For Immediate Release Contact: info@Carter2020.com
July 24, 2020 Bethel CT, - DanCarter’s statement on Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennen’s vote in favor of HB 6004 AnAct Concerning Police Accountability.
Representative Raghib Allie-Brennen condemned police officers across Connecticut this morning and has put our safety and the safety of police officers in jeopardy. Early this morning, the legislature passed an Act Concerning Police Accountability. There was a lot of talk that the need for the bill was to get rid of the “bad apples” and “bad actors” in law enforcement. The truth is the legislation is based on the assumption that all police are bad actors. Allie-Brennan's vote for the bill unfairly punishes our local police and will make it harder for them to protect our communities.
Most of the media attention surrounding this legislation has been focused on the issue of qualified immunity. The truth is police can already be sued, but they have some protections when acting within the scope of their role. This legislation purposely opens police officers up to frivolous lawsuits, which is the goal of the bill. By using the fear of prosecution and civil liability, the supporters hope to make “the bad actors” accountable. Unfortunately, many good local cops will now have to suffer the stress of frivolous lawsuits. And unless an officer is convicted of doing something malicious, wanton or willful, the municipality is on the hook for all the legal fees and damages, which means the local taxpayer suffers too.
Perhaps a more concerning issue is the complexity and doubts police officers have when it comes to the use of force. This legislation attempts to stop bad actors by defining situations where officers can use force and then hold people accountable for mistakes. The fact is that the majority of police officers are good actors and creating more complexity introduces more ambiguity, and forces police to second guess themselves which puts them, and us, at risk. I would encourage people to talk to police officers in their communities about what they face.
If we listened to the local police, instead of bullying them with threats of prosecution or being sued, we could address accountability without sacrificing public safety. We would understand that police need support and resources. They need better training in defensive tactics, instead of introducing more doubt in their minds about when it’s ok to defend themselves.
We have real problems to solve and equality under the law is at the top of the list. Police officers who break the law must be prosecuted, but we must be focused on weeding out the bad apples, not destroying the orchard. This legislation only perpetuates the view that all police are the problem, not a few bad actors.
If the bill passes the Senate, I urge Governor Lamont to veto the bill. In the next regular session, we should address these issues with the full attention of the public and the press, not in the dead of night during a pandemic. ... See MoreSee Less
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