Connecticut just passed a major bill to start holding police accountable | The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News
Today’s Solutions: June 22, 2024

After months of protests against racism and police brutality, it would be a great waste if all that effort doesn’t translate into real change. Fortunately, in some states that change is already happening.

This past week, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed sweeping police accountability legislation into law. The law institutes a new statewide watchdog for police misconduct, bans “chokeholds” in most instances and puts limits on the ability of police departments to withhold officers’ disciplinary records. It also allows individual officers to be held financially liable in civil suits over their actions. The law requires all departments statewide to equip officers with body-worn cameras and places limits on the military equipment Connecticut police departments can acquire or use.

The ACLU of Connecticut tweeted its support for the bill Wednesday evening. “Ending police violence will not be solved by any one bill, but the bill passed out of the legislature today is a start,” Melvin Medina, the ACLU of Connecticut’s public policy and advocacy director, said in a statement. The law is the latest state-level effort to reform American policing since the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police in May.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill in June that mandates police officers wear body cameras and banned chokeholds.

Meanwhile Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania signed a pair of bills earlier this month that require officers seeking new positions to reveal previous employment records and mandate mental health evaluations of officers and training in use of force.

One of the most heavily debated sections of the new Connecticut law is a blow to “qualified immunity,” the idea that government officials are protected from civil suits while performing the functions of their job. Under the law signed Friday, Connecticut police officers can be subject to civil suit and can only claim immunity if the officer “had an objectively good faith belief that such officer’s conduct did not violate the law.”

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Could “antivitamins” be the cure to antibiotic resistance?

The first naturally-occurring bacteria killer, penicillin, was discovered nearly a century ago and with it came the advent of a new class of medicines: ...

Read More

Pittsburgh will become a dark sky city in 2022

Anyone who lives in a big city knows that stars are a rare sight due to light pollution, but that may soon change in ...

Read More

5 simple yet profound ways to make the world a better place today

The word activism can bring up images of aggression and vehemence, but it turns out that activism can be practiced in gentle ways, too. ...

Read More

Removable solar panels might soon be rolled out on railway tracks

Solar panels are being laid out "like carpet" across Swiss train rails as part of the country's renewable energy initiative. Swiss startup company Sun-Ways ...

Read More