Hamden officials vote to make several policy changes in wake of recent officer-involved shooting

New Haven

Town leaders in Hamden are moving forward with a plan on Tuesday that intends to make a number of changes in the wake of last month’s officer-involved shooting in New Haven.

This also comes after a lot of people spoke out, marching on the police station, demonstrating at meetings. It took a couple of trues, but the legislative town council did pass a resolution Monday night. 

Related: New Haven communities discuss how they can move forward from shootings

The first words of it acknowledge that they heard compelling and impassioned public testimony since the shooting last month. A similar resolution came up a couple weeks ago, but council members decided they did not like the language in it.

The one that did pass on Monday has nine different parts to it, including creating an agreement about police activities that cross town lines, which this one did, and creating a civilian review board for police activity, which it seems would require action at the state level first. 

It would also create external independent investigations for all complaints aginst the police.

“What we’ve done is we have to have an independent investigator review the process in the officer involved shooting and in addition now to the fatal incident that occurred during a police chase,” Michael McGarry, Hamden Legislative Council President.  

Related: Body cam footage from fatal officer-involved shooting in California released

It acknowledges that the council does not have the power itself to discipline or terminate an employee without due process, so even though lots of people have protested that they want the Hamden officer who shot at the couple fired, they can’t do that.

The town is currently looking for a new police chief, and this resolution also calls for an open and transparent selection process.

A final vote to approve the plan is expected later Tuesday night. 

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