San Diego police one of last big city departments to use chokehold restraint

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The use of the chokehold by the San Diego Police Department was the topic of discussion Tuesday night at a Community Review Board meeting.

Residents want to know why officers are still allowed to use the restraint technique that can lead to death.

There are a few reasons why residents are bothered.

San Diego is one of the last major cities that allows the police force to use a chokehold. It’s been banned in New York and Los Angeles for decades.

The other concern, they say, is the technique disproportionately affects minority communities.

Members of the community expressed their concerns to San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit, who listened, angry over the use of the chokehold by his officers.

It’s the topic that kicked off the Community Review Board meeting, a public body that looks at complaints against the police force.

The chokehold, or the carotid artery restraint, squeezes the arteries in the neck so the suspect passes out. But when applied, the suspect can experience permanent brain trauma, or worse, die in as little as 30 seconds.

In 2015, video showed the chokehold being used on a man by a sheriff’s deputy at a traffic stop in Del Cerro. It was labeled as excessive force.

Back in January, this board brought in a medical expert, who said the chokehold is dangerous and should only be used if the officer feels the suspect is a lethal threat.

The feeling of mistrust weighed heavy inside the Malcolm X Library, where people explained the perception is that those living south of the I-8, and specifically black men, could be directly impacted by this technique.

Categories: Local San Diego News