HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- Governor Ned Lamont has signed a controversial police reform bill into law on Friday. 

After the state Senate passed the bill early Wednesday morning, Channel 3 wanted to hear from the public on the matter.

Wednesday’s poll was up live on the Channel 3 app for 12 hours, and was showcased during multiple newscasts.

At the time voting closed, the poll, which is not a scientific one, garnered nearly 9,000 responses.

It asked the question ‘Do you think Gov. Lamont should sign the police accountability bill?’

At the time the poll closed, 92 percent (8,175 votes) said he shouldn’t, voting ‘No.’

Seven percent (667 votes) of voters said ‘Yes,’ and 1 percent (68 votes) said ‘Undecided.’

When asked to comment on the poll earlier in the day on Thursday, Lamont's office responded saying they would "pass" on that request.

Later, during a press briefing, Channel 3 asked the governor about the poll. In response, he said the bill kept qualified immunity in place for all but the most egregious of crimes, and that he thinks people will understand the legislature made the right call.

On Wednesday, even after the debate ended and the bill was passed, senators on both sides of the aisle continued to disagree about how the legislation would impact police in the state.

RELATED: Senate passes police reform bill, Gov. Lamont expected to sign

Supporters said it will help the state get rid of bad cops.

"Once people look at the bill, I don’t think there is really anything that is that threatening in the content except to officers who are bad officers," said Senate majority leader Martin Looney.

Critics, however, said it will only put a target on the back of all police officers.

"You’re going to see police not be proactive, but reactive," said Sen. Len Fasano, minority leader. "In other words, if they see something that they think may be an issue, they are going to be reluctant to intercede, because they are going to get sued."

The bill would make it easier for citizens to sue individual officers in state court, but they would only be held financially liable if they knowingly broke the law. Though, the burden can be shifted to individual towns and cities.

While the bill doesn’t get rid of qualified immunity, it creates a more stringent review process, and decertifies rogue officers.

Supporters say it sets up a process, and those officers who are found guilty will be financially liable.

Many police officers said that the bill would make their jobs even more difficult. They also said it's making good officers want to leave the profession.

The attorney for a number of police unions in the state says they are currently reviewing the constitutionality of the bill and they hope the governor might suspend portions of it if he signs it into law.

“The governor is in a unique position because I believe the governor could exercise his veto power and we are all standing around with these masks on, not because they make us look great, but because there is a pandemic. The governor has issued literally dozens and dozens of executive orders under his authority through this health crisis. He could suspend certain portions of that law once he signs it into law using those powers,” said Marshall Segar, police union attorney.

He said they are currently reviewing the bill to see if any legal challenges to the constitutionality of it are available, like whether areas of the law would conflict with current established federal and state law.

Some also wonder whether this bill will affect potential recruits or force officers to retire. 

Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Lear, who helped craft the bill, defended it. 

"I believe it will not inhibit them for still wanting to be career officers, but I will say this in general, we have seen over the last decade the number of interested individuals of becoming police officers has been on the decline," O'Leary said. 

The Hartford Police Union also responded hours before the signing saying, "To all the cops in CT - the sky is not falling. The Police Accountability Act is what our public collectively wants. Let's get to work, protect our communities and most importantly show people WE CARE about them." 

The state House of Representatives passed the measure last week.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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(9) comments


The poll is not scientific. People who feel strongly are more inclined to comment, unlike a scientific poll, which samples data from a representative cross section of the population. It’s a sign of the times that journalists write an article discussing the results of a non-scientific poll.

Still, it sounds like a bad idea, and overrides things that had already been decided in collective bargaining.

But as police union attorney Marshall Segar said in the article, “He [the Governor] could suspend certain portions of that law once he signs it into law.”

He deals with the state government regularly so he probably knows things we don’t.

The Republicans were routed in the last election, but the Democrats could be looking at the same in November because of this law.


Of course the average person doesn't want this. The average person doesn't commit crimes. The average person works for a living (or would like to work for a living). The average person doesn't want to stay awake all night guarding his family against home invaders because the police have been "defunded". Decent people support the police. Criminals and Marxists hate the police. There are still many more decent people in Connecticut than there are criminals and Marxists. Put this measure up to a vote in November. It will be soundly defeated.


We in CT are a perfect example of why you have an electoral collage. So that each place is spoken for...Not like in CT where 30% ruins the state.


A state electoral college would be a fantastic idea for CT. Maybe then we could get some actual representation.


You must hate democracy. You think that some people's votes are worth more than others.


Do you think democracy is the Supreme Court voting 5-4 to overrule millions of voters?


The former State Constitution allowed each town one vote in the legislature. As a result, the State lived within its means and had no State income tax. The liberal US Supreme Court invalidated this constitution in the 1960s. Now we have "one person, one vote". We also have a dictatorship of the cities, a State income tax, a State sales tax, the highest property taxes in the nation, the highest electricity costs, and soon, out-of-control crime. Truly a socialist paradise!

Brian C. Duffy

Just realizing you live in a socialist paradise, MiKKKe? The entire U.S. has been socialist for over 100 years; since the 16th amendment.

Brian Duffy ~~ Tariffville, CT


Of course Lamont will sign this....His re-election depends on it....He knows he has to keep minorities in place with free money and he knows he doesn't have a challenger..

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