EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- The Latin Community of East Haven said the wounds are deep, but for the first time they believe long term changes will happen after the agreement was reached over police abuse and racial profiling.
"I didn't even think the department of justice would accept the submission of our complaint," Angel Fernandez-Chavero, leader of the St. Rose of Lima Church, said.
The complaint was set in motion from the video recording inside Marcia Chacon's store in East Haven in 2009. The recording got Father James Manship arrested, but he and members of the St. Rose of Lima Parish now have these beliefs.
"We can all exercise our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in East Haven," Fernandez-Chavero said.
After a year of negotiating with the Department of Justice, Mayor Joe Maturo agreed to settle with some major changes, reform in everything from training to search and seizures.
"It's practically a police management manual," Fernandez-Chavero said.
Father Manship and the group see this as a small victors. Police Chief Brent Larrabee, not with the department when the allegations were brought to light, sees it differently.
"I see it as an instrument to move forward and heal any wounds that have been done," Chief Larrabee said. " I'm more than willing to put my name and reputation on it that they won't see any type of activity here, if it existed at all."
Now that the Latin American community feels that they've gotten the message across that in their words they'll "never suffer injustice again," will they trust the police moving forward?
Chacon said she wants a relationship with them because there are other problems in the community, but it will take time to build after losing the trust.
"They have to earn our trust, but the community, like any community would like to work with it's police department, there's no question," Fernandez said.
The group says their happy with the chief's recent hires including Officer Carlos Ramon, who speaks Spanish and has over 20 years experience in law enforcement.
"I think it's going to be better," Chacon said.
News 8 asked if she is still upset, and she said, "Yes. Uh huh."
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