The East Haven, Conn., Police Department is “profoundly broken” with a pattern of discrimination, particularly against Latinos, so deeply rooted that it will take years to change, according to a scathing Justice Department report. It said that Latinos were the target of half the traffic stops of some officers, in a town with a Latino population of 10 percent, reports the Hartford Courant. Latino drivers are subject to much harsher treatment once they are stopped for a traffic violation, the report said.
In announcing the results of a probe into civil rights complaints, the Justice Department left unanswered the questions of whether East Haven officials will make changes voluntarily and also whether any officers will face criminal charges. A grand jury has been hearing evidence for nearly a year on allegations stemming from the civil rights investigation. Sources have said that six to 15 officers could face federal criminal charges. Deputy U.S. Attorney General Roy Austin Jr. said federal authorities hope to work with East Haven officials but will go to federal court to force changes if necessary.