Minneapolis City Council votes to ban police from using chokeholds, neck restraints

In a response to what many are calling systemic police abuse, the Minneapolis City Council held an emergency meeting on Friday to push forward some big changes.

This happened on the heels of the murder of African American George Floyd under police custody, that has sparked ongoing nationwide protests.

“There are 12 ayes, that carries and that motion is adopted.”

The Minneapolis city council approved a court order outlining changes for the city’s police department — including banning police from using chokeholds or neck restraints, and requiring the immediate reporting of an officer’s use of unauthorized force.

“We have to be on the precipice of change and that there are reforms that are generational past due. We need to cease this moment and channel our collective pain into collective action that begins right now,” said Mayor Jacob Frey.

In New Jersey, officials announced some big initiatives to hold police accountable, in cases of violence.

“By July 1st, we will begin opening up the database to police departments across the state so they can report and we can more effectively track the use of force by officers across New Jersey,” said state AG Gurbir Grewal.

New Jersey’s attorney general this week announced that besides the statewide database, the Garden State will also create a licensing system for police officers.

“Just as we license doctors, nurses, lawyers, and hundreds of other police professions. We must ensure all officers meet a baseline level of professionalism. We must ensure that those who cannot meet this standard, cannot work in New Jersey.”

Meanwhile — in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti said it will direct $250 million of city funds to be reinvested in communities of color. Much of that money will come from the police department.

“The commission is committed to working with the city administration officer, the chief legislative analyst and the mayor’s office to identify $100 to $150 million cuts from the Los Angeles police department budget.”

Some have said that systemic police procedures that allow bad behavior by some to be overlooked or not reported – have to change.

Retired NYC police officer Chris Traumer told ABS-CBN News that questionable actions by his fellow officers could sometimes put the rest of them in uncomfortable situations.

“You don’t want to judge somebody else because you don’t know being in their shoes but you kind of look at the whole scenario. You don’t take it first what’s on the news, first you gotta look into it. There are certain times you know, man, would you have done it differently, cause I am more of a talker. So, there are sometimes you second guess.”

Back in Minneapolis, two city council members are vowing to make more sweeping changes. They are looking into possibly eliminating the city’s police department altogether and starting over.

(Cover photo: Armoured vehicles are pictured as National Guard members guard the area in the aftermath of a protest after a white police officer was caught on a bystander’s video pressing his knee into the neck of African-American man George Floyd, who later died at a hospital, in Minneapolis. Reuters/Carlos Barria)

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