Connecticut, like the rest of the country, must reduce the role, responsibilities, and presence of police, especially in Black and Latinx communities. This means, at minimum, diverting funds from policing to instead build safe and healthy communities. Through litigation, legislative advocacy, and education, the ACLU of Connecticut seeks changes to counterproductive policies that have disproportionately harmed communities of color in our state, and to educate people about their rights when interacting with police. We have fought against the increasing militarization of local police departments, sought an end to civil asset forfeiture, warned against the weaponization of police drones, and condemned racial disparities in traffic stops. We sued after police unjustly stopped and searched a pregnant woman, a music minister, and a protester. We helped to pass landmark laws to require police transparency about Taser use and to require police to obtain warrants before using "stingrays" to spy on people's private cellphone communications. 

Since 2017, the ACLU of Connecticut has worked on Project Flashlight, a website publicly launched in 2022 that shines light on the ways Connecticut's more than 100 police agencies operate in secret. Information is power, and Project Flashlight works to get information to the people. The site’s first phase, in early 2022, included information about police contracts (collective bargaining agreements) and police commissions. In the coming years, this transparency website will add two more sections: use of force, which will include easy-to-navigate data about when police use force "likely to cause serious physical injury” (a definition that exists under state law); and suits and settlements, which will provide information about police who are sued for their conduct, and the outcome of those lawsuits. 

We believe racial equity cannot be realized within a system that disproportionately harms families and communities of color, and furthermore, the criminal legal system promotes neither justice nor safety. We seek to reallocate funds from policing to community-based programs and services; expose systemic racism caused and perpetuated by police; increase access to open records; create consequences for police who commit violence; and reduce the power, role, and scope of policing in Connecticut. We challenge the actors and systemic factors that cause violence to our communities by funneling people into the criminal legal system. We work to reduce the role, scope, tactics, and power of police. We continue to promote the reallocation of funding from policing to instead go to programs and services that advance public health and safety by creating thriving communities. We are proactive in holding police accountable for their racist, harmful, and unconstitutional actions.