MINNEAPOLIS — In the last five years, officers from the Minneapolis Police Department have rendered 44 people unconscious while restraining a person's neck, according to an NBC News analysis of the department's use-of-force records.
NBC News found Minneapolis police have used neck restraints at least 237 times since the beginning of 2015, and individuals lost consciousness in 16% of those incidents.
The department's use of neck restraints is under scrutiny following the death of George Floyd.
According to attorneys for Floyd's family, an independent autopsy showed Floyd's death was caused by "asphyxia due to neck and back compression" while Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who has since been fired, had his knee on Floyd's neck. Chauvin was charged on Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Three other Minneapolis police officers were fired in the wake of Floyd's death but have not yet been charged. The attorneys for Floyd's family have called for all the officers involved to be arrested and for a first-degree murder charge to be brought against Chauvin.
Minneapolis Police policy allows the use of neck restraints – “Defined as compressing one or both sides of a person’s neck with an arm or leg, without applying direct pressure to the trachea or airway.”
More than a dozen police officials and law enforcement experts stressed to NBC News that kneeling on a suspect's neck isn't taught or sanctioned by any police agency.
While NBC News reported that a lack of publicly available use-of-force data from other departments makes it tough to compare Minneapolis to other cities of its size, several police experts said having 44 people lose unconsciousness in 5 years seems unusually high.