Green Candidate Calls For City Cop Probe

Courtesy Dan CarmodyTwo incidents reported over the past week in New Haven have prompted a candidate for Connecticut attorney general to call for an investigation into racial profiling.

Green Party candidate Peter Goselin issued the call in response to the June 6 arrest on the Green of a man who had been loudly criticizing police and the mistaken-identity arrest of a 70-year-old woman who has the same name of an unrelated 50-year-old woman wanted on a misdemeanor warrant.

Click here and here to read stories about those incidents as well as extensive reader debate.

“Two events in one week involving New Haven police officers and African-American residents, in the context of a national epidemic of police misconduct against people of color, shows the need for action to enforce civil rights laws against the NHPD,” Goselin stated in a release. The release also criticized the police for the controversial arrests of an African-American man, Nate Blair, and a Native-American man, Norman Clement, at a 2017 anti-Trump protest in town. (State police arrested Clement, New Haven police, Blair.)

“There are far too many reports of misconduct by New Haven police, and far too many of the victims are people of color,” said Goselin, a long-time civil rights lawyer and activist. “Police officers and police departments are not exempt from Connecticut’s civil rights laws,” Goselin argued.

He called on Attorney General George Jepsen to launch an investigation into possible racial profiling and on other candidates for the open attorney general seat in this year’s election to respond to the incidents.

Jepsen spokeswoman Jaclyn Severance emailed the Independent this response: “While we do appreciate Mr. Goselin’s concerns, the Connecticut attorney general’s authority to investigate and litigate is defined and limited by state statute. The attorney general’s existing statutory authority does not permit him to act under these circumstances. Mr. Goselin’s complaints would be better directed to an agency that does have this authority, such as the U.S. Department of Justice.”

Three other attorney general candidates reached for comment declined to weigh in on the specifics of the New Haven incidents.

“I promote the fair and non-discriminatory treatment of all citizens and have no comment as to the specific allegations,” endorsed Republican candidate Susan Hatfield stated in a release from her campaign.

Democratic candidates Chris Mattei and William Tong vowed to take racial profiling seriously if elected.

“As Chair of the Judiciary Committee, I’ve led the General Assembly in passing some of the most comprehensive and far-reaching laws to combat racial profiling, including strengthening the Alvin Penn Act.  I’ve taken on a system of mass incarceration and criminal justice reform by passing the Second Chance Society Law, the bail reform law and the Excessive Use of Force law. I have also worked hard to introduce and fund the use of body cameras by law enforcement in Connecticut,” Tong stated in a release issued by his campaign. “I have confidence in New Haven’s ability to investigate and stop any conduct that violates the civil rights of families in that community, and as AG, I will work closely with city officials and law enforcement to do all that we can to prevent racial profiling and incidents in the future.”

Mattei stressed in a statement that the attorney general “has a critical role to play in protecting the civil rights of every resident of this state.”

Police Chief Anthony Campbell said he has asked for an internal review of the Chapel Street arrest, noting that he was “disturbed” by what he saw in the video.

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posted by: narcan on June 15, 2018  12:34am

I’m concerned about Mr.Goselin’s ability to execute the office of Attorney General if he sees racial bias where a (white) police officer is having a perfectly civil interaction with a (black) public drinking offender while a (black) police officer arrests a different (black) offender for committing a crime.

posted by: Concord on June 15, 2018  7:40am

Looks like Goselin does know the facts in this case. A black Police Officer arresting a black person for violating the law. Do your homework Goselin and report the facts as they are!!

posted by: alphabravocharlie on June 15, 2018  8:24am

This guy is running for an office and he doesn’t even understand what it’s functions are.

posted by: elmcitybornandraised on June 16, 2018  11:03am

Thank you Mr. Goselin for attempting to jump into an issue to boost your public image. You look like an idiot making comments such as “racial bias.” What a joke, as the comments above me say….that’s definitely not the case. Mr. Bass, are you going to ask for any other body worn camera videos of the officers interaction with the arrested subject before the arrest???? Or are we going to act like the arrest was only because of this snippet of video?????? Inquiring minds want to know….....