A leader of the Gracie martial arts family has called restrictive new arrest rules for NYPD cops an “absolute disaster” — and warned they could lead to more deaths.
Rener Gracie, the grandson of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu founder Hélio Gracie, posted a series of videos raising real fears against the City Council’s anti-chokehold bill that also bans cops pinning suspects by the back or chest.
“When you remove the safest control method, you force them to use the less safe tools that they have,” said Gracie, 36, including “violent alternatives” such as Tasers and even firearms.
He said “with absolute certainty” that the new rules will have the “opposite effect in New York” on keeping safe any suspects — as well as cops — calling it “a very dangerous situation.”
Those fears are even greater given that city cops know they could now be charged if caught “sitting, kneeling or standing” on a suspect’s back, Rener said, reacting in horror at warnings in a new NYPD training video.
“Even the best police officer in the history of New York City … will face charges if they put their non-violent skills to use” while arresting someone “perfectly, effectively and justifiably,” he said.
It could leave officers “so fearful” of new laws they will “instead go to a Taser or prematurely to a firearm in order to control someone during an arrest,” said Gracie, a black belt for almost 20 years.
He attacked a “knee-jerk reaction” by a “roomful of suits at City Council” who have “ever been arrested or been in a real street fight.”
“And here they are deciding the future of policing in New York City,” he complained.
“I’ve spoken to several officers in New York City and morale could not be any lower. Many of them are considering early retirement,” he said in one video.
Gracie fully conceded that chokeholds and any pressure on the neck should be outlawed — but says the new rules go too far in banning moves used safely by officers as well as martial artists.
“We get it — change is necessary … but if we take away body-to-body controls that are used thousands of times every single day … it will have the opposite effect than what we are looking for,” he warned.
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan has also attacked what he called the “diaphragm” part of the law, saying that the department “absolutely” lobbied against the “dangerous, dangerous” ruling.
“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.
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