LAPD bans use of chokeholds as nation evaluates police reforms amid anti-brutality protests

The Los Angeles Police Department is temporarily banning the use of chokeholds pending a board of commissioners review of the practice, in response to nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd.

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Eileen Decker, the president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, and LAPD Chief Michel Moore "agreed to an immediate moratorium on the training and use of the Carotid Restraint Control Hold until such time that the Board of Police Commissioners can conduct a detailed review," they announced in a statement on Monday.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore holds up an electric candle as speaks during a vigil with members of professional associations and the interfaith community at LAPD headquarters, Friday, June 5, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore holds up an electric candle as speaks during a vigil with members of professional associations and the interfaith community at LAPD headquarters, Friday, June 5, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The LAPD joins more than a dozen police departments in Southern California that have banned the practice, which can cut off blood circulation to the brain and cause loss of consciousness and even death.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has called for sweeping, statewide reforms on police practices and for an end to the "sleeper hold." On Friday, he instructed the state Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to stop teaching the hold to their officers and has demanded all officers discontinue the practice immediately.

“We train techniques on strangleholds that put people’s lives at risk,” Newsom said. “That has no place any longer in 21st-century practices and policing."

In many states, the chokehold method is classified as lethal force and is only allowed as a last-resort attempt to restrain a suspect when an officer has a “reasonable fear."

Artist Anthony Pittman holds an image of George Floyd Monday, June 8, 2020, in Los Angeles during a protest over the death of Floyd who died May 25 after he was restrained by Minneapolis police. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Artist Anthony Pittman holds an image of George Floyd Monday, June 8, 2020, in Los Angeles during a protest over the death of Floyd who died May 25 after he was restrained by Minneapolis police. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The move aims to be part of broader changes regarding the use of excessive force, after Floyd, a Minneapolis black man, died on Memorial Day after a police officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes.

Other police departments across the nation are also banning the use of the chokehold, as well as the use of tear gas and pepper spray — a common tactic used during the many Floyd-related protests in the last two weeks.

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In Congress, Democratic lawmakers introduced a sweeping police reform bill that will ban chokeholds, make lynching a federal hate crime, and create a system that allows people to sue police departments for civil rights violations.