Boston Police: All neck restraints banned, except when deadly force is necessary for imminent threat

BOSTON — The people have been calling for action, and the Boston Police Department is now responding.

Police have announced a new program with new use of force policies.

This comes as protesters across the nation have called on police departments to be defunded and dismantled after the death of George Floyd.

The department said their current rules and procedures include most of the “8 Can’t Wait” reforms by Campaign Zero, but they’ve clarified some policies including a review of the use of chokeholds.

The department says the current language -- restricting neck restraints, including chokeholds -- wasn’t strong enough.

MORE: State auditor releases memo on police officer standards & training

The department said Thursday it was updating its use of force policies to include a ban on all neck restraints, except in the very rare situations when deadly force is necessary because of imminent threat. Officers must give a verbal warning before using deadly force.

A third special order clarified that officers are required to intervene to stop another officer from using excessive force if it’s not reasonably necessary.

The department says this was already included in the BPD rules, but not specifically mentioned in the use of force policies.

Boston Police says it is also committed to bringing the Ethical Policing is Courageous (EPIC) peer-intervention program to Boston. Developed by the New Orleans Police Department, the program “empowers officers to intervene in another officer’s actions, regardless of his or her rank,” and protects officers when do intervene.