Connecticut Senate Republican Caucus Statement on Police Accountability Reforms

June 11, 2020

The Connecticut Senate Republican Caucus released the following joint statement regarding police accountability reforms in the state of Connecticut and the national conversation on addressing injustices that still exist in our country today:

“The disturbing actions of some individuals do not reflect the majority of men and women who serve as police officers and put their lives on the line to fulfill their oaths to serve and protect all people. Any police misconduct is unacceptable. At the same time, those actions have sparked an important conversation across the United States today. Our country still falls short when it comes to equality for all people. Racism has no place in our country. Everyone deserves the same opportunities to succeed and to be treated fairly. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere – and we as a state need to be part of the solutions that root out injustice wherever it may be.

“The Connecticut Senate Republican Caucus has long been active on seeking to address many of the issues on which our nation is now focused. We have not shied away from reforming the state’s police accountability laws in the past and bringing all sides together including police officers and community members to talk about these serious and complex issues. Some of our caucus members are former police officers who have worked with reform advocates to develop legislation that reflects all perspectives and moves our state forward. While the state has already implemented many reforms in recent years, we always need to strive to hear the voices of all people and consider what other issues may have gone unaddressed or demand attention.

“We hope that in Connecticut lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and members of the public will come together as we have always done before to have conversations about ideas related to not only police accountability, but also other deep and complex issues such as health equity. We want to talk about ideas like restricting chokeholds and other neck restraints. We have reached out to lawmakers on the other side of the aisle to continue our dialogue on these issues. But we also need a deeper conversation that involves public input. If we want to get this right, we need more than just legislators making decisions. We need to hear from the public and understand all perspectives. While some changes may be able to be accomplished in a special session, we cannot ignore that a special session in the middle of a health pandemic will not allow for the usual public hearings or the extensive examination of multiple issues that needs to take place. Only during a full legislative session will the public be able to have their voices heard completely through public hearings and the committee process. We are supportive of working together with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to tackle certain issues that can be addressed now, but we also acknowledge that more significant reforms need to be developed when the public is at the table with all perspectives deeply engaged.”

“In addition to looking at policies involving chokeholds and neck restraints, we also strongly believe that Connecticut needs a nonpartisan Inspector General to oversee investigations outside of the Attorney General’s office. When examining sensitive issues, one must ensure that politics in any degree or fashion is eliminated. We need an investigator to ensure that the public is confident that politics are far removed from any outcome. No artificial wall in the Attorney General’s office will effectively insulate such an important role from politics so long as the Attorney General can hire and fire.”



  • In 2015, a bipartisan effort in the State Senate brought a police body camera pilot program to fruition.
  • In 2019, Republicans and Democrats in the State Senate worked together to develop and pass significant police accountability and public safety reforms in Public Act 19-90, which was passed with unanimous support in the Senate. This new law included the following provisions:
    • Requires police to release any body or dash camera video of incidents within 48 hours of the officer who was involved reviewing it or 96 hours after the incident if the officer has not reviewed it.
    • Adds the use of chokeholds and pursuits to the list of incidents police must report, in addition to any incident that is likely to cause serious injury. These reports also must include a summary of the race and gender of those involved and how the force was used, and any injuries suffered.
    • Prohibits police from shooting at or into fleeing vehicles unless there is an imminent threat of death to another person, and prohibits police from positioning themselves in front of a fleeing motor vehicle.
    • Requires that police must notify other agencies when they chase a car across city lines.
    • Establishes a task force to study police transparency and accountability and requires the Police Officer Standards and Training Council to study and review the use of firearms by officers engaged in pursuits.