Code of the District of Columbia

§ 5–125.03(Perm). Trachea hold prohibited; carotid artery hold restricted.

(a) The use of the trachea hold by any police officer shall be prohibited under any circumstances and the carotid artery hold shall be prohibited except under those circumstances and conditions under which the use of lethal force is necessary to protect the life of a civilian or a law enforcement officer, and has been effected to control or subdue an individual, and the Metropolitan Police Department has issued procedures and policies which require, at a minimum, all the following:

(1) That an officer shall have satisfactorily completed a course of training on the carotid artery hold;

(2) That the officer who has applied the carotid hold on an individual render that person immediate first aid and emergency medical treatment if the person becomes unconscious as a result of the hold pending immediate transport of the person to the hospital;

(3) That upon resuscitation of the unconscious person, the individual shall be transported immediately to an emergency medical facility for examination, treatment, and observation by a competent and qualified emergency medical technician or physician within a reasonable period of time not to exceed 1 hour; and

(4) That where the person rendered unconscious through the use of a hold is unconscious for a period of 3 minutes or more, or appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or has shown signs of acute mental disturbance, that person shall be immediately transported to an emergency medical or acute care facility for examination, treatment, or observation by competent and qualified medical personnel within a reasonable period not to exceed 1 hour.

(b) The failure to provide immediately appropriate medical aid as required in subsection (a)(3) and (4) of this section to a person who has been rendered unconscious or subdued by the use of a hold shall for purposes of civil liability create a presumption, affecting the burden of proof, of willful negligence and reckless disregard for the safety and well-being of that person.

(c)(1) Every police officer who under color of authority willfully and intentionally violates the standards prescribed in this section or any regulations issued pursuant to this subchapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of $5,000, or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year, or both, and removal from office.

(2) Such conduct shall also be subject to any civil remedies related to a violation of standards set forth in the police manual or general orders of the Metropolitan Police Department.

(d) The trachea hold is prohibited and the carotid artery hold shall be classified as a service weapon and all relevant Metropolitan Police Department general orders, special orders, and circulars shall be applicable.


(Jan. 25, 1986, D.C. Law 6-77, § 4, 32 DCR 6497.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-190.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-302.

Editor's Notes

Mayor authorized to issue rules: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 5-125.01.