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LBPD is Suspending the use of the Sleeper Hold



The LBPD has issued a "special order" to suspend the use of the carotid restraint, a.k.a the sleeper hold, as part of the department's use of force policy. LBPD is joining other law enforcement agencies across the nation in changing its use-of-force policies in response to public outcry over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

  • The LBPD says they're updating its use of force policy language to expressly prohibit all types of “chokeholds”.

  • The carotid restraint involves applying pressure to a person’s neck cutting off blood flow in the carotid artery rendering a person unconscious.


Why it matters:

On June 5th, Governor Newsom ordered the state's police training program to stop teaching officers the sleeper hold and enact new legislation that would outlaw its use, according to the AP.

  • Former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, charged for murdering George Floyd, knelt on the back of Mr. Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.

  • Eric Garner, an unarmed Blackman, who died in an encounter with the NYPD, said “I can’t breathe” 11 times while an NYPD officer held him in a chokehold.

  • LBPD lost a police brutality lawsuit in 2011 to a Long Beach resident alleging officers “took turns” placing him in chokeholds, per LA Times.

What's Happening:

  • L.A County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced that her department's investigation bureau would stop using the carotid "sleeper" chokehold.

  • CA Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to use a carotid artery restraint tactic to forcibly detain a suspect.


What they're saying:

  • LBPD Chief Robert Luna said, "Our Department recognizes the community’s concern regarding this use of force application and we are responding to those concerns by taking action,” and “This is just the first of many steps that we will take to continue to build trust and create equity within the community we proudly serve.”

  • CA Gov. Newsom said, at a June 5th presser “A carotid hold that literally is designed to stop people’s blood from flowing into their brain, that has no place any longer in 21st-century practices and policing.”

  • L.A County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said, “I want the community to know their voices are being heard, loud and clear,” District Attorney Lacey said. “Their cries have led us to re-examine and improve our policing policies in a way that I hope will save lives.”