Re: Why don't we practice chokes?
My previous post disappeared in the ether.......police agents are still taught "chokes", with the word "choke" being completely misleading. There have been two basic choke techniques taught over the years, the bar arm choke and the carotid restraint, with the bar arm choke largely being abandoned by most agencies. The bar arm choke relied on cutting off the airway with the forearm across the front of the neck. It took a long time and there was (and is) a great danger of crushing the throat organs and killing the subject. The carotid restraint (Rear Naked Choke to BJJ folks) is applied to the sides of the neck and reduces blood flow to the brain. It works quickly and seldom results in lasting injury. The carotid restraint can cause injury or death if it is applied too forcefully or kept on too long. Overall it is a relatively safe and effective technique when applied reasonably - and that can be said about most defensive tactics techniques. Use of the baton, chemical agents and electric control devices are usually safe and effective when used by a reasonable officer in reasonable circumstances as well, but they can also be abused.
As for the TASER ecd, there hasn't been any credible and objective evidence that it has caused death. There have been numerous cases where the local medical examiner has opined that the cause of death was related to the deployment of the TASER, but as far as I know, in each of those cases the individual died after deployment of the TASER and the ME concluded that since the device was used and the person died, therefore the device caused the death. That is the classic issue of confusing correlation and cause. The research done by folks such as Dr. Ted Fox at UC San Diego shows pretty clearly that the ecd devices are non-lethal. There have been deaths related to the ecd in which the individual lost control of his body and suffered fatal head injuries from falling however. All of the peer-reviewed literature I've read shows these TASER related deaths to be consistent with excited delirium. And no, I don't work for TASER International, never have, don't own stock in the company and have never corresponded with anyone associated with the firm. For those interested, I can refer you to some of the literature and you can form your own opinions.