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Some Local Police Departments Already Ban Use Of Controversial Neck Restraint


Amid protests over systematic racism and police brutality, Phoenix Police last week outlawed a controversial neck restraint officers use to subdue subjects. But some other Arizona police departments have already banned it. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

The Prescott Police Department stopped using what’s known as the carotid control technique last year. Page police also prohibit officers from using it and Prescott Valley Police say they've never allowed their officers to use the technique. The Flagstaff Police Department, however, does allow properly trained officers to employ the neck hold, but only in situations where a person is trying to harm or kill someone.

The neck restraint involves wrapping an arm or leg around a subject’s neck to slow blood flow to the brain causing a loss of consciousness. Police say it’s used to control potentially dangerous people, but it can result in severe injury or death.

Many police departmentsacross the country have recently banned or limited use of the neck hold, as calls to outlaw it have grown following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Carotid control was not the technique the officer used on Floyd when he died.

Ryan Heinsius was named interim news director and managing editor in January 2024. He joined KNAU's newsroom as an executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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