Dear Progressive Women,
I write to you as someone not well versed in the issues surrounding police accountability. My life has been so blessed that I have rarely had to even think about this issue.
But now there is a bill before the state legislature titled An Act Concerning Police Accountability. I have been compelled to read and listen about this issue. What I have learned is that black and brown people have had to think about the issue of police accountability every day of their lives. Every time they leave their home. Every time they drive their car. They have had to give their sons “the talk.”
We in Progressive Women have become aware of the issue of racial justice. We have posted Black Lives Matter signs and we are reading books about white privilege.
These actions mean nothing unless structural reforms are also made.
And so I write to those of you - you who are serious about addressing racial justice - to take some time to understand this issue, and then write to your legislators and ask them to support this bill.
There has been significant push back on this bill, particularly around the issue of “qualified immunity.” Senator Gary Winfield, one of the chairs of the Judiciary Committee, said he and other legislators are getting inundated with calls and emails in opposition to the bill, primarily because of qualified immunity.
What I have learned is that qualified immunity sustains systemic racism.
Read ACLU's discussion:
Would you please take some time to learn a bit more, and to write your legislators in support? I know a lot is going on in your lives, and this is a big ask. But remember, it is only big because we have lived for so long with so much white privilege that we have never had to worry about this issue.
Thank you for taking the time to learn, and to write to your legislators in support.
This is what I sent to Jillian Gilchrest and Derek Slap (my state reps):
Dear Representative Gilchrest and Senator Slap, I am writing to urge you to pass LCO #3471 An Act Concerning Police Accountability (AACPA) with amendments. This proposed bill includes important reforms including the bill’s current language banning qualified immunity for police and prohibiting stop and frisk.
This is a moment in Connecticut’s history that we cannot let pass by. You have an opportunity to pass strong legislation that will make Connecticut safer for all of our residents, especially our residents of color. I support this legislation.
Thank you for your service to our state,
Here is additional information from Moral Monday CT:
Here is ACLU written testimony with more information about the bill:
Here is the original draft bill:
FYI, Police rallying against the bill
You can also send testimony to the Judiciary Committee:
If you scroll down this page, https://www.cga.ct.gov/jud/
you will be able to read other testimony (pro and con).
Please let me know of other good resources.