Session: 2023-2024

ACLU-PA Position: Neutral

HB 462 (PN 2164) would amend Title 44 (Law and Justice) to create a new section prohibiting the use of chokehold restraints by law enforcement officers. SB 462 was then amended in committee to add a new subchapter under Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) to require law enforcement agencies to collect and report on use of force incidents.

The ACLU of Pennsylvania previously supported HB 462 (PN 430), which would prohibit police use of chokeholds and positional asphyxia in certain situations. Despite concerns about the effectiveness of chokehold bans, they remain an important limitation on police use of force.

But without improvements to strengthen the use of force reporting requirements, the ACLU-PA is neutral on HB 462 (PN 2164). 

While it may be argued that SB 462 takes a step in the right direction because it requires some data collection on use of force (currently there is no requirement to collect or report police use of force incidents), its provisions are tantamount to meaningless. Use of force incidents are ideally tracked in order to (1) identify problem officers in order to intervene before a pattern of excessive force results in harm and/or death, and (2) to identify trends in how force is being used and against whom. But the data collection requirements in SB 462 are so weak and non-descript that the data will yield almost nothing of value. The report will yield no data about the officers responsible, which departments they work for, and who was subjected to the use of force. Moreover, there is no provision requiring that the limited data collected in these reports are made publicly available.

Unfortunately, the use of force reporting requirements under SB 462 offer neither transparency nor accountability. As a result—and by any metric—it fails as a reform measure.

Check the bill's status here.


Representative Stephen Kinsey



Bill number