Governor Lamont Commissions Independent Review of Falsified Reporting of Traffic Records by the State Police
Former U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly Tasked With Conducting Investigation
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that, based on a recent audit that revealed a troubling number of erroneous records in the Connecticut State Police records management system and the State of Connecticut’s traffic stop racial profiling database, he is commissioning an independent review to determine how and why this misconduct occurred, why it went undetected for so many years, and what reforms should be implemented to ensure that such misconduct does not reoccur. The review will also determine whether changes to the IT platforms or training materials could prevent mistaken entries.
The Office of Governor Lamont has engaged former United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly, an attorney at Finn Dixon and Herling LLP, to conduct the investigation. Ms. Daly and her team will interview troopers, constables, and others who may have relevant information. Anyone wishing to contact Ms. Daly may do so confidentially by filling out the form online at fdh.com/confidentialform or calling 800-711-6348. At the conclusion of the investigation, the results will be shared with the public.
“I have ordered a comprehensive and independent investigation of possible misconduct by the Connecticut State Police based on the information brought to light by the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project,” Governor Lamont said. “I have great faith in the overwhelming majority of our troopers, and to protect public confidence in them we must get to the bottom of this and learn how it happened, why it happened, and how to prevent it from ever happening again. I am glad that someone with Deirdre Daly’s experience and credibility has agreed to undertake this important work.”
“It is critical that Connecticut residents have trust in the State Police, just as it is critical that troopers earn that trust each and every day,” Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella said. “I am confident that this investigation and the resulting recommendations will make good on our commitment to building trust between law enforcement personnel and the local communities in which they serve.”
“I have issued an order today to all state troopers instructing them to cooperate with the investigation and come forth with relevant information,” Connecticut State Police Colonel Stavros Mellekas said. “The Connecticut State Police takes this matter very seriously and we have already instituted several reforms based on the recently released audit. We look forward to continuing that work. We welcome this investigation and will cooperate fully.”
The investigation team has informed the governor that they anticipate their review will take at least three to six months to complete, however at this early stage it is difficult to give an exact estimate. The timing of the investigation is largely dependent on how many people will need to be interviewed and how cooperative these witnesses will be in the interview process.
Connecticut maintains one of the nation’s most robust racial profiling data collection and analysis programs. However, the recent audit by the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project found that members of the Connecticut State Police overreported at least 26,000 racial profiling records (3.2%) between 2014 to 2021 and underreported at least 16,000 records (2.4%) from 2015 to 2021. Although the total number of erroneous records and troopers with significant discrepancies declined each year, the report found that some troopers continued to have a significant number of over and underreported records as late as at least 2021.
CHART: Data from the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project’s analysis showing overreported and underreported traffic stop records by year. [Download chart]
The investigation’s recommendations will augment seven reforms recommended by the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project, which the Connecticut State Police have implemented or are in the process of implementing. (Those reforms, announced in June, are included here.)