Rallies Call for Police Reform in Connecticut

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There are growing demands to rethink how cities are policed following the death of George Floyd.

Floyd was a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd's neck for several minutes.

A video of the incident has sparked outrage across the country.

There have been dozens of demonstrations across the state and people hope it can help transform and improve law enforcement.

In Hartford, a rally is expected at City Hall on Wednesday. People plan to protest to defund the police department and instead invest in other Hartford initiatives.

It's a conversation that's picked up throughout the nation.

Last night, New Haven's Board of Alders President hosted a virtual conversation along with representatives of the police, lawmakers and the faith community.

Police said many reforms talked about nationally are already being done here, though they could be improved.

There are growing demands to rethink how cities are policed.

Some think measures should and could be done quickly.

"Redressing the institutional racism against our communities everywhere and bring an end to the criminalization of black people," said Greater New Haven NAACP President Dori Dumas.

"I do think we should think more deeply about what that means. It's not like tomorrow we can defund the police, but there may be different ways we can approach policing," added New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker.

Elicker said this is just the beginning of the conversation.

In Hartford, community members also called for a change this week.

Hartford's mayor worries defunding could hurt community policing. Instead he thinks this could be a time for reforms like the increased oversight of police.

Hartford Police Union believes cuts would "have an adverse effect on how we respond when the police are needed."

The rally calling to defund the Hartford Police Department is expected to happen from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. while the city council votes on the budget, according to event organizers.

In Rocky Hill, there is also a silent march and vigil in honor of George Floyd on Wednesday. It begins at the town green and participants will march to the police department. It is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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