By David Ariosto, CNN
(CNN) - The mayor of East Haven, Connecticut, apologized Wednesday for saying he would help Latinos in his town by eating tacos, a remark that sparked anger from state officials and immigrant advocates already fuming over allegations of police mistreatment of Latinos in his city.
"My sincerest apologies go out to the East Haven community and, in particular, the Latino community for the insensitive and off-color comment that I made to WPIX reporter Mario Diaz yesterday regarding the recent events affecting our community and our police department," Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. said in a statement. "Unfortunately, I let the stress of the situation get the best of me and inflamed what is already a serious and unfortunate situation."
He was referring to the arrests of four East Haven police officers by FBI agents Tuesday for their alleged roles in abusing Latino residents and business owners, performing illegal searches, making false arrests and harassing immigrant rights advocates.
The arrests are the first to stem from a federal investigation into racial profiling in the city and follow a scathing December report from the U.S. Justice Department that accused the town's police of engaging in "discriminatory policing against Latinos."