GOP senator says he supports national chokehold ban
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said Sunday he supports passing a national ban on chokeholds as part of police reform legislation.
“I do believe chokeholds should be banned,” Lankford said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“Absolutely we should have that, that is one of the things that we should have engaged in a long time ago,” he said in a separate interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” when regarding a ban on chokeholds.
JUST IN: GOP Sen. James Lankford backs a national ban on chokeholds, restraint police used in George Floyd killing.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 14, 2020
“This has been pretty clear. There has been a longstanding principle out there that is not needed for that situation,” he added.
The senator said that most departments have already banned chokeholds, either explicitly or by not training for chokeholds and banning officers from using measures they are not trained for.
Lankford cited a 2017 consensus document by law enforcement from around the country that he said concluded chokeholds are not needed.
“So I think that’s not an issue for us,” Lankford said.
Congressional Democrats last week put forward legislation regarding policing reform measures. The push for reform has been amplified following the killing of George Floyd.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said Thursday he will be introducing Senate Republicans’ police reform bill by the middle of the week.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Thursday he supports language in Democrats’ bill that bans chokeholds, but the provision has been met with skepticism from some Republican lawmakers.
Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody last month after an officer knelt on his neck for several minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Four officers were fired and charged.
Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests over racial inequality and police brutality in the United States.