation,” Chacon said. “We were both terrified. My husband was afraid he would be arrested for no reason.”

031209_066.jpgIn another apparently retaliatory incident, Chacon said that two bricks were thrown through the front door of her Branford home. Chacon showed a cellphone camera photo of her broken windows.

Chacon said that she feels intimidated, and that police harassment is affecting her family, her business and her community. She said that East Haven Police Chief Len Gallo had visited her store to talk about her concerns, left his card, and told her to call him if she had any problems.

“We appreciate the chief of police coming to our store,” Chacon said. “But we need more than words.” Given the harassment that she feels she has received from the chief’s officers, “we don’t feel protected,” Chacon said.

Addressing the press, Chacon made three specific requests. She invited East Haven Mayor April Capone Almon to meet with East Haven Latinos at St. Rose of Lima Church, requested a meeting with East Haven police commissioners, and called for “concrete steps to end racial profiling in East Haven.”

Father Manship said that Mayor Capone Almon has not contacted him or Latino business owners. Capone Almon has not returned repeated calls for comment beginning last Wednesday.

Asked to respond to the allegations that police harassment has increased, Keefe said, “I have a very simple question: when was the last time anyone filed a complaint with any town official in East Haven” regarding police harassment of Latinos?

“None. Ever. No. None,” said Keefe, answering his own question.

“It’s one thing to have Father Manship slander the people of East Haven… It’s another to produce evidence of that,” Keefe said.

Manship has said that he was in the process of compiling evidence of police harassment before he was arrested by the police.

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Comments

posted by: Ellis Copleland on March 12, 2009  4:18pm

Gee—East Haven cops LYING????  There is no long term solution for this corruption but the complete and total removal of EVERY single person holding a badge from the community.  Let them be shipped off to Antartica where they can swagger around all they want and harass the penguins.  The officer on tape definitley needs to be prosecuted for perjury.  If any of us LIED on a police report we would be.  He sure as hell should not be employed by any town.

posted by: WOW on March 12, 2009  4:18pm

Keefe, the best criminal defense lawyer in the state, represents the East Haven Police Department. Now that’s funny.

I read the report, watched the video, seems to me that the good officer lied. What is worse that he was not smart enough to review the tape prior to writting the report.

Oh, I forgot, the report was not available until some 2 weeks after the arrest. I take back the last part about not being smart, maybe just lazy.

Where are the supervisors? How in the hell can a cop stop someone for being brown and say, “Oh I thought your license was suspended.” Dumb Dumb Dumb.

posted by: Hmmm... on March 12, 2009  4:26pm

Oh please, Keefe! I guess the Rodney King video didn’t show LAPD officers beating a handcuffed man, the aftermath riot videos didn’t really show Mr. Demmie (or whatever his name was) getting dragged out of his truck and almost killed, the Oakland BART video didn’t show a police officer shoot an unarmed man and maybe O.J. really didn’t do it.

Gotta hand it to you, tho… you’re earning whatever they pay you. Too bad it stands in the way of true justice. You better hope there’s no such thing as Karma.

posted by: Ben on March 12, 2009  4:56pm

Remember the boys on the hood t-shirts of East Haven Police Team Baseball fame?
That was only 10/15 years ago and nothing has changed.

When Malik was killed and people marched into East Haven Confederate flags were hung from door steps in East Haven. 
I don’t recall East Haven being part of the confederacy, but maybe we should have wiped them out as well.

posted by: His Defense is Rodney King? on March 12, 2009  5:04pm

Are you kidding me?  Hugh Keefe’s defense is Rodney King?  Does Keefe remember what happened in the civil side of that investigation?  I’ll remind him, LA had to pay millions to Rodney King.

This is nuts.  The video shows that the officers lied.  They got caught.

Where is the Mayor of East Haven?  Is she really this terrified of her police department that she won’t talk to people that they are abusing?

Hate groups are active in her city—silence.

Police get caught on tape violating people’s rights—silence.

