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Connecticut House approves police accountability measures

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut House of Representatives on Friday morning approved a wide-ranging police accountability proposal after an all-night debate that was marked by a failed attempt to strip a contentious section that would remove some legal immunity for police officers.

The House voted 86-58 in favor of the bill and sent it to the state Senate, a day after hundreds of police officers rallied at the Capitol to protest portions the legislation. The Senate is expected to take up that and three other bills on Tuesday.

The police accountability bill, originally negotiated between both Democrats and Republicans, calls for reforming police practices and training in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd and other Black people. It includes a new inspector general to investigate police use-of-force cases, periodic mental health screenings for officers, new limits on circumstances in which deadly use of force is justified, mandatory body cameras for all departments and training on implicit bias.

The most contentious section, opposed by police and municipal leaders, would strip officers of qualified immunity in some circumstances when they violate someone’s civil rights, allowing them to be sued and held personally liable. Police leaders say the provision would prompt many officers to resign or retire and deter people from becoming officers.

An amendment to delete that provision from the bill failed on a tie vote.

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Rich Valdes

Local Headlines