New police laws target excessive force

All Hamden police officers will soon be equipped with body cameras like this one. (WTNH)

(WTNH) — Starting in July, Connecticut State Police, state university police departments and municipal police departments that receive certain grants monies are required to wear body cameras. Connecticut will become the fifth state in the nation to enact this law.

“I think it’s far better for our society to record these events as best we can to try and reduce them and re-instill confidence in our police officers,” said Quinnipiac Law Professor John Thomas.

A new law that goes into effect on January 1, requires a special prosecutor to investigate claims of excessive use of force.

“Connecticut is attempting to reduce the possibility of public loss of confidence in the process by making sure the prosecutor and police at issue aren’t close colleagues or work together on a day-to-day basis,” Thomas said.

Prosecutors work closely with police, calling them to testify in many cases. That fact creates the perception that prosecutors are reluctant to indict officers. A situation is playing out now in Cleveland, where a grand jury refused to indict two police officers involved in the deadly shooting of 12 year-old Tamir Rice. Protesters are skeptical that the prosecutor tried his best to win an indictment.

“People have no more faith and confidence in the system as a whole,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. “And I think there’s legitimacy to that.”

Another new law on the books January 1, requires written record any time an officer discharges his weapon or uses force likely to cause serious physical injury.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s