Morris Champions Excessive Police Force Bill

October 1, 2015

Calling it a first step in an attempt to prevent police brutality, state Rep. Bruce Morris on Monday praised the legislature’s approval of bipartisan legislation that mandates body cameras for law enforcement officers throughout Connecticut, increased police training and the appointment of special prosecutors in cases where there is a death that involves an officer and the use of physical force.

“Connecticut has the chance to lead,” Morris told his colleagues in the House of Representatives before they approved House Bill 7103, An Act Concerning Excessive Use of Force.

Morris, chairman of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, also praised caucus members for their work in passing the bill, and he urged others to join in the nationwide efforts that are occurring now to prevent excessive police force.

“We have that chance today,” Morris said, referencing tragedies around the country such as in North Charleston, S.C., where Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, was shot in the back and killed by a police officer. “Let’s not wait until there’s another tragic death.”

“There is a historic change that is occurring in the country as well as in Connecticut and we have to lead that change.”

“When a technology such as body cameras has attracted the support of both law enforcement and victim advocates, you know its time has come. Public safety is one of government’s top responsibilities, and this bill provides additional tools that will help better protect the public and police officers alike.”

Morris also applauded the legislature’s approval of the “Second Chance Society” legislation, which is designed to continue the progress being made in reducing the state’s dropping crime rate, which is currently at a 48-year low, as well as ensuring nonviolent offenders are being reintegrated into society and become productive members of Connecticut’s economy.

Both the excessive police force bill and the “Second Chance Society” bill are expected to be signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

“The “Second Chance Society” bill was long-overdue, and I am happy the legislature and Governor Malloy have been able to get the job done,” Morris said.