CONNECTICUT — Lamont said he is looking for action in the short-term future on police reform in Connecticut. He will call a special legislative session to deal with police reform and absentee ballots for the November general election.
“I want to make sure it’s action that makes a difference and makes sense, not just for the sake of action,” he said during a radio interview on Chaz and AJ on 99.1 PLR.
The governor reiterated that he doesn’t believe defunding the police is the answer, but that partnering police with experts like social workers may help deescalate certain situations.
However, Lamont said believes that civilians should have the power to police the police if they aren't able internally handle it correctly.
Recently the spotlight has turned to police unions and whether they are getting in the way of disciplining misbehaving officers.
“If police can’t police themselves then civilian review boards will have to step in to do so,” he said.
Some members of the Police Accountability and Transparency Task Force including Milford police Chief Keith Mello said that sometimes individual municipal contracts can make it difficult for reform.
Lamont pointed out that Derek Chauvin, the former officer charged with murdering George Floyd had many complaints filed against him. Chauvin had 18 prior complaints filed against him, according to CNN. Out of those 18 he was only disinclined for two with a letter of reprimand.
Lamont wants the police reform task force to come up with recommendations sooner rather than later and that the legislature will be better informed by their recommendations before passing law. The group released a preliminary report after Lamont's request. It included suggestions for external investigations into complaints, community input during internal investigations, mandatory body cameras and a ban on chokeholds.
The task force was created by 2019 legislation. The task force includes current and former members of law enforcement, legislators and others.
Members of the task force offered varying opinions on what can be done both legislatively and culturally for police reform. Mello said that the large protests are important because they can go beyond legislation and help change police officer behavior and culture.
Task force member and former New Haven police Sgt. Shafiq Abdussabur said the state should have a universal police complaint system where data can be logged and reviewed about the number of complaints and how they are resolved. He also said police should stop enforcing motor vehicle violations that are often used as an excuse for racial profiling.
Coyote bites woman/ Ducklings rescued/ Van crashes into river/ Former CT student selected in MLB draft/ Homicide suspect captured and more.>>>Read More.
State police respond to #8CantWait initiative
State police released a response Thursday to the #8CantWait campaign that asks police departments to immediately enact eight reform policies.
State police don’t teach choke hold techniques during academy training and are taught about the dangers of using the technique. Each cadet is trained on how to escape a chokehold. Cadets are put into a chokehold during a controlled demonstration to show the dangers of the technique. They are also trained on how to spot the signs of positional asphyxia.
Cadets are also trained for an initial four-hour class and throughout academy training on deescalation.
State police are also required to verbally warn before shooting if possible. Shooting and other uses of deadly force are only permitted when a person is about to use or is using deadly physical force against them.
State police are also required to intervene and report to a supervisor when another officer uses excessive force.