ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix Police Department will no longer use controversial neck hold

Jun 9, 2020, 1:46 PM | Updated: 1:59 pm

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Police Department announced Tuesday its officers would no longer be permitted to use a controversial neck hold, effective immediately.

The department said it will suspend training and use of the carotid control restraint technique, which cuts off the flow of blood to the brain.

“We can’t function as a department without the trust of our community and there are adjustments we can make to strengthen that trust,” Chief Jeri Williams said in a statement.

“We pride ourselves on being an organization willing to learn and evolve, to listen to our community and become better. I am confident this moves us closer to that goal.”

Police use-of-force tactics have been under intense scrutiny since the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minnesota on May 25.

Floyd died after a white officer, who has been fired and charged with second-degree murder over the incident, was seen on video kneeling on the handcuffed black man’s neck for more than eight minutes.

His death sparked protests against police brutality and racial injustice across the United States and the world.

Demonstrations have been held in downtown Phoenix for the past 12 nights, and Williams has been seen talking to organizers and marching with them.

On Monday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors announced that Williams would be part of the newly formed Police Reform and Racial Justice Working Group.

Its purpose is to “produce, advance and enact meaningful reforms to address police violence and patterns of racial discrimination,” the working group said in a press release.

“It’s an honor to have Phoenix represented on this committee,” Williams said on Twitter.

“I am committed to finding solutions to strengthen police and community relations. We will move forward as a country as we move forward in each of our communities.”

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Phoenix Police Department will no longer use controversial neck hold