U.S. Federal Probe into Alleged Fabrication of Traffic Stop Records by Connecticut Troopers

by Chloe Baker
Connecticut troopers investigation

Federal authorities are investigating claims that hundreds of Connecticut state troopers have falsely reported traffic violation details to a racial profiling committee. The data suggested an overrepresentation of white drivers in traffic stops, as stated by the leading prosecutor of the state.

Patrick Griffin, the Chief State’s Attorney, informed WTNH-TV that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested his office to halt their investigation, which was initiated by Governor Ned Lamont, as they conduct their own.

“I was in agreement with the decision,” Griffin mentioned in a recording for the “This Week in Connecticut” news program aired over the weekend. He expressed his confidence in the DOJ’s capabilities and resources for conducting the investigation and affirmed that it will be independent and comprehensive.

Griffin confirmed the news via a statement to The Big Big News on Friday.

Questions were raised by civil rights groups regarding the impartiality of Griffin’s office in conducting the investigation, given its regular interaction with state police for criminal cases.

Aside from the DOJ’s inquiry, an independent investigation commissioned by Lamont is currently overseen by Deirdre Daly, a former U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, now practicing privately.

Neither the Justice Department, the Connecticut U.S. attorney’s office, nor state police officials commented on the matter on Friday.

Adam Joseph, the governor’s communications director, confirmed they were not notified of any DOJ investigation, but he added, “We would welcome any law enforcement investigation in order to get to the bottom of this matter.”

In a June-released audit, The University of Connecticut’s data analysts expressed a high level of certainty that at least 300 out of the 1,300 evaluated troopers had falsified information about 26,000 to 58,500 traffic violations between 2014 and 2021. They suspected that these violations were never issued to drivers.

This purported false data was submitted to a statewide traffic stop database used for compiling reports on driver demographics under a 1999 anti-racial profiling law. The reports have revealed a racial bias in traffic stops favoring Black and Hispanic drivers.

The questionable data typically classified drivers as white rather than Black or Hispanic, thus distorting the data used for these reports, according to the audit. Civil rights groups have suggested that the actual disproportionate rates could be higher than indicated in the reports.

However, the analysts made clear they had not investigated whether the data was intentionally fabricated or inaccurately reported due to oversight or human error.

The auditors pointed out that these manipulated infractions were logged into the state police’s internal system but were never reported to the state court system, which is responsible for adjudicating all traffic violations issued statewide. This further strengthens the suspicion that the troopers falsely reported traffic stops and violations.

The audit was prompted by a report from Hearst Connecticut Media last year that revealed four state troopers from an eastern Connecticut barracks deliberately generated hundreds of counterfeit traffic stop tickets to inflate their productivity numbers. Following internal affairs investigations, one trooper received a 10-day suspension, another a two-day suspension, while the other two retired before the investigation concluded.

State lawmakers are also scrutinizing the dubious data. The state police have also received a subpoena regarding the traffic stop data from the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation. This subpoena is part of an investigation into whether falsified data was used to obtain federal funds, according to James Rovella, the state’s public safety commissioner.

While Rovella has expressed his outrage over the false-data allegations, the state police union has called for avoiding hasty conclusions about the claims.

The Connecticut branch of the American Civil Liberties Union welcomed the DOJ taking over the investigation and urged for the revocation of certification for all implicated state police troopers and supervisors, which would lead to their dismissal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Connecticut troopers investigation

Who is conducting the investigation into the alleged data falsification by Connecticut troopers?

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken over the investigation into the allegations of data falsification by hundreds of Connecticut state troopers.

What was the nature of the false data submitted by the Connecticut troopers?

The Connecticut troopers allegedly submitted false traffic stop data, making it appear that police were pulling over more white drivers than they were.

Why has the Department of Justice taken over the investigation?

The DOJ has taken over because they have the necessary tools and resources to conduct this investigation. Furthermore, there were concerns about the impartiality of the investigation being conducted by the Chief State’s Attorney’s office, which often works with the state police.

Who else is leading an independent investigation into the matter?

In addition to the Justice Department inquiry, an independent investigation ordered by Governor Ned Lamont is being led by former Connecticut U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly.

What are the potential implications of the alleged data falsification?

The alleged data falsification could mean that rates of traffic stops for Black and Hispanic drivers are worse than previously reported. Furthermore, if the allegations are proven, troopers who submitted false information may lose their jobs.

What were the findings of the audit released by The University of Connecticut?

The audit revealed that more than 300 out of 1,300 evaluated troopers may have falsified information about 26,000 to 58,500 traffic violations between 2014 and 2021. The false data was more likely to classify drivers as white rather than Black or Hispanic.

How did state lawmakers react to the alleged false data?

State lawmakers have started looking into the questioned data. Additionally, the state police have received a subpoena related to the traffic stop data from the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation, investigating whether false data was used to secure federal money.

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MikeTheBike August 5, 2023 - 6:08 am

this kind of news really puts a bad light on all those hardworking honest cops out there… not all are bad apples

CaraHomes August 5, 2023 - 7:23 am

i am really sad to hear that our troopers could be involved in something like this. I hope justice will be served, and quickly.

TheTruthSeeker August 5, 2023 - 2:02 pm

If it’s true, it’s a clear sign of deep-rooted systemic issues in our police system. We need a comprehensive reform to restore trust.

JusticeForAll August 5, 2023 - 2:53 pm

Well, its about time the DOJ stepped in! Thats why they are there, for checks and balances! Lets wait and see the outcome.

SimonSays August 5, 2023 - 3:41 pm

Innocent until proven guilty folks! Let the investigation unfold. We shouldn’t rush to judgement.

JohnDoe2023 August 5, 2023 - 10:43 pm

This is huge news!! if the troopers r falsifying data what can we trust anymore? There must be a thorough investigation, no doubt!

CT_Native August 6, 2023 - 1:43 am

So disappointing…always respected our state troopers. Hope the truth comes out soon.


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