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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Andrea Blanco

Connecticut trooper accused of falsifying racial profiling data on traffic tickets is suspended

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A Connecticut state trooper has been suspended indefinitely amid an internal affairs investigation into falsified traffic tickets.

Christopher Melanson, who has been a trooper with the agency’s Traffic Services Unit since 2006, was placed on paid administrative leave on Monday.

Mr Melanson is reportedly tied to an audit released last month that revealed hundreds of troopers in the Constitution State forged information on more than 26,000 traffic tickets between 2014 and 2021, according to WFSB.

The troopers involved in the traffic ticket investigation allegedly fabricated the information in order to appear productive and be able to become eligible for federally funded overtime, KMVT reports.

“Maybe they didn’t get the information to input it correctly, maybe a lot of mistakes were made. And I also have a feeling some of the people there are doing this purposefully,” Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said in a statement.

Gov Lamont said Mr Melanson skewed listed drivers as Native Americans when in reality they were other ethnicities, the Connecticut Insider reports.

The Connecticut State Police had previously said that Mr Melanson was suspended over “the discovery of possible violations of department policy” but had refused to acknowledge that the suspension was linked to the traffic ticket investigation.

“Melanson’s investigation is not in relation to the ticket audit,” the agency’s initial statement read, noting that he was the only trooper in recent weeks to have been suspended. “Due to the active and ongoing nature of a corresponding Internal Affairs investigation, this is all of the information available for release at this time.”

The Independent has reached out to Connecticut State Police.

A spokesperson with the governor’s office also told the outlet that Mr Melanson had been fired “as a result of new protocols established in light of the audit to ensure the integrity of data being reported by troopers.”

An outside firm is expected to conduct another investigation ahead of a hearing on 27 July to review the results of the audit.

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