New Ohio advisory board standards ban police chokeholds in most cases

A new minimum standard for officers responding to mass protests prohibits the use of chokeholds and neck restraints under most circumstances and includes other policies adopted by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board.

Gov. Mike DeWine called for the collaborative to address chokeholds and mass protests in the aftermath of nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.

“We must rebuild trust between the public and law enforcement, and these changes continue to build on Ohio’s work to improve community-police relations,” said DeWine. “Law enforcement agencies that are certified in the Ohio Collaborative’s standards show commitment to following, and oftentimes exceeding, Ohio’s best practices for serving and protecting our diverse communities.”

Under the new standards, law enforcement agencies seeking certification or recertification in the collaborative’s standards are required to ban the use of chokeholds and neck restraints unless officers are justified in using deadly force to defend themselves or others from serious injury or death.

To be certified in the new mass protest standard, agencies must create a policy aimed at protecting the public and officers while upholding the First Amendment freedoms of expression, assembly and the press.

The policy should restrict as few freedoms as possible; limit the use of force, coercion and intrusiveness; only target harmful behaviors and conditions; and use predictable and unbiased tactics.

The Ohio Collaborative was formed in 2015 to create minimum standards for agencies across the state, including use of force, deadly force and hiring and recruitment. More than 450 agencies have complied with those standards, and another 113 are in the process of being certified. Those agencies account for 94% of the state’s officers and serve 86% of Ohio’s population.

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