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Police have valid reasons for sometimes using a chokehold | READER COMMENTARY

Baltimore County councilman Julian Jones announces in June legislation to ban the use of choke holds and other police reforms.
Baltimore County councilman Julian Jones announces in June legislation to ban the use of choke holds and other police reforms. (Wilborn P. Nobles III)

In 2019, Baltimore County Police arrested 21,680 people, with more than 2,000 of them arrested for murder, rape, robbery or serious assault. The arresting officer was assaulted by a defendant 329 times. A chokehold is a valid tool when used properly and only in cases where the officer or another is in danger from the defendant (”It’s ‘despicable’ that Baltimore County Council delayed police reforms,” Aug. 10).

I have worked in the past 47 years as a public defender investigator, a pretrial release investigator, a drug counselor and court liaison and 27 years as a District Court commissioner. I have always been impressed with Baltimore County Police in the performance of their duties. They are men and women of all races who put on the badge and leave home putting their lives in the line to protect the rest of us.

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When a defendant is trying to obtain an officer’s gun or injure the officer or a citizen, all tools available to the officer should be allowed. We owe the officers our thanks and support. It’s shameful that officers have to check their food for spit or explain to their children why a friend said their father is bad. Let’s stop looking for ways to hurt our police and give them the support and thanks they deserve.

Donald Merson, Nottingham

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