Her attorney is making ridiculous public statements comparing EHPD’s actions to the Rodney King verdict which led to riots—silence.

What a joke.

posted by: Bruce on March 12, 2009  5:35pm

This story is getting unbelievable.  The police confiscate a camera LEGALLY filming them engaging in questionable behavior.  They lie about why they took the camera.  A White Power group comes dressed in fatigues to spread propaganda and confront the store owners.  Bricks fly through the front door of the owners home. 

Please, town of East Haven, these people need your help.  It is time to put aside any issues and protect them before they are hung from the trees. 

Mayor Capone—what kind of leader stands quietly while this is going on in her town? Speak up!  Don’t let this happen in your town!  At least suspend the officers involved until an investigation clears up the matter.  Tell the White Supremacists that they are not welcome here.

posted by: lance on March 12, 2009  5:46pm

hugh keefe was hired by the town long before he was “famous”.  from what I an gather he continues to represent offiers as a way of showing gratitude to the town for putting food on his table early on.  It’s an Irish thing- you wouldn’t understand.

And secondly, to all of you saying it shows the officer lied, go back to doing whatever it is you do, because clearly norm pattis doesn’t have to worry about any of you stealing his clients.  The arrestee put his hands down out of the officers field of vision, and the officer had to walk around the display aisle..and in the course of all of this visual contact with the aarrestee’s hands for at least five seconds.  When the officer rounded the corner Manship was hiding whatever it was that was in his hands…which in the course of delay could have been anything.  The officer had a right to know what was in Manship’s hands for the safety of everyone present; Manship interferred with that right, and he got busted.  It appears that The independent, or manship, or both, may have conveniently cut out the part where the officer asked to see what was in manship’s hands, and Manships subsequent playing of the “priest” card.  It also appears that the youtube video may have been started after the beginning of the original recording.

The arresting officer already got shot once on the job, he was merely trying to not let it happen again. 

The issue here is the equadorans and their bogus operation of motor vehicles in xtreme disproportion to socity as a whole…and Manship’s interference with the police trying to do their jobs. 

I think that the in end, justice will prevail and the cops will be cleared.  Sure, Manship could use a diversionary program and get off without a conviction, but he shouldn’t walk away with a dismisal t the outset.

And it looks like the youtube video is just a short snippet of the original…was it edited?  Can Manship proved it wasn’t?  If the entire recording isn’t produced, the part provided should be excluded from evidence.

When I first started visiting the independent website I thought it was somewhat “newsy”, but come to find out more and more of the articles are nothing more than left wing editorials masquerading as news articles.  And quite frankly, that sucks.

posted by: City Hall Watch on March 12, 2009  7:11pm

Let’s see if I have this right. Chacon lives in Branford, has a store in Easthaven and wants Easthaven police and town officials to come to New Haven for settlement discussions. Why? If there is a problem, why not go to where the problem is and sit down and talk about it? Why the press conferences, the video-taping and all of that? This is my problem with the whole scenario. There is a lot of public postering when there ought to be a lot of private conversations first. I’m not sure I’m buying what Keefe is peddling, but its highly dubious to publicly parade around hurling systemic racial allegations and not have made one phone call, had one meeting, filed one complaint or made one proactive move to resolve this. I wonder if the effort here is to solve an alleged conflict or to create one. Has Fr. Manship had a conversation with the mayor, the police chief or any of the commissioners?

posted by: Ben on March 12, 2009  7:29pm

Lance Says, “The issue here is the equadorans and their bogus operation of motor vehicles in xtreme disproportion to socity as a whole…and Manship’s interference with the police trying to do their jobs. “

Lance, if you are not already on the East Haven force it looks like they will need some new recruits.  You sound like you’re just the caliber of man they’re looking for.

Good Luck out there buddy…the world aint that white no more!

posted by: Rob on March 12, 2009  7:47pm

I have a lot of respect for Keefe, and don’t blame a lawyer for doing their best to represent their client.  ...But isn’t the first rule you’re supposed to learn is that the cover-up will always cause more damage than the crime?

What’s the exposure to the Town of East Haven on a wrongful arrest where a police report that took far-far longer than is normal to write (leading to the logical conclusion that they got legal help) turns out to be proven false by clear video evidence?  Oh, and the guy wrongly arrested is a priest who will present very well to a jury.

East Haven’s leadership can either bunker down and eat the consequences - an awful reputation and a big exposure - or try to mitigate the damage.  The three steps of damage control are:
1) say you’re sorry,
2) show understanding why people are angry, and
3) take some kind of action to show why the problem won’t happen again.

To be clear, none of those three steps is to hide under your desk and refuse to answer press inquiries when your police department gets itself in a hole and refuses to stop digging and a hate group starts to infect your town without any efforts to make them feel unwelcome.

Mistakes happen.  I bet Manship knows what to do when someone confesses mistakes and asks for forgiveness.  The real tragedy would be to refuse to acknowledge or address them and to keep making them worse through obstinance or cowardliness.

posted by: William Kurtz on March 12, 2009  7:58pm

The EHPD is kidding, right?  Any observer can clearly see that Father Manship had the camera in view—the office even acknowledges it, as was pointed out in the story.  Attorney Keefe might believe that the officers were wary of what the priest was holding, but if their completely relaxed stance is anything to go by, they don’t seem too worried about it.

Mayor Capone Almon’s silence on this issue is disgraceful.  At the very least, she should speak out against this harassment of an American citizen and East Haven business owner.

posted by: East Rock on March 12, 2009  8:24pm

How can the mayor idly stand by these corrupt cops? Their resignations should be on her desk tomorrow.

posted by: Ellis Copeland on March 12, 2009  9:41pm

Lance—

It’s an “Irish” thing?  Let me get this straight—it’s totally OK for an “Irish” thing to go on and to be corrupt, but the Spanish don’t have the same right?  This is really the root of the problem.

My great grandfather was an off-the-boat red headed Irishman named Bill Collins.  Neither me , nor my parents, nor my grandparents have EVER considered ourselves Irish.  We are AMERICANS period.  Sure, next Tuesday I’ll make a fool of myself dancing a jig, but I will NOT be flying a Irish flag.

How the eff are new immigrants supposed to assimilate when all the rest of you twits are pining away for County Cork or wherever.

As for Hugh Keefe- anybody with brains knows what he is.  I wouldn’t let him with a 1000 yards of my daughter or my wallet.

And Lance, we all know you are a cop.  Stop trying to justify the bad behavior.  It makes you sound like the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

posted by: Sister Batril on March 12, 2009  10:02pm

Hugh Keefe’s theory is pathetic. This case is a loser. Let Patty CoFrancesco and Martin Echter defend this one so they could place the blame on not having a valid law license.I also see April Capone will be a one term mayor.A Good leader would have already addressed this before it snowballed. After having the tapes for two weeks and delaying the written report I see the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand does.It’s to bad the police officer didn’t give up lying for Lent.Maybe there was a good reason New Haven sent Gallo to the dog pound. Taxpayers get ready to pay.

posted by: half the story on March 12, 2009  10:27pm

I am sure this is not the complete video. This is an edited version. Being only 26 seconds long does not tell the whole story. The video does show the plates on the wall that may be agianst the law. The police were enforcing the laws that were in place.
  This video does not show Father Manship entering the store with the camera on. It just may show portion of what happen. The portion that the media would like to portray. The business owners a victim. Not the criminals they were by having the plates on the wall. I just love the twist and turns that the media allows to happen.

posted by: Michael on March 12, 2009  11:27pm

LANCE

-dont ever talk about the Irish again, you have forfeited your right to do so. I am Irish, (born in Ireland myself) living in connecticut and i am ashamed that right-wing Irish americans like you and keefe give proper Irish a bad name with their racism and their defense of police brutality.

