Activists demand SDPD officers stop using chokehold - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Activists demand SDPD officers stop using chokehold

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – San Diego activists renewed their calls for the San Diego Police Department to stop using a controversial chokehold.

Activists on Tuesday said the tactic is dangerous and is used disproportionately against minority suspects.

A proposal to recommend severely limiting the use of the restraint is currently in the works by the Community Review Board.

The controversial chokehold was infamously used by an off duty San Diego Sheriff detective back in 2015. The man placed in the hold was Robert Branch – who was able to videotape the encounter on his phone.

Desiree Smith said her teenage son was also placed in a chokehold at school by police. Smith claims her son suffered physically and mentally.

“My son paced the floor for days. He was scared to go to sleep. He was emotionally traumatized for weeks,” she said.

San Diego Police Chief David Nislight attended Tuesday night’s meeting. The chief said his department will focus on the issue after hearing from the community, but he warned it could take time.

“I’m going to sit down with some community members. I’m going to sit down with training, and I’m going to look at everything. I'm even going to look at different medical reports that were placed on my desk this very morning,” he said.

The Community Review Board has discussed the issue in the past. In fact, a sub-committee drafted a proposal to recommend the tactic be severely limited.

That proposal was tabled.

Demonstrators claimed the board has stalled, but board chairman, Doug Case, claimed the draft needed “tweaking.”

“We didn't feel it was ready for full board discussion, but there is a lot of interest in it. It will definitely be coming back to the board,” he said.

The proposed recommendation is scheduled to be brought back to the board in late May. If it is approved, it would then go to Chief Nislight.

The Review Board has 16 voting members and for any action to pass, it needs ten votes cast in its favor.

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