For Immediate Release: Friday, September 12th, 2014
Contact: Gerald Hankerson, 206-249-1786, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheley Secrest, 253-468-1247 email@example.com
Pressure from Seattle King County NAACP Leads King County Sheriff's Office to Reverse Position on Use of Choke Hold
King County Sheriff’s Office announced on Thursday that they will halt training on technique
“The Seattle King County NAACP stood in strong opposition to the King County Sheriff’s recent implementation of a policy that would allow officers to use the choke hold. Given that the policing departments in the King County area all too often engage in the practice of using unnecessary or excessive force in violation of the law, we had serious concerns about the impact this policy would have on people of color in King County.
Due to continued pressure and vocal opposition from the Seattle King County NAACP and concerned residents at a recent community forum, we are happy to announce that the King County Sheriff’s Office will no longer use this dangerous and outdated technique.
The history of the choke hold has shown that it can be deadly either purposely or inadvertently. It is often used on African Americans and has been used in instances when it is clear that less force is needed to restrain and control people resisting arrest. In fact, just last month, a black man in New York was killed from the use of this technique.
The Sheriff’s announcement yesterday shows the power we have as a community to come together and take a stand against injustice. Thanks to the hard work of Seattle King County NAACP President Gerald Hankerson, former NAACP Presidents James Bible and Sheley Secrest, and Prisons Committee Chair Mary Flowers, as well as countless concerned community members, we ensured that we won’t lose another black life in the King County area to the choke hold.
The Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint has no place in any law enforcement agency, and we will continue to oppose its use in any context. We are pleased with the Sheriff’s decision to stop further training around this technique and it is our hope that King County Council will join other jurisdictions in the United States and pass legislation that makes the use of this restraint unlawful.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. More information about the Seattle King County NAACP can be found here:www.seattlekingcountynaacp.org