Minneapolis Agrees To Ban All Police Chokeholds In Wake of George Floyd Death and Require Lower-ranking Officers To ‘Intervene’ If Neck Restraint Used

Minneapolis Agrees To Ban All Police Chokeholds In Wake of George Floyd Death and Require Lower-ranking Officers To ‘Intervene’ If Neck Restraint Used

Protest against police brutality following the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd and the hands of police in Lower Manhattan – New York City, May 29, 2020 (Shutterstock)

By Nancy Dillon, NY Daily News

Minneapolis city officials agreed Friday to ban all police chokeholds and neck restraints and require nearby officers to intervene if such tactics are used in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

City Council President Lisa Bender announced the deal shortly before the full council unanimously voted to approve it during an emergency meeting Friday afternoon.

The pact is a temporary restraining order hammered out by city negotiators and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, the state body that sued the city earlier this week.

Once signed by a judge, it will become enforceable in court.

According to the deal, the city will amend its Police Department Policy and Procedure Manual within 10 days “to prohibit the use of all neck restraints or choke holds for any reason,” the stipulated agreement states.

Under the new guidelines, police personnel who encounter any such violations will be required to “safely intervene by verbal and physical means, and if they do not do so shall be subject to discipline to the same severity as if they themselves engaged in the prohibited use of force.”

According to the deal, the city will amend its Police Department Policy and Procedure Manual within 10 days “to prohibit the use of all neck restraints or choke holds for any reason,” the stipulated agreement states.

Under the new guidelines, police personnel who encounter any such violations will be required to “safely intervene by verbal and physical means, and if they do not do so shall be subject to discipline to the same severity as if they themselves engaged in the prohibited use of force.”

The changes came after Floyd, a black man and father of five, died in police custody May 25 after he was handcuffed and held stomach-down on the pavement with a white police officer’s knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

That officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Three other officers present during the fatal arrest have been charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder.

They all were fired from the force and face up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the top charges.

In harrowing video of his death, Floyd is heard repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.”

Those were the same final words uttered by Eric Garner, the black man who died on Staten Island in 2014 after he was placed in an illegal chokehold by former NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo.

Use of the banned chokehold was the reason Pantaleo finally lost his job last year, five years after Garner’s death, even though no criminal charges were ever filed.

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