Chicago Aldermen Seek Chokehold Ban | NBC Chicago
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Chicago Aldermen Seek Chokehold Ban

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    The outrage over the choke hold death of Eric Garner in New York moves a group of Chicago aldermen to action. They're proposing a change in the city code, to strengthen a ban on the practice here. Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Monday, Dec. 8, 2014)

    Four of Chicago's aldermen want the Municipal Code crystal clear that the city's officers should never use chokeholds when subduing people.

    Ald. Ed Burke (14th) presented his chokehold ban for peace officers at Monday's Finance Committee meeting.

    The current Municipal Code notes all "sword personnel and security contractors must avoid sitting, kneeling or standing on a subject's chest." It also mandates police "position the subject in a manner to allow free breathing."

    Burke wants these words added: "No peace officer, private security personnel shall apply a choke hold in the performance of his or her duties, unless faced with a situation in which the use of deadly force is justified under applicable law."

    The measure defines a chokehold as any pressure to the throat or windpipe that may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air.

    The proposed Chicago prohibition would apply to all Chicago police officers, deputy sheriffs, U.S. marshals and private security guards.

    Other aldermen supporting the measure were Will Burns (4th), Carrie Austin (34th), and Michelle Harris (8th).

    Protests erupted nationwide, including in Chicago, after a New York City grand jury's recent decision not to indict a police officer in the videoed chokehold death of Eric Garner in July.


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