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Report: Conn Police Make It Hard To File Complaints Against Officers

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A study of police procedures in Connecticut has found problems with how departments handle complaints against officers.

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A report released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut lists issues ranging from a lack of complaint forms, to threats of intimidation or prosecution of those who wish to bring complaints.

The organization said the study points to the need for statewide standards to ensure that those with complaints about misconduct will not be turned away, intimidated or silenced.

"We've been hearing from too many people who have had difficulty filing complaints with their local police departments," said David McGuire, staff attorney for the ACLU of Connecticut, who supervised the study. "We rely on the police for our safety, and we're grateful for their service. But we also entrust police officers with extraordinary authority, including the power to use deadly force, and this must be balanced by accountability, with a clear and reliable method for civilians to register their concerns about police conduct."

The report follows a high-profile federal investigation that found a pattern of police discrimination toward Latinos in the East Haven Police Department, and led to reforms in complaint procedures there.

A message seeking comment was left Tuesday with Southington Police Chief Jack Daly, the president of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association.

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(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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