June 03, 2021

LAWT News Service


With a 49-5 vote, AB 490 passed the Assembly Floor today. Authored by Chair of Select Committee on Police Reform, Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson), AB 490 seeks to ban law enforcement from using restraints that cause positional asphyxia.

“Last year, we witnessed the death of my API brother, Angelo Quinto, a Navy veteran, who was tragically killed by police when an officer knelt on his neck for nearly five minutes,” said Gipson. “We need to make sure all methods of restraining someone do not turn unnecessarily deadly!”

Positional asphyxia is a deadly condition that can occur when a person being restrained cannot get enough oxygen. This also includes the “knee to neck” restraint, a technique that led to the death of George Floyd.

“My bill still allows officers to protect themselves in life-threatening situations, but it does not allow them to cut off anyone’s airway,” stated Gipson. “The circumstances of Angelo Quinto’s death are a stark parallel to George Floyd’s, which both exposed loopholes in use-of-force policies.”

AB 490 is an extension of AB 1196, landmark legislation authored by Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson. AB 1196 was signed by the Governor in 2020 and bans law enforcement from using the same kinds of chokeholds that killed George Floyd. The current statewide use-of-force policy now prohibits law enforcement from using any type of chokehold, including carotid restraints.

“AB 490 will create a uniform statewide policy on restraints that cause positional asphyxia to make sure these restraints are no longer used,” said Gipson.

This bill is now headed to the Senate Public Safety Committee and is sponsored by the California Faculty Association.

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