'We can't be afraid': NYPD chief tells officers not to let chokehold ban stop them from doing job

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The NYPD's chief of department raised eyebrows in a meeting on Thursday when he told officers they can't let chokehold bans keep them from doing their jobs.

In an internal meeting, Chief Terence Monahan said officers shouldn't be afraid of breaking the city's new law banning chokeholds and other restrictive measures while making arrests because district attorneys will not prosecute them.

He told NYPD leaders during a heated exchange that he wasn't afraid to fight back when he was attacked last week during a protest on the Brooklyn Bridge.
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Jim Dolan has more on the chaos that broke out between protesting groups in Lower Manhattan.

Monahan said every district attorney in the city has said they will not charge officers who violate the law restricting air into a suspect's diaphragm.

In response to those comments, Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch released a statement:

"Chief Monahan claims that all five DAs agree that the City Council's insane 'no touch' arrest law is invalid and they won't prosecute it. That is news to us. If every DA believes that, they need to say so publicly to the cops on the street. Otherwise, we have to assume that we are risking arrest any time we lay hands on a criminal who won't go quietly. Chief Monahan's head-in-the-sand mentality isn't helping us do our job," Lynch said.

State Island's District Attorney said in a statement on Friday that he would not completely refuse to prosecute but said it's hard for him to imagine a case where an officer making a lawful arrest should be charged with the Diaphragm Contact Section of the city law.

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