skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 211754 Find in a Library
Title: New Position on Positional Asphyxia
Author(s): Michael Grossman; Gilbert Aguilar
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 1
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC)
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
Sale Source: National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC)
700 N. Frederick Ave.
Bldg. 181, Room 1L30
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses recent court outcomes regarding the reasonableness of restraint methods used by police officers.
Abstract: Positional asphyxia has been correlated with “in-custody sudden death.” Research conducted by Dr. Reay, the Chief Medical Examiner for King County, WA, indicated that positional asphyxia might be caused by physically restraining suspects in a “hogtie restraint.” However, in a unlawful death case in San Diego County, defense attorneys commissioned their own study examining whether the use of particular types of restraints, such as the hogtie or hobble restraints, could result in respiratory dysfunction and potentially lead to death. This new study found that Dr. Reay’s original study was flawed and that the use of restraints does not in itself amount to unlawful force and is unlikely to cause asphyxia. The court, as well as Dr. Reay, agreed with these new findings. Law enforcement agencies are encouraged to analyze current department policies on the control and restraint of resisting individuals in light of these new findings. Contact information is provided to learn more about this topic.
Main Term(s): Asphyxiation; Physical restraints
Index Term(s): Judicial decisions; Lawful use of force; Police policies and procedures
Note: From TechBeat, Fall 1998; downloaded October 21, 2005.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.