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National police reforms are lagging, but New Jersey is moving forward

| Jun 3, 2021 | Police Brutality

Certain congressional leaders have been continuously pushing for an end to qualified immunity as part of sweeping police reforms around the nation — along with bans on problem behaviors like no-knock warrants, carotid holds and chokeholds.

So far, there’s been a lot of noise on the subject, but very little progress. New Jersey, however, is now operating by its own rules, and those rules are meant to reaffirm the right of every citizen to live without fear of the police.

How New Jersey has changed the rules for law enforcement

At the end of 202, the New Jersey attorney general announced some major changes to police policies, all of which are designed to address growing concerns of citizens regarding police brutality and overreach by law enforcement officers in community policing.

Here’s what’s different:

  • Choke holds are banned in nearly all situations and are considered deadly force.
  • Sitting, kneeling or standing on a suspect’s chest, back or neck is also considered deadly force.
  • Restrained subjects must be put in an upright position immediately.
  • All uses of force will be available for public review.
  • Officers are required to undergo mandatory training that will help them learn how to de-escalate a situation that could turn violent.

Plus, every police officer in the state is now charged with an “affirmative duty to intervene,” no matter their rank, experience, seniority or title if they witness another police officer engaging in illegal behavior toward a citizen or using excessive force against a suspect.

Does this mean that police brutality and overreaches will stop?

In an ideal world, there would never again be another incident of police brutality or excessive force in New Jersey (or anywhere else) — but that’s not the world in which we live. If you or someone you love has been victimized by the police, the law really is (now) on your side. Talk to an experienced attorney today about your options.