- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2020

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The Las Vegas Police Department announced Wednesday that it changed its use of force policy effective immediately to limit the use of a neck restraint technique unless in life-threatening situations.

“We are constantly evolving and looking for ways to improve our use of force standards. In this case, a national conversation about this technique showed us that we had room for improvement,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.

The lateral vascular neck restraint technique is described by the department as “a control technique applied to the sides of the neck, using a combination of physiological factors to restrict blood flow to the brain which may cause the subject to lose consciousness.”

The technique was previously allowed when an officer was confronted by “an assaultive person,” the department said in a statement.

The department has said the technique is not a chokehold, which is used to restrict breathing. However, the state law’s definition of a “chokehold” includes the lateral vascular neck restraint, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The announcement came weeks after protests sparked across the U.S. and the world by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed and lying on the ground.

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