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April 13, 2023
Federal law enforcement officers will be banned from using neck restraints during arrests and using no-knock entries while executing warrants except in rare cases, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
Both the neck restraints and no-knock warrants have resulted in high-profile in-custody deaths in recent years that have spurred calls for those techniques to be banned outright.
The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) policy change Tuesday bans both chokeholds and “carotid restraints” except in cases where officers are authorized to use deadly force. In those cases, an agent would still be able to apply pressure to someone’s neck or carotid artery to restrict airflow or blood.
The department is also placing new limits on the use of “no-knock” entries with the execution of warrants. Under the policy, such entries can only be used when an agent believes there is a threat to physical safety. In those circumstances, the agent must receive approval from a federal prosecutor and his or her law enforcement component.
If an agent does not anticipate the need for a no-knock entry when the warrant was sought, they can conduct such an entry only if “exigent circumstances arise at the scene” that would put the agent or another person at risk. In those cases, the officer must “immediately” notify his or her supervisor and provide written notice to federal prosecutors.
“Building trust and confidence between law enforcement and the public we serve is central to our mission at the Justice Department,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “The limitations implemented today on the use of ‘chokeholds,’ ‘carotid restraints’ and ‘no-knock’ warrants, combined with our recent expansion of body-worn cameras to DOJ’s federal agents, are among the important steps the department is taking to improve law enforcement safety and accountability.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNN