East Haven, Conn. (CNN) - The priest who helped shed light on the alleged racial profiling by the East Haven Police Department is speaking out.
Four police officers in East Haven have been arrested and charged with harassing Latinos in their community.
The Justice Department has accused the department of supporting a policy of abuse, but a Catholic priest is getting credit for helping bring the problem out in the open.
Serving his parishioners is something Father James Manship takes from his rectory office to the streets.
"Any affront to somebody's dignity, to somebody's safety, is an affront to God. And it required a response," Father Manship said.
So respond he did.
Long before four East Haven police officers were indicted for systematically targeting and arresting Latinos, Father Manship picked up a camera to document alleged abuse in his backyard.
A store security camera also was rolling in a Latino convenience store when the priest saw police order that some old decorative license plates be taken off a wall.
"I began to videotape what was going on, and uh then I was arrested," Father Manship recalled.
The priest's camera kept rolling on police, but the store's camera showed what happened next. Father Manship was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace and interfering with police.
"He's definitely played a critical role in helping people come forward and helping people really stand up," said Yale law student Joshua Rosenthal.
The FBI used Manship's video to help establish what the Justice Department called discriminatory policing of Latinos.
Authorities say more arrests are expected.
East Haven's mayor, who himself has been criticized for insensitive remarks about the Latino community, said he stands behind the police department.
Father Manship's parishioners say they're blessed to have him speaking out.
"This was not for us just simply about a few bad apples," one said. "This was a serious deep cultural issue within the police department that needed to be transformed."
Among Latinos, fear of police remains rampant.
"My hope is that one day we'll have a police department in East Haven that we can be proud of," said Father Manship.
Now the priest who holds an engineering degree and once designed brakes for a living finds himself trying to put a stop to alleged racial profiling.
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