Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Racial Justice | Tracking COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Community Groups Call On SDPD To Stop Using Controversial Neck Restraint

The San Diego Police Department seal is seen on an officer's uniform in this ...

Credit: 10News

Above: The San Diego Police Department seal is seen on an officer's uniform in this undated photo.

KPBS Midday Edition Segments podcast branding

San Diego Police Department updated its procedure on the use of the carotid hold, which it claims is an effective form of non-lethal restraint. Community members call for a ban, saying it’s mainly used on people of color.

Aired: October 1, 2019 | Transcript

At a town hall held Monday at the Black Resource Center at San Diego State University, activists called on San Diego Police to stop using a controversial neck restraint known as the carotid hold. Activists refer to the hold as the "black and brown chokehold" and accuse police of using the hold on primarily people of color. They said the hold is dangerous and could be deadly.

San Diego Police defends its use and a department spokesperson said new guidelines for when and how to use the carotid restraint were updated in June. Police reject referring to the hold as a "chokehold" because the carotid hold involves the carotid artery on the side of the neck, which when constrained, causes a person to become unconscious. Chokeholds refer to a hold done across the esophagus, or the front of the neck.

The event at the Black Resource Center is part of the nationwide "I Can't Breathe Campaign" named after the words Eric Garner said as he was being restrained in an incident five years ago in New York City. Garner later died.

RELATED: San Diego Community Groups Call For Ban On All Chokeholds

Darwin Fishman, professor of Africana studies at San Diego State and a member of the Racial Justice Coalition and the group Activist SD, joined Midday Edition ON Tuesday for a discussion of the issue.

  • Don’t have time to keep up on the latest news? We’ve got you covered with a mid-week check-in every Wednesday afternoon.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Midday Edition banner

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.