Lethal Chokeholds Still Used. Repeatedly

One more reason (of thousands) why police reform (which has been tried and failed) isn’t an option. Why we must #DefundThePolice and put that money into social services.

We don’t teach it. We don’t authorize it in terms of a technique” and yet chokeholds are still used. Repeatedly. Lethally.

John Catanzara, president of Chicago Police Department’s largest union said “I’m not going to give up my life because of some stupid department policy that under no circumstances are you allowed to choke anybody. It’s just a dumb process to even think about. … He said the same principle would apply to carotid artery restraints. ‘I’m going to do it every single time.'”

There is no evidence at all that George Floyd’s murderer was threatened by Floyd. The only threat the murderer saw was the color of Floyd ‘s skin. Four police were involved in murdering a man who was already in restraints.

None of the police who murdered Eric Garner were at risk of losing their lives. Every time a chokehold has been used, there has been no actual justification. The only struggle has been someone instinctively trying to survive the use of excessive, unwarranted, lethal force.

“Chicago has restricted use of chokeholds as far back as the 1980s. But the department’s troubled history with controversial restraints continues to this day.” A Chicago police officer pulled Mia Wright from a car by her hair and placed a knee on her neck last month. For no legitimate reason.

And, this is just one police force. They all have the same problem. They always try to blame their victims. Policing attracts bullies, racists, sexual predators, abusers, and murderers. The very concept of policing (which I again remind you started with slave patrols, the “well-regulated Militia” mentioned in the Second Amendment) is incompatible with a free, equitable society.

Read the in-depth article about chokeholds in Chicago but substitute your city name because you will find similar cases where you live.

Training is not the answer.

Reform is not the answer.

We need to abolish the police and start over with other public safety options that will address, rather than enforce, systemic racism.

Published by F.I. Goldhaber

F.I. Goldhaber's words capture people, places, and politics with a photographer's eye and a poet's soul. As a reporter, editor, business writer, and marketing communications consultant, they produced news stories, feature articles, editorial columns, and reviews for newspapers, corporations, governments, and non-profits in five states. Now paper, electronic, and audio magazines, books, newspapers, calendars, broadsides, and street signs display their poetry, fiction, and essays. More than 160 of their poems appear in almost 70 publications, including four collections. http://www.goldhaber.net/

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