Maturo’s anti-Latino sentiments anger Hispanic group

February 7, 2012 by  

A Hispanic caucus says East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. should be held accountable for adding fuel to the fire to what the group calls anti-Latino hostility in the community. East Haven Police Chief Len Gallo announced his retirement after the recent arrests of four East Haven police officers who’ve been accused of launching a campaign against Latinos. False arrests and beatings are among the allegations, which the officers insist are untrue.

The resignation of Chief Gallo was only part of the solution to the anti-Latino sentiments among town leaders as far as the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators is concerned. The caucus says comments made by Mayor Maturo only intensified an already volatile situation. When a reporter asked the Mayor what he might do as gesture of good faith for the Latino population in East Haven he said “he might have tacos.”

The resignation of Chief Len Gallo only diverts attention away from Mayor Maturos possible involvement in permitting police harassment of the Latino community by looking the other way, the Hispanic group alleges. Caucus president, Connecticut Representative Minnie Gonzalez has asked federal officials to further investigate the Mayor and his administration.

Maturo has since stated that his taco comment was wrong and offensive. The Mayor insists that East Haven is not an anti-Latino town. Maturo might consider poster printing to reinforce the sincerity of his apology to appease the Hispanic caucus. Maturo has vowed to reach out to Latino residents soon but so far no specific plans have been revealed.