Today, I conducted an in-depth interview with Simon Moshenberg of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at the Yale Law School legal clinic. Moshenberg is one of the attorneys for the "Danbury 11" and has been actively involved in forcing the City of Danbury to hand over all information regarding an ICE raid in September of last year.
For those who don’t know, the Danbury 11 refers to the eleven day laborers who were picked up in a raid by Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents. According to news reports, back in September at Danbury’s Kennedy Park, ICE agents posing as contractors pulled up in a truck and stated they would pay 11 dollars an hour to men who would help take down a fence. Eleven day laborers took up the offer, entered in the truck, and were taken to another location where they were arrested.
In response to the raid, a FOI was filed against the Department of Homeland Security and the City of Danbury in an attempt to seek information and determine what role the city had in the raid.
In several interviews to the press, Mayor Boughton has repeatedly stated that the City played NO ROLE in the raids.
Statements from Mayor Boughton regarding city's role in raid, December 2006:
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...
Once Moshenberg and the Yale law students obtained all the requested material from the city from their FOI complaint, new details surrounding the city's involvement in the raid emerged, which ultimately calls into question the claims the mayor.
With the new revelations made public at the Danbury 11 court hearing last week, I caught up with Moshenberg to learn more about the details that emerged from the FOI request, find out what role the city of Danbury played in the raid, and ultimately find out if the mayor was being dishonest to the public in statements he made to the press about Danbury's role in the raid.
Interview highlights (full interview will be posted soon):
1.: Information obtained from the FOI request shows Danbury police officer as the arresting officer on booking report.
2. According to 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 According to Moshenberg, the city of Danbury has not issued an official response in any legal proceedings regarding DHS's statement.
UPDATE: If you're with the media and are taking quotes from my interview with Simon, please make sure to cite this blog in your report.
As I stated in several emails, I understand the seriousness of this story and will have more of the interview posted as quickly as possible. Thank you.
UPDATE 2: I receiving inquires from the media on this on-going story. If you're a member of the media and having trouble locating the email address for this site, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. During the next template update, I'll make it easier to locate my email address.
04.25.22 (RADIO): WSHU Latino group call on Connecticut lawmakers to open a Danbury charter school
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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.