Mayor Turner bans choke holds and neck restraints

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Mayor Sylvester Turner signed an executive order Wednesday mandating a list of changes to police procedures, but critics say the action covers what's already been done.

"People across the country and in the Houston area community have called for policing reform," said the mayor

Executive Order 1-67 addressing the following in part: When it comes to response to resistance, officers shall only use the amount of force objectively reasonable to protect themselves.

Also, officers shall use de-escalation techniques to gain voluntary compliance and before any officer uses 'deadly force' he or she must make every effort to de-escalate the situation. There will be no shooting at moving vehicles.

"Police officers shall not use neck-restraints or holds also known as choke holds whether by using an object or body part," the mayor continued.

Lastly no-knock warrants are prohibited unless approved in writing by chief of police, his designee and signed off by a district court judge. Also every officer has a duty to intercede should he or she see an officer using force that is not reasonable.

"Those are the things that people have said we want to be in your policy and we are doing that," said the mayor.

Yet some are criticizing the mayor and his administration saying everything he signed off on has already been implemented into HPD's policy and training for years.

The Houston Police Officers Union president posted this letter breaking down the "facts".

For example: choke holds have been banned for the last 40 years and also stating that police have been policing themselves for quite some time.

Others, like Ashton Woods with Black Lives Matter Houston said this is still not enough.

"We not only need to de-fund the police we need to abolish practices and habits of the police department and even abolishing the police that's the goal," he said.

Woods continued on to say he doesn't see that happening with this administration but will continue to fight to change as many policies as they can.

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