Union says HPD has not used chokehold in decades after Mayor Turner issues ban

HOUSTON – As emotion and energy ran through the Fountain of Praise Church on Tuesday Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner capitalized on the moment by announcing plans for a comprehensive executive order to ban chokehold.

"In this city, we will ban chokeholds and strangleholds. In this city, we will require de-escalation. In this, you have to give a warning before you shoot. In this, you have a duty to intervene. In this city, we will require comprehensive reporting. In this city, you must exhaust all alternatives before a shooting, and there will be other things in this executive order.”

Following the mayor’s announcement to ban chokeholds, The Houston Police Officers’ Union issued the following response:

“The Houston Police Department has not permitted chokeholds for the last 40 years (can only confirm back that long) and quite possibly has never permitted them. We do not oppose the Mayor’s ban on chokeholds /strangleholds.”

HPD Chief Art Acevedo on Tuesday morning’s Today Show called for long-term reform involving the nation’s 18,000 police departments stating at one point.

“I would tell the elected officials that knee-jerk reaction is not what the community is wanting,” Acevedo said.

Prior to the funeral, the chief referenced working with national and local elected leaders to create change.

“I’m very confident that with the help of the congress and here locally with our Mayor, Mayor Turner and we are going to get some really good changes that are long, long overdue,” Acevedo said.

Meanwhile, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez also announced changes in a Tuesday morning tweet, “I’m moving forward with a number of significant policy revisions. I support real reform. But I disagree on the issue of defunding.”

The issue of defunding has been a hot topic nationally. On Wednesday, Houston’s city council will discuss the reallocation of nearly $12 million in underutilized finds that can be redirected to city programs as well as enhanced training for HPD, according to council member Letitia Plummer.

About the Author:

Mario Orellana is the assistant news director at KSAT.