Norfolk council directs city manager to ban most high-speed police chases, asks state to stop chokehold training


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Police in Norfolk will soon only be able to pursue a speeding vehicle if the suspect is accused of committing some of the most serious of crimes.

On Tuesday night, Norfolk City Council unanimously approved a resolution that directs City Manager Chip Filer to direct the chief of police to make changes to the department’s use of force policy.

The resolution was proposed by Mayor Kenny Alexander and was not on the original agenda.

“I want to thank the administration, the police department … but most importantly the residents … who this past week demonstrated and protested in a peaceful way in the City of Norfolk — in a very non-violent way. It speaks volumes,” Alexander said.

The city saw several protests occur in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Many protesters called for police reform.

“We see you … but more importantly this council, we hear you.” Alexander said.

Moving forward, the Norfolk Police Department will be banned from commencing a high-speed police chase unless they are pursuing someone accused of causing serious injury or death to another.

Council also tasked Filer with trying to persuade the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services to stop mandating officers in the state to be trained how to perform a carotid chokehold. Even though officers are already banned from using chokeholds in the city, they still must be trained on how to do it.

Finally, the resolution also orders the city manager to have the police department publish all policy and procedures manuals, general orders, special orders and annual reports on the city’s website.

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