Bill Would Make Police Chokeholds a Federal Crime
A New York congressman announced that he's sponsoring a bill that would make chokeholds a federal crime.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said at a news conference that the legislation would amend civil rights laws that deal with excessive force by defining chokeholds as a depravation of rights under the color of law, reported AP.
"The chokehold is the classic example of an unnecessary violent police tactic," Jeffries said. "It is an unreasonable measure, it is an uncivilized measure ... and this bill will make it an unlawful measure."
Chokeholds have been widely discouraged or banned by large police departments around the country, including the NYPD, said AP. "But police critics argue that Garner's death — along with a city inspector general report saying that there were other instances where officers used them "as a first act of physical force" — show there's a need for more safeguards," AP said.
"It's clear department policy is not sufficient and that's why we are introducing this legislation," Jeffries said.