GOP Senate Candidate: Don’t Rush Police Reform In Special Session

Steve Choi

Steve Choi, Republican candidate for State Senate in the 22nd District that includes Trumbull, Bridgeport and Monroe, issued the following statement regarding LCO 3471, An Act Concerning Police Accountability:

Following a national tragedy, we all feel the immediate need to take action to ensure that this injustice never happens again. However, we should not succumb to emotion, rush discussion, and pass judgement on flawed legislation that has the potential to adversely affect public safety for years to come.

Let me begin by noting that there are several positive provisions in the current draft of the police accountability bill including the following:

— Expansion of outfitting all municipal police cruisers with dash cams and providing body cams for all police officers.

— Five-year required mental health assessments of police officers.

–The addition of the “duty to intervene to stop the use of excessive force.”

Unfortunately, the bill addresses other issues that can be considered a hindrance to reform. In particular, the establishment of a civil cause of action against police officers and the loss of qualified immunity of police officers will forever change how a police officer chooses to assess, engage, and respond in dangerous situations. If a police officer is left questioning whether or when to act, tragedies will be inevitable. “To serve and protect the community,” will become “insure and protect oneself,” if the current version of the bill becomes law.  Every potentially dangerous encounter becomes a no-win situation for law enforcement officers. Police officers rely on their training and the code of conduct; these are policies and procedures that evolve over time. We should always be updating, improving, and providing more training for our officers to ensure public safety.

We can all do better; police officers are no exception to this rule. This rule applies to legislators as well. The discussion has just begun, but two weeks in a hurried special session is not enough time to end the debate on reform. Let’s do better, let’s get this right, and let’s continue the conversation with law enforcement into the next legislative session.



  1. Steve Choi, you said, “Police officers rely on their training and the code of conduct; these are policies and procedures that evolve over time.” Mr. Choi those old ways have created mistrust in different communities and those residents see no change with the police. You also said, “We should always be updating, improving, and providing more training for our officers to ensure public safety,” that sounds good but that didn’t happening and it’s not happening and who is doing the testing, is in house training which is business as usual and that’s not good enough especially when we are talking about life and death..

  2. Steve,
    Thank you for entering a race and running for office. The police bill has multiple issues with which it deals in omnibus fashion. What issues of local (Brideport, Trumbull and Monroe) concern might you distinguish as an example of why go slowly (and locally, perhaps) to fairly deal with particularly local concerns? Are there any issues you can identify as universally satisfactory in your District today? When you mention the potential for “tragedies” if certain parts of current process are changed, perhaps you can identify where you see current “tragic events” on the national scene, referring to unnecessary citizen deaths? Time will tell.

  3. Let me start by saying Steve Choi is a really nice young man, who has worked hard on the Trumbull Board of Finance, both as a minority and majority member.

    It is a shame to see his name attached to a press release consisting of standard Republican Talking points as he runs for State Senate in D22. I would hope to have seen some original thoughts.

    Steve is the latest sacrificial lamb put forth by the Republicans to try to take this Democratic seat. In 2018, Rich Deecken, member of Trumbull P&Z, with the backing of some members of the BDTC went down in flames.
    In 2016,Elaine Hammers, Chairman of the Trumbull Board of Finance, and a former State Representative got beaten soundly, while Trump carried Trumbull.

    The Republican candidate may win the tiny portion of Monroe and 3 of Trumbull’s 4 districts, but they will not pull enough votes to beat the Democratic vote in Bridgeport.

    Many Trumbull Dems I have spoken to, may have previously voted for Steve, because we have required minority party representation on our BOF, are not going to chance losing our only Democratic voice on the State Legislature, even if the eventual D nominee is not their first choice.

    Personally, I await my absentee ballot to vote for Incumbent Senator Marilyn Moore.


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