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Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Time: 6:27 PM

Copy of the letter requesting that an ad hoc committee be formed to address the "zone hopping" loophole in the sex offender ordinance dated 12.06.06

First posted back in March, in it's entirety, here's video footage of the ad-hoc committee that was set up after the passage of the sex offender ordinance.

Here are some things to note that you should take note:

1. During the December 2006 meeting, although he NEVER SPECIFICALLY EXPLAINED WHY THIS WAS THE CASE, Corporation Council Dan Casagrante stated that Tom Saadi's amendment (which would close the zone hopping loophole) would drastically change the scope of the ordinance which would have it go back to a public hearing, then back to the council for a vote.

2. Several Republicans on the Council, including President Joe Cavo, stated that they did not want to delay the passage of the ordinance (again, although corporation council never specially explained why Saadi's very minor amendment would require such a delay).

3. The Republicans wanted to vote on the ordinance in order to keep the children safe and would form an ad-hoc committee to address the zone hopping loophole as soon as possible.

Now, while taking these points into consideration, it's critical to note that:

1. This ad-hoc committee (which was primarily created to address the zone hopping loophole that was hindering the police department from effectively enforcing the ordinance) did not meet until SEVEN MONTHS LATER in the late summer AS KIDS WERE OUT OF SCHOOL on summer break and populated the city parks (a.k.a child safety zones).

2. Although Corporation Council stated in December that Saadi's amendment would DRASTICALLY CHANGE the scope of the ordinance, he did not address HOW this change would change the scope of the ordinance with the ad-hoc committee. In fact, Dan Casagrante spent approximately 1 minute 45 seconds addressing the Saadi amendment with a majority of his speech being historical in nature.

3. The ACLU has informed the City of Danbury that the ordinance is unconstitutional.

Here's the transcript (which starts at 1:42 of the video):
CORPORATION COUNCIL: I want to go to the change that was requested by Mr. Cavo first. That's on the last page of the ordinance.

On the floor of the council meeting, it was brought up that there was a potential flaw in the way the ordinance was drafted, was written. As written it said if a police officer encountered a sex offender in a child safety zone, as defined in the ordinance, that person would receive a infraction, I'm sorry a warning. And then, if that person refuses to leave or is later found in that child safety zone, then person would receive an infraction.

It was pointed out that basically would not prohibit an offender from say going from Roger's Park, getting a warning there, a then being found on Candlewood beach Town park the next day. The Council felt that the warning...that the offender should stay out of all child safety zones should suffice so that the next time, the person would be given an infraction.

We added the language in the last page...if a person refuses to leave or if is later found to be in the same or any other child safety zone, the penalty set forth should apply.

THAT'S IT! From that moment until today, that's the only thing Corporation Council has said about the Saadi loophole amendment.

One minute a 45 seconds EIGHT MONTHS LATER on an issue that by all accounts could have been resolved back in December 2006. Instead, the council tied the hands of the police and prevented them from properly enforcing a law that was designed to PROTECT CHILDREN.

...also note that this ad-hoc committee involved a laundry list of other changes to the ordinance AND was continued till a later date (that date being SEVEN MONTHS LATER).


NOTE: The following video is raw and unedited.

posted by ctblogger at 6:27 PM | Permalink|


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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

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