Nevada lawmakers pass ban on chokeholds

Nevada lawmakers pass ban on chokeholds
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Nevada lawmakers passed legislation on Saturday that would ban chokeholds in the state.

The bill, passed by the state Assembly over the weekend, would also codify a “duty to intervene” for police witnessing colleague misconduct, The Associated Press reported. The measure would permit “only the amount of reasonable force necessary” to make an arrest.

The measure passed the chamber 38-4 with bipartisan support and is set for a Senate vote in the days ahead, according to the AP.

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A separate state bill introduced Saturday would partially undo a 2019 law increasing legal protections for officers accused of misconduct, the AP noted. Among its provisions, it restricts plaintiffs’ ability to use officer testimony during departmental misconduct investigations. It also requires police departments to provide officers with the evidence against them before questioning by internal affairs.

“I fundamentally believe that people should be treated fairly in the workplace. A lot of what you saw on that bill came from that very good notion,” Nevada Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro (D) said in July, according to the news service.

“That said, we also know that we have to do better and we have to do more to make sure people have faith in community that protects them and also to hold people responsible for their lack of accountability," she added.

Although the rollback measure passed committee on a party line vote Saturday, criminal justice reform advocates have called anything less than complete repeal a half-measure.

The May 25 death of George Floyd after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes has led numerous jurisdictions to ban neck restraints.

Minnesota lawmakers banned the practice in July, while the Seattle Police Department announced it would ban both neck holds and “carotid restraints.” Reform advocates, however, have warned that such steps may not be enough practically, as the New York Police Department had banned chokeholds at the time of the 2014 death of Eric Garner.