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Police Chief: Manchester Police Do Not Racially Profile

Police Chief Marc Montminy said that, based on data of traffic stops in town in 2012, no particular racial or ethnic group seems to be stopped by officers more than any other.

The Manchester Police Department located at 239 East Middle Turnpike. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Manchester Police Department
The Manchester Police Department located at 239 East Middle Turnpike. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Manchester Police Department

Manchester Police Chief Marc Montminy presented a report Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, to the Board of Directors about how the town is complying with a new state law passed earlier this year intended to prevent racial profiling in traffic stops. 

Based on the info Montminy provided to town directors, which represented traffic stops in Manchester for the 2012 calendar year, the chief said Manchester police officer traffic stops are in portion to the racial makeup of the town. 

Based on population figures provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, Montminy said that Manchester is made up of 71.4 percent white population, 12.3 percent black, 7.9 percent Asian, 8.1 percent who identify as multi-race and 0.3 percent Native American.

When it came to traffic stops reported in 2012 by Manchester officers, 72.6 percent of the stops involved whites (3,853), 22.3 percent of the stops involved blacks (1,184), 2.9 percent of the stops involved an unknown race (154), 2 percent involved Asians (109) and 0.1 percent involved Native Americans (7).

The chief did note that although the percentage of black motorist stops was higher than Manchester’s percentage of a black population, but not to such a degree that indicated bias or profiling.

“Not necessarily as a result of police bias,” Montminy said. “That’s just the way it is.”

tell the race or gender of the driver.

Another interesting fact Montminy pointed out is that over 95 percent of Hispanics stopped by officers were classified as white.

“The law requires us to quite literally guess,” Montminy said when it comes to the issue of ethnic or racial identity.

Men were stopped by officers in 2012 nearly twice as often as women, with males making up 59.4 percent, or 3,150, of total traffic stops; women accounted for 40.6 percent or 2,157 total stops.

Blacks and whites received almost identical percentages of warnings after a stop, while Hispanic operators received less.

Whites were about 2 percent more likely to receive a citation after a stop than blacks, while Hispanics were 4 percent more likely to receive a citation than whites.

Arrests between blacks, whites and Hispanics were nearly identical based on percentage of stops.

Black and Hispanic motorists were one percent more likely to receive “no action” after a stop compared to whites.

Montminy also said that more stops happened in high crime neighborhoods than in low crime neighborhoods.

“There is no indications from the data that variations amongst racial, ethnic, and gender classifications amounts to systemic police bias,” Montminy told the board.

The new law was passed in October of 2013 by the Connecticut General Assembly in response to the arrest of four East Haven police officers in 2012 for racially profiling members of the Hispanic community in that town. 

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