Chokeholds, tear gas, rubber bullets: What police tactics have been outlawed by cities in wake of George Floyd's death?

In the wake of George Floyd's death, dozens of police departments and legislatures across the nation have taken steps to implement reforms for officers.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in police custody after an officer restraining him kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes.

The incident has prompted national outrage and some law enforcement agencies have banned the use of the chokehold, as well as the use of tear gas and pepper spray — common tactics used during the many police brutality protests in the last two weeks -- in an effort to limit the use of excessive force that could result in death.

Here are the states with recent reforms in their police departments.


The Los Angeles Police Department, as well as several others in the state, have issued a moratorium on the use of chokeholds after pressure from activists, temporarily banning it for at least 30 days.

Gov. Gavin Newsom backed legislation introduced by Democrats on Monday to implement a statewide ban on the practice. Other lawmakers are pushing for a ban on the use of pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets as well.


The Denver Police Department banned the use of chokeholds with no exceptions. In addition, officers are now required to inform their supervisors whenever they point a gun at a suspect -- even if they did not fire the weapon -- in an effort to maintain better records of these incidents. SWAT officers must also turn on their body cameras while executing tactical operations.


City councilmembers in New Orleans are mulling over banning tear gas to disperse large crowds.


In Minneapolis, where Floyd died, police banned the use of chokeholds and neck restraints. A state court also ordered police to report "unauthorized use of force" by fellow officers.

Any police officer, regardless of tenure or rank, must now report if they observe another police officer use any unauthorized use of force while on-scene, including any chokehold or neck restraint.

The use of chemical agents, rubber bullets, flash-bangs, batons and marking rounds need to be approved by the police chief or their designee at the rank of deputy chief. In addition, body camera footage needs to regularly reviewed to identify discriminatory actions.

New York

Several bills are in the works to overhaul New York City police departments. Reforms include banning the use of chokeholds and making the disciplinary records of police officers available to the public. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., has said he supports these bills and will sign them into law.

In the meantime, New York passed the Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act on Monday, named after another unarmed black man who died in police custody after being put in a chokehold by officers.


Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler ordered the city's police to stop using a certain type of tear gas unless it is a life-threatening situation after violent clashes with police and protesters continued. Simultaneously, a state judge barred the use of the tear gas for 14 days, after activists sued the Portland Police Bureau, seeking a ban.


Dallas has formally announced a ban on chokeholds. Meanwhile, in Houston, where Floyd was buried on Wednesday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced he will sign an executive order in his city to ban chokeholds and strangleholds.


In Bellevue, Police Chief Steve Mylett banned officers from using a chokehold unless there is a need for deadly force.

In Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a 30-day moratorium on the use of tear gas to disperse crowds but pepper spray and less lethal methods are still permissible.

Washington, D.C. 

With sweeping legislation, D.C. City Council passed an emergency police-reform bill that bans the use of chokeholds, tear gas, rubber bullets, stun grenades, and riot gear, and prohibits the Metropolitan Police Department from buying military-style equipment from the federal government. In addition, the bill stipulates body camera footage must be made available to the public after a police shooting. Police will be subject to more rigorous training and an independent body will be mandated to issue a report by the end of the year about police reforms in the city.