Here Are the Cities Where Cops Are Allowed to Choke You

A look at city police department policies defining when and how officers can use force


Police Brutality infographic
Jason Keisling / Reason

Use-of-force policies vary widely between police departments, and can influcence the choices officers make in difficult situtaions. This graphic appeared in Reason's May 2016 issue.

NEXT: Trump on Dallas Shootout and Police Shootings: Breakdown in Law and Order, 'Senseless, Tragic Deaths'

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  1. Chicago has only one – “Prioritizes preserving life”. Police lives, duh!

    1. Yeah I was wondering if that meant prioritizing all lives or just ones own.

      1. I was amused at how some otherwise pro-cop people were shocked at the last shooting. Not so much the shooting itself, but how the cops were busy consoling each other while the victim was left unattended to bleed to death.

      2. Well, I’ve been repeatedly told that all lives don’t matter, so this lines up.

      3. Dude, we’ve all read enough Asimov, even self-preservation as the rule below other/all lives still leaves plenty of room for some pretty scary/oppressive shit.

    1. ^This made my day. Thank you!

  2. All the trouble has been in Dallas, but Houston sure looks like s shitty place according to this….

  3. Damn this site is kinky.

  4. It’s actually kind of encouraging that so many major cities are adopting these policies, because as we know from innumerable postmortem press conferences, cops follow procedures more than 100% of the time.

    1. “procedures” seem to be like stem-cells for department policies…

      1. Be…because they’re extracted from aborted fetuses?

        1. Still 10 yrs. away from curing Christopher Reeves spinal cord a decade after his death.

          Heroes. Hugh. Heroes.

  5. “How could you criticize our brave officers on a day like today? If anything, we should allow this all over the place to protect our men in blue!”

    1. “If only they had been allowed to choke those snipers…”

      1. Thankfully very few cities have procedures that ban the use of exploding robots.

  6. Here Are the Cities Where Cops Are Allowed to Choke You

    How is it considered normal that internal police department protocols and policies are what determine the legal appropriate level of force? As opposed to common law or even statutes. Some police departments are feeling generous though and have decided to ban certain applications of force on pain of paid vacation if they cross the line.

    I guess because qualified immunity is so broad that it considers basically all of it illegal.

  7. Let me design those symbols next time..

    1. The author is a name I’ve never seen before, so probably an intern. Cut him some slack; he’ll learn soon enough. [touches Elder Sign pendant for comfort]

      1. He’s been Reason’s infographics guy for two years.

        1. I thought you were trying to cut down on the stalking behavior.

          1. I would never promise something I obviously couldn’t deliver.

        2. Good work, Hugh.

  8. “Is that woman you’re wailing on handcuffed and unconscious, Sarge? TALK TO THE HAND.”

  9. It should be noted that Seattle only looks good because they’ve been under Federal oversight for the last several years – and make no mistake, the public servants are not at all happy about that situation and have fought every proposed reform tooth and nail.

    1. Those are not public servants, Hero; they are public employees. Actual public servants would, you know, serve the public, not pursue their own agenda.

  10. I think the most surprising thing is the use of force reporting.

    In those cities, a cop could break my arm and not even fill out a template? You can’t file a claim if there’s no report.

  11. In the absence of enforcement and serious consequences for violating those policies, I would say that cops are allowed to choke you, etc., in every city on that list.

    Don’t fall into the proggy fallacy of thinking that saying something makes it so. Words aren’t magic, you know.

    1. It doesn’t make one goddamn bit of difference, Dave, and you know it! If one of my deputies… gets out of line with a prisoner then the prisoner comes to me with it. And if I find out it’s like he says I kick the deputy’s ass! *Me*! The *Law*! People start fucking around with the law then all hell breaks loose! Whatever possessed God in heaven to make a man like Rambo?

      – Sheriff Teasle

  12. So I’m assuming Houston is a nightmarish hell scape where the streets run red with the blood of those killed by cops.

    This is all well and good, but some statistics on which cities see the most use of force by police, and also which cities have the most generous priveleges for police officers (thanks to their union contracts) as well as use of force policies. All the restrictions in the world on use of force won’t do any good if cops know they won’t be held accountable.

    1. The average cop is small-town or suburbanville USA probably has none of these rules. Yet they rarely (always exceptions) get out of line because people know them and hold them accountable.

  13. I’m glad to see cops aren’t allowed to high-five me here in DC.

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