The Department of Justice announced Tuesday a sweeping new policy “explicitly” prohibiting federal law enforcement officers from using “chokeholds” and “carotid restraints” unless deadly force has been authorized. The circumstances under which unannounced—or “no-knock”—entries can be used have also been restricted to instances where authorities believe announcing themselves “would create an imminent threat of physical violence” to anyone. The changes come a year after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, at the hands of police performing chokeholds and no-knock entries respectively. The DOJ noted, however, that under “rare circumstances,” with federal authorization, officers can still barge into private homes without an imminent threat to safety.
“Building trust and confidence between law enforcement and the public we serve is central to our mission at the Justice Department,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. The policy was implemented after a review conducted by Deputy General Lisa Monaco.