Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed a new executive order that includes sweeping police reform statewide.
On Monday, June 15, Lamont announced that he was signing an executive order “on police use of force and accountability,” in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
The order includes the ban of chokeholds, police departments have been barred from acquiring surplus military gear from the federal government, and each state police troop will now be required to have a dedicated community liaison.
“The Constitution of the State of Connecticut guarantees every person equal protection under law and the freedom to exercise and enjoy civil and political rights without discrimination on the basis of religion, race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity,” the order states.
“Connecticut has long struggled to make that guarantee a reality, especially with respect to people of color.”
As of Jan. 1 next year, every State Police trooper will be outfitted with a body camera, and every State Police vehicle will have a dashboard camera installed.
“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 order states.
The order mandates that:
- Troopers de-escalate situations, when possible, before using force;
- Troopers must provide verbal warning, when possible, before using deadly force;
- Troopers must exhaust all other reasonable alternatives before resorting to deadly force;
- Troopers must intervene to stop other law enforcement officers from using excessive force, and should report any such use to a supervisor in writing.
“Implementing and codifying more restrictive use of force policies, in combination with other measures, can reduce police use of delay force and the likelihood that police officers will be injured or killed in the line of duty,” Lamont wrote.
“Demilitarizing police departments has been shown to reduce violent behavior by and against police officers, thereby promoting overall community safety.”
The ACLU of Connecticut saw Lamont’s executive order in a less favorable light, saying that “it does nothing to end police violence or racism.”
“At a time when people across Connecticut and the country are calling for divestment from policing and for meaningful action to end police violence and racism inherent in policing, Melvin Medina, public policy and advocacy director for the ACLU of Connecticut said. “Lamont has issued an executive order that proposes increasing policing, leaves the door open for future militarization by police, and allows police to continue policing themselves.
“Internal police policies are enforced by and for police themselves, yet Lamont’s order merely requires the state police to review their internal policies on uses of force,” he continued.
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