California Gov. Gavin Newsom responds to a reporter’s question about his executive order advising that non-essential gatherings of more than 250 people should be canceled until at least the end of March, during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, March 12, 2020. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
On Friday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and representatives of California Legislature’s Black and Latino causes called for a ban on a neck hold used by police.
The carotid neck hold — also known as the “blood choke” or “sleeper hold” — is meant to use an arm to constrain the arteries in a person’s neck , restricting blood flow. Used incorrectly, it can cut off oxygen.
George Floyd did not die from a carotid neck hold, but police have killed dozens of Black people using it.
More than 12 law enforcement agencies across California have already banned their officers from using the hold in light of the wave of Civil Rights marches across the US protesting police brutality.
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On Friday, California joined a growing list of states and cities across the country banning police forces from using the carotid neck hold — a method used by police to restrain people which has come under fire for severely harming people during arrests.
More than 12 law enforcement agencies across California have already responded to the wave Civil Rights marches nationwide sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after Minneapolis police officers knelt on his neck and pinned him down during an arrest, by banning the carotid hold among their officers.
Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the state’s police training program to discontinue teaching the “sleeper hold” on Friday in addition to working with members of representatives of California Legislature’s Black and Latinx causes to create legislature banning the technique, AB 392.
“We train techniques on strangleholds that put people’s lives at risk,” Newsom said during a Friday press conference. “That has no place any longer in 21st-century practices and policing.”
Assemblyman Mike Gipson, a Democrat from Carson, is the lead author of a bill that would ban the technique entirely, which Newsom said he would sign if the California House of Representatives passed it.
Story continues “The world watched as the 200-pound weight of a police officer was leveraged on the neck of George Floyd for over eight minutes,” Gipson told the Los Angeles Times. “We all witnessed this execution. This was far beyond the existing law that authorizes a peace officer to use reasonable force to effect the arrest, to prevent escape or to overcome resistance.”
George Floyd did not die from a carotid neck hold, but police have killed dozens of Black people using it The carotid neck hold — also known as the “blood choke” or “sleeper hold” — is meant to use an arm to constrain the arteries in a person’s neck , restricting blood flow.
Used incorrectly, it can cut off someone’s oxygen and strangle a person.
In the 1980s, the Los Angeles Police Department restricted the use of the carotid neck hold after officers killed several Black men while using the technique, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A Times analysis found Black people, who only make up 6.5% of the state’s population, made up 23% of people injured by the neck restraint.
“Certainly, we oppose any tactic that leads to the inability to breathe,” Rashidah Grinage, coordinator of the Coalition for Police Accountability , told Insider. “AB 392 was a step in the right direction by re[- defining the threshold for the use of deadly force but every municipality needs to overhaul its use of force policy, just as the Oakland Police Commission has engaged in for the last several months.
Similar complaints against the technique have been launched in cities across the country, from New York City to Minneapolis.
“We have a unique and special responsibility here in California to meet this historic moment head-on,” Newsom said during a Friday press conference. “We will not sit back passively as a state.”
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