Once again, the use of the restraint hold by law enforcement in Las Vegas has proven to be deadly. Recently, Metro police officers used a neck restraint to subdue a male, but the outcome was death. Death after use of the neck restraint is now becoming a routine police practice. The most well-known death was that of Eric Garner in New York.
The neck restraint also referred to as the ‘lateral vascular neck restraint’ is not considered to be a choke because experts says that it only impacts the circulation and leaves the airway unobstructed and protected during the manoeuvre. But it seems as if either the experts are wrong or the police officers do not know what they are doing.
The neck restraint is done to compress the two blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. These vessels run at the side of the neck which when compressed can make a person unconscious in a matter of seconds. The technique was introduced nearly 50 years ago by the Kansas city police force and has been in use all over the country since then.
In 1991, the family of Charles Bush settled with Metro police department for $1.1 million after he died from the neck restraint. Bush, 39 was killed by a law enforcement officer who at that time used a hold which had not been approved by the department. The police department started to train its police officers very soon after his death.
In 2001, Philippe Le Menn, a French citizen also died while being restrained at the Clark County Detention Center. Again the Metro Department settled with the family for half a million dollars in 2003.
In 2009, there were two additional deaths from neck restraints, occurring within days of each other. Again it was the Metro Officers using the neck restraint. Dustin Boone was pronounced dead after the neck restraint and his family was awarded $1.9 million as part of the settlement.
Four days later, Daniel Morantes also died but his death was not related to the neck hold.
The Los Angeles police department stopped using this method of restraint after there were multiple deaths in the 1980s but since then, has resumed training officers. The Seattle police department resumed training of their officers in 2014 after a 10-year hiatus. The Seattle police department classifies neck restraint as a form of lethal force that is equivalent to the use of a firearm.
Today over 500 police departments use the technique to restrain people but deaths continue to occur. The individual who died on Sunday had been tazed prior to the application of the neck restraint. The Clark County coroner has not released the official cause of death.