The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada welcomes the decision by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to reclassify the Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint, or LVNR, as deadly force.
The ACLU of Nevada called for the department to ban the practice entirely, but we appreciate the department for recognizing the lethality of the LVNR, a chokehold meant to cut off blood-flow to the brain and render a suspect unconscious, and appropriately placing the technique on the use of force spectrum.
Previously, Las Vegas police officers were permitted to use the chokehold technique on any individual who was not complying with commands. Now officers will only be allowed to use the LVNR as a response to an “intent to harm” an individual or officer.
ACLU of Nevada Executive Director Tod Story said:
“It is unfortunate that it took the death of Tashii Farmer Brown, who broke no law in this instance, did not intend to harm anybody, and would not have faced any criminal charges had he survived his encounter with LVMPD, for the department to take this action.”
“This dangerous, potentially deadly technique should not be utilized subjectively by officers, and is now appropriately classified as deadly force and only to be utilized in response to situations in which suspects have intent to harm. We spoke with Metro often and made our opposition to chokehold techniques very clear, and to their credit, Metro participated willingly in these conversations. The ACLU of Nevada will continue to advocate for police accountability and work with our partners in the community to ensure Nevada’s law enforcement agencies are not using excessive force.”