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The Yonkers Police Commissioner, John J. Mueller, has announced his intention to prohibit officers under his command from taking enforcement actions in the City of New York effective immediately.
Mueller, in a press release issued on Friday July 17, 2020, said his intention was necessary due to the New York City Council proposing, and Mayor Bill de Blasio signing, a New York City Law that requires the jailing and or fining of any police officer that puts a knee on a person’s back or chest during the course of arresting that person.
Muella said, “Despite our best efforts to minimize the use of force, it remains well possible that a police officer’s knee may end up on the chest or back of a violent suspect during a scuffle or arrest, especially during a one-on-one situation. “
“We will not subject our officers to the threat of a year in jail every time they have to deal with a violent or mentally ill subject resisting arrest.
“New York City’s new law goes beyond effective policing. It jeopardizes the safety of both police officers and the public,” he added.
Mueller stated that his decision does not in any way disrespect the men and women of the NYPD, rather he has been placed in a difficult situation by its legislative body to “deliver measured, thoughtful and appropriate policing strategies for residents who need them most.
“Our brothers and sisters of the NYPD have contributed countless innovative and transformational policing strategies that have greatly benefited citizens and policing alike, throughout the entire world,” he said.
Mueller reiterated that Yonkers Police, even when engaged in an active pursuit, will halt at the NYC line in the future absent extreme circumstances.
Mayor Mike Spano, who also supported Mueller’s order said, “Here in Yonkers our Police Department works closely with the community, and the low number of complaints is the result of that.
“We don’t use chokeholds, and we don’t use more force than absolutely necessary, even when dealing with individuals who are extremely violent or suffering mental distress.”
He further claimed that, Yonkers Police has long banned the use of chokeholds by its Police Department except in life or death struggles, and has engaged in a variety of practices to minimize the use of force during arrests.
“As a result, complaints of excessive force by Yonkers Police have dropped dramatically in recent years. Only six such complaints were made last year,” Mayor added.