HARTFORD – Connecticut State Police employees shot and killed a person last night in West Haven. According to news reports, Norwalk police had told their employees to stop pursuing a car, and state police, upon hearing that call via dispatch, chose to pursue the car themselves. According to those reports, at some point, state police then shot and killed the driver of that car. The following is a statement from Melvin Medina, public policy and advocacy director of the ACLU of Connecticut:
“Car pursuits by police are a dangerous and deadly pandemic in Connecticut, and it is deeply concerning that despite the legislature taking action to try to rein in these deadly police decisions, 2020 has begun with policing chasing and killing another person. When police choose to chase someone in a car, they are escalating a situation and endangering the lives of police, pedestrians, and all motorists on that road.
Why, after Norwalk police deescalated the situation by calling off their pursuit, did Connecticut State Police decide to escalate by chasing this driver? Did state police follow Connecticut law, which prohibits police from shooting into a moving car unless there is ‘imminent threat of death’ to the police employee shooter or another person, and which prohibits police from putting themselves in front of a car, unless approved by their employer? By law, police are required to release any body or dashboard camera footage of pursuits and of deadly uses of force within 96 hours, and we call on them to do so now.”
For the Connecticut law regarding police decisions to chase cars, which also requires release of footage of police car pursuits and police uses of deadly force: https://cga.ct.gov/2019/ACT/pa/pdf/2019PA-00090-R00SB-00380-PA.pdf