Back in Sept of 2006, ICE agents, disguised as contractors, went to Kennedy Park and picked up several day laborers who were looking for work. After being picked up, the workers were driven to Danbury Police Headquarters where they were subsequently arrested and detained.
On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed a civil lawsuit against Boughton, Police Chief Al Baker, and the City of Danbury in response to an arrests alleging that the city violated their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
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.
Boughton claimed in numerous interviews to the media back in December of 2006 that DANBURY HAD NO ROLE IN THE OPERATION THAT RESULTED IN THE ARREST OF THE DAY LABORERS ON KENNEDY PARK. It wasn't until the lawyers representing the day laborers won their FOI lawsuit against the city of Danbury was it exposed that an UNDERCOVER DANBURY POLICE OFFICER drove the van that picked up the day laborers...in other words, DanburyPD were involved with the raid.
…in other words, Boughton LIED and continues to lie about the case.
Since most people outside of Danbury are unfamiliar with this case and Boughton's long history of misleading the public, I'll try and get everyone up the speed about this matter before commenting on the latest developments in the lawsuit.
The following the originally posted on HatCityBLOG back in October 2007.
This is serious.
This is not a joke.
This is not about one's view on immigration.
This is about an over-zealous mayor who has, once again, used the topic of immigration for political purposes.
This is about the local media KNOWING that the mayor mislead the public YET won't challenge the mayor on his previous statements.
This is about residents having to read news accounts from other mainstream media outlets to get the real story.
This is about honesty.
This is about integrity.
This is about trust.
Here are some quotes from the last honest man in Danbury regarding the use of local police to enforce immigration laws:
Hartford Courant, April 26 2006.
Most local police departments say they have no interest in arresting illegal immigrants who have not committed crimes. Even in Danbury, when Mayor Mark Boughton last year tried unsuccessfully to have state police enforce immigration law, he said he didn't want his police doing it because it could discourage immigrants from cooperating in criminal investigations.
New York Times 05.25.05
It will begin at Kennedy Park, where the crowds of Hispanic men who gather before dawn to find work as day laborers helped prompt Mayor Mark D. Boughton to ask that the state police be deputized to enforce federal immigration laws.
Now, while members of Danbury's Common Council continue to draft a ''repetitive outdoor activity'' ordinance to restrict volleyball by cracking down on parking and noise, among other things, the mayor says deputizing the state police may not be necessary, that the police may have enough remedies without becoming immigration agents.
Hartford Courant 05.07.05
Lost in the hubbub is the political reality that having state police enforce immigration law in Connecticut is unlikely to happen anytime soon, if ever. And even Boughton acknowledges that his plan would have little effect on the number of undocumented immigrants in town.
Blumenthal responded to Boughton's request by saying it would need the approval of Gov. M. Jodi Rell, Public Safety Commissioner Leonard Boyle and the state legislature.
Blumenthal said there is no chance of that happening this year and he has "serious reservations" about the proposal.
"Deputizing local or state police is not a long term or fundamental solution to the problem," he said.
Although Boughton wants state police to enforce immigration law, he is not interested in Danbury police having the same authority, for fear it would cripple their ability to investigate other crimes.
"The same is true, to an even greater extent, for the state police," Blumenthal said.
Since we now know that Boughton spearheaded the effort to have Danbury enrolled in the ICE ACCESS program, when it comes to local police enforcing immigration law, Boughton's previous statements to the public were nothing more than lies.
Unlike misleading the public about his view on local enforcement of immigration laws, when it comes to the comments the mayor made in regards to the Danbury 11 case, Boughton's lies could place the city in legal jeopardy.
Here's what Boughton said about the city's role in the ICE raid.
Hartford Courant 12.14.06
A group of students at Yale Law School is expected to file suit today in federal court in a bid to find out how Homeland Security put together its sting on Sept. 19. The students want to know what role Danbury played in the operation and if the policies guiding the department's Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm may be unconstitutional. Their inquiry began with a request under the federal Freedom of Information Act. "We asked nicely," said Simon Moshenberg, a second-year student from Washington, D.C. "They didn't answer. We sued."
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.
Television reports on Danbury 11 case: 12.06
Channel 8: Boughton said the city played no part in the September 19th action...
Channel 30: He [Boughton] said the city was not involved in the planing of the raid...
Fairfield Weekly last week (before Boughton was slapped with a lawsuit):
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.
From October 2007, here's my interview with Simon Moshenberg, one of the Yale Law Students representing the "Danbury 11" in federal court.
1.: Information obtained from the FOI request shows Danbury police officer as the arresting officer on booking report.
2. According to defense attorney Simon Moshenberg, in brief to the court, the Department of Homeland Security states that DANBURY POLICE OFFICERS were the ones disguised as contractors and driving the van used to pick up the day laborers. This is contrary to statements Boughton made to the press in December and the city of Danbury has not issued an official response in any legal proceedings regarding DHS's statement.
Video highlights of what we knew then about Danbury's role in the raid versus what we know now.
• In December, Mayor Boughton (who at the time had no problem talking about the ICE raid at Kennedy Park) was repeatedly quoted in the media as stating that the city of Danbury played NO ROLE in the rounding up of day-laborers.
• Documents finally released in April via a Freedom of Information request shows that a booking report lists the arresting officer in the raid as a Danbury Police official.
• A court brief by the Department of Homeland Security states that a undercover Danbury Police officer was the individual who drove the vehicle used to pick up the day-laborers.
• One year after the raids and ten months after Mayor Boughton made his initial statement about Danbury's non-involvement in the raids, in a News-Times article, Chief Al Baker states that "...the arrests were initially made because of complaints about the day laborers' effects on traffic and that Danbury police did drive the van."
• Once having no problem talking about the incident (and hurling insults at the Yale Law Students), NOW Mayor Boughton refuses to comment on the details of the raid.
• Mayor Boughton's action has placed the city in a MAJOR civil lawsuit.
At this point, how can anyone trust a word that comes out of Boughton's mouth.