New York State Assemblymember Walter T. Mosley, with State Senator Ruben Diaz, is introducing legislation to make the illegal use of chokeholds a crime in New York State that extends to all, including police officers, his office announced in a memo on Monday.
The bill would amend the New York State Penal Law to “establish the crime of strangulation in the first degree.”
This legislation is in response to the recent death of Eric Garner, who passed away as a result of a chokehold while in police custody.
Currently, the use of a chokehold is an illegal form of restraint. But, according to Mosley, exceptions are made for police officers, who regularly use the tactic but are rarely punished.
“The NYPD already banned the chokehold as a means of force or restraint. However, they can be disregarded as being held under the same standards because they’re police officers, and they’re given another standard that regular people could not exercise,” Mosley told The Reader.
“The New York City Police Department has received over 1,000 [chokehold] complaints from residents over the past few decades. Yet, no one has ever been charged.
“With this bill, whether you’re a police officer or a layman, the use of a chokehold would be considered an assault in the first degree,” he said.