Profiling by Connecticut Police


If you are a young male driver in Connecticut you are in trouble. You will be pulled over and ticketed regularly. This is just the way it is here in Connecticut.

I was driving to class yesterday morning, very early. A young woman was driving behind me, a few feet from my bumper. Behind her was a state trooper. He didn’t seem to notice the tailgater harassing me, and I tried to ignore her. Knowing that Connecticut has determined to crack down on unsafe drivers who travel too closely, I was patient and hoped this young woman would be pulled over. I waited for the flashing lights and siren. I waited in vain.

Then, at the intersection of 82 and 154 a young man in a red Honda Civic turned just as the light was changing. Suddenly, the trooper had to jump to action. He needed to deal with that dangerous young, male driver. Why? Because that is the profile that LEOs in Connecticut use to pull over drivers.

That young woman behind me was driving a fairly new white Subaru. She was female. Even if he had pulled her over, he most likely would NOT have ticketed her. I know this because young women have told me about being pulled over and not receiving tickets. I have been pulled over one time in the 15 years I have lived in Connecticut, and I drive like a bat out of hell.

But if you are a male, if you are driving in a small car such as a Honda Civic, an old BMW or Audi, anything small and zippy, you will be pulled over and ticketed over and over and over. I know this firsthand from my sons and their friends. This is not racial profiling. This is gender and economic profiling. Although I do occasionally see a male in a newer BMW or Audi pulled over, it is rare. Most of those pulled over are driving older cars, worn out cars, cars that the lower economic class drives. These are the cars being pulled over. And if they are male, they are ticketed. There is no mercy.

One of my sons was pulled over and ticketed by the same state trooper once a week over a period of months. The court threw most of these out. It was obvious harassment. I wish I had thought to have my son contact the ACLU, because there was something seriously wrong going on in Hartford (he was commuting to school at the time).

The number of young adult males who have lost their licenses to suspension is enormous. Many have come very close and must take every ticket to court, losing work time and money in lost wages and fines paid on the spot to prevent suspension. The state has worked very hard to change driving statistics in Connecticut. Unfortunately, they have also created a generation of young males who despise the police due to these prejudicial practices. I plan to research demographics of ticketed drivers in different counties. I know in some cities, such as New Haven and Hartford, those harassed are typically African American or Hispanic, but in the rural parts of the state, those who are pulled over and ticketed are young white males (because in rural communities there is very little racial diversity and the pool of potential lawbreakers is white).

There is something wrong with this practice. And I sure would love to have seen that tailgater pulled over and ticketed for riding my bumper.

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