False Claim: The Police Accountability Bill (HB 6004) will put families in danger.

The Facts:

The Police Accountability Bill (HB 6004)

  • Requires officers to intervene and report incidents of excessive force;

  • Assures mental health screening for all officers, normalizing these check-ins;

  • Bans chokeholds and restricts when deadly force can be used;

  • Includes $4 million to help municipalities purchase body and dashboard cameras;

Read the actual bill here:

https://www.cga.ct.gov/2020/TOB/H/PDF/2020HB-06004-R00-HB.PDF

 

False Claim: The Police Accountability Bill ends qualified immunity for our police.

The Facts: 

  • Qualified immunity is a federal doctrine.  This law did not change that.

  • The bill did not end qualified immunity. It created a new way under state law for people to file a civil suit against a municipality when a police officer has violated their civil rights.

  • The changes apply to only the most egregious cases. A plaintiff must prove and a jury finds that the officer has committed a “willful, wanton or malicious” act. Proof would be required that the officer did so knowingly and with intent.

  • Only under these circumstances, when an officer has been found to have committed such an act, could that officer be financially responsible.

  • The sections of the bill addressing qualified immunity are subject to one year of public hearings and possible changes before becoming law.

False Claim: The Police Accountability Bill was a rushed overreaction to social unrest.

​The Facts:

  • In 2019 the legislature passed a bill (SB 380) establishing the Police Accountability Task Force in order to review standards and address citizens’ concerns about police transparency and racial bias.

  • In 2020, in the wake of George Floyd’s death, residents throughout CT expressed profound concern about police violence, including constituents here in Fairfield. Citizens demanded a new conversation and transparency that hold accountable all of us in power, elected officials at every level of government, and our law enforcement, including the police.

  • The Police Accountability Bill was developed through many hours of deliberation with Republican and Democratic leaders of the Judiciary Committee, which held a public listening session and engaged in negotiation with police leadership.

  • Changes were made to the proposed bill based on this input, specifically in response to police concerns.

False Claim: Proposed Zoning Amendments will end local control over zoning in Fairfield.

  • Give communities tools that will help guide and direct affordable housing development.

The Facts:​

 

Proposed Zoning Amendments will:

  • Retain local control of regulations to protect historic homes and areas, protect surface and groundwater drinking supplies, control building height, lot coverage and density and more;

  • Reorganize, simplify and clarify dated law governing zoning (zoning enabling statute);

  • Eliminate legally ambiguous word “character,” which to many people suggests exclusion;

  • Provide concrete tools for communities to develop robust affordable housing plans;

False Claim: School Regionalization will end local control of Fairfield’s schools.

The Facts:

  • The proposals introduced applied to towns with fewer than 2,000 students.  Fairfield has approximately 10,000 students.  

  • The proposals were just that; no bill was voted out of committee. 

  • The legislature called for a study of cost-saving measures and efficiencies for small school districts.

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