The Minneapolis City Council on Friday voted in favor of banning the use of chokeholds and neck restraints by the police. The move comes in the wake of protests against police violence and racism that started after the death of George Floyd. The African American man was killed on Memorial Day as former officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into his neck.
A similar decision was taken in California by Governor Gavin Newsom, who said that he would end the use of neck restraints by the state police. The decision came on a day when the streets outside the White House were painted with the words "Black Lives Matter," and Washington D.C mayor renamed the block 'Black Lives Matter Plaza.'
Ban on Unauthorized Use of Force
The City of Minneapolis on Friday voted to end the use of chokeholds and neck restraints by police officers under an agreement with the state Human Rights Department. The pact outlines interim police reform measures in advance of a long-term state civil right probe resulting from the death of Floyd. The agreement is expected to get approved on a day that coincides with the second memorial service for Floyd scheduled in Raeford, N.C., before a viewing Monday and private funeral Tuesday in Houston.
As per the interim agreement, police officers are also required to intervene if they see another officer resorting to unauthorized use of force including chokeholds or neck restraints. Also, they will be subject to the same discipline as if they had engaged in the violation themselves.
Call for Police Reform Resound Across Nation
Floyd's death has united the entire country and communities across the United States are reconsidering using such restraints. Minnesota governor Tim Walz also announced that the Minnesota Human Rights Department has already launched an investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department has a pattern of discriminating against people of color.
Floyd's death has prompted several states to review the safety measures adopted by police. California Governor Gavin Newsom said that he would end state police training in carotid restraints similar to the technique used on Floyd. Earlier this week, San Diego County in California banned the carotid restraint, in which an officer blocks the flow of blood to a detainee's brain.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the Minneapolis police fired all four officers and charged them with murder. Police reform through banning of chokeholds in the United States has been debated for a long time now. According to NBC News, since 2015, Minneapolis police have used neck restraints 237 times, with 44 people falling unconscious.