Police chokeholds could be banned in Missouri. The Missouri Senate has overwhelmingly passed a wide-ranging bill that would ban them unless deadly force is authorized under the law.

Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville

Under Senate Bills 53 and 60, officers would also be banned from having sexual contact with someone they have detained or jailed. They would strengthen officer background checks and criminalize anyone who posts personal information on the internet about officers or their immediate family with the intent of harming the individuals.

The bills are sponsored by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, and Sen. Brian Williams, a Democrat from St. Louis County.

One of Luetkemeyer’s provisions would let Kansas City police officers live within a 30-mile radius of the city.

Sen. Brian Williams (Photo courtesy of the Missouri Senate)

“Kansas City last year had the unfortunate circumstances as being listed as one of the most dangerous cities in America and making sure that we have a good, robust, qualified police force is the way that we’re going to make sure that we make the city safer. And so, I think this is a great step towards that,” he says.

Luetkemeyer says all the statewide law enforcement associations back the bill. He credits Williams for working closely with law enforcement. Williams sponsored the provisions about police sexual misconduct and a ban on police chokeholds.

Williams says the legislation would help to move the state forward.

“We have an opportunity to ban chokeholds, apply accountability measures for police officers in the state of Missouri, and then ultimately create an opportunity to the build trust, which I believe is the very foundation of public safety,” says Williams.

The next stop for the bills is the Missouri House.

House Bill 876, sponsored by Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, would also ban police chokeholds. The full House could take up that measure at any time.

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