According to the reports from an audit, there is a "troubling pattern of state troopers manipulating records" to boost productivity.
The report revealed that at least 100 officers were falsifying traffic reports. The shocking revelation also raised more questions about the credibility of officers tasked with upholding the law, along with doubts if they can be trusted to handle more serious criminal cases like murder or sexual assault.
Back in February 2017, a 75-year-old white motorist was driving north on Interstate 95 in Westbrook, Connecticut when he was pulled over by a state trooper and charged with a traffic violation.
While a traffic stop report filed by the officer showed that this is a true event, no ticket appeared to have been issued.
State officials now believe that the trooper was among the more than 100 Connecticut state police officers suspected of filing false reports of traffic stops in recent years to try and boost the internal statistics used to measure their performance.
A recent audit described "a pattern of record manipulation" and said there was a "high likelihood" that at least 25,966 recorded stops between 2014 and 2021 were false. At least 58,553 stops may have been, at minimum, inaccurate. (Related: The Prather Point: Corruption inside the FBI is being exposed now more than ever – Brighteon.TV.)
Ken Barone, a co-author of the audit, questioned the motivation of the state troopers, which he thinks was "to appear productive."
The mere suggestion that Connecticut's state police officers could have been falsifying traffic stop reports for years has "shocked the public, embarrassed the state’s law enforcement community and enraged its political leadership" during a sensitive time of national conversations about police accountability.
According to state officials, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating, while Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, has started a separate inquiry.
Steve Stafstrom, a State Representative, Democrat and the co-chairman of the state legislature’s judiciary committee, said the trust and confidence in Connecticut state police is shaken by the scandal.
Barone is the manager of the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project, which aims to identify and address racial and ethnic disparities in traffic enforcement. The auditors compiled their research by comparing two sets of data: court records of verified tickets issued to real people and internal data from the state police.
According to Barone, every time a trooper claims they stopped a car and issued a ticket, he should be able to easily check the said ticket in the court system. However, the numbers did not add up.
Barone and his team kept finding reported tickets that didn't match records in the court system even after checking for possible typos or other mistakes. He added that they used an "extremely conservative" approach.
In one case, a trooper reported five registration violations within only 30 minutes. Another trooper reported three speeding tickets in 14 minutes while another claimed to have issued three wrong-lane tickets, in a work zone, in under nine minutes.
Barone explained that members of the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project started the audit last summer after Hearst Connecticut Media reported that four troopers were found to have falsified records as early as 2018. They also suspected a "much broader pattern."
The auditing team, which included researchers from the University of Connecticut and Northeastern University, thinks the problem is widespread. The report, which was released earlier this summer, identified 130 former and current officers who had filed suspicious reports.
James C. Rovella, the head of the state’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, told lawmakers in July that 68 of those officers were still active.
Some troopers have been cleared of wrongdoing in the weeks following the release of the audit. Andrew Matthews, the general counsel and executive director of the state police union, said at least 27 officers have been cleared.
Experts in criminal justice say the ticket scandal has highlighted an alarming lack of accountability within the state police.
Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, a sociologist at Brown University, asked: "If the public can't trust state troopers for something minor like traffic tickets, how can they trust them for major cases like sexual assault or murder?"
The state police union has sued to block the release of the names of the troopers under suspicion until the investigations have concluded.
Matthews agreed and said the troopers are entitled to due process and that revealing their identities could endanger them. He also doubted the audit’s methodology because he claimed the auditors did not conduct enough research to fully understand how the ticket reporting system works.
While some state troopers had cruisers equipped with electronic ticket recording systems during the period of the audit, others had to manually write out tickets. According to Matthews, the auditors did not appropriately check all electronic court records against the carbon copies of handwritten tickets on file with the state police because they were jumping to conclusions and tarnishing the names of good state troopers.
Matthews, a former state trooper, was among those whose reports were flagged. He denied any wrongdoing and insisted that one of his cruisers did not have an electronic recording system. He also claims to have done his job "with the utmost integrity."
Amid the ongoing scandal, Matthews believes that instead of widespread dishonesty, the issue could have been due to data entry issues. He suggested that some of the stops resulted in infractions more serious than a ticket, and an officer misreported them as tickets.
Other possibilities include a trooper issuing a warning, instead of a ticket, but a dispatcher had entered it incorrectly. As of writing, officials are trying to confirm whether there was systematic fraud – and if there is, how high up it went.
When officers of the law do not fear accountability, it can breed an environment of corruption. And the citizens are the ones who will suffer in the end.
Watch the video below to find out why a whistleblower thinks the FBI should be disarmed before it's too late.
This video is from the Man in America channel on Brighteon.com.