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NYPD’s Monahan calls part of anti-chokehold bill ‘dangerous’

NYPD's Monahan calls part of anti-chokehold bill 'dangerous'

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan on Wednesday doubled down on his criticism of the City Council’s police anti-chokehold bill, calling a portion of it “dangerous.”

Monahan, speaking during a PIX11 interview, said he does not have a problem with the bill that will make it a criminal offense for cops to use chokeholds, but takes issue with its ban on maneuvers that would press a suspect’s diaphragm.

“The idea of the diaphragm bill — and I call it a diaphragm bill — because we have no objection to the chokehold portion of it, but any cop who’s ever fought with someone on the street, trying to get him into cuffs, there’s a great possibility that your knee is going to end up on that individual’s back, and now this new law is criminalizing it,” Monahan said.

“We try to avoid that, but in the midst of a fight, it’s pretty hard to make sure that doesn’t happen,” said Monahan. “When you have to worry that someone who may have taken a shot at you that you are now arresting, if your knee hits their back, you become the criminal.”

Monahan said the department is “absolutely” lobbying against the diaphragm portion of the anti-chokehold bill.

“It is a dangerous, dangerous portion of that bill,” he said.

Monahan also rejected recent rumors that he’s either being fired or resigning from the NYPD.

“I’m here to stay, here to get this city back – dedicated — almost 39 years of my life to this agency, getting this city to what was the safest point it has ever been,” he said.

Monahan also pushed back on rumors of a work slowdown within the department.

“Absolutely, absolutely not a work slowdown,” he said.

Monahan continued, “There is no slowdown, but we do need directing from our communities on how they want to be policed. How important is quality-of-life offenses to them? Do we arrest people for being out on the street shooting dice? These are the things that we need community input on.”

He again explained that “morale is low” amid rank-and-file cops.

“It’s tough to be a police officer now,” Monahan said. “When you’re going onto a street corner now doing any kind of quality-of-life enforcement, they’re fighting with you right now.”

Monahan said there’ve been “numerous incidents” of police trying to “quell” situations on the city’s streets who got bottles and rocks “thrown” at them.

The Big Apple is experiencing a shooting surge that includes a grisly Fourth of July holiday weekend in which at least 49 people were shot — 11 fatally — and a violent June with 205 city shootings recorded, making it the bloodiest June in the Big Apple since 1996.

“There’s a lot going on,” Monahan said in explaining the factors behind the wave of bloodshed.

“It’s the people that are in jail that are not [staying in] jail, it’s the idea of COVID [that] has had people cooped up for ages. There’s no place for them to go, so they’re hanging out on their street corners where others are there and disputes are occurring,” he said.

“There’s a lot of animosity toward the police right now, a feeling that people can do what they want on the streets,” said Monahan, noting, “We’ve had electeds ask us not to enforce quality-of-life laws, district attorneys who don’t want to prosecute quality-of-life offenses which embolden a lot of people out on the street. There are more guns out on the street.”

About the author

Evan Lewis

Evan Lewis

With a knack for storytelling, Evan started News Brig about a year ago. Covering substantial topics under the Sports,, he helps information seep in deeper with creative writing and content management skills.

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