Tag Archives: connecticut

Conn. Gov. to Ban Gun Sales to People on Terror Watch Lists via Executive Order

Democratic Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy announced at a Thursday press conference that he intends to sign an executive order banning the sale of guns to individuals who have been placed on a federal anti-terror watch list.

We intend to prevent, by executive order through my powers as governor, those on government watch lists from obtaining a permit to purchase a firearm in Connecticut. The executive order would add an additional level of protection and require those who apply for a permit to be screened against government watch lists,” said Gov. Malloy according to NBC Connecticut.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: Abolish the Unconstitutional No-Fly List Before It Is Too Late]

Connecticut requires all gun purchasers to first submit to a permit process involving a background check, and Gov. Malloy’s executive order is intended to block anyone found on federal watch lists from purchasing pistols, rifles, shotguns, or ammo.

According to WFSB-TV, Gov. Malloy is not yet sure which government watch lists he intends to use as his basis for banning guns. “We are working with federal authorities to gain access to these lists… whether it be a no-fly list or some combination of people who should not have weapons,” he said. “Congress has failed to act, so in Connecticut we shall act. If you can not fly due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to buy a weapon.

Gov. Malloy added, “If [the request for access to federal watch lists is] approved, we will sign an executive order. We will take action. Like all Americans, I’ve been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in California and Paris. This should be a wake-up call for all of us. This is a moment to seize here in America, and today, I am here to say in Connecticut, we are seizing this moment.

The Wall Street Journal’s Byron Tau wrote, “The federal government maintains several databases of people suspected of links to terrorism, including a no-fly list barring certain individuals from boarding airplanes in the U.S. Those databases, especially the no-fly list, long have been challenged by civil libertarians regarding the lack of transparency about how and why people are included. Most individuals in the databases have never been charged with a crime and are only suspected of being involved with terrorism.

In April of 2013, a few months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., Gov. Malloy signed into law one of the strictest gun control bills in the nation, requiring universal background checks for all firearms purchases and banning the sale of magazines that hold over ten rounds of ammunition.

First-in-the-Nation CT Law Requires Police to File Use-of-Force Report After Firing Taser

In Connecticut, a new law just took effect which mandates that police fill out a use-of-force report after deploying a Taser on a suspect. According to The Stratford Star, Public Act 14-149, which went into effect on January 1 of this year, requires law enforcement officers to record the race and gender of each individual hit by a stun gun, as well as the number of times it was fired, the setting that was used while firing, and the injuries that it caused. Connecticut is the first state to pass a law requiring such reports each time a Taser is deployed.

Connecticut’s East Haven Police Department has served as a state-wide model on how to log Taser use-of-force reports, as it already implemented its own reforms as a part of a 2012 consent decree settlement with the Department of Justice. According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, a December 2011 DOJ report stated that East Haven officers demonstrated “a pattern or practice of systematically discriminating against Latinos,” which prompted federal officials to recommend the new policies, which have been in force there since that time. Public Act 14-149 also stipulates that each Connecticut police department must adopt specific use-of-force policies for Taser deployments.

East Haven Police Chief Brent Larrabee described his department’s Taser rules to WNPR News, “In our case, they had a policy dating back to 2009, which was probably — at the time — just as good as it could be. But because of the circumstances here, we’ve certainly gone much farther and much more in depth, particularly about supervisory review, capturing all of the electronic data, storage of the electronic data, [and] mandating officers to make sure any time they use force, that a supervisor is there to investigate.”

The law requires that police download on-board data from the weapon itself after each use and mandates that all Taser deployments be posted online by the Office of Policy Management’s Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division.

ACLU of Connecticut representative David McGuire described the new Taser reports in comments to WNPR News, “It’s a very thorough report. It goes through the person’s race, their age, their height, their weight; how the Taser was used; what mode it was used in; how many times it was fired; whether the person had an injury; whether medical assistance was provided.”

Though other states, counties, and municipalities are wrestling with the issue of use-of-force by police and may implement their own reforms in the near future, Connecticut is the first US state to enact such a clear policy on Taser use.

UPDATE: Connecticut Supreme Court rules teen must continue chemotherapy

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled a teen must continue to undergo chemotherapy to fight her cancer, despite her wish to not undergo treatment.

The story posted earlier this week described a 17-year-old named “Cassandra C.” in court papers, who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. She, with the support of her mother, Jackie Fortin, refused to undergo treatment, but the state of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families was granted temporary custody of Cassandra so they could force chemo on the teen.

A legal battle ensued over the right for the teen to refuse the treatment, but the Supreme Court of Connecticut has ruled in favor of the DCF.

The chemotherapy treatment Cassandra is undergoing is believed to offer her an 85 percent chance of survival, according to medical experts who testified at the trial. However, these same experts said if she continued to refuse treatment, the teen would likely be dead within two years.

“This is her decision and her rights, which is what we are here fighting about,” said Fortin. “We should have choices about what to do with our bodies.”

Fortin and Cassandra have been asking the courts to recognize the “mature minor doctrine” which would allow a minor who shows the maturity of an adult to be able to make choices in the same capacity as an adult. The Courts ruled, however, Cassandra is not mature in this regards and the doctrine does not therefore apply to her.

Peter Johnson Jr., a legal analyst for FOX News, has said the family in this instance is wrong to think Cassandra can simply refuse treatment, given she is a minor. “The state of Connecticut has an obligation to prevent suicide. If she does not get this treatment, this is a form of suicide, and frankly the American Civil Liberties Union is complicit in her death if she dies,” said Johnson.

Since being under the custody of the DCF, Cassandra has undergone the chemotherapy and doctors have said she is responding well to it.

