AB 1196 – Prohibits The Use By Peace Officers Of Any Choke Hold Or Carotid Restraint

CATEGORY: Client Update for Public Agencies, Fire Watch, Law Enforcement Briefing Room, Public Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Public Education, Public Employers, Public Safety
DATE: Oct 26, 2020

In another police reform bill, AB 1196 eliminates the use of any chokehold or carotid restraint technique by law enforcement. The bill prohibits any state or local law enforcement agency from authorizing the use of a carotid restraint or chokehold by any peace officer employed by that agency.  The bill defines a chokehold as any defensive tactic or force option involving direct pressure applied to a person’s trachea. It also defines a “carotid restraint” as any restraint, hold, or another defensive tactic that applies pressure to the sides of a person’s neck in order to subdue or control that person, which involves substantial risk of restricting blood flow, and that may render the person unconscious.

While a number of law enforcement agencies have already prohibited the use of these techniques, AB 1196 now creates a uniform statewide policy that will become effective on January 1, 2021.  Law enforcement agencies that have not yet prohibited their peace officers from using chokeholds or the carotid restraint should take action to implement this prohibition in order to comply with this new law.

(AB 1196 adds Section 7286.5 to the Government Code.)