Racial Profiling Is Against the Law – Know Your Rights

The Alvin W. Penn Racial Profiling Prohibition Act (Connecticut General Statutes Sections 54-1l and 54-1m) prohibits any law enforcement agency from stopping, detaining, or searching any motorist when the stop is motivated solely by considerations of the race, color, ethnicity, age, gender or sexual orientation. Further, this law allows any person who feels that he or she has been racially profiled may file a formal complaint.  Police officers must provide a notice informing the operator of their right to file a complaint following all traffic stops.

Complaint Procedure Information:

If you believe you have been stopped, detained or subject to search on the basis of your race, ethnicity/ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion or membership in a protected class, please contact either the police agency of the officer who stopped you or the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO).

Complaints that are filed with the respective law enforcement agency will be investigated based on the procedures adopted by the individual department. Complaint forms should be available in person at the police department or on the department website. After the department completes its investigation,  the Chief State’s Attorney Office receives a copy of the complaint and disposition of the complaint to determine whether any further action by the Chief State Attorney is required.

Complaints may also be filed with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), which has a process for filing complaints for a variety of issues, including complaints of profiling if an individual believes they were profiled during a traffic stop. For more information on the process for filing a complaint with CHRO please visit: www.ct.gov/chro or call (860)541-3400.