ACLU of Connecticut Responds to Release of Police-Commissioned Shadow Traffic Stop Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 2017

CONTACT:
Meghan Smith, 860-992-7645, msmith@acluct.org

HARTFORD — In an email to the ACLU of Connecticut, the Manchester Police Department today turned over documents regarding its commissioned criticism of Connecticut’s police traffic stop reports. The state’s reports have shown significant racial disparities in police traffic stops statewide. The department’s response came after the ACLU of Connecticut filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request of all Connecticut police departments, demanding documents related to their alternative studies of police traffic stop data. The ACLU of Connecticut will have further comments after reviewing the critique’s contents.

The following is a reaction from David McGuire, executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut:

“The lack of transparency around this document is breathtaking. It should not have taken public pressure from the ACLU of Connecticut and the press to bring this nearly one-year-old, publicly-funded shadow report to light. When police commission critiques of Connecticut’s traffic stop data, the public deserves to know about it. For years, law enforcement officials have actively participated in the board that oversees which traffic stop information Connecticut collects, how the state collects it, and how it examines it. The police chiefs’ failure to share this document with the Racial Profiling Prohibition Project Advisory Board and the general public suggests that its commitment lies not with strengthening Connecticut’s ability to create unbiased, fair traffic enforcement, but with undermining the very tools that could help to establish that system. We look forward to examining this document closer and sharing its contents with the public.

Racial injustice is a critical problem across our state and our country. That is a fact as old as America itself. The question is not whether racially biased policing happens; it is how our state responds to it. Instead of attempting to undermine solid evidence that could help police to address and correct issues, the chiefs of police should be working to end discriminatory policing by creating greater police accountability and transparency.”

 

The ACLU of Connecticut’s earlier statement announcing its demand for documents regarding police-commissioned traffic stop studies is here: http://www.acluct.org/updates/aclu-of-connecticut-files-request-for-police-commissioned-racial-profiling-analyses

The full text of the ACLU of Connecticut’s FOI request for police-commissioned traffic stop studies is here: http://www.acluct.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ACLUCT_2017-04-25_FOI-Request_Police-Traffic-Stop-Study.pdf

Information regarding Connecticut’s 2016 statewide traffic stop report, which showed racial disparities in traffic enforcement, is here: http://www.acluct.org/updates/who-gets-pulled-over-in-connecticut