HARTFORD – Governor Ned Lamont today issued an executive order requiring the Connecticut State Police to review their use of force policy, temporarily suspend acquisition of military equipment, wear body cameras, not use choke holds, and create new “community liaisons” for each state police troop.
The following is a reaction from Melvin Medina, public policy and advocacy director for the ACLU of Connecticut:
“Today’s executive order from Governor Lamont does nothing to end police violence or racism. At a time when people across Connecticut and the country are calling for divestment from policing and for meaningful action to end police violence and racism inherent in policing, Lamont has issued an executive order that proposes increasing policing, leaves the door open for future militarization by police, and allows police to continue policing themselves. Internal police policies are enforced by and for police themselves, yet Lamont’s order merely requires the state police to review their internal policies on uses of force.
If Lamont was serious about acting to prioritize Black lives, he would have already used his authority to call the legislature in to special session, divested the JAG grant for more policing to instead go to justice-impacted people, and issued an executive order limiting police interactions by limiting arrests during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has failed or refused to do each of those things.
The people of Connecticut deserve much better than Lamont’s order, which amounts to lukewarm heat and no light. The Connecticut General Assembly must come back into session to accomplish the things Lamont has refused to do, including reducing the role and size of policing in our state, creating an equitable COVID-19 response plan, and decarcerating prisons and jails.”