REAL Irish things that YOU wouldn’t understand: Activist Priests are fundamental to Irish catholic theology and it is a long and well repected tradition, Opposition to police brutality (I’d say that the catholics of west belfast who have been getting their heads beat in for 30 odd years by the RUC/PSNI would be siding with the Ecuadorians and Manship on this one.

posted by: strangerthanfiction on March 12, 2009  11:28pm

I have great respect for the police and the way they put their lives on the line to protect us. But, this East Haven officer lied and the report filed was flat-out false. It’s embarrassing for the officer and the East Haven Police Department. Abuse of authority like this is a scary thing. Anyone can see that Manship was improperly harassed and arrested. You can’t get away with that ugly stuff anymore in this high tech age.

posted by: Joseph V. Bednarsky Jr. on March 12, 2009  11:52pm

This Keefe and any other person that is trying to cover up the truth and lie will have to answer to God on judgement day. Our prayers go out to Father James Manship and the others that have to put up with this harassment by the police dept. in question. Officer Cari should be placed on suspension without pay until an outside navigation is done by the state attorney generals office.

Where there is grace, there is No race.

http://www.joebednarsky.com

posted by: nfjanette on March 13, 2009  12:03am

Lance Says, “The issue here is the equadorans and their bogus operation of motor vehicles in xtreme disproportion to socity as a whole…and Manship’s interference with the police trying to do their jobs. “

Lance, if you are not already on the East Haven force it looks like they will need some new recruits. You sound like you’re just the caliber of man they’re looking for.

Good Luck out there buddy…the world aint that white no more!

Exactly how does your “clever” response address the two claims made?  I see a lot of posturing on all sides, yet still we haven’t seen all of the video (including the store cameras) and we still don’t know how many of the drivers “harassed” in East Haven were legitimately issued summons.  If they were breaking the law, how can it be harassment?

I have been involved in an accident with an illegal immigrant.  Any accident is unpleasant. This situation would have been a disaster if the car she was driving wasn’t owner and insured by someone else, because she certainly had no license, spoke effectively no English, and was driving recklessly to boot.  It’s only one anecdotal story, but it’s clearly on my mind as I evaluate the news about “harassed” drivers.

posted by: dee on March 13, 2009  1:57am

Let’s see if I have this right. Chacon lives in Branford, has a store in Easthaven and wants Easthaven police and town officials to come to New Haven for settlement discussions. Why? If there is a problem, why not go to where the problem is and sit down and talk about it? Why the press conferences, the video-taping and all of that? This is my problem with the whole scenario. There is a lot of public postering when there ought to be a lot of private conversations first. I’m not sure I’m buying what Keefe is peddling, but its highly dubious to publicly parade around hurling systemic racial allegations and not have made one phone call, had one meeting, filed one complaint or made one proactive move to resolve this.

City Hall Watch, just how naive are you? What do you THINK would happen if the owners of My Country Store had called in a complaint that cops were harassing them? They’d be told two words: “PROVE IT.” Which is exactly what Father Manship was doing—collecting EVIDENCE of police harassment to present to authorities in an attempt to get it to stop.

That’s what makes Keefe’s apparent claim that because no complaints had been filed, the harassment didn’t exist so ridiculous. Again: THAT’S WHAT MANSHIP WAS DOING THERE WITH A CAMERA! Collecting evidence so they could present a case!

Do you HONESTLY think Officer Dennis Spaulding et. al would sit down with these Latino business owners and discuss their concerns? Really? The mayor is hiding in a hole somewhere, apparently afraid of her own police force. And these Hispanic business owners should do what the MAYOR is afraid to do? These people are SCARED. I don’t think you’re picking up on that, or you’re willfully ignoring it.

posted by: edsonjosafath on March 13, 2009  6:42am

The problem is that emigrants are getting blamed for everything enclude the financial crisis.The whites , not all of them are blind to reality.Edson

posted by: Alex on March 13, 2009  6:58am

Wow! The officer intentionally falsified a police report. The evidence is irrefutable! Yet he has not been disciplined. The mayor is silent and the chief merely drops by, drops off his card yet the E. Haven police continue to make racial profile traffic stops. What a bunch of spineless losers. This town needs to clean house big time.

