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Arrest Related Death

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Expert: ARDs Rare But Demand High-Priority Attention

In a snapshot preview of a book he’ll publish this summer, prominent researcher Dr. Darrell Ross recently offered law enforcement trainers a provocative update on one of the rarest events in policing, yet one of the most vexing: arrest-related death. In a presentation running nearly four hours at the annual training conference of the International...
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What Does It Really Take To Kill Someone With “Compression Asphyxia”?

Over the years, medical examiners and plaintiff’s attorneys have advanced a variety of speculations to explain the arrest-related deaths of suspects for which no medical cause is readily apparent. This parade of horribles has included hog-tying, positional (prone) asphyxia, neck restraint, pepper-spraying, and cardiac disruption (electrocution) caused by conducted electrical weapons. And one by one,...
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Sudden Cardiac Death: Mysteries Persist Despite New Study

Results of a new study of sudden cardiac death suggest that some of the mysteries surrounding arrest-related fatalities are likely to remain unanswered for the foreseeable future and perhaps should simply be accepted as falling among unfortunate medical occurrences that often have no ready explanations. “Cases of SCD [sudden cardiac death] associated with altercation and...
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Controversy Sparks Anew Over Alleged Risks of Prone Positioning

A Canadian anesthesiologist has attempted to revive the controversy about alleged risks associated with the prone positioning of arrestees, only to draw an emphatic rebuke from a team of experts on the subject. The physician is Alain Michaud, affiliated with a hospital in Roberval, Quebec. In published correspondence to the Journal of Forensic and Legal...
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“Motorola Memory”: Valuable Defense Tool In Sudden Death Cases

When police defense attorney Mildred O’Linn teaches a course on Critical Legal Issues in Law Enforcement, she urges her audiences to adopt a risk-management concept she calls the Custody and Care Timeline. It’s a method for officers to capture and document critical information when dealing with combative suspects who may be especially vulnerable to arrest-related...
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Scientific Probe Challenges Alleged Danger Of Prone Positioning And Hog-tying

The tactic of proning out and “hog-tying” a combative suspect has taken repeated bad raps over the years as a potential cause of arrest-related death. Yet rigorous scientific studies have failed to substantiate the technique’s alleged danger. Now add the findings of yet another research group to the controversy–findings that again seem to support prone...
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Tasers & Deaths: Not A Simple Relationship, Researchers Argue

A research team that includes members with law enforcement experience has taken the most comprehensive look yet at the circumstances surrounding Taser deployments where suspects end up dying. The findings “demonstrate the complexity of these incidents,” the researchers report, citing drug use and mental illness, persistent suspect resistance, and a “wide array of force options...
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