Civil Case Next For East Haven Police
Jon Schoenhorn, whose practice includes representing plaintiffs in claims against police officers for alleged assaults, has his doubts that the convictions will do much to change the culture of abuse in East Haven. Schoenhorn said he was recently at a seminar on police misconduct in Puerto Rico, when the discussion came up about criminal convictions of officers.
"I was just having a conversation about this, and some of my colleagues say the criminal prosecution of a few officers does not change the culture. The only way to change the culture is when the chief and commanders in charge are held liable," Schoenhorn said. "It's only then that the actions of their rank-and-file start to change."
When an individual or small group of officers is found guilty of a crime, the general sense is, "Oh well, they got caught," he said.
Assisting Rosen is a group of Yale Law School students from its Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization. "Being the lead counsel in this case means being carried along by the energy and smarts of that team," Rosen said.
One of the law students, Temidayo Odusolu, said she was pleased with the verdict in the criminal case.
"It's an important step in helping the Latino community in East Haven heal from the racial profiling they have experienced," Odusolu said. "We have not had a chance to discuss the next steps with our clients, and therefore we can't comment on strategy. But we can say that we intend to pursue the civil case, and we will be moving forward as planned."•