This story is about to go national and East Haven’s rep is going to go even further down the tubes. The Malik Jones story will rise again along with the pix of the Confederate flags.

Atty Gen Blumenthal needs to get involved in this and the governor needs to speak out as well as the state reps. This is disgusting and that video is chilling. Everybody take your camcorders to East Haven and get this all up on YouTube!

posted by: Bill on March 13, 2009  8:18am

It does not contradict the fact that license plates were being illegally sold from the store. It does not contradict the fact that the illegals should be deported.

posted by: robn on March 13, 2009  8:32am

This is such an obvious 1st amendment issue, that it would be a miracle if East Haven doesn’t end up paying a huge punative settlement. If Hugh Keefe pulls this off, its the equivalent of selling snowballs to Eskimos. Lets see what happens.

posted by: Lennie Grimaldi on March 13, 2009  8:46am

Mayor Capon should tell Keefe to stick a rag in his mouth. Imagine a mayor giving a lawyer advice.

posted by: Ben on March 13, 2009  10:07am

The East Haven Mayor’s office should be taken by State Control and the police force disbanded. 

When the time is right the land can be incorporated into New Haven and we can integrate these self-alienating wannabe confederates properly.

We’ll have a nice airport for them to take a one-way flight out of as well when they realize that American means something very different outside of East Haven.

posted by: City Hall Watch on March 13, 2009  10:15am

Dee:

I am the least niave person around. I understand the merchants could feel intimidated. I just don’t think this is the way to go about getting resolution to something so serious - pulling in a confrontational priest who sees rascism before he sees grace. For a long time, I’ve watched Manship demonize the federal government, anti-illegal immigration groups and individuals, even private citizens, based entirely on what he is told by those making the allegations. Then he goes public, blows all these people up, gets in the paper and creates a row. Do you think it is easier or harder now to achieve the goal of non-harassment assuming it exists?

posted by: dee on March 13, 2009  10:30am

It does not contradict the fact that license plates were being illegally sold from the store. It does not contradict the fact that the illegals should be deported.

The FACT that license plates were being sold? Where was that FACT established? The EHPD police report doesn’t even allege that the license plates were being sold. The guy had the plates screwed into the wall of his store, as evidenced by the FACT that the police report states he was using a DRILL GUN to get them down. Yeah, that’s what people intending to sell something do—they screw it into the wall.

Bill, have you ever been to a Chili’s or an Applebee’s? Are they illegally selling license plates, too? After all, they often have plates screwed into their walls—the Chili’s in East Haven certainly does. Why hasn’t Officer Spaulding raided their walls?

posted by: lance on March 13, 2009  10:32am

Mr. MacMillan, can you youtube the ENTIRE video for us, or make it PPV?  I’ll pay 9.99 to see the rest of the story, I’m curious if Manship started getting all “father phleger” up in there.  And how about a new link to the audio where manship is calling himself a “gringo” lol.  When I heard it I thought it was a SNL skit, but he was SERIOUS. You all have to hear that one, it’s an instant classic.   

And also….can you try to find out what is going on with the V. Kundra thing? I can’t even find it on “mainstream” media for some reason.

posted by: Doug on March 13, 2009  12:30pm

The police officer needs to be fired and the entire organization needs to be investigated by the FBI.

posted by: ZappO on March 13, 2009  2:04pm

Amazing how the mayor can hide from such a problem.  The police department clearly is herrassing hispanics in this town and someone needs to but an end to it.  Fire every single corrupt cop and prossecute them to the fullest extend of the law!!!

