Activists Vow To Block NY City Council From Abandoning Chokehold Ban

Chokehold ban signed into law by Mayor de Blasio, in July 2020
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A national coalition of organizations, lawyers, activist, elected officials, led by the December 12th Movement will hold a press conference on Monday, September 14, 2020, 12PM at 250 Broadway NYC to announce their course of action on the NYC Council's efforts to reverse the Chokehold Ban Law.

“We will not tolerate NYC Council representatives who kowtow to NYPD intimidation, corruption, and work slowdown tactics, nor those who opportunistically sell out for political or economic advancement,” stated spokesman, Omowale Clay.

In the past week, including Donovan Richards, I. Daneek Miller, and Adrienne Adams, all of whom hold seats on the Council Public Safety Committee.

During a protest by Queens residents on Friday, September 11, in front of Council Member Adams' offices in Rochdale Village Mall, someone called the NYPD. A large contingent came and immediately evacuated the entire mall, including all customers, and shut down the mall.

The recently passed NYC Chokehold ban signed into law by Mayor de Blasio, in July 2020 is now threatened by a Police Benevolent Association (PBA) lawsuit demanding it be overturned. The PBA is also pressuring Council Members to amend the chokehold law which criminalizes all air restriction tactics including compression of the diaphragm.

The chokehold ban law, was introduced six years ago by Council Member Rory Lancman, after an NYPD officer choked Eric Garner to death in 2014. Sustained nationwide protests against the brutal police murder of George Floyd prompted the council and Mayor to take action at this time.

NYC Council Member Donovan Richards, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, subsequently introduced an amendment to the chokehold ban law that inserts language which would actually gut the law.

The proposed amendment will insert the word “recklessly” in regard to diaphragm compression and would give the police a huge loophole and reverses clear police accountability.

 

Editor's Note: This article has been edited to reflect a correction to the original version published on September 11, which stated that Councilmember Adams had "panicked" and called the NYPD. The Councilmember through a spokesperson denies that she or any staff member had anything to do with calling the police. (see retraction of one sentence).

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