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ACLU: Racial Profiling 'A Problem in Manchester'

The American Civil Liberties Union has challenged the validity of a report by the Manchester Police Department on racial profiling.

The Manchester Police Department. Photo Credit: David Moran
The Manchester Police Department. Photo Credit: David Moran
The American Civil Liberties Union have challenged a report by the Manchester Police Department stating that officers do not racial profile motorists and that the department is in compliance with a new state law intended to prevent such practices. 

"The Manchester Police Department used invalid methodology and unsupported conclusions in its report, released this week, purporting to analyze racial profiling by its officers," the ACLU said in a statement. 

Police Chief Marc Montminy presented a report Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, that he said showed that Manchester officers did not stop motorists more frequently based on race or ethnicity. 

But the ACLU said the report's findings were flawed for a number of reasons. 

First, according to the ACLU, population comparison is not a valid basis for comparison. Blacks make up about 12 percent of Manchester's population, according to Montminy's report, which he based on U.S. Census Bureau figures, but comprise 22 percent of all stops by the department. 

"If population were a valid basis for comparison, the numbers of African Americans stopped would be an alarming indication of racial profiling," the ACLU states. "African Americans comprise about 12 percent of the population of Manchester and 22 percent of the drivers stopped. The report says that 'The Black racial classification is overrepresented by 10%, compared to the population statistics.' This is wrong. The black population is overrepresented by 10 percentage points but by 83 percent, by that measure."

The ACLU said that the same also applies to vehicle searched based on the police department's report. 

"'The data on car searches as a result of traffic stops does indicate that Hispanic drivers’ cars are searched more often than White operators; however, the spread between the two was only 2.4%.' Yet these data clearly show that police were more likely to subject African American and Latino drivers than white drivers to a vehicle search."

The ACLU also criticizes the department's report for not listing the results of vehicle searches, "so it's impossible to know what percentage were justified and how that might break down by race and ethnicity." 

The ACLU has requested the underlining data the police department used to compile its report and says it will continue to investigate its accuracy. 

Montminy reiterated Friday that he does not believe racial profiling takes place in Manchester. 

“The ACLU will suggest to you that you can’t compare your stop statistics with census data, but what else do we have?” Montminy said. 

Montminy also noted that Manchester was among the first communities to compile this type of data and was trying to be open and transparent in doing so. 

“We’re not trying to hide anything," he told Patch Friday afternoon. “If you jump down the throat of the one community that is making an attempt, you almost guarantee that no one else will.”

Dean December 13, 2013 at 07:51 PM
The ACLU is reaching here. Whites were also overrepresented. If non whites and non blacks are not breaking the law, then the police should not be stopping them to make a quota. Manchester is harassed about race because it is diverse but imagine if Glastonbury and Hartford's populations were combined and they compared the arrests statistics. What would those look like? ACLU, the police in Manchester do a good job and call it as they see it, leave them alone.
Checker1 December 14, 2013 at 08:54 AM
Well said Dean.
Danielle Pearl Lavoie December 14, 2013 at 09:16 AM
Whats not being said here is Manchester is also a shopping district, buckland hills, the parkade, food, the movie theater, etc. All walks of life are coming to Manchester to base it souly on who lives in Manchester is absurd. Over 4 major highways surround Manchester or go through it. Drugs and other illegal activity is happening in this town because its not off the beaten path. My mother in law 5 years ago lived in an all white neighborhood with no diversity, today there are 4 Black families 2 Indian and one Hispanic. Obviously much more diverse then just a few years go, there are also 2 empty houses and 4 others on the market in her neighborhood, the times are changing. And i feel and see personally that there is a more diverse group living in Manchester then the census says. when was the last time the census what held? how acurate is it? isnt the census mainly done when people file taxes what about the huge % of people in town that dont work or dont file?? The crime rate is Manchester has rose just in a few years, more and more facilities are being built to help people with mental illness and other problems. Look at the population and crime for town the dont have huge CHR facilities or CT Works. If you build it they will come! CHR living facilities, rooming houses that line center street, the Dye house apartments are income based. Think about it...... i may get some back lash for this but the comments had to be made because alot of the problems are right in frount of your face.
ABG December 14, 2013 at 09:24 AM
Most of the crime in the past 5 years has been due to the influx of blacks temporarily "residing" in Manchester. Many black students who actually live in Hartford, have given phoney Manchester address or reside with friends, which doesn't qualify them as residents. Buckland Mall was the biggest mistake Manchester made. It did nothing but bring crime to the city of "Charm".
colleen December 14, 2013 at 09:45 AM
My elderly brother lives in a rooming house in Manchester ..He has mental issues...Non combative His landlord rents to undesirables and they bring in drugs . I say look into the police log of these busts at these places .Drug dealers like boarding houses !
michelle a cleveland December 14, 2013 at 10:13 AM
I knew I was being pulled over because I was white and vertically challenged. I mean really if you are breaking the law you deserve to be pulled over no matter your color!
Andrea Morey December 14, 2013 at 01:32 PM
I agree with those saying Manchester cops aren't racist. I've had more white friends arrested or at least stopped than non-white friends. However, when you say that "the police in Manchester do a good job and call it as they see it," it makes me a little uncomfortable. Sure, they do call it as they see it, but they also refuse to see past whatever they heard first, which seems to lead to a lot of stupid arrests of victims of mentally ill relatives. Manchester cops, in my experience, are terrible at their jobs, but they're terrible at it no matter what color your skin is. ACLU certainly shouldn't leave them alone, they just need to focus on problems other than race.
George Busch December 14, 2013 at 11:45 PM
You need racial profiling if you want to stay safe in this world. Its the same as if you saw a pit bull and a poodle walking towards you. You make the best decision based upon your past experiences. Right or wrong, everyone profiles and pre-judges.
Lisette Vasquez December 16, 2013 at 09:29 AM
Theres plenty of white trash getting arrested here too... just saying.
Dean December 16, 2013 at 06:03 PM
That's what we're saying. 73% of the stops are of white people and 22% are black. Maybe the ACLU is saying there are not enough Asian arrests?

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