I know that if I lied or falsified a document or gave a false statement to a police officer I would definitely NOT be here now typing this.  These cops need to remember the promise they made when they were first sworn in as police officers.  Seems like in this town (and others) that goes out the window the minute they hit the streets.

posted by: Carlos on March 13, 2009  2:12pm

“It does not contradict the fact that license plates were being illegally sold from the store. It does not contradict the fact that the illegals should be deported.” - Bill

Bill, c’mon now.  The article says nothing of plates being sold nor does it mention the residency status of the store owners.  You think they’re illegal because of their Spanish name and color of their skin.  As a first generation American business owner, employer, and tax payer with a Spanish name, (Carlos), I invite you to my business to try and take anything you’d like off of the wall.  I’ll also tell you that I’m a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment of OUR Constitution.

posted by: Aldon Hynes on March 13, 2009  5:10pm

Lawyer for East Haven CT cops compares arrest of priest to Rodney King beating

It might be a winning legal strategy for the officers he is defending, but it sure looks like a losing strategy for the City of East Haven and their Police Department

posted by: Mrs.D on March 13, 2009  6:19pm

I have long been a supporter of law enforcement, with absolutely no tolerance for anyone even remotely breaking the law. That said, I can tell you with absolute certainty that if Officer David Cari is the cop in this video, then I would have to side with the perceived ‘bad guys’ of this case.  I have personally witnessed Officer Cari in his ‘Dirty Harry’ mode, and it isn’t pretty. He clearly is a liability to East Haven.  I am certain I am not the first to notice this. He needs to be somewhere like Bpt or Htfd where there is little chance of encountering someone able and willing to complain about his less than professional manner and apparent lack of police procedure knowledge.

posted by: JCH on March 13, 2009  9:03pm

Officer Cari is clearly abusing his power and praying no one cares enough to look beyond the surface. To arrest a priest - of all things! - and think no one would look twice? You’ve got to have a hell of a lot of hubris. (No pun intended.)

posted by: Morris Cove on March 14, 2009  3:31pm

After following this story for a week now I have yet to hear from the store owner or from Jim Manship, why there were price tags on on the plates. 

I do belive that the Officer in this video is a bit sensative to the camera, and should have used better discrection when approaching Manship, but to suggest that he is above the law and not subject to arrest (JCH)...please.

And to the blogger Carlos, that’s pretty tough talk for someone who didn’t post his name or business, you cyber tough guy.

posted by: CQT on March 14, 2009  7:57pm

Why are mostly cop-bashing comments being approved here? When my brother posted a comment supporting the police, it was not approved. Talk about bias.

posted by: Dewey on March 15, 2009  3:10pm

Mayor April Capone Almon has been invisible. Calls to her office are not returned. Where has she gone since late February when charges of harassment and of hispanics in East Haven. I was wondering if she either flew back down to Mississippi where she lived formerly to learn how they handle uppity minorities down there and if she was in Alaska consulting with Sarah Palin on tips of how a small town mayor can become governor on immigration issues. Try calling her office,  (203) 468-3204 to ask where is she. They won’t give you an answer. When these civil liberty charges have place East Haven in national and statewide press, Mayor Capone Almon is silent and sight unseen. Where is leadership?

posted by: Bruce on March 16, 2009  10:25am

Morris Cove:  the explanation for the price tags was in one the original story.

Matute said that he had showed the officer the price tags still on some of the plates from when he had bought them at tag sales. But the officer was unmoved, and Matute took down the license plates one by one with a screwdriver.

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2009/03/new_haven_pries.php

posted by: mikepc on March 16, 2009  10:50am

This whole incident is the result of our failure to secure our borders and to provide a workable
jobs program for people to come here and work free from fear and in a safe enviorment. When their work is over they go home. Everyone wins. It is a failure of our elected officials to suit their own selfish needs that we do not have such a program. When there are no rules there is fear
and chaos. Stop the madness.

posted by: lance on March 16, 2009  7:45pm

PA. cops make related arrest
http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/news_wtnh_hartford_license_fraud_200903122247_rev1….....

