ASSEMBLY, No. 4284

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 18, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  BENJIE E. WIMBERLY

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman  VERLINA REYNOLDS-JACKSON

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes crime of strangulation chokehold.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act to establish the crime of strangulation chokehold and supplementing Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Any municipal, county, or State law enforcement officer, Department of Corrections employee, county correctional police officer, juvenile correctional police officer, State juvenile facility employee, juvenile detention staff member, probation officer, any sheriff, undersheriff or sheriff's officer or any municipal, county, or State law enforcement officer while in the performance of  the person's duties while in uniform or exhibiting evidence of the person's authority or because of the status as any municipal, county, or State law enforcement officer, Department of Corrections employee, county correctional police officer, juvenile correctional police officer, State juvenile facility employee, juvenile detention staff member, probation officer, any sheriff, undersheriff or sheriff's officer is guilty of strangulation chokehold when, with intent to impede the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another person he blocks the nose or mouth, or uses any procedure known as a chokehold, which results in serious bodily injury or death. 

     Strangulation chokehold is a crime of the first degree.

     As used in this section, “chokehold” includes, but is not limited to, any pressure of the throat or windpipe which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     On June 5, 2020, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General issued notice that it will ban police departments from using chokeholds, carotid artery neck restraints, or similar tactics, except where deadly force is necessary.  The revision clarifies and tightens longstanding policy on the use of this kind of force by law enforcement. 

     This bill establishes the crime of strangulation chokehold, applicable to various law enforcement personnel.  Under the bill, enumerated law enforcement personnel commit strangulation chokehold when, with intent to impede the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another person he blocks the nose or mouth, or uses any procedure known as a chokehold, which results in serious bodily injury or death.  Strangulation chokehold is classified as a crime of the first degree, ordinarily punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, a fine up to $200,000, or both.

     Under the bill, “chokehold” includes but is not limited to, any pressure of the throat or windpipe which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air.