LAS VEAGS -- Metro Police announced Thursday they are further limiting the use of a neck restraint that has proven deadly for it and other law enforcement agencies in the past.
In an updated use of force policy, Metro says, the lateral vascular neck restraint is no longer categorized as a “low-level option” and is now classified as an “intermediate or deadly use of force.”
To use the restraint, an officer must be able to demonstrate that the subject had the intent to harm officers or others, officials said.
The use of neck holds came under scrutiny this year when an unarmed man died in May after a Metro officer placed him in a neck restraint.
The officer, Kenneth Lopera, 31, was charged with manslaughter in the death of Tashii S. Brown, whom the Clark County Coroner’s Office said died of asphyxiation.
Brown’s death spawned protests and calls for Las Vegas police to quit teaching officers the lateral vascular neck restraint.
Steve Grammas of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association has said Lopera did nothing criminal and was using a department-approved method to restrain Brown.
Metro has said the technique Lopera used was similar to the one officers are trained to perform but not allowed under department policy.
Metro is also updating its policy on firing at or from a moving vehicle and is deploying a new weapon to de-escalate violent situations, officials said.
Metro says it is now department policy that “officers will not discharge a firearm at/from a moving vehicle unless it is absolutely necessary to preserve human life.”
In addition, after finding that low-lethality beanbag rounds have been ineffective in some situations, Metro has deployed a new 40mm specialty impact weapon. It is an “intermediate force option” when fired from five yards or more and a deadly force weapon when discharged at closer range, officials said.
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