No place in policing for ‘power to mistreat people’: CT departments evolve under duty to intervene law

NEW HAVEN — Winchester Police Chief William Fitzgerald says his department has updated its policies since the state’s law enforcement accountability bill was passed, but the reality is that his officers know “use of force should be one of the last resorts for an arrest.”

Like police departments across Connecticut, Fitzgerald is looking at policies, including the one under which police officers now are expressly required to step in when witnessing another officer using excessive force, as the “duty to intervene,” a section of the police reform bill passed into law by the legislature earlier this year, went into effect on Oct. 1.

The Winchester Police Department in Winsted.

State Senate President Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, a co-sponsor of the bill, noted that it was passed as legislators dealt with the “shock” of the death of George Floyd while being restrained by police in Minneapolis, with hopes of preventing such an incident from occurring in

Read More