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The public deserves to know the truth about the Danbury 11 case

Thursday, June 24, 2010
Time: 2:19 PM

When it comes to the upcoming depositions in the Danbury 11 civil rights case, although supporters of Mark Boughton would have you believe that the mayor did not mislead the public about details of the raid at Kennedy Park, a historical look at Boughton's comments paints a different picture.

On September 19 2006, the public was informed that around 6:30 in the morning, agents for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement disguised themselves as contractors and offered work to eleven day laborers at Kennedy Park who were looking for work. Instead of doing a job, the day laborers were arrested.

In at least three separate statements to the media, Boughton insisted that the city of Danbury played no part in the raid.

Hartford Courant 12.14.06:
In an interview Wednesday, Boughton insisted that immigration police acted alone. They notified Danbury police this summer that they'd be making some arrests this fall but offered no other details, he said.


Channel 8, Dec 2006:
Boughton said the city played no part in the September 19th action but didn't think there would be a problem if they did.


Channel 30, Dec 2006
He [Boughton] said the city was not involved in the planing of the raid…




In December 2006, students from Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at the Yale Law School filed a Freedom of Information request with the city and the Office of Homeland Security in order to obtain documents relating to the case.

Here's an interview I did with the students from Yale about their request.



In September 2007 (one year ate the incident), again I interviewed the Yale Law Student Simon Moshenburg in which he revealed new information about Danbury’s role in the raid that was disclosed in court.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

1. Information obtained from the FOI request shows a Danbury police officer as the arresting officer on booking report.



2. According to the Yale Law Students, in a brief to the court by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the federal government stated that a Danbury Police officer disguised himself as a contractor and drove the van used to pick up the day laborers.



The information obtained by the students at Yale, as well as the DHS brief to the court, seems to contradicts Boughton's 2006 statements to the public in which he claimed that Danbury played no part in the raid.

Later that same month, when the Yale Law students announced that they filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city, I attended a press conference that was held by the law students as well as a press conference held by the mayor's office. At both events, the issue of Danbury’s role in the raid was brought up and the mayor's story about Danbury's involvement changed from "no part" to "logistical support."



Also, The Fairfield Weekly tried to get answers regarding the conflicting statements from Boughton…without much success.
A year ago, eleven Ecuadorian day laborers were sneakily apprehended in Danbury's Kennedy Park by Immigration and Customs Enforcement with help from some men pretending to be contractors. They had some hard hats, a van and, according to recently uncovered information, a few Danbury police badges.

Why were the local cops assisting in a federal sting? Well, according to remarks from Danbury mayor Mark Boughton last December, they weren't. He repeatedly said the city played no role in the ICE raid.

[...]

Simon Moshenberg, a Yale Law Student representing the "Danbury 11" in a federal court case that began Monday, received the booking report for the arrests after placing a FOIA request. Under "arresting officer," was the name "Lolli," which turns out to be the name of a Danbury police officer. The Danbury News-Times quotes Chief Al Baker explaining that the arrests were initially made because of complaints about the day laborers' effects on traffic and that Danbury police did drive the van. The department chose not to further comment on their involvement when approached by the Weekly.

Boughton elaborated in an e-mail that "the city provided logistical support to ICE," which is "common" and "does not mean that the Danbury PD planned, organized or carried out the raid." He stands by his comments from December.


Conflicting accounts of Danbury's involvement in the raid is only one example of questionable statements from Boughton in relation to this case. Clearly there is a world of difference between the city playing “no part” in the raid, offering ICE officials "logistical" support, and members of DanburyPD dressing up as contractors and driving the van that was used to pick up the day laborers. Boughton needs to answer for his conflicting statements in regards to this case over the years.

The people of Danbury need to be told the truth about the Danbury 11 case. As the legal price tag of this case continues to escalate, hopefully the sworn depositions of Boughton will provide answers that the residents of Danbury deserve.

posted by ctblogger at 2:19 PM | Permalink|

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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MAYOR BOUGHTON'S DEPOSITION

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MIKE McLACHLAN (then MAYOR CHIEF OF STAFF) DEPOSITION

Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants v.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
3:06-cv-01992-RNC ( D. Conn. )

(02.25.08) Court docket

(10.24.07) Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Emergency Motion for Protective Order

(09.26.07) Press Release

(12.14.06) Complaint


Barrera v. Boughton, No. 07-01436
(D. Conn. filed Sept. 26, 2007)

(02.25.08) Court Docket

Amended complaint

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss State Law Claims

Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Defendants' Answer to Amended Complaint

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: Immigrant's 2006 arrest was flawed Danbury mayor testifies

(10.05.07 (VIDEO) Boughton mislead the public about Danbury's involvement in raid

(09.18.07) Yale Law Students expose Danbury involvement in raid

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Interview with Yale Law Students at FOI presser

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 FOI complaint media roundup

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(10.03.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 rally

(09.29.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 case deepens

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(09/29/06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 protest news conference

(09/29/06) Immigrant newspaper "El Canillita" gives best account of ICE day labor raid at Kennedy Park



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