East Haven, Connecticut mayor Joe Maturo found himself at the center of a shitstorm, and was forced to apologize for insensitive comments he made towards the Latino community, following the arrest of four East Haven police officers known as "Miller's Boys" yesterday. The officers are accused of harassing and abusing mostly Latino citizens over a number of years, then covering up their crimes. As if that isn't despicable enough, Mayor Maturo, when asked by a local reporter how he might provide outreach to the Latino community, let slip remarks hinting at a permissive law-enforcement culture. His response to East Haven's profiling problem? "I might have tacos when I go home, I'm not quite sure yet." Wow. After being lightly upbraided by WPIX's Mario Diaz, Maturo muddled through some sort of explanation, saying:
"I might have spaghetti tonight, being of Italian descent. I've had ethnic food, and when you asked me what I was doing for Latinos tonight, I may go out and have a Latino dinner in the Latino community. There is nothing wrong with that."
Oh yeah, and he spent two years in Puerto Rico, so that excuses everything. How did this guy get elected?
After Governor Dannel Malloy called the mayor's statement "racially insensitive," representing "either a horrible lack of judgment or worse," and Hartford mayor Pedro Segarra said he was "disgusted" by the remarks, Maturo issued an apology on Wednesday. Part of the statement, which I'm sure is totally sincere, reads as follows:
"My sincerest apologies go out to the East Haven community and, in particular, the Latino community for the insensitive and off-collar [sic] comment that I made to WPIX reporter Mario Diaz yesterday regarding the recent events affecting our community and our police department. Unfortunately, I let the stress of the situation get the best of me and inflamed what is already a serious and unfortunate situation. I regret my insensitive comment and realize that it is my job to lead by example."