Rory Devine

Renewed Calls to Ban Use of Carotid Restraint

Racial Justice Coalition says Carotid Restraint can turn into a deadly chokehold

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The death of George Floyd seen in video pinned under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer begging for his life has renewed pleas from a group of local San Diegans.

Yusef Miller, with the Racial Justice Coalition, I Can’t Breathe Campaign, hosted a zoom news conference Friday calling for a ban on the carotid restraint used by some law enforcement agencies.

“We have these events going on all the time and yet San Diego still has the carotid restraint on their tool belt,” Miller said. “Mostly people of color are put in this carotid restraint which becomes a chokehold. This is what we’ve been fighting for."

This is what we've been fighting for,

Yusef Miller Racial Justice Coalition

In a 2018 interview, Captain Wes Morris told NBC 7 the carotid restraint is an effective tool.

"It prevents the situation from escalating, it de-escalates it, and prevents it from going to potentially lethal force," Morris said.

The San Diego police officer who could more fully address the issue Friday was not available.  

During the zoom news conference, people from other organizations in San Diego spoke on behalf of the ban.

"There is no white equivalent," said Tama Decker-Varano, who is white. “It falls upon white people to be responsible and do their moral obligation. Listen and learn."

“We’ve been warning since 2017, these kinds of deaths can happen from neck restraints,” Miller said.  “We pray it does not happen in San Diego.”

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