Colorado is on its way to banning police chokeholds

The bill received bipartisan support in the state House of Representatives

Colorado is one step closer to passing a bill that will put limits on use of force by law enforcement and ban the use of the chokehold. 

The bill, which won approval this week in a bipartisan Colorado Senate committee, prohibits the use of the technique by police to make breathing “difficult or impossible” by applying pressure to the throat or the windpipe. The specification is important, however, as the bill does not ban the use of chokeholds that block the flow of blood, the Associated Press reported. 

“This [bill] is in response to some of the tragedies that have happened because of overuse of the chokehold,” Sen. Mike Johnston told the AP. “It puts some guardrails around when this can be used.” 

Indeed, the bill still includes exceptions if a police officer fears their life is in imminent danger or they will endure serious bodily injury. 

Sen. Johnston did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Alongside the bill limiting the use of chokehold by police, the House had also passed a bill expanding the definition of racial profiling by law enforcement - an act that’s already prohibited in the state. The expanded definition includes sexual and gender identity. But, according to the AP, the amended version specifics that those factors can’t be the “sole” reason police stop somebody. 

Both bills await final vote in the Colorado Senate. The chokehold ban will take effect on 1 July 2016 if passed. 

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