Klobuchar: Chokeholds cannot be ‘considered legitimate’ tools by police
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) said Sunday that aggressive police detention tactics such as chokeholds must be outlawed nationwide after a jury voted to convict Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, of murder and manslaughter after he knelt on George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest.
Klobuchar said on “Meet the Press” that such tactics cannot be considered acceptable uses of force in America, adding that Chauvin’s conviction did not represent “true justice” for Floyd’s family and community.
“[T]o me, you cannot have true justice when chokeholds and knees on the neck are still being considered legitimate in some places,” she said.
“You cannot have true justice when a young kid can get stopped for an expired tag and then end up getting shot,” referring to the shooting death of Daunte Wright at the hands of a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minn., earlier this month. The officer involved in the shooting has resigned and is charged with manslaughter.
Klobuchar went on to call for Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act, a Democrat-led police reform bill that would empower the Justice Department to issue subpoenas in investigations into police departments for systemic discrimination, as well as limiting qualified immunity for police departments and individual officers.
“So to me, yes, everything worked in this trial because of the tremendous effort, but that you cannot confuse accountability for true justice,” she said. “And that’s why we must pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to change this going forward. And that’s on us.”
Chauvin was found guilty last week on three counts related to Floyd’s death, including second-degree murder. He was remanded into custody following his conviction and is now awaiting sentencing.
Video of Floyd’s arrest and death went viral last year, sparking nationwide demonstrations and calls for reform to police departments, while some activists have gone further and called for police departments to face funding cuts or be abolished.