Senator Brian Williams’ Legislation to Ban Police Chokeholds Receives Initial Approval in the Missouri Senate
Senator who grew up in Ferguson sponsors first significant police reform legislation since the death of Michael Brown
Jefferson City – Legislation sponsored by State Sen. Brian Williams, D-University City, to ban police chokeholds, increase penalties for police officers who sexually assault people in custody and prevent officers who have engaged in misconduct from moving between departments to escape accountability, has received initial approval in the Missouri Senate.
“This bill will save Black lives and is the first significant police reform bill to move forward since the death of Michael Brown,” said Sen. Williams. “I grew up in Ferguson. Improving police/community relations is deeply personal for me. This legislation will ban chokeholds and help upstanding law enforcement officers rid their ranks of the few bad actors who tarnish their honored profession. As the first Black man elected to the Missouri Senate in 20 years, I know how important police reform is to my constituents. The passage of this legislation is an important step forward for safer streets and stronger communities.”
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; and
- Prevents officers who have been discharged from one department for wrongdoing from simply moving to another department.
Senate Bill 60 received a voice vote of approval by the Missouri Senate on March 23, 2021.