Playing the race card can backfire in your face — especially when you’re lying about it.
Minati Roychoudhuri, a professor at Capital Community College in Hartford, Connecticut, wrote the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection in June claiming she was racially profiled by a state trooper who pulled her over for an illegal lane change on May 9.
But after it was discovered that she lied in her report, a warrant was issued for her arrest and she surrendered to police on July 28, WTIC-TV reported.
Here is how Roychoudhuri described the encounter:
“An unmarked police car with flashing light stopped me on the ramp after I had taken the exit. The policeman asked me if I could speak English and if I knew why he had stopped me,” she wrote in the letter. “I said, ‘yes’ to speaking English and ‘no’ to why he had stopped me. He then asked me for my driver’s license and registration. He returned with an envelope and said that I could simply mail in the infraction.
“The officer did not give me any reason as to why had stopped me. His asking if I could speak English shows that he had racially profiled me and was not able to give me a concrete reason for stopping me,” Roychoudhuri added. “Further, the officer had checked ‘Hispanic’ in the race category in the infraction ticket. I am a Professor in English at Capital Community College, I teach about diversity and the negative impact of racial profiling, I have now become a target of the same insidious behavior! It is easy to connect the dots with the nationwide racial profiling which has led to serious consequences.”
When she was interviewed by Internal Affairs on June 15 she repeated the claims and signed a statement swearing to it.
One problem: The audio of the stop proves the officer never asked her if she spoke English.
A transcript of the traffic stop reads as follows, via WTIC-TV:
Officer: Hi ma’am, do you know why I’m stopping you today?
O: OK. There’s that big gore area with white lines painted across it and you cut in front of it, in front of me, thinking it’s a lane or something. You have to wait until it’s a dotted white line. License and registration.
(She handed him insurance, so he requested the registration again, which she gave him)
O: Thank you. This is for your Subaru car.
R: This is my Subaru car.
O: Is this a station wagon, color green? The plate doesn’t match what’s on there.
R: [Inaudible]…I thought that was my [inaudible]
O: I’ll run the plate and see what it comes back with.
R: This is the [inaudible] that I have.
(Officer returns to his car for three minutes to write out the ticket for failure to drive in the established lane)
O: Ma’am. So I wrote you the infraction for that improper lane change that you did.
R: Please, you know, I probably crossed over there, and that’s why I did it.
R: Obviously I did that.
R: My [inaudible] is absolutely clean.
O: Ok. So I wrote you an infraction for that improper lane change that you did.
O: The answer date is on the front of it and the instructions are on the back of it.
R: Wait, what?
O: It’s a mail in infraction. All you have to do is mail in, either a check or money order, and mail it in.
R: Thank you.
Roychoudhuri was arrested and charged with giving a false statement in the second degree.
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