Connecticut

What to do here

Click a "Get Template" button to get an email template about a specific issue. Edit the template to connect on a more personal level with your lawmaker. See the Contacting Logistics page for information about how to write an effective email to your lawmakers. Get your lawmakers' emails with the search box to the right. Send the email!

Be sure to check out the Next Steps at the bottom of the page. Go to the References/Further Reading page to see our sources and do some research of your own.

Last updated Jan. 20, 2020

Summary

Key:

Legislation Achieved

Some Progress

No Progress

  • Demilitarization

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    No knock warrants
    1033 program
    Military-style training
    SWAT data

    Connecticut a

  • For Profit Policing

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    Civil asset forfeiture
    Quotas
    Cost of misconduct

    Connecticut b

  • Broken Windows Policing

    Minor offenses
    Objective justification for stops
    Reporting stop details

    Connecticut c

  • Accountability

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    Reckless civil rights violation
    Independent investigation
    Qualified immunity

    Connecticut d

  • Reinvesting in Communities

    Mental health response

    Education, housing, and community health resources

    Connecticut e

Demilitarization

Learn about demilitarization and the specific issues below on the Demilitarization page (opens in a new window).

 

No knock warrants

No Progress:

Connecticut has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants. However, Bill 6004, signed on 8/1/2020, outlines the creation of a police accountability task force to study police transparency, including the use of no-knock warrants.

1033 purchases

Some Progress:

Bill 6004 mandates that by December 2020, police departments to report their purchase and use of controlled property as received through the 1033 program. After the report, the Governor and Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection may instruct a department to lawfully sell, dispose, or transfer unnecessary military equipment.

Military style training

Some Progress:

Veteran officers can meet their certification renewal requirements by taking more mental health training courses, provided by private companies like Blue Courage, Mental Health First Aid or the Connecticut Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement. Language in the Police Accountability Task Force recommendation explicitly recommends "A change in the culture of policing by adopting a guardian versus warrior culture of policing." Additionally, Bill 6004 mandates implicit bias training and behavioral health assessments for all officers.

SWAT data

No Progress:

Connecticut has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.

For Profit Policing

Learn about for profit policing and the specific issues below on the For Profit Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Civil asset forfeiture

Some Progress:

SB 7146 (2017) banned civil asset forfeiture without a criminal conviction. However, police and prosecutors still receive 69.5% of the proceeds from forfeited property and lack oversight regarding how departments spend that money.

Quotas

Achieved:

Bill 6004 bans quotas for pedestrian and traffic stops, and notes that citation data may not be used as the exclusive metric for evaluation

Cost of misconduct

No Progress:

Connecticut has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct. However, Bill 6004, signed on 8/1/2020, establishes a task force to study police transparency, including merits and feasibility of municipality/individual insurance policies.

Broken Windows Policing

Learn about broken windows policing and the specific issues below on the Broken Windows Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Minor offenses

Some Progress:

Connecticut de-criminalized marijuana possession in 2014, but lacks laws decriminalizing other non-serious offenses.

Pending Legislation: The Police Accountability and Transparency task force recommended that officers stop performing 'non-police matters' and discontinue duties such as responding to- Homeless Calls, Medical Calls, MVA (noinjuries) Calls, Civil Investigations, Frauds (Credit Card /Banks/Checks), Counterfeit Bills, School Resource Officers, Building Code Enforcement, Loitering, Public Drinking, Enforcing Legal Marijuana Card Verification and Receptacle Storage.

Objective justification for stops

Some Progress:

Bill 6004 raised the standard needed for a stop from reasonable cause to reasonable suspicion.

Reporting stop details

Achieved:

As of 2019, Connecticut law (SB 380) requires that law enforcement units submit annual reports to the state's Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division. The reports contains statistics on race, gender, use of force, and injuries suffered. Additionally, Bill 6004, signed on 8/1/2020, created a task force charged with increasing police transparency, partially through increased reporting measures.

Accountability

Learn about accountability and the specific issues below on the Accountability page (opens in a new window).

 

Reckless civil rights violation

Achieved:

Bill 6004 establishes that if the court finds that an officer's violation of a suspect's civil rights was "deliberate, willful or committed with reckless indifference, the plaintiff may be awarded costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

Independent investigation

Achieved:

Bill 6004, signed on 8/1/2020, established the Office of the Inspector General as an office independent from the Division of Criminal Justice. The OIG is specifically charged with investigating police misconduct. In any case of death as a result of use of police force or being in police custody, the OIG is legally bound to investigate.

Qualified immunity

Achieved:

Bill 6004 bans qualified immunity effective July 1, 2021.

Reinvesting in Communities

Learn about reinvesting in communities and the specific issues below on the Reinvesting in Communities page (opens in a new window).

 

Mental health response

Some Progress:

Roughly 50 of the 900-plus hours Connecticut municipal police officers spend in basic training deals specifically with mental health. In addition to 14 mobile crisis response teams scattered across Connecticut, The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has five crisis intervention clinicians through state-operated local mental health authorities. Within 6 months of the passage of Bill 6004, each municipal department has to work with the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to determine the feasibility and impact of sending mental health counselors to crisis situations.

Education, Housing, Community Health Resources

No Progress:

It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.

Next Steps

No matter what, register to vote:

Contacting officials is just one piece of the puzzle we can't stop there. We need to make sure our elected officials reflect our values and support reform at every level of government. Register here:

To keep these policies at the forefront:

Keep emailing about them (if you just finished the 5 Days Challenge, keep up the schedule—set reminders in your phone to email about each issue on its specific day).

To ask for more than this:

Use our templates as a model to ask for bigger changes. Color for Change and The Movement for Black Lives both have specific policy related to a reimagined law enforcement system. If you think there are additional policies we ought to consider, send your thoughts our way.

To get updates from Meet the Momentum:

Subscribe below.

 
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
Contact: Contribute new information, suggest corrections, ask questions. We'd love to hear from you!
Subscribe