Justice department bans chokeholds and no-knock raids for federal officers

The US Department of Justice has announced it will ban chokeholds and “no-knock” entries throughout the department.

The change will prevent federal law enforcement officers from conducting unannounced raids and from using “carotid restraints” unless deadly force is authorized.

“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.”

Both carotid restraints and no-knock raids have been the focus of public scrutiny in recent years.

Breonna Taylor was killed when police in Louisville were executing a no-knock raid at her apartment. Chokeholds and other restraints meant to restrict blood flow to the brain drew widespread criticism after the death of George Floyd, who died after former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for several minutes.

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