HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut's state treasurer is urging the state Senate to pass a police accountability bill.

State Treasurer Shawn Wooden was joined by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, community, business, faith and local leaders for a news conference on Monday.

It happened around 10 a.m. in Hartford.

"Some people have attempted to make this bill a test on whether or not we support the police, it is not," Wooden said. "I know what good policing looks like. I also know we need a change in the culture of policing and we do that by better training, increased transparency and better accountability."

The state House of Representatives passed the bill late last week.

RELATED: Lawmakers pass police accountability bill that includes removal of qualified immunity

The key issue debated Thursday into Friday was a legal term called "qualified immunity," which gives police officers some protection from being sued.

Lawmakers voted on an amendment Friday morning to remove the part of the bill that would remove qualified immunity. 

Critics said it shields them from consequences, but supporters of qualified immunity argue officers have a difficult, dangerous job and if qualified immunity is eliminated, they will not be able to act decisively while serving the public and fewer people will want to become officers in the future.

Under the bill that was passed, lawmakers agreed not to hold officers personally liable, but towns won't be protected by qualified immunity.

"This bill is not an anti-police bill. This bill is designed as a solution to irradiate police misconduct," said Scot Esdaile, CT NAACP. 

That's not how police feel. The CT State Police Union President says it "seem punitive that it 'attacks law enforcement.'" 

"I understand there is concern out there, but this bill is really about people's safety, keeping our community safe and making sure we have accountability," said Senator Bob Duff. 

Republican leaders say while there are good intentions, Connecticut needs to slow down. 

"You're going to have officers that are going to say not me, I am not going to intercede unless I am 100 percent, I am firm ground," said Senator Len Fasano. 

The Senate is set to vote on the measure on Tuesday during its special session.

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

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(3) comments

rick be

Shawn has wooden for brains,

he's a conman and crook who

can't think straight.He should have

listened to Fasano not Blumy.

CTYankee

Why the rush to pass all the new laws now? Guilt? Blumenthal 9 years, Murphy 7 years, Courtney 13 years, DeLauro 29 years, Larson 21 years, Hayes 1 year, Himes, 11 years.

How much research and meetings with law enforcement has there been? Or are you simply over reacting to recent events.

rick be

Those fools jump on any passing band wagon.

Welcome to the discussion.

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