Columbia council considers ban on police chokeholds

Columbia City Council members heard a report this week on possibly banning all chokeholds by police.

The policy right now only allows officers to use the move if there’s a serious threat someone could get badly hurt or killed. Supporters of a ban say officers can abuse their discretion on when there is a serious threat.

CPD chief Geoff Jones says banning chokeholds may force officers to pull their gun more often.

“Removing a deadly force option with a lower probability of lethality increases the likelihood that a more lethal deadly-force option will be used.”

Columbia council members did not approve any change to the police chokehold policy on Monday night. A vote may come up at a future meeting.

Chief Jones recommends leaving the current policy in place for officers.

“It is far less likely that if I choke somebody while fighting over my gun that they’re going to die, than if I shoot them.”

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