Among some legislation that became law on October 1 was an addendum to a 14-year-old racial profiling law, which is pleasing to the commission on human rights and opportunities.
The state’s anti-profiling law adds two new layers. First, both state and local police are now required to now submit enhanced reports following traffic stops.
“And, these are data fields that include age, race, sex, gender, ethnicity,” says South Windsor Police Chief, Matthew Reed.
The next addendum requires police to issue a notice of motorists’ rights with each ticket or written warning.
“That notice informs the driver of how to make a complaint if they feel that they were stopped solely based on their appearance,” added Reed.
Some citizens suggest these notices are not going to curb police profiling, whether in a car or not.
“I was just actually running and i just stopped for no reason because I was looking for my girlfriend right down the street. And, they were like ‘can we help you? What are you doing running?’And, I was like I didn’t even violate any laws,” said James Kearney of New Britain.
Angelica Adorno, of Hartford, who claims she was profiled twice, believes the notices will keep officers in check.
“Some people are real nice, like me. And, the way he was treating me, he had an attitude and stuff. And I felt that he should’ve been a little bit nicer,” said Adorno.
Data collected will be reported to the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project, which is run by Central Connecticut State University.
“We received a $1.2 million federal grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to have some funds available to be able to capture data,” said Ken Barone of the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy at CCSU.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities says it expects an increased workload as a result of the new notice mandate.
“We are continually training our investigators and we’re actually holding a town hall meeting on next Wednesday at the Legislative Office Building,” said Tanya Hughes, Interim Executive Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.