(EAST HAVEN, Conn.) — After the mayor of East Haven, Conn., quipped that he would rebuild relations with his town’s Latino community by having tacos for dinner, an immigration rights group on Thursday said it will help those inflammatory dinner plans come true.
Reform Immigration for America in Washington, D.C., will deliver 500 tacos to Mayor Joseph Maturo’s office at 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon. The group launched a “text for taco” campaign Wednesday, asking people to text “Taco” to 69866 to show support for the East Haven Latino community and condemn Maturo’s comments.
The mayor’s remarks followed news that four of the town’s cops had been charged with abusing the rights of Latinos.
“We want to make it very, very clear that the mayor’s language is not only offensive but it is inappropriate,” said Henry Fernandez, the local spokesman for Reform Immigration for America.
The mayor’s “taco” remarks on Tuesday came just hours after three East Haven police officers and one sergeant were arrested for allegedly racially profiling and discriminating against Latinos following a three-year-long FBI investigation. They have been charged with “conspiracy against rights” for conspiring to, “injure, oppress, threaten, and intimidate” Latinos, conducting illegal searches and making false arrests, according to the indictment.
By Thursday morning more than 2,200 people had texted their support to send the mountain of tacos to Maturo. Despite the group’s pledge to send one taco for every text, Fernandez said they capped the delivery at 500, the “sheer capacity” of which “will make the point.”
Maturo has apologized for the remarks multiple times over the past two days, but stood by his officers, saying they are innocent until proven guilty.
Maturo declined to comment on Thursday’s taco delivery.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Laura Smith-Spark, Erin McLaughlin and Nina dos Santos, CNN
Larry Register, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN
Puja Bhattacharjee, CNN