Congressman Calls For Federal Law Against Police Chokeholds

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The family of Eric Garner joined a U.S. congressman Monday in advocating for a federal legislative proposal against the use of chokeholds by police.

As WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported, the use of a chokehold is not illegal in New York state, but it has been prohibited under NYPD rules for more than 20 years.

“Yet there are hundreds of cases that have recently been before the Civilian Complaint Review Board alleging the deployment of the chokehold,” said U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.)

Jeffries said he is introducing a bill that would define chokeholds as a deprivation of rights under the color of law. Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, said people’s rights are being violated.

“Why should any human being be choked to death — and especially if he is unarmed, not committing a crime?” Carr said.

Garner died on Staten Island last summer, after being put in an apparent chokehold by officers.

In December, a grand jury cleared the NYPD officer involved — Daniel Pantaleo — of any wrongdoing, and protests erupted on city streets.

On Monday, Garner’s daughter, Erica Garner, attended the funeral in Baltimore for Freddie Gray, 25, who died days after he suffered a severe spinal injury during his encounter with police.

Violent riots over Gray’s death erupted in Baltimore on Monday.

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