Statement on Racism and Police Brutality

The murder of George Floyd has confronted our nation with another moment of clarity concerning our ugly racial history. The Stratford Democratic Town Committee emphatically lends our voice in condemning the disproportionate violence, harassment, and injustice perpetrated upon the black community. We also acknowledge that it is too little to simply state “Black Lives Matter.” We must all work together to bring substantive change.

We call upon all elected officials at all levels of government to take an active stand towards improving oversight and transparency. We ask for our officials to support smarter, results-based criminal justice policies and an end to racial disparity at all levels of the system. We applaud Gov. Lamont for proposing a ban on chokeholds, but we urge him not to stop there. We look for the legislature, the governor, local and federal officials to support the following measures:

      • Police officers be required to de-escalate situations and avoid the use of force, to provide warning before shooting, and that lethal force be expressly prohibited except in instances of immediate and clear threat.
      • All instances of lethal force be subject to mandatory and independent review.
      • Require all officers to intervene and stop excessive force by their fellow officers, and require comprehensive reporting on every instance of force, or the threat of force, against civilians.
      • Eliminate qualified immunity provisions.
      • Address racial profiling.
      • Define clear consequences when police officers don’t follow the law.

    Lastly, we promise to do better ourselves. The injustices perpetrated on the black community have not persisted exclusively under the watch of any one political party or organization. We promise to hold ourselves to a higher standard, to expect nothing less from our own diverse membership, elected officials, and endorsed candidates. We promise to work with other organizations, community leaders, and our neighbors to see these things come to pass. We promise that we will not remain silent in the presence of racial injustice. We promise that in all things we will be part of the solution.

    Sincerely,

    Stratford Democratic Town Committee