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Trump backtracks on comment about use of chokehold by police

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this Monday, May 25 frame from video provided by Darnella Frazier, a Minneapolis officer kneels on the neck of a handcuffed man who was pleading that he could not breathe in Minneapolis. (AP photo)

US President Donald Trump has backtracked on a previous approval of the use by police of the deadly chokehold technique.

On Friday, Trump described police use of chokeholds as "so innocent, so perfect", insisting that police needed to use the brutal technique in dangerous scuffle.

"If a police officer is in a bad scuffle and he's got somebody... the concept of chokeholds sounds so innocent, so perfect," he said in an interview with Fox News.

On Tuesday, Trump backtracked on his previous comment.

He said that the controversial police chokehold would be banned except when an officer's life was in danger.

"As part of this new credentialing process, choke holds will be banned except if an officer's life is at risk," Trump said in the Rose Garden prior to signing an executive order on law enforcement reforms

"Additionally we're looking at new advanced and powerful, less lethal weapons to help prevent deadly interactions," he added.

Trump's comment came as the administration prepared police reforms following the last month death of an unarmed and handcuffed black man in police custody.

The police reform in the wake of George Floyd's death has become a key issue for American lawmakers. Floyd died after a police officer pressed his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Floyd's death ignited a wave of protests across the United States against racial discrimination and police brutality.

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