Board votes to recommend limited used of San Diego police restraint maneuver

Posted at 11:29 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 10:46:18-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A big step taken in the effort to get the San Diego Police Department to stop using a specific restraining maneuver during arrests.

On Tuesday, the community review board voted to recommend that the department gets rid of what police call a carotid restraint in some circumstances.  

"Have you ever been choked or had the life choked out of you? I can snap back too!" 

The public was allowed in the meeting but was not supposed to talk. Desiree Smith couldn't help herself, because this issue is personal. 

"My son was choked by police at a homecoming event at the school," she said. 

The community review board debated whether or not San Diego police officers should be able to use the carotid restraint.

Police are currently allowed to use the tactic to subdue people that they are trying to detain. 

Smith told 10News she does not think the restraint maneuver should be used, ever.

"It's inhumane," she said. "I wouldn't do it to an animal, let alone a human. They have stronger laws for animals than they do for humans." 
A board member proposed recommending a carotid restraint ban, but that got voted down seven to five.

A few members said that they did not want to prevent officers from being able to defend themselves. So, the board recommended banning the restraint and only allowing it when officers are being assaulted or their lives are threatened.

To Smith, that recommendation isn't enough.
"My son was choked! I would like to know how you feel about the chokehold! Are you the community review board or the police board?" she said. "If this is for the community, we are the community! We want to know how you feel!" 

Police have said carotid restraint can help avoid escalation during an arrest.  As for the board's recommendation, it is only that.

10News will reach out to the department and the city to find out if the will do anything with that recommendation.