The Antioch City Council, serving as the Antioch Police Oversight Standing Committee, will make several recommendations ahead of the City Council Meeting on banning restraints, police chief hiring and recruitment, and use of force.
The items official titles on the agenda include:
- REVIEW AND DISCUSS ANTIOCH POLICE DEPARTMENT DRAFT POLICY BANNING RESTRAINTS, HOLDS, TACTICS AND MANEUVERS THAT POSE A SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF POSITIONAL ASPHYXIA
- REVEW AND DISCUSS POLICE CHIEF RECRUITMENT AND HIRING PROCESS
- REVIEW OF ANTIOCH POLICE DEPARTMENT POLICY NO. 300: USE OF FORCE
Police Chief Recruitment and Hiring Process
This item was placed on the agenda by Chair Tamisha Torres-Walker for discussion. The committee will be presented with the hiring process, possible in-house candidates and determine whether an internal or external recruitment best serves city goals and agency needs.
Use of Force Policy
The standing committee will receive a presentation on the Antioch Police Department use of force policy and will then review the policy.
The Police Department has contracted with a company called Lexipol for 6 years which designs web based policy manuals and training for law enforcement agencies all over the United States. Lexipol further provides a full library of customizable, state-specific law enforcement policies that are updated in response to new state and federal laws and court decisions. The (attached) Use of Force Policy was drafted in Lexipol and is consistent with federal and state guidance as well as industry best practices.
The full policy is provided in the staff report, which can be found on page 21.
Positional Asphyxia Policy
At the August 24 meeting, the City Council directed the City Manager and the City Attorney to work with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Police Oversight Standing Committee and the Antioch Police Department to develop a new policy. The new policy’s intent is to protect members of the public involved in law enforcement incidents by identifying and prohibiting the use of Police Officer restraints, holds, tactics and maneuvers that pose a substantial risk of positional asphyxiation, potentially resulting in unconsciousness or death.
Command Staff and subject matter experts from the Antioch Police Department researched existing Positional Asphyxia policies from around the world, including medical expert opinions on the matter. In addition, the City team examined federal and state laws which guide law enforcement use of force along with reports on industry best practices.
Here is a look at the policy:
XXX.3 POSITIONAL ASPHYXIA REQUIREMENTS
Officers shall comply with the following conduct concerning positional asphyxia:
a) A person lying on their stomach in a face-down position may have difficulty breathing. An officer shall only physically force a person to a face down position when reasonably necessary to do so to protect the safety of the person, the officer, or pedestrians.
b) Immediately following the application of force or restraint of a person, and as soon as it is safe to do so, officers shall position a person in a recovery or seated position to allow for free breathing and to avoid positional asphyxia.
c) Any body-to-body contact or officers’ placement of weight on a person must be transitory. Officers shall not forcibly hold down or place weight on a prone person any longer than reasonably necessary to safely restrain the person. As soon as practicable, an officer’s weight on a person shall be removed. Officers shall be aware of the amount and duration of any weight placed on a person.
d) If officers hold a person down while restraining them, officers shall avoid placing weight on the person’s neck or head which can fracture the hyoid bone or cervical spine. No more than two officers shall place weight on a person’s upper body or torso. If additional assistance is needed, an additional officer or officers may restrain a person’s limbs to restrict their movement.
e) Once officers safely restrain a person, officers shall not sit, kneel, stand, or place their weight on a person’s chest, back, stomach, or shoulders.
f) Officers must inquire about a restrained person’s well-being, including, but not limited to, that person’s recent use of drugs, any cardiac condition, or any respiratory conditions or diseases. Officers shall recognize and respond to risks such as the person saying that they “can’t breathe”, gurgling or gasping sounds, panic, prolonged resistance, the lack of resistance, etc. Officers must be aware of environmental factors, including the nature and temperature of the surface on which they are restraining a person. For example, holding a person down on a hot surface, or in mud or water, can cause other injury or impair breathing.
g) If a person continues to resist after being restrained, officers must check if any resistance is related to a person’s difficulty breathing. When a person has their breathing restricted, the person may struggle more. What officers perceive as resistance may be an indication that the person is struggling to breathe.
h) Officers shall share any relevant information regarding a person’s condition, medical condition, what has transpired during their interaction, or any information about drug or alcohol use, which might be medically relevant, to other officers, personnel, or individuals administering medical aid. If there has been any restriction to a person’s breathing, such information is medically relevant and shall be shared at the first practical opportunity.
Persons who exhibit extreme agitation, violent irrational behavior accompanied by profuse sweating, extraordinary strength beyond their physical characteristics and imperviousness to pain, may be experiencing a serious medical condition and at risk of sudden death. Calls involving these persons should be considered medical emergencies. Officers who reasonably suspect a medical emergency should request medical assistance as soon as practicable and have medical personnel stage away if appropriate.
The full draft policy is in the staff report (page 15 of PDF)
Antioch Police Oversight Standing Committee
Sept. 28 at 4:00 pm
Public is invited to submit public comments by 3:00 pm the day of the meeting to [email protected].
You may register and attend the webinar by visiting