Bill banning knee-to-neck chokeholds signed into law

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)—  UPDATE: Gov. Herbert announced he signed the bill into law on Thursday, June 25.


During Thursday’s special legislative session, the Utah Legislature passed a bill that would impact law enforcement across the state. The bill addresses officers’ use of chokeholds.

Sponsors proposed the Peace Officer Amendments bill in response to protesters calling to end police brutality after George Floyd’s death.

Earlier this week the law enforcement and criminal justice committee passed HB 5007 sponsored in the House by Rep. Sandra Hollins.

“We all agree that placing the knee on the neck is inhumane,” Democratic House of Representative Hollins said.

The bill bans knee-to-neck chokeholds similar to the one used in the Floyd’s death. It also prohibits the Utah police academy or any other local agency from teaching new officers how to use chokeholds or any other carotid restraint.

The bill also says the county attorney will investigate after an officer is found using such tactics. In extreme cases, the officer could be charged with a third-degree felony. There was concern over the ability to prove wrongdoing. 

“To convict someone of a crime we have to prove there was a mental state as well it’s fundamental to our due process,” Republican Representative Coleman said.

 The House passed the bill by a vote of 69 to 5. The Senate passed the bill unanimously and it’s now off to the governor’s desk for his signature.

To see the bill, visit: https://le.utah.gov/~2020S5/bills/static/HB5007.html

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Glen Mills

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For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...