SPRINGFIELD – The choking death of 43-year-old Eric Garner by NYPD officers has led police departments, cities and states to review how and why police use force. State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) recently introduced a proposal to restrict police from using chokeholds.
“Every day, police officers put themselves in harm’s way maintaining order and protecting our families. This plan helps guarantee that police have clear guidelines for when and how they use force,” Silverstein said.
In addition to restricting chokeholds, the proposal limits how police use other tactics that restrict a person’s breathing. Officers would be restricted from positioning suspects so their breathing is reduced unless necessary to overcome resistance and obtain control of a person or to protect themselves or others from injury.
Police would also need to monitor an arrestee and seek medical attention if needed.
The proposed law does allow officers to perform chokeholds in cases where deadly force is justified.
Chicago aldermen introduced a similar proposal last month.
The plan, Senate Bill 65, now awaits debate in the Senate.