Gov. Newsom calls for end to carotid chokehold

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday directed the state's commission on peace officer training to stop using the carotid hold and will support legislation to end these types of chokeholds used by police.

He said that this form of tactic, which cuts off a person's circulation, "has no place" in society today because it is outdated and in some cases, lethal. 

His speech also comes on what would have been Breonna Taylor's 27th birthday and after  Floyd's Minneapolis memorial service. 

Newsom noted there has been violence and looting in California and in the country following Floyd's death. But he noted the acts of kindness and cleanup efforts, as well. 

George Floyd was killed on Memorial Day when a white police officer sat on his neck, a form of a carotid hold, for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Eric Garner died in New York when police put him in a chokehold. And the list goes on. 

Newsom said that this police technique should be rejected as normal and this type of "normalcy led to this moment."  

Newsom also was very clear about his belief that the justice system in this country is unfair and that African Americans, people of color and the impoverished, suffer the brunt of it. 

"The criminal justice system treats people who are rich and guilty a hell of a lot better who ware poor and innocent," he said, his voice filled with emotion. "You know that and I know that. Why aren't we doing something about that?"

Newsom then listed off a host of injustices in the country that people of color suffer from, ranging from the criminal justice system to education. 

In addition to the cartoid hold order, Newsom also tapped Lateefah Simon, current BART director and president of the Akonadi Foundation, along with Ron Davis, former East Palo Alto police chief who also served during the Obama administration as a "forward-thinking thought leader," to lead a task force on police reform.

"We need to shift the conversation and shift the practice," Simon said. "We do this work in the honor of justice."

During his news conference, Newsom took time to specifically compliment the youth he's met from Stockton to Los Angeles during a statewide tour this week.

Young people don't "mince words," Newsom said. "They have no reservoir of patience. They demand people in power lead demonstrably, with courage and conviction and lead with civility."

This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.