Minority state legislators facilitate the abuse of their own people

Minority state legislators facilitate the abuse of their own people

Gun Rights

Sometimes elected officials who have many black and Hispanic constituents demand accountability from police. But the other day black and Hispanic members of the state House of Representatives helped blast a hole in Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act so state troopers more easily might get away with misconduct. Except for three who were absent, all the minority representatives joined nearly all other Democratic representatives in ratifying a new contract for the state police union that conceals trooper personnel files, including information about misconduct complaints that are dismissed. Why should even complaints deemed unfounded be accessible to the public? Because police sometimes cover up wrongdoing, as was shown by the case of a man who was harassed by troopers while he picketed a drunken-driving checkpoint in West Hartford in 2015. The troopers seized the protester’s pistol and video camera, indifferent to his permit to carry the gun and unaware that his camera was running after they took it. When the troopers realized that the protester had a gun permit, the camera’s audio recorded them fabricating charges against him. "Gotta cover our ass," one trooper said. The protester was charged with several infractions but then he posted on the internet the audio of the troopers conspiring. In court the charges were dismissed. The state police refused to disclose their report on the protester’s complaint about the incident. When it was pried loose under right-to-know law, it showed a whitewash. This stuff will happen more often now that the state police union […]

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