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Connecticut Legislature Approves New Police Deadly Force Guidelines

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Connecticut representatives approved new guidelines for when police are allowed to use deadly force. The guidelines were approved last year after a series of protests over the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

The bill would change police training under the new rules proposed by the Legislature.

Steven Stafstrom is a Democrat State Representative for Bridgeport. He said the new language in this bill improves upon the police accountability law approved last year.

“Another thing this bill does is it provides additional time for training of our police departments on the use of force policy,” Stafstrom said.

Craig Fishbein is a Republican who represents Wallingford.

“Our job here is to create guidelines, guardrails, for those officers to work within to protect our communities, to protect themselves, but also to recognize the rights of others,” Fishbein said.

The new effective date for the use of force bill would be January 2022 giving officers time to train under the new guidelines.

The bill would allow police to use chokeholds if an officer is defending themselves in a physical altercation. The measure also allows police to defend themselves with deadly force if they believe a felony has been committed and if the person has escaped arrest.

The bill goes before the state Senate next week.

Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.