On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council could seek to provide direction to develop a policy banning restraints, holds, tactics and maneuvers that pose risk of positional asphyxiation.
According to the agenda, its being recommended adopt the resolution directing the city manager and city attorney to work with the Chair of the Police Oversight Standing Committee and the Antioch Police Department to develop a policy that protects members of the public involving in law enforcement incidents by identifying and prohibit the use of police officer restraints, holds, tactic and maneuvers that pose substantial risk of positional asphyxiation, potentially resulting in unconsciousness or death.
The item comes before the council at the request of Mayor Lamar Thorpe so that a policy may be development aimed at protecting members of the public against positional asphyxia.
The staff report shares that positional asphyxia occurs when a person’s body position prevents the person from breathing adequately. A person can be prevented from breathing adequately when excessive pressure is placed on the persons, neck, shoulder, back, or stomach. In order to ensure safety and minimize the risk of positional asphyxia, the policy should identify, evaluate, and prohibit holds, tactics, maneuvers and restraints that pose a substantial risk of causing positional asphyxia.
The State of California has prohibited the use of the carotid restraint hold after Assemblyman Mike Gipson introduced Assembly Bill 1196. The bill passed by the State Assembly on Aug 30, 2020 in a 33-1 vote and in the State Assembly in a 67-0 vote on Aug. 31, 2020. The bill was signed into law on Sept. 30, 2020 by Governor Gavin Newsom.
Meanwhile, Assembly Bill 490 was introduced in February of 2021 which would prohibit a law enforcement agency from authorizing techniques or transport methods that involve a substantial risk of positional asphxia. The bill passed through the State Assembly in June in a 55-15 vote and is currently in the State Senate.
Antioch Police Officers Association Representative Steve Aiello said the department does not teach officers knee to neck, advocate it and condone it.
Antioch City Council Agenda – click here
Note – in the photo, two Antioch Police Officers work to detain a suspect carrying a firearm.