24 July 2023
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday ordered an independent investigation into the state police after an audit last month that showed troopers falsified information on at least 26,000 traffic stops from 2014 to 2021.
Data analysts with the University of Connecticut said t he reports resulted in too many drivers being identified as white. They cautioned, however, that they did not try to determine whether the records were intentionally falsified or were wrong due to carelessness or human error.
Lamont originally asked Connecticut’s chief state’s attorney’s office to look into the discrepancies and said there was no evidence of intentional wrongdoing.
But on Monday, the governor said an independent investigation is needed to “get to the bottom of this and learn how it happened, why it happened, and how to prevent it from ever happening again.”
The governor’s office said it has appointed Deirdre Daly, a former United States attorney for Connecticut, to lead the investigation.
She and her team have indicated their review could take up to six months or longer to complete, depending on how many people will need to be interviewed and the level of cooperation the investigation receives, Lamont said.
Connecticut State Police Colonel Stavros Mellekas said he has ordered all state troopers to cooperate with the investigation.
Police statewide, including local departments, are mandated to submit traffic-stop data to the state, under Connecticut’s 1999 law aimed at preventing racial profiling. The Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy at Central Connecticut State University analyzes the data and submits periodic reports, which have shown that officers disproportionately pulled over Black and Hispanic drivers compared with white motorists.