The Department of Justice issued a new policy prohibiting federal agents from restraining suspects by the neck and limiting their ability to perform no-knock entries in an effort to build trust between law enforcement and the public.
The statement released on Tuesday directed agencies such as the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and others to prohibit agents from using chokeholds and carotid restraints "unless deadly force is authorized" and "limiting the use of higher-risk ‘no knock' entries to only those instances where physical safety is at stake."
Chokeholds and carotid holds involve putting pressure on the neck and restricting the flow of either breath or blood, according to the statement. Law enforcement agents are generally required to announce their presence and intentions before entering private property, though this requirement may be waived in some circumstances, which this policy narrows.
"It is essential that law enforcement across the Department of Justice adhere to a single set of standards when it comes to chokeholds, carotid restraints, and no-knock entries," Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said. "This new policy does just that and limits the circumstances in which these techniques can be used."
The memo sent to agencies under the DOJ added that another reason for the restriction was that such measures have "too often led to tragedy."
The tragedies the document references likely include the cases of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Floyd died in May 2020 after an officer held him in a chokehold, and viral video of the incident initiated the 2020 spate of Black Lives Matter protests across the world. Taylor was shot in March 2020 when officers conducted a no-knock raid on her apartment.
Original Location: DOJ restricts authorized use of chokeholds and no-knock entry
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