UPDATE 6:30 P.M. SEPT. 21: The family of Tashii Farmer, the man killed after being put in a neck hold by a police officer, is responding to the police department's new use of force policies.
The lawyer for Farmer's mother says the new policy on the lateral vascular neck restraint comes too late for the family.
"It would have been nice if they did this before, perhaps it could have saved Tashii Farmer's life," said Attorney Andre Lagomarsino.
According to police, the policy on the restraint was changed after reviews of many excessive force cases, including Farmer's.
"It was many cases, including the Tashii Farmer case being the larger scale incident," said Sgt. Esmeralda Boveda.
Lagmarsino says he does consider the change an admission by police.
"I think it's a clear admission that it was deadly force, that it was excessive force," he said.
ORIGINAL: In hopes of upgrading their transparency with the community, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has sent out their new use of force policy for all to see. The use of chokeholds is just one of the areas LVMPD made sure to highlight in their changes.
Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint (LVNR)
LVNR will no longer be categorized as a low level option in the updated policy. All levels of the LVNR will be categorized as an intermediate or deadly use of force. To use the LVNR, an officer must be able to articulate that the subject had the intent to harm officers or others.
The LVNR changes come after 40-year-old Tashii S. Farmer died during an incident involving police during the early morning of May 14 outside the Venetian hotel-casino.
At the time the Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg stated: “The autopsy determined the cause of death to be asphyxia due to police restraint procedures and other significant conditions included methamphetamine intoxication and cardiomegaly. The manner of death is ruled homicide.”
Many citizens of Las Vegas called for an amendment of the use of force policy following the release of the video and it appears that the LVMPD has listened.
Impact weapons and the discharge of a firearm at a vehicle were two other areas of focus.
40mm Specialty Impact Weapon
In some instances, the low lethality shotgun bean bag rounds have been ineffective on some subjects. In an ongoing effort to de-escalate violent situations and to keep officers safe, the LVMPD has deployed a new 40mm Specialty Impact Weapon. This is an intermediate force option when fired at a distance of five yards or more, and deadly force when fired at a distance of fewer than five yards.
Discharging a firearm at a moving vehicle
In light of recent vehicle ramming attacks that have been used in other parts of the U.S.A and overseas, the LVMPD has updated its policy on discharging a firearm at or from a moving vehicle. The policy now reads, “It is the policy of this department that officers will not discharge a firearm at/from a moving vehicle unless it is absolutely necessary to preserve human life”.
We will have more on the policy later today on 13 Action News.