VA House passed bills to prevent custodial deaths like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd

Virginia’s House of Delegates passed several bills on Friday with the aim of preventing deaths such as those of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

WAVY 10 reported that a legislation was passed that bans neck restraints. Thus, it is now a Class 6 felony for police officers to make use of neck restraints to detain people, in the manner that it was used on George Floyd.

According to the bill, neck restraints are “the use of any body part or object to attempt to control or disable a person by applying pressure against the neck, including the trachea or carotid artery, with the purpose, intent, or effect of controlling or restricting the person’s movement or restricting the person’s blood flow or breathing, including chokeholds, carotid restraints, and lateral vascular neck restraints.”

Moreover, no-knock search warrants will be banned by House Bill 5099. Such a search warrant was used by the Louisville police officers who fatally shot Taylor.

Moreover, in case any law enforcement official fails to intervene as a colleague is making use of a deadly force, it will now be considered a felony. The legislation states that the law enforcement officers are required to assist any person who sustains injuries due to the use of force.

“The bill states that the knowing failure to intervene in the unlawful use of non-deadly force is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor and the knowing failure to intervene in the unlawful use of deadly force is punishable as a Class 6 felony,” the proposal reads.

“The bill punishes the knowing failure to intervene in the unlawful use of force that leads to death or if the victim is thereby severely injured and is caused to suffer permanent and significant physical impairment as a Class 4 felony,” it continued.

Now, these legislations will be forwarded to the Senate and then to Gov. Ralph Northam. Before they can become a law, his sign is required.


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