Bill filed to ban chokeholds, Delaware officials weigh-in

DELAWARE — Elected officials are responding to a bill that would make it illegal for law enforcement officers to use techniques like chokeholds, knee-holds and other tactics that can cause injury or death from a lack of blood or oxygen flow.

House Bill 350 is part of the Delaware Legislative Black Caucus’ Justice for All agenda. As part of this bill, aggravated strangulation would be a Class D felony and elevated to a Class C felony if serious physical injury or death is caused. Delaware Representative Tim Dukes says from his understanding, officers are not trained or taught to use these techniques anymore. He believes this bill is important but has some things he wants clarification on before voting on it.

“I guess my concern is with this legislation is it going to force officers who may be in hand to hand combat, is it going to force them to use a firearm more often? And that’s concerning,” says Republican Representative Tim Dukes for District 40.

Meanwhile Representative Steve Smyk tells 47 ABC he believes chokeholds should be considered lethal and should never be used. However, he would be interested in a bill that addresses these techniques not just for law enforcement but for all aggressors including abusers.

HB 350 will be considered during a hearing on Monday, June 22nd.

Categories: Delaware, Local News