Wayne County commissioner calls for ban on chokeholds, additional police training

County commissioners unanimously adopt resolution

FILE - In this file frame from May 25, 2020, video provided by Darnella Frazier, a Minneapolis officer kneels on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed man who was pleading that he could not breathe. In the two weeks since Floyds killing, police departments have banned chokeholds, Confederate monuments have fallen and officers have been arrested and charged. The moves come amid a massive, nationwide outcry against violence by police and racism. (Darnella Frazier via AP, File) (Darnella Frazier)

DETROIT – Wayne County Commission Vice-Chair Pro Tempore Jewel Ware Thursday called for a ban on the use of chokeholds by police officers and to refrain from the use of deadly force in a resolution presented before the full commission.

“With all the injustices going on, this is something we need to do,” said Ware, who sponsored the resolution.

County commissioners unanimously adopted the resolution which also calls on the Michigan legislature to provide additional funding for police training.

Ware’s resolution was inspired by worldwide protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man whose death led to criminal charges against four Minneapolis officers, as well as similar events over the past decade.

The resolution specifically urges police departments to do the following:

• Ban chokeholds and strangleholds.

• Require officers to de-escalate situations before using force.

• Require officers to give a verbal warning before shooting.

• Require officers to exhaust all other reasonable alternatives before using deadly force.

• Require officers to intervene to stop another officer from using excessive force.

• Ban officers from shooting at moving vehicles.

• Require comprehensive reporting of police encounters.

• Require officers to be trained to identify and recognize those who have mental and physical disabilities.

• Review body camera and police car recordings as a form of accountability.

The resolution supports Michigan Senate Bill 945 and Michigan House Bill 5837, which would amend the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards Act, to establish minimum standards for the training and continuing education of law enforcement officers to avoid incidents of violent or fatal encounters.

It also supports The Justice in Policing Act of 2020, H.R. 7120, recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to establish a national standard for the operation of police departments and that would provide accountably for, training of, and restricted use of force by police officers.

The resolution will be sent to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Legislature and Michigan’s Congressional delegation, as well as other law enforcement and elected officials.