SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert has ordered the Utah Department of Public Safety and the Utah Department of Corrections to enforce, as executive policy, a ban on the use of chokeholds for restraint, effective immediately. The governor has also directed POST, the DPS’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Program, not to teach the practice.
At a weekly briefing meant to address the state’s coronavirus response, Herbert took the podium to respond to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minnesota.
WATCH: Gov. Herbert addresses diversity and use of force in Utah during weekly coronavirus briefing
Herbert called Floyd’s killing “horrifying,” describing it as an unacceptable “abuse of power.”
“Far too many within our multicultural communities continue to experience discrimination,” Herbert said.
The governor referenced two commissions within the executive branch meant to address inequality in the state: the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission and the Multicultural Commission. Herbert said he met with both groups in a joint session recently and plans to do so again next month.
Effective immediately, Herbert said the heads of the state’s Division of Multicultural Affairs and Division of Indian Affairs will report directly to him.
Also effective immediately, Herbert ordered implicit bias training for all state employees. He directed state agencies to review their own policies, and ordered a ban on the use of chokeholds as restraints within the Utah Department of Public Safety and Department of Corrections.
In addition, Herbert called on police departments across the state to review their own policies.
“Nobody should have fear of our police,” Herbert said.
This story will be updated.
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