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Vegas police: Unapproved chokehold used in fatal foot chase


Las Vegas police say an officer used a stun gun seven times and an unapproved neck hold on an unarmed man in a deadly chase at a casino over the weekend. The family's attorney also said Las Vegas police should stop using stun guns and training officers to use a neck restraint meant to cut off the flow of blood to the brain. officer Kenneth Lopera used a stun gun 7 times on Tashii S. Brown before placing him in an unauthorized chokehold.

A neck hold that police used on an unarmed man at a Las Vegas Strip casino over the weekend was used an average of about once a week previous year amid a national debate about the technique that is banned in many cities. Brown is heard screaming as he tries to roll over on his stomach; Lopera repeatedly uses the Taser on Brown.

Brown was taken to Sunrise Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:29 a.m.

McMahill said the hold differs from a department-taught technique called "lateral vascular neck restraint" or a carotid artery hold that proponents say does not impede breathing but instead restricts blood flow to the brain and causes loss of consciousness.

The officers said Brown was sweating, and he looked panicked as he told them people were chasing him.

Brown's mother, Trinita Farmer, said she doesn't want to see the video of the struggle that left her son dead. Lopera believed the fleeing Brown had tried to carjack a pickup truck with two people inside, but the driver of the vehicle didn't believe Brown was trying to take his vehicle, McMahill said.

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The death of an unarmed man after police squeezed his neck during a struggle to subdue him outside the Las Vegas Strip casino raised questions about the risks of the technique created to restrict the flow of blood to the brain.

A Las Vegas police use-of-force report says the maneuver was used by its officers 632 times over a 10-year span, dropping from 88 times in 2007 to 45 times in 2015 and 51 last year.

At the start of the body camera footage shown by Metro, you could see when Brown started to run away from officers.

Brown grew up in Hawaii, where records show he was released from prison in January 2016 after serving a sentence for assaulting his girlfriend.

Department officials said previously that the officer had used the approved technique, which is banned in many other cities.

Brown ran into an employee-only area, down hallways and outside to the parking area. The officer was placed on paid leave.

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"His position is he doesn't want to give a statement, therefore I'm not going to give a statement on his behalf", said Steve Grammas, executive director of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, which is representing Lopera. He pleaded guilty in February in Las Vegas to misdemeanor driving under the influence.

"We'll be fully transparent and we will look at this event with a very critical eye", Lombardo said.

Brown was a father of two children in Hawaii and lived with his mother in Las Vegas, where he had a business selling shoes, hats and clothing, according to a relative.

She said that Brown was on the ground for several minutes and appeared to be unconscious before the cops used CPR to try to revive him.

This undated booking photo provided by the Hawaii Department of Public Safety shows Tashii Brown, known to them as Tashii Farmer-Brown. "I just want to bury my son".

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