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Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday signed an omnibus reform intended to bolster police accountability, calling it “long overdue.” By far the most contested provision of the new law is its section limiting governmental immunity for police officers. Under HB 6004, “no police officer, acting alone or in conspiracy with another, shall deprive any person or class of persons” of their rights enshrined in the Connecticut Constitution’s Declaration of Rights, the state’s equivalent of the U.S. Bill of Rights. Anyone who has had their rights violated by a police officer can then sue them for damages in civil court.
This reform came perilously close to defeat. In the state House of Representatives, an amendment to remove the section was tied: Just one more vote would have eliminated it. Following Colorado, Connecticut is now the second state that has limited legal immunity for law enforcement officers in the wake of the George Floyd protests.
NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT – JUNE 11: Demonstrators protest against police brutality on June 11, 2020 in … [+] New Haven, Connecticut. Members of the Latino community marched to highlight cases of police-related deaths and in solidarity of the Black Lives Matter movement. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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