Honolulu police suspends vascular neck restraints

HONOLULU — The Honolulu Police Department is temporarily stopping officers from using a type of neck restraint.

Prompted by intense protests across the United States and elsewhere over racial injustice when George Floyd died after a police officer in Minnesota pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes, the Honolulu department began reviewing its use of force policy.

Chief Susan Ballard said Monday she is stopping vascular neck restraints while a committee examines the department’s use of force policy.

“I did make the decision this morning,” she said. “I hesitated because I don’t like taking things away from the officer that may help them out on the road.”

Her announcement comes as police chokeholds are scrutinized around the world. Chokeholds apply pressure from the front and stop the individual from breathing, while carotid holds are from the side.

Ballard said a vascular neck restraint is not a chokehold. It’s a martial arts technique taught to recruits as a last resort option. It was used last year about five times, she said.

It entails an officer using an elbow to put even pressure against the chest and neck, she said.

  1. BrunBrun June 9, 2020 8:59 pm Reply

    Where’s Brun? Councilman Brun is still collecting a salary from the taxpayers of Kauai.

    Where’s Brun?

  2. Jon maestri June 11, 2020 4:24 am Reply

    Banning choke holds is a big mistake as it is a tool that when properly applied has saved countless lives. For example there was an incident where a patrol officer was on the ground in a life or death struggle with a violent suspect who was beating the downed officer and trying to wrestle his gun away. A responding officer, bravely rushed in and applied a choke hold on the suspect and dragged the struggling suspect away from the downed officer. As soon as the sleepy suspect was handcuffed he was fully recovered and placed in the patrol car. Bottom Line: Nobody was injured or killed. A favorable outcome.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.