Cleared Of Charges, Conn. Priest Accuses Police of Racial Profiling and Harassment Against Hispanics
By Aswini Anburajan, FI2W reporter
No sooner had prosecutors in Connecticut dropped charges of disorderly conduct and interfering with police activity against Rev. James Manship, than the Roman Catholic priest announced a campaign to have federal authorities look into charges of racial profiling and harassment of Hispanics by East Haven, Ct. police.
On the night of his arrest, Manship, of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in New Haven, had been videotaping police at a local store owned by Ecuadorean immigrants who had complained that police harassment of Hispanic customers had caused fear in their community and a sharp drop in business.
Manship videotaped police officers as they removed license plates from the walls of My Country Store. The owners claimed the plates were just there for decoration, while officers argued that the store owner had illegally bought them.
Officers told Manship to stop videotaping, and when he didn’t, they arrested him. The officers later claimed that Manship had been holding an “unknown shiny silver object,” which caused them to fear it was a gun, according to The New York Times.
However, a fifteen-second video clip released by Manship’s lawyers shows an officer asking Manship, “Is there a reason you have a camera on me?”