The Miami-Dade County Police Department (MDPD) will no longer allow its officers to use chokeholds on suspects, MDPD Director Freddy Ramirez announced Thursday morning. The shift comes after widespread protests over George Floyd‘s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police.
“I’m thankful for the valuable conversations I’ve been able to have over the past weeks,” Ramirez wrote on Twitter.
“I have decided to no longer authorize the utilization of the Applied Carotid Triangle Restraint (ACTR). This decision was based on a multitude of factors to include officer & public safety, feedback from policing professionals, members of our community local leaders & officials, as well as recommendations from the Police Executive Research Forum.”
Floyd died after Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was unconscious the final three minutes. Two other officers also knelt onto Floyd’s back during the encounter.
The ACTR tactic is different and involves an officer wrapping his arm around a suspect’s neck.
Activists have called for widespread police reforms following Floyd’s death. Critics have targeted the MDPD and other South Florida police agencies for still permitted chokeholds, which can be fatal. In 2014, Eric Garner was killed in New York City after police placed him in a chokehold. Like Floyd, he cried out “I can’t breathe” before dying.
Protests against the Floyd killing spread throughout the U.S. in recent weeks.
“Upon being appointed Director of the [MDPD] at the beginning of this year, I began a review process that initiated changes which I believe will help our Department live up to our vision of being the model law enforcement organization in the Nation,” Ramirez said.
“As a progressive agency, we must remain in a constant state of review & open to emerging best practices and community feedback.”