Live in Connecticut? Your Police Wrote 26,000 Fake Tickets
With suspicion of racial profiling ticket issuance, the State of Connecticut initiated a tracking system to see if police were targeting more Black and Hispanic drivers for ticket offenses. Unfortunately, the system got a bit skewed. In a recent audit made available to the public, Connecticut Police were writing thousands of false tickets to white drivers. And at the same time, they were not reporting thousands of tickets given to non-white drivers.
The Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project (CRP) audit examined over 800,000 tickets issued over the last decade. Over 26,000 fake tickets were given to white drivers. One thing most of these tickets had in common was that they were issued at midnight.
Was there another reason for issuing fake tickets?
While one obvious reason the Connecticut Police might be issuing these fake tickets is to even out issuance between white and black drivers, there could be another reason. Police that issue more tickets raise their chances of receiving federally funded overtime. Then again, this may not have been the motivation behind fake ticketing.
That’s because tickets in the tracking system had to be put into the system. And the system was specifically for tracking racial profiling. But the bottom line is that the numbers show white drivers receiving more tickets than Black or Hispanic drivers.
Did any individual troopers issue the most fake tickets?
And to go along with the number of tickets to white drivers, over 16,000 real tickets issued to Black and Hispanic drivers never made it into the system. Over 500 Connecticut Police officers were participating in ticket issuances. This is a violation of state law, says the CRP. “It’s hard to think of a reason for doing that,” Professor Matthew Ross, who was part of the audit, told Rolling Stone. “Other than not wanting to report certain stops to the racial profiling system.”
All of the information from the audit is now in the hands of the Connecticut attorney’s office. The Connecticut State Police have opened an internal investigation into the scandal. This includes looking at the Connecticut State Trooper that issued 1,350 fake traffic tickets in and around Bridgeport. That number represents over 80% of all traffic tickets issued in Bridgeport.
Those found to have been in on the scandal can be looking at felony forgery charges. In Connecticut, this is a minimum of a class D felony, which could mean five years in prison and fines up to $5,000. A class C felony raises the prison time to 10 years and $10,000. And it keeps going up from there.