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RPD oversight commission votes to change policy on carotid control technique

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Police accountability remains an ongoing discussion in Rochester.

Tuesday afternoon, the Police Policy Oversight Commission met to discuss three policy topics many in the community want reformed.

The topics were:

The commissioners spent a lot of time discussion carotid controls and ended up voting 5-1 in favor of a motion which read: "That verbiage be added [to department policy]to state that carotid control cannot be used when a person is already restrained and or handcuffed."

"There's no way we can move forward with a chokehold," said Commissioner William Jordan.

Public comments were also heard at Tuesday's meeting.

"To go on record and say we would also like not the carotid control not to be used in any circumstance," said community member Jackie Trotter. "Because, things have been used that are not on the books and not apart of training."

RPD officers are trained in the carotid control technique. However, Chief Jim Franklin pointed out that a recent change he made in June says officers can only use chokeholds when restraining a combative or violent person.

"This is only authorized during a deadly force encounter. Which means the officer is either A) fighting for their life, or B) fighting for the life of another," said Franklin.

The commissioners also hope there can be clear definitions of disciplinary actions outlined in policies, for officers in violation.

The recommendation for policy change now goes to RPD leadership, where it can choose to adopt the change or not.

KaMaria Braye

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