John E Tucker, the assistant Connecticut attorney general, told NBC News, “To interrupt that treatment would be devastating, even more devastating than delaying the treatment in the initial instance.”

“She knows I love her and I’m going to keep fighting for her because this is her decision,” said Fortin, according to NPR. “I know more than anyone, more than DCF, that my daughter is old enough, mature enough to make a decision. If she wasn’t, I’d be making that decision.”

A teen is told she has to receive chemotherapy by the state

A Connecticut teen who was recently diagnosed with cancer is being forced by the state to undergo chemotherapy treatment.

The 17-year-old girl, who has been identified in court papers as “Cassandra C.”, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a rare form of cancer, in September 2014. Doctors recommended she undergo a series of chemotherapy treatments, but Cassandra refused with the support of her mother, Jackie Fortin.

She has always—even years ago—said that if she was diagnosed with cancer, she would not put poison into her body,” said Jackie, according to NBC Connecticut

Once she refused treatment, Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families became involved by petitioning for, and receiving, temporary custody of the teen and by saying, according to FOX CT, the teen needed the treatment and she would receive it.

“Following a hearing at which Cassandra’s doctors testified, the trial court ordered that she be removed from her home and that she remain in DCF’s care and custody,” read court papers according to CBS Connecticut. “The court also authorized DCF to make all necessary medical decisions on Cassandra’s behalf.”

Cassandra ran away from the hospital she was placed in shortly after she had received the first two chemo-treatments.

Since receiving the treatments, Cassandra and Jackie argued forcing chemotherapy on Cassandra was a violation of their rights to choose treatment or not.  “It’s a question of fundamental constitutional rights–the right to have a say over what happens to your body–and the right to say to the government ‘you can’t control what happens to my body,’” said Jackie.

Michael Taylor, Jackie and Cassandra’s attorney, said the decision should not be a decision the state’s government gets involved in. “That really ought to be up to Cassandra. It ought not to be for the state to jump in and say ‘well, regardless of your decision, we think we know better,'” said Taylor. 

The Connecticut Supreme Court will hear this case Thursday, but until then, Cassandra must stay in the hospital and continue the state mandated treatment program.

Police Officer Arresting Another Police Officer? Nope, Says A Connecticut State’s Attorney

Enfield, Conn. – Police officers in Enfield, Connecticut were ready to arrest one of their own. On April 1st, Officer Matthew Worden brutally assaulted a suspect when Worden claimed the suspect was resisting arrest. However, Worden’s story does not match the injuries or the video that recorded the incident.

Worden told Lt. Lawrence Curtis that he hit the suspect, Mark Maher, twice in the shoulder because he was “tensing his arm” and “clenching his fists” during a pat down on the hood of the cruisermarkmaher_enfieldpd. Worden claimed he punched Maher’s upper right arm “to disrupt the nerves and incapacitate the muscles so the arms could be controlled.”

In the 7-page arrest warrant that attempted to charge Worden with third-degree assault and fabricating evidence, the actions of Worden were deemed “neither necessary nor needed.” The application goes on to to state that the video does not show Maher resisting arrest, but rather shows Worden throwing Maher to the ground and adjusting his glove before delivering more punches.

“We conducted our own criminal investigation and reviewed all of the statements and evidence and believed we had probable cause to submit an arrest warrant,” Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza said.

In the rejection letter, sent late last week, state’s attorney Gail Hardy said the video “depicts many moving parts where it is extremely difficult to keep up with everything that is going on with all parties.” The letter also stated that although the actions of Worden violated the police department rules, the actions did not elevate to criminal level.

This is not the first time Worden has had the spotlight on him. According to the Hartford CourantEnfield, a department with nearly 100 sworn officers, has had 26 civilian complaints in the past four years. One-third of those were against Worden, records show. In 2013, Worden had half of the six citizen’s complaints against the department.

Worden has had complaints ranging from being rude at traffic stops, racial profiling, ordering a dog to attack a person Worden mistook for a burglar and once was suspended for getting into a fist fight with a fellow officer during a domestic dispute with Worden’s then-girlfriend. Worden was arrested but the charges were dropped.

Maher was charged with resisting arrest.

Thousands Of Connecticut Residents Commit Felony By Failing To Register Firearms


Thousands of gun owners in Connecticut technically committed a Class D felony when they chose not to register their semi-automatic rifles with the state last month. Gun control laws passed in April, in response to the Sandy Hook shooting, required Connecticut residents to register all military-style rifles with the state by January 1, 2014.

According to estimates, only about 15 percent of rifles owned by Connecticut citizens were registered by the New Year. The Courant reported, “No one has anything close to definitive figures, but the most conservative estimates place the number of unregistered assault weapons well above 50,000, and perhaps as high as 350,000.”

Sen. Tony Guglielmo, R-Stafford, told The Courant, “I honestly thought from my own standpoint that the vast majority would register. f you pass laws that people have no respect for and they don’t follow them, then you have a real problem.”

Despite the fact that the new law was widely covered by Connecticut media, many citizens likely did not register their guns simply out of ignorance. Scott Wilson, president of the Second Amendment advocacy group Connecticut Citizens Defense League, said, “There are a lot of people, they just do not know about this law. There are people finding out now after the fact.”

Other Connecticut residents, however, did not register their firearms on purpose. Guglielmo met one man at a town hall meeting who knowingly did not come forward and register his military-style rifle. Guglielmo said, “He made the analogy to prohibition. I said, ‘You’re talking about civil disobedience, and he said ‘Yes.'”

It is unclear if those who violated the new law will be held accountable, given that determining the exact number of new felons is a “guessing game.”

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