Representative Introduces New Legislation To Ban Chokeholds

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold by New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo on July 17, 2014. Though Pantaleo was not indicted for Garner’s death, which was ruled a homicide, New York Police Department had banned the chokehold in 1993. Currently, it isn’t illegal under federal law, but a new law aims to change that.

Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York announced the Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act while standing next to Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, in front of One Police Plaza in Manhattan. Jefferies said 20 other Democratic representatives have cosponsored the bill, reports The Huffington Post.

“The chokehold is a classic example of violent police tactics,” Jeffries told reporters. “It is an unreasonable measure. It is an unnecessary measure. It is an uncivilized measure. This bill will make it an unlawful measure.”

The legislation defines a chokehold as “the application of any pressure to the throat or windpipe which may prevent or hinder.”

Jefferies noted there were more than 1,000 complaints about NYPD officers using chokeholds between 2009 and 2013. Of those complaints, the Civilian Complaint Review Board only verified nine of them and disciplined one officer by docking some of his vacation time.

“Police violence in Cleveland, police violence in North Charleston, police violence in Baltimore, and police violence right here in New York,” he said. “These are just a few of the recent examples that happened to be caught on videotape, but that clearly are indicative of a broader problem that we have to address.”

The Department of Justice is reviewing Pantaleo’s conduct to determine if he violated Garner’s civil rights

Sources: New York Times, The Huffington Post

Image Source: Hakeem Jeffries Via The Huffington Post