And by the way, why zero coverage on the st. patty’s day parade?  too white for ya? lol

posted by: lance on March 16, 2009  7:49pm

I just noticed a blurb on the left column, my bad.  But I don’t recall any articles about the parade in the preceeding days.

posted by: ilovethiscountry on March 16, 2009  8:13pm

It seem to that possesion is 9/10 of the law.
the burden here is on the East Haven Police department to proof that they had no rights to possesion of the tags. Some states may require that you return only one tag.

I am Veteran of the US Amry, son of a Veteran and father of a veteran. I an now afraid to visit East Haven.
Where are the Feds on this case?

posted by: Constitution on March 16, 2009  8:41pm

The issue is the police officers lied, Cari and the boyish Spaulding. Police officers can take away our freedom. We give them this authority. These 2 guys bretrayed the authority we entrusted to them.

They must be prosecuted and with the felony conviction, lose their priviledge to be a police officer.

posted by: Morris Cove on March 17, 2009  6:33pm

Thanxs for clearing that up Bruce. I must agree that the issue should be the Officers conduct, he should have used more restraint.

I just don’t agree with all the cop bashing, or the town hating, I happen to think East Haven, is a progressive small town. I like to point out that New Haven isn’t the most racially accepting city in the region also.

posted by: duval rafq on March 17, 2009  9:05pm

a lie is a lie and people need to with the fact policeman lie and at times can be some of the best liars out there. this wouldnt be the first time that one of them lied and it wont be the last.

posted by: Dora Rivera on March 18, 2009  7:58am

My Sister lives in East Haven, she voted for April Capone now she regrets because this insident, and also because she was near Capone, Capone was shaking hand with all the people present but when Capone saw a brown skin she did not shake my sister hand insteat she gave her a cold shoulder. Now I know why Capone doesn’t want to speak up.

posted by: Ron on March 27, 2009  12:58am

Pray tell why would the police chief wecome this
exposure. He can view his staff at their worst.

Instead of the trying to give defending answers to the press.  Why not use your own position to
see that such abuses do not happened again.

LEAD MAN, DON’T FOLLOW YOUR WORST OFFICERS, TRAIN THEM.

posted by: Anthony in NYC on April 3, 2009  12:42pm

Officer Cari should be arrested for falsifying a police report, FBI where are you? FBI should be brought in to carry out other arrest as needed of other officers like Cari.

posted by: Elisha on May 20, 2009  10:09pm

This officer is clearly suicidal. Classic account of crying out. He is so far gone he does not know he is lying absolute power corrupting him absolutely. When they go about making statements “I feared for my life” at any whim and for no reason this is a major warning sign for they are posturing to kill or be killed at every whim. He daily tries to commit Suicide by seeing how far you can push the public until one of them hits back trying to rightfully kill you the officer, or just blatant shooting to kill for no reason and then lying about it. Oh I did not know what was in his hand. I did not have training etc. I never had training how not to lie, only how to lie from the DA and Judge. If he was not doing wrong he would never had needed to fear for his life from a priest, in a public store, come on!!!!. Remember he is told what he is doing is by the law and of authority, but that is against God’s laws which prove his law unjust and oppressions. So He thinks people are following him around into stores to shoot him down, he has lost his mind and is a danger to himself and others, plain and simple. Now he can do it to 9,999.00 heathens but if he thinks even thinks he or any like him thinks they can do this type of harassment unto one of God’s anointed or upon a true prophet of God that is Christ risen upon a man the holly temple of God, and touch it or offend, he will by God get his suicide.

posted by: Justin on May 26, 2009  9:36am

Mayor Capone, do you not care that Officer Cari abused his authority and lied to arrest a priest in your town? I strongly support law enforcement and have had police officers in my family, but the video is crystal clear: Officer Cari asked a direct question and recognized that Fr. Manship was holding a camera. Father had every right to film this egregious abuse of power since a priest stands for justice. Cari did not like the fact that he was being filmed so he used his power to stop it, a clear infringement on Fr. Manship’s rights. I think it time to clean house, Madame Mayor, in your police department. Why not start by disciplining Officer Cari and Co.???

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