Expert: Resistance holds vary based on what it takes to control suspect

Posted at 7:08 PM, Dec 04, 2014

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A decision by a New York grand jury not to indict the officer in the death of Eric Garner has sparked controversy around the nation.

It comes after an officer is seen putting Garner in what appears to be a choke-hold. In video of the confrontation, Garner could be heard saying ,"I can't breathe."

For over three decades, Master Keith English has been training members of law enforcement.

"There's multiple tactics they can use if a person is not compliant," said English.


When it comes to policies and procedures for holds, Dana Schrad with the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police said it varies on the situation.

Schrad also said the term "choke-hold" is one that has been taken out of many agency policies.

"Your use of physical force, whether it's a resistance hold or any kind of hold is going to vary based on what it takes to control that individual," Schrad explained.

English said that when restraining someone of a smaller size, an officer would use a different tactic than what he used on Garner.


As for what's allowed in our area, Chesterfield Police said choke-holds are taught during basic recruit training. However, officials said that they are not to be used as a method of taking down a suspect. But they say  it can only be used if the incident merits the use of deadly force by an officer.

A spokesman with the Henrico Police Department said sworn members are trained in the application of head and neck restraints, a technique taught in order to take control of the subjects.