In recent years, police brutality has become a prominent issue in the United States. Many cases of police misconduct have led to calls for reform and scrutiny of police practices.


What is AB 1196?

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1196 into law on September 30th, 2020, which banned chokeholds in the state, but what are police allowed to do during an arrest?

During an arrest, police officers can use reasonable force to restrain and subdue a suspect. However, the energy used should not be excessive and should not put the suspect’s life in danger.

This new law makes it illegal for police officers in California to use chokeholds, carotid restraints, or any other use of force that could hinder a person’s breathing or circulation. Moreover, police officers must now intervene when they see other officers using such prohibited power and report any such incidents.

California law enforcement officers are not allowed to use chokeholds except in self-defense cases when the officer believes the subject’s actions can cause death or serious bodily injury.

California law

Exceptions to AB 1196

This exception in the law grants police officers the right to use a chokehold only in extreme situations, and even then, the circumstances should warrant such a move. The law also stipulates that the chokehold should only be used as a last resort after other means of restraint have been exhausted.

The California ban on chokeholds also extends to carotid restraints, another violent technique used to subdue a suspect. A carotid restraint involves using pressure on the sides of the neck to restrict blood flow to the brain, rendering the suspect unconscious. The new California law also prohibits the use of this technique.

While the ban on chokeholds in California may seem like a win for police reform advocates, it is essential to note that police officers still have the right to use other less-lethal means of restraint to control suspects.

These means of force include pepper spray, stun guns, batons, and bola wraps. During an arrest, a police officer can choose to use any less-lethal means of intervention to take control of a situation and safety.

use of force for police

A police officer holds a baton


The ban on chokeholds in California is a significant step toward holding police officers accountable for their actions. The ban serves as a reminder that excessive force is not permissible, and officers must always act responsibly. The law clearly defines what is and what is not allowed.


When are Police in California Allowed to Use Chokeholds?

Police officers in California are allowed to use control as long as it is reasonable, necessary, and proportional. Situations that require using force include protecting themselves or others from harm, capturing a criminal suspect, or preventing their escape.

The California Ban on Police Chokeholds is a step in the right direction toward ensuring that police officers are held to a higher standard and are accountable for their actions. The ban is an essential step in police reform, as it sets clear guidelines for the use of force by police officers.

The hope is that other states will follow California’s lead and enact similar bans on chokeholds to prevent police brutality and deaths at the hands of the police.


Has Your Loved One Suffered from an Illegal Chokehold?

Has someone you loved been affected by suffocation from a chokehold performed by police? Did they suffer an injury or died at the hands of law enforcement? Please contact Southern California civil rights attorneys at The Sehat Law Firm. We want to hear your case and help you seek justice: Contact us.

police choke hold

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