Suburban Town Bans Police Tactics That Restrict Oxygen

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A suburban Chicago mayor issued an executive order Saturday intended to prevent future deaths of suspects in police custody.

The order from Harvey Mayor Christopher Clark bans the use of police tactics that “restrict oxygen or blood flow to the head and may result in the unintended consequence of a suspect’s death.”

Clark announced the new order Saturday at the Harvey police station.

“It feels that some people are finally getting the message,” Harvey Mayor Christopher Clark said. “As a mayor, I feel that I have that responsibility as well.”

Chokeholds have been banned by the state since 2015. Clark’s executive order goes further, banning strangleholds, lateral vascular neck restraints, carotid restraints and chest compressions.

There is an exception in the order if situations are deemed to be life-threatening for an officer or citizen.

Law enforcement officials across the country are moving to ban police choke holds and similar tactics after the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd, an African American, pleaded for air and later died after a white police officer in Minnesota pressed his knee into his neck.

The mayor’s order also requires officers to intercede when witnessing a colleague using excessive force.

“Officers have to be held accountable,” Harvey Police Chief Robert Collins Jr. said. “Not only the ones that commit these acts but the ones that stand by and let them go on.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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