A federal task force is investigating some members of the East Haven Police Department.
The investigation is part of an ongoing civil rights lawsuit against some officers in the department who are accused of racial profiling and harassing Hispanics.
Mayor April Capone learned on Wednesday morning from Acting East Haven Police Chief Gaetano Nappi that a federal task force, consisting of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents from New York and Washington D.C. were in East Haven to investigate some members of the Police Department.
One of the plaintiffs to file suit is Rev. James Manship, of St. Rose of Lima Church in New Haven, who videotaped officers in what he said was an attempt to document police harassing Latino business owners for no legitimate reason.
The plaintiffs claim seven incidents targeting the Latino community, including beatings, false arrests and unwarranted raids on businesses, among other allegations.
The suit names nine officers for their alleged roles in specific incidents, as well as Chief Leonard Gallo, who was put on administrative leave in April following an initial report from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Department of Justice investigation found several problems in the department, including the lack of guidelines in use of force and an inadequate internal investigation process.
East Haven police have denied the allegations.
“I want to emphasize that I have been told by the FBI that this is not an investigation of the East Haven Police Department. Rather it is an investigation of certain members of the department,” Capone said in a release.
“My administration has fully cooperated with the United States Department of Justice in the past in its civil investigation of the Department and its members and I will continue to lend assistance to the Federal Task Force in its on-going criminal investigation,” she said.