NAACP Chief Calls for Action on Alleged Racial Profiling by Police Across the State; Public Safety Chairman Agrees

The head of the Connecticut NAACP is calling for the state legislature, Gov. Malloy and even the US Justice Department to act in the wake of a report that shows black and Hispanic drivers are much more likely to face citations or court dates from traffic stops than white motorists.

Scot X. Esdaile tells The Hanging Shad the results of the Hartford Courant analysis don’t surprise him. “We’ve been saying for years that this and other types of racial profiling are still going on. This [data] just backs up what we’ve known for years. They’ve passed laws but it’s still going on,” he said. “It’s pathetic. It’s 2012.”

Esdaile says it’s time for action. “The legislature and the governor should come up with a comprehensive plan to address this. The US Justice Department should look into it as well,” he said.

State Rep. Steve Dargan, co-chair of the legislature’s Public Safety Committee agrees the situation should be looked at. “If this is happening more often to people of color, we should look at a comprehensive plan. The laws are in place dating back to when Alvin Penn was in the Senate. But the data fell off and of course, resources for it fell off,” he said. The state anti-racial profiling law is named for the late state Senator Alvin Penn whose tireless work resulted in the state’s first laws regarding profiling.

Efforts to reach Department of Emergency Services and Protection Commissioner Reuben Bradford and State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance were unsuccessful.