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Auditor says latest report 'confirmed our findings' in CT State Police ticket scandal

Police vehicles pulling over a suspect.
Douglas Sacha
Moment RF / Getty Images
Police vehicles pulling over a suspect.

The man who led an audit of the Connecticut State Police's racial reporting for traffic stops says a new report last week confirmed his group's findings. He is Ken Barone, the project manager of the state's racial profiling database.

“We said that we had identified 26,000 unmatched records that had a high likelihood of being false or inaccurate,” Barone said. “And the report that attorney Daley published last week, confirmed our findings.”

The data in the Barone report found the stops of motorists of color were grossly underreported. In response, the administration of Gov. Ned Lamont hired former Connecticut U.S. Attorney Dierdre Daly to look into how widespread the problem has been and into the intent of the officers and constables responsible.

Last week, Lamont and new State Police Commissioner Ronnell Higgins said that while the new report found significant State Police failures in reporting racial profiling data from 2014 to 2021, no state troopers or constables intended to skew racial profiling data.

The Daly report findings go further to point out that 74 of the 81 active troopers and constables identified in the audit were not likely to have engaged in intentional misconduct. But Barone said a number of officers found to have reporting discrepancies retired before Barone’s group could include them into their research.

“One of the things that I think that's getting lost in this story is that we're really focusing on ... those 26,000 stops. In our report, we had actually identified 110,000 unreliable records submitted by the State Police; 38,000 records that had more than seven errors in them in the individual records; 52,000 records that were duplicated to make one stop look like two, three or four stops; and then the 26,000 uncorroborated stops,” Barone said. “If we step back for a minute, what we see is a a general failure.”

The Daly report also referred six Connecticut State troopers and a constable accused of falsifying traffic stop data to the internal affairs division for further investigation. 

Given the Daly report’s findings of no ill intent, some members of the state police are crying foul. The Connecticut Mirror reports that two leaders in the State Police Union, Andrew Matthews and Todd Fedigan, accused Barone’s investigation of being “rushed,” of being “sloppy” and of doing “irreparable harm” to State Police troopers and constables.

“I don't believe this was rushed,” Barone said. “We spent well over 10 months, we sought feedback, we sought their input. And we provided them with the information that they needed to conduct their own in depth review a month after the news article came out we started our own audit.”

He continued, “We rely on our police officers to do the best to the best of their ability to honestly and accurately report facts of cases, whether that's when they make an arrest, they use force, or they have to document other serious cases that they interact with."

"We really need to ensure that we have systems in place so that officers are getting the small things right, so that we can be confident that they're getting the big things right as well,” Barone said.

John Henry Smith is Connecticut Public’s host of All Things Considered, its flagship afternoon news program. He's proud to be a part of the team that won a regional Emmy Award for The Vote: A Connecticut Conversation. In his 21st year as a professional broadcaster, he’s covered both news and sports.

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