Connecticut's Police Use-Of-Force Disproportionately harms Blacks
FILE - This Jan. 15, 2020, still image from dashboard camera video released by the Connecticut State Police shows Trooper Brian North after discharging his weapon and fatally shooting Mubarak Soulemane following a high-speed chase. North was arrested Tuesday night, April 19, 2022, in connection with the shooting, state police said. (Connecticut State Police via AP, File) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Connecticut has released statewide police use-of-force data for the first time, and the numbers show Black people are impacted disproportionately.

The report was submitted by the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP) at UConn and studied the years 2019 and 2020.

Connecticut is only the second state in the country to collect and independently analyze use-of-force reports from police. New Jersey was the first state.

IMRP cautioned that “the quality of data reviewed is insufficient, and a significant number of police departments failed to report data.” However, the statistics still show a disproportionate impact on the Black community in the state.

Connecticut Police Use-Of-Force Findings

Connecticut’s population is 13% Black, 65% non-Hispanic White, and 18% Hispanic. The report found that of the more than 1,300 people subjected to police use-of-force, 38% were Black, 33% were non-Hispanic White, and 20% were Hispanic.

The reports for 1,261 incidents (626 incidents in 2019 and 635 incidents in 2020) came from 60 police departments. IMRP noted that there were some police departments both years that did not provide any data.

Ken Barone, associate director of the institute, said it may be better to compare the use-of-force data with arrest data. In 2019 and 2020, about 34% of people arrested in Connecticut were Black, 44% were white and 21% were Hispanic. The number of use-of-force incidents was just 1% of the number of arrests.

“A disparity still appears to exist in reported incidents of force involving Black individuals when compared to available arrest data,” the report said.

Also worth noting is the fact that an overwhelming majority of people involved in use-of-force incidents were unarmed (90% in 2019 and 85% in 2020).

“It is another clear indication that there needs to be a very intentional move by government, to move money out of policing and into services people need,” David McGuire, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, told the AP.

Mike Creef is a fighter for equality and justice for all. Growing up bi-racial (Jamaican-American) on the east coast allowed him to experience many different cultures and beliefs that helped give him a...

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