State officials, community members urge CT senators to pass police accountability bill


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — An unusual group of advocates joined forces in Hartford to pressure the state Senate before it votes on the police accountability bill Tuesday.

“As the father of two black boys, I’ve had some heart wrenching conversations about the realities of justice and racism in this country,” said State Treasurer Shawn Wooden.

State Treasurer Shawn Wooden was standing next to leaders from the NAACP and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, and local and state officials and faith leaders across religions calling on the state Senate to advance the police accountability bill Tuesday and send it to the Governor’s desk.

“Connecticut is at a moment of reckoning on must due civil rights legislation,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

RELATED: State reps vote to pass police accountability bill, controversial qualified immunity amendment removal failed on tie

The bill passed the House Friday after a marathon legislative session but a key controversial section that allows citizens to sue police was almost gutted out.

Monday, this group of state officials and advocates say the state has met a moment of reckoning and asked the Senate to rely on its moral compass as it votes Tuesday.

“Please do what’s right. Let’s be on the right side of this bill. Let’s keep the teeth in this bill,” said Mayor of Bloomfield Suzette DeBeatham-Brown.

The bill also creates an inspector general to conduct police investigations, bans choke holds, and requires mental health screenings for officers. If advanced Tuesday, it would become effective January 2021.

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