When President Donald Trump announced his executive order addressing police reform, his critics on the left quickly expressed their concern that he did not go far enough.
Referencing the president’s restrictions on the use of the chokehold, for example, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) compared the maneuver to lynchings and argued for a complete ban on the restraint technique, the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday.
“The lowest common denominator”
“Well, I think that — I can’t imagine they wouldn’t have a ban on chokeholds,” she said in a recent interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the Examiner reported.
Pelosi went on to plead with America to “get reasonable” about the technique she said was equivalent to “a lynching” and “strangulation.”
She asserted that no police reform bill would pass in the House without “the lowest common denominator,” which she identified as a total ban on the chokehold.
“People who have been so, so — just had such injustice in terms of policing in the lives of so many people in our country,” Pelosi said, according to the Examiner. “Let’s do the best we can, not the minimum that we can in this.”
“Am I missing something here?”
Reiterating her stance that the issue is “about justice” and “redressing past grievances,” Pelosi then switched her aim toward the president’s rhetoric on the matter.
“I mean, chokeholds?” she said. “Is there — am I missing something here? Perhaps I am, because what I heard the president say is, ‘Sometimes they’re OK.’ No, I don’t think so. I don’t think so.”
As a 2019 Police magazine article explains, however, there are two main types of chokeholds commonly used by officers. One, known as the blood choke, requires comparatively little upper-body strength and is “a useful tool” for cops who find themselves outmuscled by a subject.
“Many experts argue that this technique is less injurious than a knockout punch,” the article states.
Indeed, the fact is that officers will find themselves in situations requiring the use of force. Many Democrats agree with Pelosi that one such tool — the chokehold — should be completely removed from the police officer’s limited number of less-than-lethal options.
For Trump and many of his supporters, however, the pursuit of common-sense reforms does not require completely eliminating a technique that could be the best option for everyone involved in very specific situations.