Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

April 13, 2022

Sen. Anwar Joins Colleagues as Bill Creating State Police Hate Crime Task Force Again Passes Senate

Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) joined his colleagues in the State Senate as they again worked to pass legislation creating a hate crime task force in the state police. In recent years, reports of hate crimes have grown in Connecticut and nationally; having a unit specifically dedicated to investigating them in the state police will improve awareness of and response to crimes of hatred and bias. In 2021, similar legislation passed in the Senate but was never called to a vote in the House; this bill is based on that legislation.

“We continue to see the terrible trend of hate crimes being reported more frequently, year after year, with more than 100 reported in 2020 according to FBI statistics,” said Sen. Anwar. “These discriminatory acts cannot be accepted. We must provide state police with necessary resources to investigate and react to these crimes, bringing perpetrators to justice. This is especially pertinent when it comes to criminal activity by extremists and extremist groups. I’m hopeful this legislation will become law this year.”

Senate Bill 217, “An Act Establishing A Hate Crimes Investigative Unit Within The Division of State Police And Requiring Development of a Reporting System, Best Practices and a Model Investigation Policy For Law Enforcement Units Regarding Hate Crimes,” would create a Hate Crimes Investigative Unit within state police; require development of a reporting system, best practices and a model investigation policy for law enforcement units regarding hate crimes; establish time requirements for the reporting of hate crimes by law enforcement to the Hate Crimes Investigative Unit; and designate the head of the unit as a member of the State-Wide Hate Crimes Advisory Council.

The Hate Crimes Investigative Unit would be responsible for working to prevent and detect certain crimes based on bigotry or bias against race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. It would also need to compile, monitor, analyze and share data on such crimes.

The bill also broadens reporting of bigotry or bias-motivated crimes by local law enforcement, who would need to report on the broader list of crimes covered by the bill and do so using a reporting system developed by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council.

According to FBI statistics, Connecticut saw 101 hate crimes reported in 2020, the most recent year in which data has been compiled. Of those hate crimes, 61 were directed against an individual’s race, ethnicity, or ancestry, 17 involved an individual’s religion, 15 involved sexual orientation and the remaining 8 involved disability or multiple biases.

The bill now moves to the House for further consideration. It previously passed the Public Safety and Security Committee unanimously in March.