Salt Lake City Police Dept. formally prohibits chokeholds as protesters call for police reform

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Salt Lake City Police - file - SLC_5536810046832460937

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)— The Salt Lake City Police Department is implementing some new protocol. 

This, in response to protesters calling for police reform.

The department has formally prohibited chokeholds and the use of tear gas to disperse crowds. 

To be clear the department hasn’t used such tactics during recent demonstrations, and the department says officers have never been taught nor been allowed to use tear gas to disperse crowds or use chokeholds.

Related: Governor Herbert calls for statewide ban on police choke holds

“We have to stand in solidarity for police reform,” Black Lives Matter Founder Lex Scott said. 

The revised policies read in part:

“The use of carotid control holds, restraints, or techniques are not authorized, and officers shall not attempt to render an individual unconscious through the use of bi-lateral carotid artery restriction.”

 “Tear gas may be used against barricaded suspects based on the circumstances. The use of tear gas on crowds is prohibited. Only the Watch Commander, Incident Commander, or SWAT Commander may authorize the delivery and use of tear gas.”

These changes amid protesters calling for the defunding of the police department to use money on other community services. 

The department says it does not see any other policy changes in the near future. 

Read more: Statewide police reform is at the center of discussion on Utah’s Capitol Hill as Senator Daniel Thatcher announced last week he is sponsoring three bills at the request of NAACP Salt Lake Branch.

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