Philadelphia, June 17, 2020 – On Thursday June 18th at 9:30 a.m. Senator Sharif Street, will be joined by Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Philadelphia Sheriff Rochelle Bilal and Congressmen Evans and Boyle to call for a ban on the use of choke-holds by law enforcement in Pennsylvania. This press event will be held at City Hall in the Mayor’s Reception Room (202). Senator Bob Casey will join remotely from Washington D.C. 

On Wednesday The PA Senate held hearings on policy reform for law enforcement. Advocates, including the state N.A.A.C.P and Attorney General Shapiro, who stated “Choke-holds have no place in policing. Law Enforcement leaders in Pennsylvania condemn their use and I support strong steps to prevent them from being used in our commuinties. Senator Street is the prime sponsor of bi-partisan legislation in the Senate that would outlaw the use of the standard choke-hold and any action that inhibits breath or the flow of blood to the brain.

“The murder of George Floyd has forced police reform to the forefront,” said Senator Street, “People from all walks of life have converged on American cities to declare simply ‘Black Lives Matter’.  We must re-imagine public safety, eliminate the things that don’t work, refine those that do and invest in areas better suited to respond to the diverse needs of our communities.”

U.S Senator Bob Casey (PA) – “Each level of government has a responsibility to address the systemic abuses driven by hundreds of years of racial oppression. I support Senator Street’s reform efforts at the state level, and I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Justice in Policing Act at the federal level. Pennsylvanians and people across our Nation have made their voices heard, and we must work to hold police accountable, improve transparency by collecting better data, and improve police training and practices.”

U.S Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-1) stated, “I applaud the efforts that Senate and House Democrats and Governor Wolf are undertaking in Harrisburg to reform policing in Pennsylvania. I look forward to providing an update on the progress of the federal Justice in Policing Act and related legislation.”

In 2001, the PA Chiefs of Police Association, which accredits law enforcement agencies, introduced the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation process, creating standards of policing practices. These types of restraints are forbidden for accredited departments. However, according to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, only 118 of the more than 1,000 law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth are accredited.

Media is invited to attend.  Social Distancing will be maintained at this event.  Press will have an opportunity for questions on police reform.

WHO: Senator Sharif Street, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, U.S Senator Bob Casey, Philadelphia Sheriff Rochelle Bilal, Congressman Dwight Evans, Congressman Brendan Boyle, State Representatives Chris Rabb and Malcolm Kenyatta, Senator Katie Muth.

WHAT: Legislation Banning Choke-holds in PA

WHEN: Thursday, June 18th at 9:30 a.m. (hard start)

WHERE: Mayor’s Reception Room, Rm. 202, City Hall Philadelphia.