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Proposed measure targets strangulation by police

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Police officers who strangle people while on duty could face felony criminal charges under a proposed measure introduced into the Florida State Senate.

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Under SB 730 filed on Jan. 22 by Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, law enforcement officers would commit the offense of strangulation by a law enforcement officer, if while on duty they “knowingly and intentionally” impede someone’s normal breathing or blood circulation so as to cause “great bodily harm or death” by applying pressure on that person’s throat, neck or by blocking the nose or mouth.

If passed, officers who violate the statute could be charged with a third-degree felony.

Bracy declined to comment on the bill, according to his legislative assistant Alex Redkin.

William H. Stander of the Florida Police Chiefs Association declined to comment pending the organization’s further review of the bill.

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No one from the Florida Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) was available for comment on the proposed measure.

If passed by the full Senate, SB 730 would go into effect on October 1, 2021.

For now, the measure has been referred to the State Senate’s Criminal Justice; Judiciary; and Rules committees for consideration.

 

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