A Connecticut police chief resigned today amid allegations that he oversaw a department that repeatedly discriminated against Latino residents.
East Haven Police Chief Leonard Gallo was an unnamed co-conspirator in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice that focused on a pattern of police harassing Latinos, a fact that likely precipitated his departure from the police force.
Last week, the police chief was the target of a campaign by the organization Reform Immigration for America calling for his ouster. As part of the campaign, which we blogged about on Long Island Wins, 500 tacos were delivered to the office of East Have Mayor Joe Maturo. The mayor’s insensitive response to the allegations of discriminatory policing—joking about a taco dinner—went viral on Wednesday.
While some groups are also calling for Maturo’s resignation, Reform Immigration for America and their local partner, JUNTA for Progressive Action, are asking that the mayor co-host a dinner to address relations with the area Latino community.
More on Gallo’s resignation from the Hartford Courant:
“Gallo’s resignation, which is effective Friday, was announced at a press conference Monday. He is at the center of a federal probe into civil rights violations. Gallo is an unnamed co-conspirator in last week’s federal indictment of four officers, his lawyer has acknowledged.”
“Maturo said he will put together a search committee for a new chief, which will begin its work immediately. The new chief will have to “restructure the department, implement reforms and work with the community,” he said. He named deputy chief John Mannion to head the department on an interim basis.”
“I expect the road ahead to be difficult,” said Maturo. He called Gallo’s decision to step down, an “unselfish act.”