Gov. Dannel Malloy said Monday night he was troubled by revelations in a Courant report that black and Hispanic motorists pulled over by local police are significantly more likely to receive a ticket or a summons, compared to white drivers stopped for the same offense.
“The apparent discrimination by police officers undermines our residents’ confidence in the criminal justice system,” Malloy said. “These statistical findings are very troubling, especially considering the fact that they do not include reports from towns that are not complying with the requirements of state law.”
The Courant reported that fewer than a third of local departments comply with a state law mandating the reporting of traffic-stop data to the African-American Affairs Commission. The Courant’s analysis was based on data from those agencies that did report.
For 13 categories of violations analyzed by the Courant, from speeding to running stop signs to broken tail lights, Hispanics were more likely than whites to be cited in every category. Blacks were more likely to be cited in 10 of the 13 categories. In some cases, blacks and Hispanics were twice as likely to receive a ticket or summons.
Officials with the commission and the state chapter of the NAACP said the analysis reinforces persistent beliefs that police officers unfairly target blacks and Hispanics. Many police officers say that is not the case and the disparity could be explained by other factors, including the driver’s behavior or motor-vehicle history, or more-serious violations found during the stop.
Although state law has mandated that the African-American Affairs Commission analyze and report on the traffic-stop data, the commission has reported since 2005 that it lacks the resources and personnel to review the records. Monday night, Malloy said he was working to jump-start the state’s analysis.
“My office is developing a new system for reporting and analyzing this data, and we expect to be able to obtain real-time analysis of all traffic stops in the near future,” Malloy said. “In the meantime, I have asked all of our law enforcement training agencies to place a new emphasis on the dangers of racial profiling and other forms of biased policing.”