US restricts use of choke keys in federal police

The United States government on Tuesday prohibited federal police from applying choke braces, with rare exceptions, and limited search warrants without prior notice, two highly criticized practices linked to the deaths of African Americans.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said the new policies seek to “improve security and accountability for law enforcement agencies.”

AFP/ Mandel NGA

“Building trust between law enforcement and the public we serve is critical to our mission at the Department of Justice,” Garland said in a statement.

Strangulation braces and unannounced raids appeared in several cases in the United States related to the deaths of black men and women at the hands of the police.

Eric Garner, un afroestadounidense, died in New York in 2014 after police suffocated him with a choke hold to arrest him for illegally selling cigarettes.

Another black man George Floyd, died in May 2020 when a Minneapolis cop rested his knee on his neck for almost 10 minutes, a case that sparked protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the country and around the world.

And a black woman Breonna Taylor, was killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2020 in a botched raid on his apartment.


The new Department of Justice policy prohibits the use of choke braces, or “carotid restraints,” Unless deadly force is authorized defined as “when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force represents an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or another person.”

On the other hand, unannounced searches will only be allowed in situations “where an agent has reasonable grounds to believe that knocking on the door and announcing the officer’s presence would create an imminent threat of physical violence to the officer and / or another person. “

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