The federal government is planning to order the RCMP to end the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and neck restraints, says Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino.
Mendicino said he hopes his directive to the RCMP will serve as a blueprint for other police services across Canada to follow.
“There are some police services that have already taken those steps, but we think that with a new and modernized set of policies around the use of force by the RCMP, it can serve as a role model for other law enforcement branches across the country,” he said.
The minister added that he anticipates the RCMP will work toward ending the use of the noted techniques by the end of the year.
According to the RCMP, the CCT is not a chokehold.
“It applies pressure to both sides of a person’s neck, without restricting the airway. It may cause, but not always, a very brief period of unconsciousness that allows the police officer to safely place the individual in handcuffs.”
The RCMP added that every officer must recertify in the CCT every three years, and such techniques will only be used when an officer “fears grievous bodily harm or death for themselves or any other person.”
The agency also argued that the knee-to-the-neck technique is not carotid control and shouldn’t be confused with carotid control.
“Carotid control does not include the use of the legs for restraint. The RCMP does not teach or endorse any technique where RCMP officers place a knee on the head or neck,” the Mounties said at the time.
“Based on the existing research, policy, and training, as well as the robust oversight and accountability measures in place for the carotid control technique, the RCMP has opted not to suspend use of the technique while the medical review remains ongoing.”
During the CBC interview, Mendicino said the Liberal government is committed to reforming law enforcement in Canada.
“Success will require continued action to respond to evolving public expectations, address critical issues such as systemic racism and discrimination in policing, and adapt to an evolving criminal landscape,” the notice said.
“Policing is a prov responsibility. Are they in agreement with this major change to RCMP operations that will make their citizens less safe?”