France backs off chokehold ban, moves to increase use of stun guns: report

France backs off chokehold ban, moves to increase use of stun guns: report
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France backed off a prohibition on chokeholds less than a week after the government announced the intended ban, The Associated Press reported Monday

The French government said Monday it would no longer teach the maneuver to recruits but would still allow it until a better alternative emerges, according to the AP. The change came after police staged scattered protests around France, saying they felt abandoned by the government, according to the newswire. 

The French government also announced that it would test stun guns for wider use, the newswire reported. 

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Stun guns have become increasingly popular as a weapon for European law enforcement, according to AP. 

Stun guns are already in limited use in France. The weapons killed one person last year and caused three others severe injuries, the AP reported, citing the French police oversight agency. 

The push to reform policing has followed international protests over police brutality and racial inequality sparked by the killing of George Floyd. 

Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody last week after an officer knelt on his neck for several minutes as Floyd said he couldn't breathe. The officer and three others were fired and have been charged.

Stun guns have been used in the U.S. for years, the AP noted. 

In Atlanta last week, police fatally shot 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks after he was found asleep in a drive-thru at Wendy’s. Police said Brooks struggled with an officer and grabbed the officer’s stun gun and pointed it at him before the officer shot Brooks with his gun. 

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) announced Monday she would be signing a series of administrative orders aimed at reforming police use of force policies following Brooks’s death. 

The reform calls for officers to use deescalation techniques to gain voluntary complaint and avoid use of physical force. It also calls for all uses of deadly force to be reported to the citizens’ review board, and requires officers who see others using force beyond what is reasonable under the circumstances to intercede and prevent it.