HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A community forum was held in Hartford to discuss racial profiling, particularly in traffic stops on Wednesday night.
The meeting comes in the wake of a report on police traffic stops that was released last month.
While Hartford was not identified as an outlier in that report, the board that oversees the study saw that speaking with residents here was important.
In the basement of Saint Augustine Church in Hartford’s south end, residents had a discussion with police and officials about racial profiling.
Over the last five years, the Racial Profiling Prohibition Advisory Board has been analyzing data collected on police traffic stops in Connecticut and identifying where there are disparities.
“We came to this part of hartford because one of the things that our research has continued to tell us is that people that live in hartford are disproportionately impacted by those communities that surround Hartford,” said Ken Barone, CT Racial Profiling Prohibition Project.
Wethersfield, West Hartford, Bloomfield and Windsor were given as examples, that have had police departments identified in the past.
Hartford residents voiced their concerns about the fear that exists between themselves and local officers concerning racial profiling.
Assistant Chief Thody said while Hartford wasn’t an outlier in the report, the department still monitors all public complaints.
“Anytime that we can get out in front of a group of community members and listen to concerns it provides us with an opportunity to get better,” said Thody.
Ideas put forward included more community interaction and for lawmakers on the board to consider changing some traffic laws.
“Today, I was very pleased to see members of law enforcement here and I think they got a small measure of what it feels like to be stopped by police,” said Tamara Lanier, CT Racial Profiling Prohibition Project.
The next traffic stop report based on the latest statistics gathered in 2017 is expected to be released in the next couple weeks.