US DOJ taking over investigation of Connecticut State Police falsified ticket scandal
Last month, an audit was published that found more than 25,000 traffic tickets written by troopers may have been falsified or had skewed racial data.
CONNECTICUT, USA — The U.S. Department of Justice has now taken over the investigation into the Connecticut State Police ticket scandal, the chief state’s attorney confirmed.
In a statement, the chief state’s attorney’s office said the results of an audit published last month that showed more than 25,000 traffic tickets written by state police troopers may have been falsified or had skewed racial data “warranted notification to federal authorities.”
“In early July, at the request of the DOJ, the Division of Criminal Justice suspended its current investigation into the alleged discrepancies in State Police data reporting identified by the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project’s audit of Connecticut State Police traffic stop data,” the statement said, adding: “As the head of the Division of Criminal Justice, my election to have our investigative team stand down in response to the DOJ request was made after careful consideration, and reflects a real concern that simultaneous state and federal investigations would involve unnecessary duplication of efforts that could complicate and/or compromise the overall investigation. The DOJ brings the tools and resources necessary to conduct a thorough and independent investigation.”
The audit was spurred by a report last year that said four state troopers in an eastern Connecticut barracks intentionally created hundreds of bogus traffic stop tickets to boost their productivity numbers. After internal affairs investigations, one trooper was suspended for 10 days, another was suspended for two days and the other two retired before the probe was completed.
The audit found the number of false traffic infractions reported to the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project advisory board didn’t match those reported to the state court system, which handles all traffic citations. The false tickets also more often identified drivers as being white.
The UConn analysts determined 130 troopers — 62 retirees and 68 active duty — had more than eight traffic stops in a single year that didn’t match court records and which accounted for 20% of their reported motor vehicle infractions. That represents about 10% of the department.
Those who performed the audit alleged it appeared as if more white people were being pulled over, compared to drivers of other ethnicities.
Investigators are expected to look into traffic ticket data over a large period of time, between 20-14 and 20-21.
This is developing news.
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