Justice Department Limits Chokehold & No-Knock Warrant Usage

Following the killings of George Floyd, Elijah McClain, and countless others who have died due to chokeholds by police officers, the U.S. Justice Department has outlined new limits on chokeholds during federal arrests.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced that federal officers were no longer allowed to use “carotid restraints” unless necessary and authorized. This type of restraint, often called a chokehold, restricts blood flow to the brain and can cause temporary unconsciousness, which can be fatal if not done correctly. The ban comes as the agency attempts to establish “trust and confidence between law enforcement and the public we serve.”

In addition to halting the widespread use of chokeholds, the DOJ has also prohibited federal officers from executing no-knock warrants. These types of warrants may only be utilized in situations where the agent has reason to believe that announcing their presence could create a dangerous confrontation.

No-knock warrants have faced increased criticism since the heinous murder of Louisville, Kentucky EMT Breonna Taylor, who was unjustly killed by police officers executing a no-knock raid at her apartment. However, the warrant’s grounds remain questionable.

While George Floyd’s death thrust the knee-on-neck restraints into the spotlight, the 2014 murder of Eric Garner sparked nationwide outrage after he was placed in a prohibited chokehold while selling cigarettes in New York.

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