Judge denies bid to block parts of police accountability law

Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a bid by the Connecticut state troopers’ union to block parts of a new police accountability law that allows public disclosure of personnel files and internal affairs investigations.

Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Haight Jr. in New Haven denied the union’s request for an injunction in a ruling issued Tuesday.

The law approved by Gov. Ned Lamont and legislators earlier this year strips away exemptions to state Freedom of Information laws in the state police contract. The 2018-2022 contract says troopers’ personnel files and documents in internal affairs investigations that end with no finding of wrongdoing are not subject to disclosure.

Haight said the Connecticut State Police Union was unlikely to succeed in proving its claim that the new disclosure requirements are unconstitutional because they conflict with the contract.

The union disagrees with the ruling and plans to appeal to a federal appeals court, said Andrew Matthews, the union’s executive director.

Proponents of the law said it answers the calls for reform after the police killings of George Floyd and other Black people. It creates a new inspector general to investigate police use-of-force cases, limits circumstances in which deadly use of force can be justified and allows civil lawsuits in state courts against officers in certain cases.

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