State lawmakers reveal first draft of police accountability bill


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– The State Judiciary Committee unveiled their draft of an act concerning police accountability.

A 65-page draft proposal to reform policing in Connecticut released Thursday night and touted as bi-partisan. But that is…to be determined.

“I have not personally endorsed this proposal. I’m still looking to hear from my constituents, folks in law enforcement,” said Sen. John Kissel, R, Enfield.

“There are sections in this document that some of us like. There are sections in this document that some of us do not like and there are sections we would like to see some changes made,” said Rosa Rebimbas, R, Naugatuck.

The Democratic co-chairs of the state legislature’s Judiciary Committee, including New Haven’s Senator Gary Winfield touted the bill in a press conference Friday. They say it would strengthen police certification and re-certification, call for mental health screenings for officers, and attempt to tackle concerns like “inherent bias through training.”

“The bill is a robust one. It covers 60 some odd pages in 40 some odd sections all related to police accountability and transparency as we respond to this moment we’re living in,” said Rep. Steven Stafstrom, D, Bridgeport.

The proposal would strengthen civilian oversight of police, mandate body camera use, and ban quotas for police stops.

But the plan is vague when it comes to use of deadly force… the reason for uprisings across the country. It calls on limiting chokeholds and appointing a new investigator general to investigate use of force cases.

“This is not necessarily the end all be all bill on this issue and we still expect the task force to come forward with additional recommendations,” said Stafstrom.

Republican co-chairs of the committee say they are concerned about costs falling on cities and towns and protections for officers that could go away.

Legislators are planning to take up this bill in a special session later this month. Technically the Governor would have to call them in for that and technically a date hasn’t been set for that.

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