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Phoenix police to ban chokeholds

Phoenix police to ban chokeholds
© NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images

The Phoenix Police Department will no longer train officers to use a 'carotid control' technique, or chokehold, effective immediately, according to a statement from police chief Jeri Williams. 

The department said that they regularly evaluate policies and procedures to “align them with 21st-century policing practices [and] community expectations.”

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"We can't function as a department without the trust of our community and there are adjustments we can make to strengthen that trust,” Williams said in a statement.  “We pride ourselves on being an organization willing to learn and evolve, to listen to our community and become better."

The department’s announcement comes after two weeks of protests that have taken place in Phoenix and other cities across the country after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody last month.

The Los Angeles Police Department also banned chokeholds this week after pressure from activists. 

Protesters have been demanding police reform and the defunding of police, among other things. In a tweet, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said chokeholds "should’ve been banned long ago," and more still needs to be done.

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"While commendable, more must be done to change the role of police in our society," they said. "Even in areas where chokeholds are banned, Black people are targeted by police for low-level offenses and subjected to unreasonable, unnecessary violence."

Democrats in the House have proposed sweeping criminal justice reform legislation, which would place a federal ban on chokeholds, eliminate the use of a legal shield that often protects law enforcement officials from lawsuits, and require the use of body cameras, among other provisions.