PHOENIX — Officers in Phoenix will no longer be trained or allowed to use the "carotid control" technique, similar to a chokehold, effective immediately.
A statement released from the department on Tuesday acknowledged the change, saying that the move was to align "with 21st-century policing practices, community expectations, and our department's mission and values."
As of today, @PhoenixPolice will no longer employ the “carotid hold” in the line of duty. This is a form of choke hold that cuts off blood flow through the carotid arteries to the brain. As Mayor of Phoenix, I strongly support the decision of @PhxPDChief.— Mayor Kate Gallego (@MayorGallego) June 9, 2020
"We can't function as a department without the trust of our community and there are adjustments we can make to strengthen that trust,” said Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams in a statement.
This announcement comes after two weeks of protesting in Phoenix, which has called for various forms of action to be taken by law enforcement following the death of George Floyd.
The controversial chokehold technique and others like it have been banned by several police agencies across the country in the wake of police brutality protests.
The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, however, says the move was made with a lack of communication between Chief Williams and officers in the department.
PLEA says in a statement that it is asking Chief Williams to provide information on how officers should replace that "less lethal response option" moving forward:
"PLEA applauds Chief Williams for taking steps to be more engaging and build confidence within the community. But under these circumstances Chief Williams needs to engage with the men and women of the Phoenix Police Department as well. At this time, due to the limited information and lack of communication we have received, we are unsure how suspending the Carotid Control Technique accomplishes the goal of strengthening trust with the community, since the technique has not been viewed negatively within the Phoenix Police Department. Our members are anxiously awaiting information regarding a replacement for this less lethal response option."