Police Accountability

Demonstrations Planned to Fight for Police Accountability, Change

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UPDATE: The clergy action and rally planned for this afternoon has been rescheduled for Friday morning do to the weather forecast and threat of thunderstorms.

Several demonstrations are planned in Hartford on Thursday to fight for police accountability and change in the racial inequality following the death of George Floyd in police custody.

The Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance is holding a rally Thursday afternoon to demand police accountability and transparency.

The event will start at 3 p.m. at the Union Baptist Church on Main Street in Hartford.

After a program at the church, the rally will move in silence to the Hartford Public Safety Complex for an 8-minute kneel-in.

Following the kneel-in at police headquarters, the group will move to Hartford City Hall where congregants are expected to join.

Also on Thursday, Mothers United Against Violence plans to hold a unification march from Albany and Main in Hartford to Keney Park starting at 4 p.m.

The Hartford City Council voted early Thursday to reduce the police department budget and to reallocate funds, both inside and outside of the department, including to social service. The proposal is subject to approval by Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

He said the passed budget includes 6 percent of reductions from and reallocations within the police department budget compared with last year and Bronin supports that 6 percent combined reduction and reallocation.  

The proposal reallocates $1 million within the city's police department and directs the funds toward social services.

The proposal allocates $300,000 to create permanent domestic violence teams, $700,000 toward increasing beat officers and additional training, such as racial bias screening for police who are hired, trauma counseling and career development training, especially minority officers.

The vote comes amid demonstrations and protests across the country to defund police departments in the wake of the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man, as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against his neck for nearly nine minutes.  

“While I don’t support ‘defunding’ police, I fully support reimagining policing and embracing real reforms – and I believe that our department does, too," Bronin said in a statement on Thursday morning.

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