Sen. Brian Williams’ Legislation Banning Police Chokeholds Passes Missouri Senate

Senator Brian Williams’ Legislation Banning Police Chokeholds Passes Missouri Senate

Senator Brian Williams, the first Black man elected to the State Senate in 20 years, passes police reform legislation to make Missouri’s streets safer

JEFFERSON CITY – Legislation sponsored by Sen. Brian Williams, D-University City, to ban police chokeholds and implement several significant police reform measures has been passed by the Missouri Senate with a bipartisan vote.

“George Floyd should still be alive today. We cannot bring him back, but we can ban police chokeholds to make sure deaths like his do not happen in Missouri. This bill will save Black lives, and its passage is a monumental step forward on an issue that has failed to make progress in Missouri until now,” said Sen. Williams. “This legislation also supports the brave men and women who wear the badge, and who need us to have their backs in ridding their ranks of a few bad actors who harm their profession. I appreciate the advocates, activists, law enforcement partners and my fellow Senators for supporting this legislation.”

Senate Bill 60 includes several police reform provisions:

  • Prohibits law enforcement from using a respiratory chokehold unless deadly force is authorized;
  • Increases the penalty to a class E felony for officers and correctional staff who engage in sexual conduct with a person in their custody;
  • Prevents officers who have been discharged from one department for wrongdoing from simply moving to another department to escape accountability;
  • Establishes, through provisions sponsored by Karla May, D-St. Louis, the Critical Incident Stress Management Program to provide services for officers coping with stress and psychological trauma from a response to a critical incident, and requires Missouri law enforcement agencies to collect and report local annual data on use-of-force incidents involving their officers.

Senate Bill 60 now goes to the Missouri House of Representatives for consideration.