NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Westchester County will no longer let its police officers carry out enforcement in New York City, saying a provision in the city's new chokehold ban that prohibits kneeling on suspects' backs could put cops in legal trouble, according to a report.
The New York Post obtained an internal memo that says Westchester officers “shall not conduct any enforcement activity within the confines of the City of New York,” effective immediately and “until further notice.”
“This includes pursuing subjects into the City of New York for offenses committed in Westchester County,” the memo says, according to the outlet.
“Given the likelihood that the restraint of a non-compliant individual during the course of making a lawful arrest often requires kneeling on the torso of the suspect for at least a brief period of time, this order is intended to protect sworn members from criminal prosecution for actions consistent with their training and department policy,” the memo adds.
Westchester County’s police officers are not allowed to use chokeholds, but are allowed to use “other forms of restraint,” the outlet noted.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, Yonkers Police Commissioner John Mueller confirmed the report, saying he would be barring his own officers from carrying out enforcement in New York City.
“Despite our best efforts to minimize the use of force, it remains well possible that a police officer’s knee may end up on the chest or back of a violent suspect during a scuffle or arrest, especially during a one-on-one situation,” Mueller said. “We will not subject our officers to the threat of a year in jail every time they have to deal with a violent or mentally ill subject resisting arrest.”
Yonkers police will stop at the border between Westchester County and New York City “even when engaged in an active pursuit,” the release added.
In his own statement, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano voiced his support for the decision.
“Here in Yonkers, our Police Department works closely with the community, and the low number of complaints is the result of that,” Spano said. "We don’t use chokeholds, and we don’t use more force than absolutely necessary, even when dealing with individuals who are extremely violent or suffering mental distress.”
1010 WINS has reached out to Westchester County for comment.