(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- Police officers in Wisconsin will no longer be able to use a chokehold when making arrests after the state Senate voted to approve legislation on Wednesday.
The Republican-led Senate passed the bill, even though some Democrats opposed it. The reason for the Democrats opposing the bill was not because they didn’t believe in outlawing chokeholds. They wanted no exceptions to the ban to exist at all.
The version of the bill that passed through the Wisconsin Senate this week provides exceptions for police officers to use chokeholds when making arrests in “life-threatening situations.”
State lawmakers from the GOP said this bill all but eliminates the legal use of chokeholds by police officers. The maneuver has gained a lot of attention and scrutiny after George Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was found guilty in Floyd’s murder, used a chokehold and pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck before he died.
Several police departments in Wisconsin had already taken measures on their own to prohibit chokeholds, according to The Associated Press. For example, the police department in Milwaukee has already banned them in every circumstance, with no exceptions.
In Wisconsin, chokeholds aren’t even taught as a technique for compliance in training for law enforcement officers, the AP reported.
Last year, following Floyd’s death, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, called for a total ban on chokeholds by police departments. This past April, though, he changed his tune a bit, ordering state law enforcement agencies and the Wisconsin State Patrol to update policies to say chokeholds should only be used as a “last resort use-of-force.”
The chokehold bill isn’t the only one that’s making its way through state legislature in Wisconsin. Also passed on Wednesday was a bill that local governments and Democrats have opposed. It will try to stop outside efforts to defund police departments.
The bill says that municipalities that decrease their funding toward their police departments would receive less in state aid. Conversely, municipalities that don’t cut their police budgets would end up getting increased state funding.
State Senator Bob Wirch is one Wisconsin Democrat who believes the state is extending their power too much with this bill. He said it’s an overreach by the state government to control how local governments operate.
In fact, he called the bill “shameful.”
The bill hasn’t passed through the state assembly just yet. Even if it does, it’s not likely to be signed into law. The AP reports that Evers would likely veto the bill if it made it to his desk for his signature.
In May, the state Senate in Wisconsin also passed other measures meant to reform police. One created a new grant program for police departments that also requires the state Justice Department to gather more data on use-of-force incidents by police officers.
While Democrats are looking to basically take away all powers from police departments to keep order, the GOP in the state is taking some actions to preserve the safety and welfare of the officers.