Chokeholds and ‘Carotid Restraints’ are prohibited by the Justice Department unless lethal force is used.


Chokeholds and ‘Carotid Restraints’ are prohibited by the Justice Department unless lethal force is used.

Chokeholds and other carotid restraints have been outlawed at the highest levels of federal law enforcement unless they are used in conjunction with lethal force.

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice announced new policies prohibiting the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies from using neck restraints on suspects, except in limited circumstances where such force is justified, such as “when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.”

The government also said it will limit the use of “no-knock” incursions, in which federal agents are authorized to enter a building without being notified and execute a search warrant.

The recommendations, according to Attorney General Merrick Garland, are intended to help law enforcement and the public gain trust and confidence.

“Today’s restrictions on the use of ‘chokeholds,’ ‘carotid restraints,’ and ‘no-knock’ warrants, combined with the Department of Justice’s recent expansion of body-worn cameras to federal agents, are among the important steps the department is taking to improve law enforcement safety and accountability,” Garland said in a statement.

The new restrictions are the result of Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco’s examination of federal law enforcement organizations. Monaco stated on Tuesday that it was critical for the authorities to follow a single set of standards in these areas.

“As members of federal law enforcement, we have a shared responsibility to lead by example in a way that inspires trust and confidence in the communities we serve,” she continued.

Following George Floyd’s death last year, a nationwide campaign to outlaw chokeholds gathered traction. Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers after former officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nine minutes.

Floyd yelled “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times during the police killing, which was documented on film. Chauvin was found guilty of unintended second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He was sentenced to 22 and a half years in jail in June.

According to the Associated Press, at least 17 states have passed legislation prohibiting or restricting the use of chokeholds since Floyd’s death. Only two states had bans on hold before that, according to the Associated Press. This is a condensed version of the information.


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