An audit of Connecticut State Police has revealed that hundreds of troopers falsified almost 26,000 traffic tickets.
In total, the audit found that the number of false records during the five-year period could be as high as 58,553. Out of 1,300 troopers, 311 of them had a “statistically significant number of discrepancies” during at least one year. One officer singlehandedly logged 1,350 fake tickets between 2014 and 2017.
"This report suggests a historical pattern and practice among some troopers and constables of submitting infraction records that were likely false or inaccurate to the racial profiling system," it states.
As a method of tracking and curtailing racial profiling, Connecticut's Alvin W. Penn Act requires officers to record the racial identity of all subjects of traffic stops. Many of the falsified tickets listed the race as White, skewing the racial profiling data to appear as if Black people were not being disproportionately targeted.
While the audit did not investigate a possible motive, 1,350 — the number of tickets singlehandedly logged by one officer — is also a White supremacist dogwhistle. As the ADL explains: "the number 13 refers to the purported percentage of the U.S. population that is African American. The number 50 refers to the alleged percentage of all murders committed in the U.S. that are committed by African Americans."
Claudine Constant, public policy and advocacy director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, said in a statement that the findings showcased a "breathtaking disrespect" for measures working to curtail racial profiling.
“This audit reveals a breathtaking disrespect for the state’s racial profiling prohibition law by Connecticut State Police employees and, even worse, for that law’s goal of reducing systemic racism in policing,” she said. “The impact of police falsifying and inaccurately reporting records is the same: police have obscured the true information about how often they stop drivers of color compared to White drivers."