OLR Amended Bill Analysis

sSB 1282 (File 142, as amended by House "A")*

An Act Concerning Traffic Stops Statistics

SUMMARY: This bill (1) defines "racial profiling," prohibits the State Police, local police departments, and any other law enforcement agency from engaging in it, and prohibits a person's race or ethnicity from being the sole factor for determining probable cause for arrest or reasonable suspicion for detention or an investigatory motor vehicle stop; (2) requires the State Police and local police departments to collect traffic stops data and, by October 1, 2000, begin providing annual data summaries to the chief state's attorney in a form he prescribes; and (3) requires them to adopt written policies, by January 1, 2000, prohibiting stops, searches, or detentions motivated solely by considerations of a person's race, color, age, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation if the action would constitute a violation of the person's civil rights.

The State Police and local police departments must give the Chief State's Attorney a copy of each complaint received and written notification of its review and disposition.

The chief state's attorney may recommend, and the Office of Policy and Management secretary may order, that unspecified state aid be withheld from the State Police or any local department that does not adopt a policy or collect and submit the required data.

The chief state's attorney must use the traffic stops and complaints data to review the prevalence of discriminatory traffic stops and the disposition of complaints. He must report on his reviews and make necessary recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly by January 1, 2002.

The bill requires the Chief State's Attorney, by January 1, 2000 and in conjunction with several state officials and law enforcement organizations, to develop and promulgate electronic and printed forms (1) for police officers to use when recording information required by the bill and (2) for complaints by people who believe they have been stopped solely on the basis of their color, race, ethnicity, age, gender, or sexual orientation.

The bill terminates the reporting requirement for the police and the reviewing and reporting requirement for the chief state's attorney on January 1, 2002.

*House Amendment "A" replaces the file with the summarized provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 1999

FURTHER EXPLANATION

Racial Profiling

Traffic Stops Data

The bill requires local police departments and the State Police, beginning January 1, 2000, to record and keep the following data on the forms the chief State's Attorney must develop:

1. the number and identifying characteristics (race, color, ethnicity, gender and age) of people stopped for traffic violations;

2. the alleged traffic violation that led to the stop;

3. whether any arrest was made, search conducted, or warning or citation issued; and

4. additional information the local department or State Police deem appropriate.

The bill specifies that the identifying characteristics must be based on the officer's perception and observations and should not be information that the people who are stopped must provide. The bill prohibits a police officer from being held civilly liable for acting in good faith to record traffic stop information as the bill requires unless his conduct was unreasonable or reckless.

Forms

The Chief State's Attorney must consult with the public safety commissioner, attorney general, Chief Court Administrator, Police Officer Standards and Training Council, Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, and Connecticut Coalition of Police and Correctional Officers in developing and promulgating the required forms.

BACKGROUND

Legislative History

The House referred the bill (File 142 as amended by Senate "A") to the Judiciary Committee on May 18 and the committee favorably reported it unchanged on May 25. It was referred to the Planning and Development Committee on May 27 and favorably reported unchanged on May 28. Finally, the bill was referred to the Appropriations Committee on June 1 and favorably reported unchanged on June 3.

The House rejected Senate "A" and passed the bill as amended by House "A" on June 5.

Related Bill

HB 7090 (File 575) favorably reported by the Judiciary Committee, requires state and local police officers to adopt policies banning profiling. It requires the public safety commissioner, local police chiefs, and the Judicial Branch to give the General Assembly a traffic-stop data report by January 1, 2000.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

17

Nay

5

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Report

Yea 28 Nay 10

Planning and Development Committee

Joint Favorable Report

Yea 9 Nay 4

Appropriations Committee

Joint Favorable Report

Yea 31 Nay 7