California gets its own bill to ban use of chokeholds by law enforcement

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A new bill is being introduced to make sure restraining techniques like the one used on George Floyd are never used by law enforcement agencies in California. 

“No family should experience that kind of trauma,” said Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Carson.

After seeing a member in his Southern California community die at the hands of police, Gipson says he felt like Assembly Bill 490 is coming at the perfect time, especially with the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin. 

“When you restrict someone’s blood flow and oxygen, it absolutely not only causes unconsciousness, which is the intended purpose, but it’s always used incorrectly,” Gipson said. 

In early March, a similar bill called the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was passed in the House, banning choke holds on a federal level. 

The president of the Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff’s Association was not on board when FOX40 spoke to him about the federal legislation last month. 

“I could pull my gun and I could shoot them, but I couldn’t place them into the carotid control hold. It’s ignorance, is what it is,” Sgt. Mickelson said. “People are just ignorant as to what the tools of the trade are.”

Mickelson did not respond to a request for comment about AB 490.

As a former officer himself, Gipson says it’s time for departments across the state to embrace change and to retrain their staff on new tools. 

“I never — not once — had to use either of those techniques to restrain a potential or particular suspect,” Gipson said. 

Ultimately, Gipson hopes no other life is lost because of the restraining technique.

“Just like pulling a gun, it’s a lethal weapon,” Gipson said. 

It’s the first time Gipson has introduced the bill. He says it will be heard April 13.

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