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H.R. 4408 (116th): Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act of 2019

The text of the bill below is as of Sep 19, 2019 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.

Summary of this bill

Named after an African-American New York City killed in 2014 after asphyxiation by white police officer Daniel Pantaleo, the Eric Garner Excessive Force Prevention Act would make chokeholds or other oxygen-hindering maneuvers illegal under federal civil rights law.

The House version numbered H.R. 4408 was previously introduced in September 2019 by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY8). The Senate version numbered S. 3895 was introduced on June 4 by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

What supporters say

Supporters argue that the chokehold and other similar physical moves have no place in our society, and we see the results with examples such as Garner, Floyd, and others.

“The overwhelming majority of all …



1st Session

H. R. 4408


September 19, 2019

(for himself, Ms. Clarke of New York, Ms. Bass, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Hastings, Mr. Danny K. Davis of Illinois, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, Ms. Norton, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Mr. Serrano, Ms. Wilson of Florida, Mr. Rush, Mr. Meeks, Mr. Espaillat, Ms. Velázquez, Ms. Moore, Mr. Evans, Mr. Lawson of Florida, Ms. Omar, Ms. Scanlon, Mr. Richmond, Ms. Garcia of Texas, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Ms. Jayapal, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Cicilline, and Ms. Pressley) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To amend section 242 of title 18, United States Code, to forbid the use of chokeholds by persons subject to that provision’s prohibitions, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act of 2019.


Chokeholds as civil rights violations

Section 242 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: For the purposes of this section, the application of any pressure to the throat or windpipe which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air is a punishment, pain, or penalty..