Justice For All: CT passes sweeping accountability law following death of George Floyd
Following the death of George Floyd, Connecticut passed sweeping police reforms - but the man who wrote the law, state Sen. Gary Winfield, received threats for it.
For the world, Floyd's murder was a wake-up call. For Winfield, it's an alarm he says he's heard his whole life.
"We saw all kinds of things. You know, we learned to stay away from police," Winfield says when asked about his experience growing up in the South Bronx in the 80s.
Winfield is now a Connecticut state senator, and after Floyd's murder, he pushed through major police reforms.
"Excessive force" is now redefined, a new inspector general will decide whether to prosecute police officers and starting in July, people can sue individual officers - although towns will pay their legal bills unless they're guilty of a "wanton, malicious act."
Some are apprehensive about certain aspects of the changes.
"If they're afraid that they're going to lose their livelihood, if they're not going to be able to provide for their families - they're going to be reluctant to act," says Danbury Police Sgt. Sherri Martin.
Despite some opposition to the changes, police in Connecticut have made changes on their own. Police are diversifying their ranks.
"We just bring a different voice to the organization," says Danbury Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour.
Ridenhour just became the first Black president of the Connecticut Police Chief's Association.
"It's unfortunate that it's taken this long, but by the same token, we just have a lot of work to do," he says.
So what's next? Groups like the ACLU want to limit minor traffic stops.
"I think we just passed a bill. I think it's just beginning to be implemented. Let's give it a little bit of time, let's see how it works out," says Gov. Ned Lamont when asked about people wanting reforms to go further.
Winfield believes Floyd marked a turning point.
"The people that we saw come out in Suffield, Somers, Enfield - that area. They don't normally come out for much of anything in terms of protests, and yet, you had these people on our streets," he says. "You have to take that as a positive."