Gov. Dannel Malloy has joined the chorus of legislative and state minority rights leaders calling for stronger enforcement of Connecticut's racial profiling law.
At a press conference at the State Capital in Hartford earlier today, several Latino and African-American legisislators and state leaders were joined by East Haven resident and state , according to a report in the New Haven Register.
During the press conferece, legislators reportedly cited the and the racial profiling allegations against many of its officers, as a symbol of the need to step up enforcenent.
Responding to the press conference, Malloy released the following statement:
“More than 10 years ago, as the Mayor of Stamford, I was proud to stand with the men and women of the Stamford Police Department on Martin Luther King Day to announce that we did not tolerate racial profiling and would lead the efforts to ensure its elimination. As Governor, I will continue to insist that every effort is taken to protect individual rights in every community, and that racial profiling is eliminated.
"It appears that for the past five years federal funding has been available to pay for racial identity data gathering and analysis. I cannot speak to the actions of the previous administration in allowing these funds to languish, but I can assure Connecticut residents that my Administration is committed to enforcing the laws on the books and has moved forward to get this data collected, reported, and evaluated.
"Let me be clear: it is simply unacceptable that Connecticut law hasn’t been followed. To that end, I have directed my staff and the Department of Transportation to ensure police departments continue to collect, or begin to collect, this data and submit it to an appropriate outside evaluator for analysis and report.“
According to the state racial profling law, know as the “Alvin W. Penn Racial Profiling Prohibition Act” police departments must collect and provide annual data on traffic stops, offenses, dispositions, and complaints of discriminatory stops to the African-American Affairs Commission and the chief state's attorney.
But according to the AAAC, more than half of the state’s 160 law enforcement agencies aren’t providing the traffic stop data. Last session legislation to strengthen the law failed in part because some viewed it as an unfunded mandate.
The Connecticut Committee for the US Commission on Civil Rights has been meeting in Hartford to .
Last month, the federal commission heard testimony from East Haven and Danbury advocates regarding incidents of alleged anti-Latino police profiling that has led to lawsuits in both Connecticut towns.
The was by the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division amidst allegations of racial profiling.
The Justice Department released it's l at a reporting it had found East Haven Police officers had "engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against Latinos in violation of the Constitution and federal law."
The department is the subject of an relating and the subject of against Latino residents.
On Tuesday, Major Joseph Maturo announced he had c to help "reorganaize" the police department.