Reform is beginning to take place in police departments across the country. City officials in Minneapolis have agreed to ban all police chokeholds and neck restraints following the death of George Floyd, NY Daily News reports. Additionally, all bystanding officers are required to intervene if they see any illegal tactics being used during duty.
Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender announced the deal Friday (June 5) afternoon. The vote to approve it was unanimous. Once it is approved by a judge, the city will make changes to its Police Department Policy and Procedure Manual “to prohibit the use of all neck restraints or chokeholds for any reason.”
Under the new guidelines, police officers who witness a fellow officer engaging in the aforementioned violations have to “safely intervene by verbal and physical means, and if they do not do so shall be subject to discipline to the same severity as if they themselves engaged in the prohibited use of force.”
These new changes come just days after Floyd was killed as three Minneapolis police officers restrained him. Former officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd yelled out numerous times that he couldn’t breathe. He eventually lost consciousness and later died at the hospital. The entire incident was caught on video and went viral.
Following the horrific killing, the four officers were fired for their involvement. Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. A second-degree murder charge was also added against him. The other three former cops — Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, who helped restrain Floyd, and Tou Thao, who stood nearby — have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. If convicted of the top charges, they will face up to 40 years in prison.