MN Police Used Neck Restraints That Left 44 People Unconscious Since 2015

Police hold a line on the fourth day of protests on May 29, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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June 1, 2020 1:23 p.m.

Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers used neck restraints during hundreds of arrests over the past five years that have led to 44 people being rendered unconscious, a tactic that led to the death of George Floyd last week.

An analysis of MPD records by NBC News found that officers invoked the arrest technique, which involves digging their arms or legs into the arrestee’s neck without obstructing the airway, at least 237 times since 2015.

Of those 44 people who lost consciousness as a result of neck restraints, approximately 60 percent (or three-fifths, as NBC News notes) were black.

A black man named George Floyd died during an arrest last week after Derek Chauvin, a white MPD officer, kneeled on Floyd’s neck on the pavement for more than five minutes.

A bystander’s video of the scene shows that prior to falling unconscious, Floyd had pleaded Chauvin to ease up, telling him over and over “I can’t breathe!”

The MPD’s Policy & Procedure Manual online, which was intermittently accessible online Monday, described the procedure as a “Non-deadly force option.” TPM was able to access the manual through an internet archive retrieval application:

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