(WHTM) – Three Pennsylvania lawmakers say they plan to introduce new a bill banning chokeholds by police.
In a memo sent to House colleagues, Rep. Stephen Kinsey (D-Philadelphia), Jason Dawkins (D-Philadelphia), and Greg Scott (D-Montgomery) said they “cannot sit idly by and allow innocent lives to be lost due to the reckless use of an unsafe and inhumane practice.”
The memo cited the death of George Floyd from asphyxiation after sustained pressure on his neck from a Minneapolis police officer and Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold by New York City officers.
Lawmakers say the bill would “outlaw the use of the standard chokehold in making an arrest as well as any action that inhibits breath or the flow of blood to the brain due to physical position.”
Similar legislation was introduced in June 2020 by State Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) and again in 2021 by Rep. Kinsey. Street’s 2020 bill SB1205 unanimously passed in the State Senate and was last referred to the House Judiciary committee.
The 2021 House bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and was not voted on.
Pennsylvania State Police say “not now, nor have we ever taught or endorsed vascular restraint techniques or “chokeholds.” Cadets are advised that such techniques (or even strikes to the head/neck area) may constitute lethal force and are only justifiable when the threshold is met.”
A copy of the newly proposed legislation was not immediately available.