Media Contact

Meghan Smith, 860-992-7645,

April 26, 2017

HARTFORD — The ACLU of Connecticut today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request of all Connecticut police departments related to alternative studies of police traffic stop data. In testimony submitted to the legislature, the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association wrote that some Connecticut police departments had commissioned analyses which contradict the state’s findings regarding traffic stops in Connecticut. During an April 21 meeting of Connecticut’s Racial Profiling Prohibition Project Advisory Board, the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association representative stated that he could not identify which departments had commissioned the analyses, did not represent those departments, and therefore could not share their studies.

“According to the chiefs of police, some Connecticut police departments have commissioned their own racial profiling studies. Racial profiling is a critical problem across our state. If police have found a shortcoming in the statewide Racial Profiling Prohibition Project’s methods, the public needs to know about it. We look forward to examining police department records so we can get to the bottom of this,” said Dan Barrett, legal director of the ACLU of Connecticut, who filed the FOI request.

Also in its legislative testimony, the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association incorrectly wrote that there have not been any substantiated cases of racial profiling in Connecticut in seventeen years. In 2011, a federal Department of Justice investigation found widespread evidence of racial profiling in East Haven, including evidence that police had “intentionally targeted” Latinos for traffic stops. A federal court later convicted two former East Haven police officers of civil rights violations.

“Racial profiling violates the U.S. Constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law. Yet statewide traffic stop data and Taser data have shown that not all police departments in Connecticut have taken the Constitution to heart. The Connecticut Police Chiefs Association has been part of the Racial Profiling Prohibition Project Advisory Board for years, and it has had input into statewide traffic stop studies. Instead of relying on shadow reports in an attempt to discredit solid evidence of racially biased policing in Connecticut, the chiefs of police should be working to end discriminatory policing by creating greater police accountability and transparency,” said David McGuire, executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut and a member of Connecticut’s Racial Profiling Prohibition Project Advisory Board.

Information regarding Connecticut’s 2016 statewide traffic stop report, which showed racial disparities in traffic enforcement, is here.