Tell Mayor Maturo: replace East Haven Chief of Police and send a clear message that racial profiling won't be tolerated
  • Petitioned East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo

This petition was delivered to:

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo

Tell Mayor Maturo: replace East Haven Chief of Police and send a clear message that racial profiling won't be tolerated

    1. Sponsored by

      Reform Immigration for America

January 2012


After initially brushing off serious threats to the Latino community of East Haven by saying that he would eat "tacos for dinner," today Mayor Maturo held a press conference to properly address the FBI investigation into racial intolerance in East Haven and announce Police Chief Gallo's departure. On the heels of this news, Reform Immigration For America released the following statement:

"We welcome this positive step in response to the growing demands of our community reflected in the 8,000 “taco” texts we have received, the 15,000 signatures on our petition and the escalating attention to problems in East Haven through national media. We are committed to holding the leadership of East Haven accountable to the needs, desires, and hopes our community. "

Reform Immigration for America, which consists of more than 800,000 immigration leaders and grassroots activists committed to achieving humane comprehensive immigration reform, acted quickly to mobilize around a deeply troubling issue that became known on Twitter as "#tacogate."

In addition to their petition, which sent a message to East Haven officials that racial profiling will not be tolerated, the group was able to generate a torrent of media attention by sending 500 tacos to Mayor Maturo’s office, one for each person who texted in their complaints. One taco was hand-delivered directly to the mayor along with an invitation to attend a community dinner to open up a dialogue with the Latino community to improve relations. The remaining tacos were sent to a local community kitchen.

While playful in tone, these actions called attention to East Haven’s ongoing treatment of the Latino community and supported the federal probe of the East Haven police department.  Today, with the East Haven Chief of Police stepping down, thousands of people across the country can declare meaningful victory.

The FBI just arrested four East Haven, CT police officers for assaulting undocumented immigrants and making up false reports against Hispanics.

The East Haven officers assaulted individuals while they were handcuffed, unlawfully searched Latino businesses, and harassed and intimidated individuals, including advocates, witnesses, and other officers who tried to investigate or report misconduct or abuse the officers committed.

These continual and deliberate patterns of racial profiling did not go unnoticed by the FBI. The federal investigation found “life was made miserable for Hispanics” by these officers in East Haven.

But instead of standing up for the Latino community in his city, East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo immediately came out in support of the police department. Then on a radio show, the Mayor was asked what he is going to do to help the Latino community in wake of this disgusting racial profiling tragedy.

“I might have tacos when I go home, I’m not quite sure yet.”

Even though he later said sorry, a politician's apology clearly isn't enough to make up for allowing institutionalized racism in a police force and city government.

Tell Mayor Matruo: he needs to replace the East Haven Chief of Police and send a clear message that racial profiling won't be tolerated.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 15,000 signatures
    2. 500 Tacos. Now what?

      Guest post from Nicole Cairns at the Reform Immigration for America campaign. 
      Yesterday, we delivered the 500 tacos you sent to Mayor Maturo of East Haven, CT. Your response was far more than we expected. So far, more than 4,500 people have texted...

    3. Reached 7,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Marcelo Beas EAST HAVEN, CT
      • over 2 years ago

      The only apology we'll accept is that you replace the chief of police, the one you reinstated, despite the claims for harassing hispanic residents, and right after that replace yourself with a real Mayor who cares about the East Haven community

    • Patricia Bredenberg CAPE ELIZABETH, ME
      • over 2 years ago

      I am opposed to discrimination and abuse

    • Francine Wheeler EAST HAVEN, CT
      • over 2 years ago

      To show that there are many good people of East Haven who find the behavior of the police department unacceptable. We want the abuse to stop.

    • Maria Lee NEW YORK, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      Racial profiling should not be tolerated in any area, and your constituents should not be subject of mistreatment.

    • Gabriela Matteson NEW HAVEN, CT
      • over 2 years ago

      Gallo should have never been reinstated. Furthermore, it would be the first step in the right direction for the Maturo administration.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.