Connecticut Legislators Investigating Police Misconduct
Connecticut legislators are evaluating new police department requirements for the handling of officer misconduct complaints. A bill was approved in the Judiciary Committee last week in response to increased reports across the state. If you are facing criminal charges in a case where police misconduct is an issue, you need to seek out an attorney.
East Haven police in particular were singled out for high numbers of racial profiling complaints. Previous complaints led to a Justice Department investigation in 2009 which uncovered biased policing and discrimination behavior in that police department. Specific profiling behavior targeted Latinos, sending four officers to prison and demanding improvements.
Better policing standards are critical, according to Andrew Schneider, American Civil Liberties Union executive director. Schneider says that the Connecticut ACLU has received numerous complaints about police misconduct in the past year and that not enough improvements have been made to protect citizens or accused criminals.
A 2012 ACLU found that police departments put up many barriers for residents who wanted to submit misconduct complaints. A common problem was that complaint forms weren’t made available to the public, since most departments will not accept anonymous complaints. Too many departments required sworn statements with criminal prosecution for false allegations. These barriers kept many residents from making complaints or following through with the process, skewing the numbers of complaints that are ultimately reported and evaluated at the departmental level.The new bill would mandate policy development from the Police Officer Standards and Training Council on procedures for complaint collection and investigation in each police department. In addition, the council would evaluate whether anonymous complaints should be taken into consideration. If you have been arrested where racial profiling or other police misconduct was an issue, you must consult with a Connecticut criminal defense attorney. You have rights that an attorney can help protect when you have been the victim of police misconduct.