Police Brutality Chokeholds

In June 2020, a new bill was introduced in the Iowa legislature. If the bill becomes law, then it would become illegal for a police officer to use a chokehold or neck restraint unless the person being restrained poses an imminent safety threat.

Whether or not that bill becomes law, there are still limits on how police officers can use chokeholds in Iowa.

Police Officers Cannot Use Excessive Force

There are a variety of ways a police officer can detain an individual. However, every time a police officer detains or restrains an individual, the police officer must use reasonable force.

When officers are trained, they are taught to use a continuum of force. As police officers, they must use the least amount of force necessary to control a situation and maintain safety. Broadly, some of the options available to officers include:

  • Maintaining a police presence
  • Providing verbal commands or warnings
  • Using their hands to guide an individual
  • Using pepper spray, batons or tasers
  • Using force that is not deadly
  • Using lethal force

Every situation a law enforcement officer faces is unique, and officers must use their training and judgment to decide how much force is necessary to control a situation. Any actions that go beyond the use of reasonable force are considered excessive force and may be a form of police brutality.

A chokehold or neck restraint requires an officer to hold an individual’s neck, and it is, therefore, a form of force that should only be used if someone is in danger of being hurt or killed. If a chokehold is used, it must be done correctly to minimize potential physical injuries or death for the person being held by the police.

Has a Police Chokehold Hurt You?

If you’ve been injured or a police officer has killed your loved one, then we encourage you to contact our experienced Iowa police brutality lawyers as soon as possible for a free and confidential consultation.

Let us investigate what happened to you and take all of the necessary steps to protect your legal rights and fair recovery. We can be reached any time through this website or by phone to schedule your initial case evaluation.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham