HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Lawmakers are expected to address police accountability during a special session sometime this month.
On Friday, lawmakers shared what that bill might look like.
It’s a very broad bill, looking at training, policies, even transparency. It would also create an independent investigator for use of force, but the creators of the bill already know there will be push back.
“There’s a lot in the bill, but this is a significant bill at least when it comes to those portions of the bill,” said Senator Gary Winfield, Judiciary Committee Chariman.
The 63-page legislation draft comes in response to the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in May.
The bill bans chokeholds unless an officer is in danger, but that’s not all.
Dashboard and body cameras would be mandatory, and police would have limits on the equipment they can get from the military. The legislation would also require a ban on quotas for pedestrian stops.
“There’s a lot of moving pieces, there’s going to be somethings that different folks out there have concerns with,” said State Senator John Kissel.
Protests have slowed down, but people continue to rally for change. The bill includes a new Inspector General to investigate use of force.
There’s also a new use of force standard requiring officers to use all reasonable alternatives and officers must also determine force presents no risks to third parties and is necessary.
“Currently, it is more subjective than objective and we’re moving from a subjective standard to more of an objective standard,” said State Rep. Steven Stafstrom.
The legislature is expected to go into special session on this issue sometime this month. Governor Ned Lamont said in a statement, “The time is now for meaningful police accountability reforms.”
The Judiciary Committee’s two ranking Republicans helped draft the bill, but want to hear from the public before endorsing it.
“We’ve made the conscientious decision to put this proposal out the way it is, so at this time, there is no specifics, ‘Republicans like this, Democrats like,’” said Rep. Rosa Rebimbas.
One other change in the bill is that all police disciplinary records would be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Police would no longer be able to create an FOI exemption through collective bargaining.
To see the draft legislation, click here.