Connecticut Democrats unveil ambitious police reform agenda
Democratic legislators in Hartford Friday unveiled a long list of police reform they plan to push for.
The ambitious agenda includes a ban on police use of chokeholds - like the one used on George Floyd in Minneapolis - and a ban on the kind of no-knock warrant - like the one used in the police response that killed Breonna Taylor in Kentucky. All state police would be required to use body cameras. Police shootings like the recent one in Hamden would be investigated by an independent inspector general instead of prosecutor's offices.
"This is not a stunt," said state Sen. Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport). "This is our commitment to doing as much as we can."
"What we're talking about is making sure that people have faith in the system, that when one of these incidents happens, that there will potentially be real punishments," said state Sen. Gary Winfield (D-New Haven).
Black lawmakers say they're tired of fearing for the kids' lives.
"'I just need you to come home, man. I need you to survive the encounter.' Who tells their child to survive the encounter because you know what's going to happen?" said state Sen. Doug McCrory (D-Hartford).
Police chiefs actually support many of these ideas. But the head of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association says lawmakers also need to tackle lopsided union contracts that let fired officers return to work.
"It sends a signal to other police officers in that police department to say, 'Well, maybe I should take my chances. And maybe the accountability isn't a strict as I feared it may be,'" said Milford Chief Keith Mello.
The reforms are currently proposals without actual written legislation, but lawmakers are working fast as Gov. Ned Lamont called them back to session by mid-July.
Click HERE to read the proposals.