Governor Ned Lamont signed into law last week a measure that expands the candidate pool for a new state prosecutor who would investigate police misconduct. The ACLU of Connecticut sees this as a step towards accountability.
Last fall, Connecticut’s Criminal Justice Commission only considered two candidates already working in the state’s criminal justice division to lead a new Office of Inspector General. Those attorneys often worked with the same local law enforcement they would be investigating.
David McGuire is executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut. He said he hopes the new inspector general will be truly independent.
“They have to really have autonomy and make all decisions regarding their investigations into whether and how to charge police officers. So there is a lot that has to happen in order for this to work. It is the next in a line of efforts to make sure that police are held accountable when they hurt or kill people,” McGuire said.
McGuire said the Inspector General’s Office needs a national search, enough funding and freedom from the influence of the Chief State’s Attorney.
Chief State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo did not return requests for comment. The Stonington Police Department said State Police Chief Association President Darren Stewart was gone for the day at 1 p.m. on Friday.