San Jose, Mountain View Police Reform Policies to Ban Carotid Hold

Monday morning Mountain View Police tweeted out that they will be immediately banning the carotid hold in their department in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

The United States is currently embattled against police brutality after a string of incidences involving excessive force by police resulted in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others. Floyd’s death became viral after video showed him slowly suffocating under the knee of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. These events have caused an entire nation to critically look at it’s policing policy and use-of-force tactics.

The carotid hold, or sleeper hold, applies pressure to the sides of the neck restricting blood flow and causing unconsciousness. The hold is specifically designed to avoid the trachea, or windpipe, to avoid cutting off airflow to the person in the hold.

Friday Newsom condemned the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and carotid holds use by police. He also called for the creation of a new statewide standard for use of force in protests.

“After further review, and in line with state recommendations, we have updated our policy to immediately discontinue the use of the carotid hold,” a tweet by Mountain View PD stated.

San Francisco and Oakland were also first in line to sign a mayoral promise set forth by former President Barack Obama to review, engage, and reform police policy on a local level.

“We continue to review additional policies and have meaningful conversations with our MV community. As we have more to share, we will do so,” the tweet concluded.

Update: 4:34p

San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia released a statement Monday afternoon addressing new changes to his department, including an explicit ban choke holds involving knees to the neck. The statement said the department also added language to it’s policies that mirror parts of Senate Bill 230, passed in 2019, that required officers to intercede other offers who are being perceived as using excessive force.

While the San Jose Police Department already has policies banning the carotid hold and requiring intervention, more intentional wording has been added in an attempt  to further prevent incidents of excessive force to occur.

Garcia also promised new training around protesting and updating deescalation tactics with a focus on facilitating peaceful protesters and media coverage. The policy also forbid the use of projectile weapons (rubber bullets) on protesters unless “a person is actively attacking an officer or another person or when an agitator poses a threat to officers.”

The Chief finished his statement with a pledge to his community that he will personally stand in the way of officers with histories of misconduct from getting rehired.


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