Can Police in California Use Chokeholds?

Following the deaths of George Floyd and other back people in police custody that led to protests all across the country, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed policing bills that ban certain chokeholds.

However, California’s bill banning neck holds does not apply to the type of suffocation that ultimately killed Floyd when a police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck while he was being subdued. Instead, California’s ban applies to arm-based grips, which include chokeholds and carotid restraint.

Under CA AB1196 (19R), carotid restraint is a “vascular neck restraint or any similar restraint, hold, or other defensive tactics in which pressure is applied to the sides of a person’s neck that involves a substantial risk of restricting blood flow and may render the person unconscious.” A chokehold is defined as “any defensive tactic or force option in which direct pressure is applied to a person’s trachea or windpipe.”

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At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our accomplished criminal defense lawyers are committed to fighting for the rights of individuals who have been accused of a wide variety of crimes. Our firm is backed by more than 50 years of combined experience, and we are familiar with the legal strategies that produce the best results in police brutality cases involving excessive force. If you or a loved one have been arrested and police used illegal force to subdue you, then please reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you pursue justice.

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