Politics

California moves to end state police use of carotid restraint

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Key Points
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Friday that he would end state police training in the use of carotid restraints.
  • A similar move was used on George Floyd, whose death in police custody in Minnesota has prompted more than a week of protests nationwide.
California Governor Gavin Newsom
Agustin Paullier | AFP | Getty Images

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Friday that he would end state police training in the use of carotid restraints similar to the technique used on George Floyd, whose death in police custody in Minnesota has prompted more than a week of protests nationwide.

Newsom's order came as communities across the United States are reconsidering use of such restraints, including the so-called knee restraint which former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chuvin used against Floyd by placing his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes, killing him.

Chauvin and three officers who watched Floyd plead for his life have been fired and charged with murder. On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council agreed to end the use of knee restraints and choke holds as part of a state of Minnesota human rights investigation, the Star Tribune Newspaper reported. The bans must still be approved by a judge.

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In the carotid restraint, which was banned this week by San Diego County in California, an officer blocks the flow of blood to a detainee's brain, leading the person to lose consciousness.

In addition to ending state training in the technique, Newsom said he supports legislation to ban its use in local police departments statewide.

"At the end of the day the carotid hold is literally designed to stop people's blood from flowing into their brain," Newsom said. "That has no place any longer."

Many police departments have ended the use of so-called chokeholds, which put pressure on a detainee's windpipe, but have still allowed carotid restraints.

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