Protesters get their way; lawmakers headed back in session to address police reform

Politics

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Black Lives Matter protesters and religious and community leaders were fasting underneath a tree in the shadow of the capital for the last 11 days, telling lawmakers to go back into session and address social unrest.

“A communication has gone to the governor asking for the governor officially to open up session, and they have some dates,” said Bishop John Selders with Moral Monday CT.

Word came from lawmakers Thursday afternoon to community leaders that not only are lawmakers going back into session but will be going back with a purpose.

“The commitment is that policing is going to be the number one thing on the docket, and so, we’ll be here, monitoring closely how that happens, what happens and what gets done,” Selders said

“We are not going to change behavior unless there’s a consequence,” said Senator Douglas McCory. “We have to look at what’s available, what can we do, what can we take or give to police officers to change their behaviors?”

McCrory said while lawmakers will be back in session after the July 4th holiday, they have been working hard from their homes to come up with ideas to reform policing.

There are many ideas, like civilian review boards and requiring officers to register just like a nurse or teacher.

“Seven percent of the cases are major crime cases in the city of Hartford,” McCory said. “We know crime is going down. So, 93% of the things they do could involve somebody else from another entity, like say a social worker or mental health worker.”

“Let’s be radical and really push for something new and be creative,” Selders said. “I think we have the talent. I think we have the know-how and I think we have the people. I think we have the will now because of the time.”

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