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June 11, 2020

Delco Sheriff bans chokeholds in wake of George Floyd killing

Sheriffs Reform
Delaware County Sheriff chokeholds Google/Street View

The Delaware County Sheriff's Office has banned chokeholds as a use-of-force tactic.

Delaware County deputy sheriffs are now prohibited from using chokeholds as they conduct their duties. 

The directive, issued by Sheriff Jerry Sanders Jr. on Tuesday, states that deputies must only use approved use-of-force tactics when interacting with the public and incarcerated people. The decision comes as law enforcement agencies are being scrutinized for their use of force, particularly against black people. 

"I acknowledge that any interaction with a suspect or prisoner has inherent dangers, but I insist that all deputies react professionally and in a manner that reasonably safeguards both their own safety and health and that of the individual they are handling," Sanders said in a statement.


Posted by Delaware County PA Sheriff's Office on Thursday, June 11, 2020

Delco sheriffs are responsible for providing court room security and transporting prisoners to court appearances. They also serve warrants and other court orders. 

Law enforcement agencies and elected officials throughout the United States have moved to ban chokeholds and neck restraints after George Floyd, a black man, was killed when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. 

The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers at the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting murder. All four have been fired from the Minneapolis department. 

Philadelphia police had previously banned chokeholds, but city officials have pledged to amend the department's use-of-force policy as part of a police reform effort. The reform measures are expected to dictate when, and how, a firearm should be used and include mandates for reporting use-of-force incidents. Officers also will be prohibited from sitting or kneeling on a person's neck, face or head. 

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