Queens Councilman announces police chokehold bill

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City Councilman Rory I. Lancman (D-Hillcrest) introduced three bills last week that would give police officers a misdemeanor for performing chokeholds and address police officers’ excessive use of force.

The first bill, which is being co-sponsored by Councilmen Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush) and Robert E. Cornergy, Jr. (D-Bedford Stuyvesant), is in response to the death of Eric Garner, who died in August as the result of a police chokehold during his arrest for a minor offense on Staten Island, other chokehold incidents and the Civilian Complaint Review Board’s acknowledgement that it has not sufficiently investigated chokehold complaints.

“I saw the Eric Garner video and I was just horrified and I was really, really disappointed when I saw that chokeholds had been barred by internal NYPD policy for two decades but we still see chokeholds happening far too often,” said Lancman, who is the chairman of the Committee on Courts & Legal Services, in a interview with TimesLedger.

For Lancman, the legislation addresses an issue that directly affects his constituents in his district, which consists of Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Hills, Briarwood, Jamaica Estates and Kew Gardens Hills. Residents often find themselves victims of the NYPD’s broken windows policy in which people are arrested for low-level offenses as well as the stop-and-frisk policy in the past.

“I’m hopeful, first and foremost, that we have fewer of those police interactions and we find better ways to maintain order in the city than by harassing young men of color over minor or even nonexistent offenses,” he said. “But for those interactions which will exist, we want them to be safe for both the officers and the citizens alike.”

Lancman also introduced two other bills. One bill would require the NYPD to record data on the use of force and make the data publicly available and the other bill would make it clear in the city charter that police officers are authorized to use force only if it is necessary in the given situation.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

Posted 12:00 am, November 21, 2014
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Reader feedback

Just Asking from Queens says:
I am sure Mr. Lancman fully understands what a chokehold is; its application and effect. Perhaps he would care to share his expertise with us non-medical, non-bar member, nonpolitical types.
Nov. 21, 2014, 8:44 am
what alternative from Queens says:
What does he want done to subdue a drugged out suspect. Animal tranquilizer?
Nov. 21, 2014, 9:56 am
anon1 from queens says:
As a citizen I am allowed to use physical force if, for instance I was witnessing Lanceman raping a woman. Am I allowed to use a choke hold not being a member of the police force?
Nov. 21, 2014, 2:52 pm
Arshad Sherif, M.A., M.Ed. from Flushing says:
The gifted attorney that he is, Councilman Rory Lancman appears to be working on some very interesting legal issues. Jumaane Williams and Robert Cornegy are also mentioned in the context of the proposed new legislation, although it is not clear if all three are working jointly or separately.

Neither Jumaane Williams nor Robert Cornegy have any legal background, so it is not clear why Rory Lancman, who is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Law, would associate himself with two councilmen who are amateurs in the legal arena. Amateurs who are without a legal background and without much brain power. In both substance and appearance (and hairdo) Jumaane Williams and Robert Cornegy are not two people that make you proud of your City Council. But it may well be the case that on the City Council Rory Lancman finds himself alone with no one on his intellectual level. Or with his stellar legal education. No one with whom to cooperate on important legal matters. Surely in the New York State Assembly he wasn't so isolated and that he found plenty of powerful and stimulating minds with whom he can interact.

But he does have Elizabeth Crowley on the New York City Council. She represents the 30th Council District. The outstandingly beautiful Elizabeth Crowley, who will turn 37 on Thanksgiving Day, represents parts of Queens that are adjacent to those parts of Queens represented by Rory Lancman. Elizabeth Crowley is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, a place that graduates outstandingly beautiful women. And she is certainly a hottie. I would like to see Rory Lancman work on some legislation with her. If she cannot provide any legal acumen to the drafting of legislation, at least she can provide the glamour and the good times when Rory Lancman needs a break from arduous legal drafting. Rory and Elizabeth were involved in several heated debates during the congressional race a couple of years ago, and the sexual tension between them was very apparent. One wonders whether they have found the time to release that tension. Surely they have found time for each other.
Nov. 21, 2014, 11:16 pm
Just Asking from Queens says:
To: Anon1
I don't know. As soon as one of these experts tell us what a chokehold is, I'll have a better answer. For you and the rest of the world.

Mr. Sheriff - Cold showers and less erotica.
Nov. 22, 2014, 3:48 am

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