As we have seen recently with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and six years ago right here in New York City with the death of Eric Garner, the use of chokeholds and other holds or restraining techniques that can cut off the supply of oxygen to a person’s brain have an unacceptably high risk of death. The NYPD has long recognized the danger of chokeholds, and banned its use nearly three decades ago.
We stand in support of proposed city and state legislation that would criminalize the use of chokeholds and similar restraints by law enforcement officers while making an arrest. We must take action against the use of excessive force by the police.
Police officers risk their lives every day performing a dangerous job, and we are grateful for their service. We offer our support and respect for those who continue to uphold their sworn duty to serve and protect, doing so with NYPD’s core values of courtesy, professionalism and respect of the community.
We also acknowledge the need for increased accountability. We support the efforts of the Council today to pass legislation to amend the administrative code to respect the right to record police activities, to require visible shield numbers and rank designations, and to establish procedures for an early intervention system with record-keeping and reporting requirements that will allow the police department to identify officers who may be in need of enhanced training or monitoring.
We thank members of the City Council for pushing for the passage of these bills, and for their continuing commitment to keeping all New Yorkers safe.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz