Police reform bill introduced in Nevada Assembly

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Steve Marcus

Metro Police officers stand by at Flamingo Road and Koval Lane during a Black Lives Matter protest in Las Vegas Friday, May 29, 2020. Protesters were reacting to the death of George Floyd, who died while in Minneapolis police custody.

Fri, Jul 31, 2020 (noon)

CARSON CITY — On the first day of the legislative special session today, lawmakers introduced a police reform bill in the Assembly that includes a ban on chokeholds and requires police to give medical aid to anyone hurt by an officer.

The bill does not include any changes to legislation passed last year that increased protections for police officers accused of misconduct in some circumstances.

The bill defines a chokehold as any technique applying pressure to the neck to restrict airflow or blood to the brain via carotid arteries.

Metro Police allow officers to use the lateral vascular neck restraint, a technique to cut off blood flow to the brain, only when an officer’s life is in danger.

The Reno Police Department also recently banned chokeholds except in “the most extreme circumstances.”

Metro this week reached a $2.2 million settlement with the family of 40-year-old Tashii Brown, who died in May 2017 after an officer placed him in an unauthorized “rear naked choke.”

In Minnesota, the death of George Floyd in May after an officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck during an arrest sparked nationwide protests and calls for police reform.

The bill also requires any officer who witnesses police misconduct to stop it or report the offense if the officer involved is a superior.

Officers involved in an incident where someone suffers substantial bodily harm would have to submit to drug and alcohol testing.

In addition, the bill contains language affirming the right of bystanders to record video of police activity in public and that officers may not confiscate those recordings.

As of late this morning, the police reform bill was not on today’s Assembly agenda.

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