The U.S. Justice Department is seeking multi-year jail terms for two East Haven police officers who were found guilty last year of profiling and harassing Latinos.
The officers face sentencing on Tuesday.
In seeking the jail terms, the Hartford Courant reported Friday, the federal agency submitted a sentencing memorandum that said the actions of one of the officers, Dennis Spaulding, had a harmful impact on his victims.
The actions, the document said, “were an abuse of his own police power, compromised the moral and ethical obligations of his fellow officers, delegitimized the East Haven Police Department, and undermined the public's trust in law enforcement.”
As for the other officer, David Cari, the federal officials said that his "corrupt and contemptuous conduct demonstrates that he had no regard for the victims in East Haven who were suffering abuses from his fellow officers.”
The arrests of the East Haven officers in 2012 culminated a four-year probe into allegations that town police routinely discriminated against some minorities.
Some officers pled guilty to lesser charges, but Cari and Spaulding opted for a trial and were convicted by a federal jury. They face at least 10 years in prison.
The verdict drew gasps from the courtroom audience who appeared to expect an acquittal in the case.
The two officers were arrested after a number of complaints that they targeted Latinos by stopping and harassing them as well as sometimes punching and kicking them while they were handcuffed.
The officers’ lawyers argued that East Haven had become heavily populated by a recent wave of Latin immigrants and that some of them are involved in criminal activities.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.