Police Accountability

Gov. Lamont Announces New Executive Order on Police Accountability and Transparency

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Gov. Ned Lamont announced a new executive order on Monday that is focused on police accountability and transparency.

Part of the executive order will focus on community policing, the governor said.

Lamont said he will be banning chokeholds for state police troopers.

"We're going to be instituting a no chokehold policy, clear as day," the governor said.

The executive order states: "The Connecticut State Police shall not use chokeholds, strangleholds, arm-bar control holds, lateral vascular neck restraints, carotid restraints, chest compressions, or any other tactics that restrict oxygen or blood flow to the head or neck."

The executive order will require each state police troop to have a dedicated community police liaison.

Lamont said he also wants state police to release bodycam video within four days of incidents and every trooper will be required to be equipped with a body camera by Jan. 1, 2021. On that date, every marked state police vehicle will also be required to have a dashboard camera.

Governor Lamont signed a new executive order Monday requiring more accountability and transparency from state police

The state will also be developing a town-by-town use of force website and break down each incident, including the drawing of a firearm on another civilian.

Lamont said he wants this report to apply to the use of stun guns as well.

"I'm asking for there to be a report," the governor said.

The governor announced that state troopers will be required to intervene in cases of misconduct.

"You are accountable," said the governor. "Stop it and report. That is your legal requirement and we are firm on it."

The governor said he did not want to wait for a special session of the legislature.

"I don't want to wait another minute. I want to do what we can right now," the governor said.

David McGuire, executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut, said he thought the actions fell short.

“The executive order is a lot of talk and nothing to it. It does not erase racism in Connecticut or police violence," McGuire said.

He said it's time for bolder changes.

“The idea is to divest and invest, to take money away from policing and put it in services that are actually useful to people. So things like having mental health people respond to crisis situations instead of police where it often escalates into violence,” McGuire said.

Still some believe there is a need to expand the rules announced today to law enforcement statewide.

Lawmakers say they’re ready to take up police reform in a special session, hoping to bring about the change many in the streets have been calling for.

“Make sure that every citizen in the state of Connecticut feels reassured, feels empowered, understands that they're important, that their lives are important," said Deputy Majority Leader Sen. Dennis Bradley.

The governor also said the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection will not be able to purchase any new military equipment from the federal government.

Many of these steps taken by executive order will be applied to the state police, but the governor said he will work with the legislature to apply the reforms to municipal departments as well.

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