Great moments in policing

One of the common measures used to identify racial profiling by police is to look at the data about which drivers are more likely to be pulled over by police. Over and over again, we find that Black people are found to be far more likely to be stopped and ticketed over one pretext or another than white people.

State troopers in Connecticut found a novel way to demonstrate that they did not racially profile. What they did was to enter in a large number of fake tickets to white people into their databases to eliminate any differentials. No white people were actually ticketed.

Governor Ned Lamont said an investigation was being launched after a damning new audit found there is a “high likelihood” hundreds of Connecticut State Police troopers collectively falsified tens of thousands traffic ticket records over much of the past decade.

The findings, presented at a public meeting Wednesday, allege systemic violations of state law and that the misreporting skewed racial profiling data making it appear troopers ticketed more white drivers and fewer minority motorists than they really did.

The report found there was a “high likelihood” at least 25,966 tickets were falsified between 2014 and 2021. Another 32,587 records over those years showed significant inaccuracies and auditors believe many of those are likely to be false as well.

The auditors emphasized their analysis was extremely conservative, and “the number of falsified records is likely larger than we confidently identified.”

The findings showed significant numbers of false and inaccurate tickets were submitted by up to nearly one quarter of the 1,301 troopers who wrote tickets for the state’s largest law enforcement agency during those years.

An inquiry has been launched.


  1. Matt G says

    I’m a 56-year-old white male, who has no criminal record of any kind. I was pulled over at age 17 for speeding. I was on my permit (which I didn’t have with me…) and with my mother. The cop took pity on me because issuing a ticket would have screwed me royally…and because my mom was “really nice.” Well, I got pulled over two weeks ago for doing 53 mph (really only 48) near the end of a 35 mph zone (and going downhill. I got off with a warning. White privilege? Could definitely have played a roll.

  2. Oggie: Mathom says

    Many years ago, Wife and the kids and I were driving down to Florida. Most of it down I-95. About two miles into North Carolina, there was a temporary sign up by the side of the road stating that the state was cracking down on speeding during the Christmas holidays. And right away, I passed a car that had been pulled over. Black family. And all the family were out standing well away from the car while two white state troopers emptied the car as they searched it.

    I decided to keep a mental tally. By the time we hit South Carolina, I had seen 18 vehicles pulled over. Five I could not determine the race of the driver. Of the other 13, 10 were driven by people of colour. Of those ten, 8 of them were being searched. None of the 3 that I could see were being driven by whites were being searched. I wish I could say I was surprised.

    Back when I was in high school, my friend and I were bombing down a back road in West Virginia, heading to Summit Point Raceway. We came up behind a pickup loaded with hay bales to the top of the cab. It was moving way too slow (probably doing the speed limit) so we pulled out around it, on a curve, and had to floor it to complete the pass in front of the deputy sheriff. Who immediately put on his lights. We pulled over. He U-turned, went past us, and pulled over the very old black man driving the pickup. Two white teenagers break the law, an old black man gets pulled over. At the time I was innocent enough that it did surprise me.

    The Connecticut cops? Doesn’t surprise me. Will any get fired? I doubt it.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    The culture is so ingrained, firing a few cops that are too blatantly bad will not change anything. It is like the London Metropolitan Police.

    In Sweden (and many other countries) the effort to keep police ethical starts with the vetting process for the police training, and it should never stop.

  4. marner says


    The culture is so ingrained, firing a few cops that are too blatantly bad will not change anything.

    I disagree. This all started in 2018 when Troop E investigated four troopers for falsifying the reports. Two were suspended (one for ten days and the other for two days) while the other two “retired”. Below is from the audit Mano referenced (writing about what happened in Troop E):

    There was an 82% decrease in the ratio of overreported racial profiling records in 2019. Troop E has remained below the department average between 2019 and 2021. It is reasonable to assume that the investigation of four Troopers in Troop E for submitting false racial profiling records in late 2018 played a role in addressing this problem. We believe that the small discrepancy that remains is likely indicative of natural human error and can be used as a benchmark to compare the error rate in other troops.

    Note that no one was fired, prosecuted or lost their pension. Even a little accountability can go a long way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *