University of New Haven students call for more improvements to police reform
Students at the University of New Haven sounded off on the topic of police reform Friday with many of them saying there is room for improvement.
First came the protests over George Floyd's death at the hands of police officers. Then Connecticut lawmakers passed a sweeping and controversial police reform package.
Students shared experiences they had with police officers at a Police Accountability Task Force forum at the college.
"Those interactions have to this day and probably the future left me questioning every other future interaction I will be having with police officers," says Sofia Martinez, student body president at the University of New Haven.
One student spoke of an incident involving a young man being harassed by officers after he was accused of stealing a street sign.
Jordan Harris, who is studying to be a police officer, says implicit racism is still a factor.
"This one person said, 'George Floyd wasn't murdered.' And that wowed me because I'm like, 'Wow, you're actually going to be a police officer,'" says Harris.
Some students say police officer training is still inadequate.
"Officers from Connecticut currently spend about 1,340 hours in basic training," says student Samantha Moul. "Of those only two hours focus on police ethics. Only two on hate or bias motivated crimes."
Student Michael Castro says he would like to see Connecticut stand as a nationwide leader in future technology.
The Police Accountability Task Force forum will also be held next week at UConn and Central Connecticut State.