Whatever Professor Minati Roychoudhuri’s field of expertise is, it’s apparently not ethics. After the faculty member of Capital Community College (CCC) in Hartford, Connecticut, was ticketed May 9 for making an illegal lane change, she claimed she was racially profiled by the state trooper who pulled her over. And her accusation did lead to charges — but not the kind she’d hoped for.
Unbeknownst to Roychoudhuri, most Connecticut state troopers have audio and video equipment that records all stops. And the tale of the tape proved that she told numerous lies in an effort to not only beat her ticket, but to visit career damage on the officer, Trooper First Class John Such. The following are the accusations the professor leveled via a letter originally sent to the state commissioner of public safety:
I was traveling to Wethersfield on Route 15/5 to attend a meeting 9th May. I was on the left lane on route 15 and had to take exit 85. After the Brainard Airport exit, and after the merging lane ended, I signaled and went to the right lane to take exit 85. 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. 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 he 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. 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. I request that my infraction charges be dropped and action be taken against the officer. I have talked with the Senator and Legislator of my constituency regarding this matter and I am sending a copy of this letter to them as well.
Thank you in advance, Sincerely, Minati Roychoudhuri
And here’s what the audio recording of her exchange with the officer actually showed:
Officer: Hi ma’am, do you know why I’m stopping you today?
Officer: 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.)
Officer: Thank you. This is for your Subaru car.
Roychoudhuri: This is my Subaru car.
Officer: Is this a station wagon, color green? The plate doesn’t match what’s on there.
Roychoudhuri: [Inaudible]…I thought that was my [inaudible]
Officer: I’ll run the plate and see what it comes back with.
Roychoudhuri: 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.)
Officer: Ma’am. So I wrote you the infraction for that improper lane change that you did.
Roychoudhuri: Please, you know, I probably crossed over there, and that’s why I did it.
Roychoudhuri: Obviously I did that.
Roychoudhuri: My [inaudible] is absolutely clean.
Officer: OK. So I wrote you an infraction for that improper lane change that you did.
Officer: The answer date is on the front of it and the instructions are on the back of it.
Roychoudhuri: Wait, what?
Officer: It’s a mail in infraction. All you have to do is mail in, either a check or money order, and mail it in.
Roychoudhuri: Thank you.
It was also untrue that Officer Such listed the professor’s ethnicity as “Hispanic”; the arrest report identified it correctly as “Indian.”
Unfortunately for Roychoudhuri, she repeated her allegations in a sworn statement with internal-affairs investigators on June 15. Subsequently, Hartford Superior Court granted a request by the state police department for an arrest warrant; the professor then surrendered herself June 28, was charged with making a false statement in the second degree, and was released on a $1,000 non-surety bond. She is due in court August 14.
In addition, the Connecticut State Police Union sent a letter (found here) to Roychoudhuri’s employer, Wilfredo Nieves, president of CCC. The union asked the school to issue an apology on behalf of Roychoudhuri and requested that she be “held accountable for her illegal and malicious actions.”
In a relatively minor but mostly unreported aspect of the story, Fox CT and some other news organs listed Roychoudhuri’s age as 32, based on, this website tells us, her having reported it as such in her complaint. The internal-affairs investigation found this to be false as well; according to other sources and publicly available White Pages information (and her picture!), her actual age is 62.
As for racial profiling and general bigotry, they certainly can seem a formidable problem when people are continually leveling false accusations. And how serious is this problem? As American Thinker editor Thomas Lifson wrote when reporting in the Roychoudhuri case, “So desirable is the status of victim that some people, especially those in academia, have been known to vandalize their own cars, attach nooses to their office doors, and otherwise fabricate hate crimes against themselves. Oberlin College, with a history of hysteria over fake hate crimes, even generated worldwide headlines for its overwrought response to a series of ‘hate crimes’ that turned out to be false.”
The question is: How long will it take for academia and the media to have the credibility of the boy who cried wolf?
As for the Connecticut State Police, Regan reports that the Roychoudhuri case is “the first time the department has brought charges against a citizen for making a false complaint of racial profiling.” This is despite the fact that eight racial-profiling complaints were filed against the state police in 2014 — and all were found to be baseless.