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NYPD Got 219 Chokehold Complaints in a Year

Official report sees recent rise
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2014 12:57 PM CDT
Updated Oct 8, 2014 1:14 PM CDT
NYPD Got 219 Chokehold Complaints in a Year
In this July 23, 2014 photo, mourners arrive as ranking NYPD officers stand guard at the funeral service for Eric Garner Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in Brooklyn.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

In an official report following the chokehold death of Eric Garner, New York police overseers find that complaints about chokeholds are on the rise. The city's police department received 219 such complaints between July 2013 and June 2014, the Wall Street Journal reports. That's the most since 2009, the AP reports. The New York Police Department has banned the practice since 1993, but recently, the Civilian Complaint Review Board says, the NYPD has "failed to charge officers" when they break the rule.

"Any pressure to the throat” that could "prevent breathing" is officially considered a chokehold, but the department hasn't been acting against officers unless breathing is actually affected, the Journal notes, per the report. The department's "crystal-clear prohibition has been degraded over the course of the last decade," the report says. But some police leaders question the report's findings. The head of one union says the report is misleading because it doesn't consider the possibility that, in some cases, an officer might have been injured. Another union head says the report is "based on unsworn, unsubstantiated, and poorly investigated complaints that were filed by criminals." (More NYPD stories.)

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