Volume 6 | October 2020

Some new bills went into effect for Connecticut starting Oct. 1, and some could be life-changing. Here's a summary of the new laws.

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Aaron and Bill
"We are fighters who work to ensure that our clients are informed and empowered, so that we can achieve an outcome that provides peace of mind."
Many parts of new CT police reform bill went into effect Oct. 1
Most Connecticut laws that went into effect Oct. 1 have to do with the police accountability bill that was passed in a special legislative session over the summer. The law represents the largest change to policing in decades in Connecticut.

Some of the more controversial parts of the police bill — changes to qualified immunity that protect officers from lawsuits related to their conduct and a narrowing of the circumstances under which officers can use deadly force — won’t take effect until next year.

Below are the laws that went info effect on Oct. 1.
Police searches require consent
Police in Connecticut cannot ask to search a driver's car if the driver has been stopped solely for a motor vehicle violation. They may only conduct such searches if they have probable cause or receive unsolicited consent. Also, drivers pulled over for motor vehicle violations cannot be asked to produce anything other than their driver’s license, registration and insurance information.
Officer duty to intervene
Police in Connecticut will be required to step in if they witness another officer using unreasonable, excessive or illegal force. The law also applies to correction officers in the state’s prisons. An officer who witnesses unreasonable, excessive or illegal force and does not intervene may be charged with the same crime as the officer who used the force. The law contains exceptions for undercover officers and stipulates that departments cannot retaliate against officers who intervene.
Increased penalties for falsely reporting incidents based on race
Defendants charged with falsely reporting a crime or misusing the 911 system will face stiffer penalties if police determine their false report was racially motivated. The new law was prompted in part by the high-profile case of Amy Cooper — a white woman who called police on a Black man in New York’s Central Park in May and falsely reported he was threatening her life.
Barring ex-cops from becoming security guards
Police officers who lost their state certification will no longer be able to apply for licenses to be security guards in Connecticut. Under existing law, the certification, issued by the state Police Officer Standards and Training Council, can be revoked if the holder is convicted of a felony or has been found by their department to have improperly discharged their firearm resulting in injury or death. The police bill expanded the conditions under which an officer’s certification can be revoked to include discriminatory conduct, falsifying reports, racial profiling or excessive use of force.
New inspector general to investigate police killings
The police bill stipulates that a new independent Office of the Inspector General will be tasked with investigating deadly use of force by police in Connecticut and determining whether the officers involved were justified in their use of force. If the officers' actions are found not to be justified under the law, the inspector general is in charge of prosecuting those cases.

The position to lead the office remained vacant as of last week after the state Criminal Justice Commission last week deadlocked on making a recommendation for the job to the legislature’s judiciary committee, instead sending the names of two finalists for consideration. It’s unclear when the committee will take up the matter. The new agency will require office space and staff before it can be up and running.
All nail technicians in CT will be required to be licensed by Jan. 1
Also as of Oct. 1, nail technicians can begin applying for state licenses. They must have a valid license by Jan. 1 to legally practice. Previously the state didn’t license nail technicians. Technicians who don’t have the required experience to apply for the full license can apply for a technician trainee license. Connecticut was the last state in the country that didn’t require nail technicians to be licensed. 
CT History: Practicing magic could have gotten you executed!
In 1642 Alse Young of Windsor, Connecticut, was the first person executed for witchcraft in America. As crazy as it sounds, witchcraft was considered a capital offense and punishable by death in Connecticut. The crime was thought to be backed by biblical references. Young was hanged at Meeting House Square in downtown Hartford (what is now the site of the Old State House).

Young was not the only Connecticut resident hanged for witchcraft. Records show at least six more executions. Witchcraft was last listed as a capital crime in 1715 and it disappeared from the list of crimes when the laws were printed again in 1750.
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