Proposed legislation in Connecticut that would delegate some police training to a group that has reported on alleged racial profiling by police in the state faced resistance from state law enforcement officials this week, the Associated Press reported. Police officials testified before Connecticut lawmakers that having the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy recommend police training wouldn’t be needed because it might duplicate the work done by another agency, the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council.
Berlin Police Chief Paul Fitzgerald said, “It's unnecessary. There's quite a breadth of experience and talent on the council … Why would [the institute analysts] be better than the people on the POST Council?”
The Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy, located at Central Connecticut State University, has been analyzing law enforcement data, and said in two reports from last year that data showed police in Connecticut used their stun guns on, and conducted traffic stops of, minorities at disproportionate rates.
Some lawmakers said the initiative could provide checks and balances to the training of police officers. The POST Council overseas the Connecticut state police academy and is run by state police officials.
“What has occurred all too often ... is the training ... has been developed and implemented by the law enforcement profession," State Sen. Eric Coleman, D-Bloomfield, said.
NAACP wants more regulations for police stun gun use - WFSB 3 Connecticut https://t.co/5hC7WbjwjY
— Darnell D. Crosland (@DarnellCrosland) February 26, 2016
Police and community relations have been strained in the past couple of years, with many minorities across the country speaking out against a perceived bias against them by officers. Since the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri, by a white police officer who wasn’t indicted for the death, protests have been staged across the country by members of the Black Lives Matter movement, a social justice group that aims to bring attention to the death of African-Americans by police.