The Connecticut state Senate voted Thursday for two key law enforcement bills that would strengthen the state’s racial profiling law and protect citizens’ rights to videotape police officers in their official duties, reports the Hartford Courant. The videotaping bill was prompted by the arrest of a Roman Catholic priest in February 2009, which prompted a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors and the FBI that led to the arrest of four East Haven police officers on charges of obstructing justice and excessive force against Latino residents.
The Senate voted to strengthen the decade-old profiling law, which some senators said is not being followed by police. Only 27 of the 92 local police departments are in compliance with the law, according to Senate Democrats. The president of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, Douglas Fuchs, does not agree that few departments are complying, adding that racial profiling data do not “accurately portray how Connecticut law enforcement across the state conducts business.” Both bills now go to the House.