The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced a new policy banning the use of police suffocation as well as restricting cases where “no-knock” items can be used in an attempt to build trust between officers and the public.
In a announcement on Tuesday, DOJ officials unveiled a number of new departmental policies for federal officers, which are said to be among “The department’s important steps to improve law enforcement of safety and accountability.”
Under the new directive, federal law enforcement will be banned from using ‘chokeholds’ and ‘carotid restraints’ unless lethal force is permitted. Use of such techniques will instead only be allowed “When the officer has a reasonable belief that the object of such force constitutes an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.”
Occurrences of when “No-knock” inputs are allowed have also been limited to situations only when “Physical security is at stake”. Notice of the measures State Attorney Merrick Garland said so “Building trust and confidence between law enforcement and the public we serve is central to our mission in the Department of Justice.”
The latest reforms follow the Ministry of Justice recently advertises the first phase of its body-camera law enforcement program, starting with agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Phoenix and Detroit. The scheme needs to be extended to include more federal agents in an effort to improve accountability, the DOJ said.
The use of strangulation teams and non-bank orders has become key areas of concern among groups calling for law enforcement reforms to address systematic racism by U.S. police against black society. In June, former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd after he knelt down in what turned into a lightning bolt of police brutality in the United States.
Breonna Taylor was shot dead by police following a post-no-post in March 2020, in a killing that also attracted considerable attention from the Black Lives Matter movement.
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