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H.R. 33 would approve union contract keeping some state police misconduct files secret

Hartford

Policing in secret.  That’s what critics of House Resolution 33 say will happen if state legislators give it the green light.  It already passed the state house and now awaits a vote by senators.

“It does away with accountability and transparency,” said Michael Picard, who had his own run in with alleged state police abuse.

H.R. 33 clears the way for a state police union contract blocking the release of internal investigations of troopers accused of misconduct. It’s the kind of case Picard found himself embroiled with in 2015 when he filmed himself being locked up by state troopers he was recording with his cell phone. The charges were later dropped but Picard said critical records he needed for his civil lawsuit wouldn’t have been public under this proposal.

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“Their goal is to cover themselves. They don’t want anymore embarrassment. This is a slap in the face,” Picard explained.

The ACLU of Connecticut agreed and issued a strongly worded statement to News 8’s Mario Boone, which reads in part, “No government agency should be allowed to keep the public in the dark, especially one whose employees carry weapons and arrest and kill people…”​​​​​​​

State lawmakers defended the contract. “We had a conversation with state police about that, and we were assured that there will be nothing that will be kept from us,” said a democratic state representative.  

Civil rights lawyer Kenneth Krayeske called the proposal “abominable.”  He represents alleged victims of police abuse.  

“We need more sunshine to disinfect police corruption,” he said.  “We know that it’s out there.”

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