HARTFORD — Researchers from Central Connecticut State University today released their latest study of police traffic stops, as required by Connecticut’s Alvin W. Penn Racial Profiling Prohibition Act. The following is a reaction from ACLU of Connecticut executive director David McGuire, a member of the Racial Profiling Prohibition Project Advisory Board that oversees the report:
“People of color should be able to drive without fear of police harassment and discrimination, yet that is not the experience of many Black and Latino motorists in Connecticut. Today’s report shows that police in several mostly white Connecticut towns use traffic stops as a suburban version of stop and frisk to keep people of color out. Pretext stops on Connecticut’s roadways are a discriminatory, unnecessary, and potentially dangerous form of border patrol, and it is long past time for town and state governments to end them.
Once again, a balanced study has found evidence of racially biased policing in Connecticut. Today’s report shows a clear pattern of police employees disproportionately pulling over Black and Latino drivers for highly discretionary equipment stops, using those stops as excuses to search Black and Latino drivers’ information, and taking that information to ensnare Black and Latino people in the justice system.
Some police managers and employees may decide to perpetuate injustice by dismissing this report instead of taking responsibility for stopping practices that harm Black and Latino people. Every time police refuse to use evidence of racial disparities as an opportunity for change, people of color suffer worst. Police are government employees beholden to elected town and state governments, and it is long past time for these governments to hold police accountable to the people.”