Contact: Laurence Grotheer
May 12, 2011
State Senator Andrea L. Stillman (D-Waterford), former chair of the legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee, today won Senate approval of her initiative to limit the creation and distribution of images of crime victims and accident victims. SB1099, An Act Concerning the Unauthorized Taking or Transmission by First Responders of Images of Crime or Accident Victims, creates criminal penalties for using a personal device to create an image of a crime or accident victim and transmitting that image to private individuals.
Senator Stillman said the impetus for her bill originated with the heart wrenching story of a family in her district; she and State Representative Betsy Ritter (D-Waterford) are now working collaboratively to protect the privacy rights of accident and crime victims and their families statewide through this legislation.
“The heroic efforts of first responders, whether in law enforcement, firefighting, or emergency medical services, cannot be understated—with this bill we simply want to remind them to stay respectful of the victims they encounter and the families of those victims,” Senator Stillman said. “By prohibiting first responders from taking or distributing unauthorized images of the victims we ensure sensitivity to the fallout any of these graphic images could generate.”
SB1099 received unanimous approval in the Judiciary Committee and cleared the Public Safety and Security Committee by a 21—1 margin. With today’s Senate passage the bill now advances to the House of Representatives for its consideration.
“The tragic experience of a Waterford family, already trying to cope with the unfathomable loss of their only son, a 20 year-old who had enlisted in the army and was about to be deployed to Afghanistan, was grossly compounded by a New London police officer who photographed the accident scene and sent the images to a few friends,” Senator Stillman said. “No family should have to endure such a violation of privacy and decency at such a vulnerable time and this bill will help protect all families from that risk.”
“I urge to my counterparts in the House to take prompt action to approve this bill,” Senator Stillman added.
Vice Chair: Transportation
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
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