Sat | Jul 4, 2020

Minneapolis to ban police chokeholds in wake of George Floyd death

Published:Friday | June 5, 2020 | 2:19 PM
This undated file photo provided by Christopher Harris shows George Floyd. Floyd died May 25, after he was pinned to the pavement by a police officer who put his knee on the handcuffed black man's neck until he stopped breathing. (Christopher Harris via AP, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Negotiators for the city of Minneapolis agreed with the state Friday to ban the use of chokeholds by police and to require officers to report and intervene anytime they see an unauthorised use of force by another officer.

The changes are part of a stipulation posted online between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which launched a civil rights investigation this week in response to the death of George Floyd.

The City Council was expected to approve the agreement Friday.

The agreement would require court approval and would become enforceable in court, unlike the department’s current policies on the use of force and duties to intervene.

The agreement would require any officer, regardless of tenure or rank, to immediately radio or phone in from the scene the use of any neck restraint or chokehold to their commander or their commander’s superiors.

Similarly, any officer who sees another officer commit any unauthorised use of force, including any chokehold or neck restraint, must try to intervene verbally and even physically.

If they don’t, they’d be subject to discipline as severe as if they themselves had used the prohibited force.

The agreement also would require authorisation from the police chief or a designated deputy chief to use crowd control weapons, including chemical agents, rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades, batons, and marking rounds.

And it would require more timely decisions on disciplining officers.

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