Hospital Investigates Security Officer for Use of Banned Restraint Technique

The same type of restraint used by the security officer was also used by Minneapolis police on George Floyd.

Hospital Investigates Security Officer for Use of Banned Restraint Technique

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Seattle, Washington — A hospital in Seattle has put one of its security officers on administrative leave while it investigates video footage showing the officer using the same restraint technique on a detainee that was used on George Floyd last summer.

The video shows a Swedish Medical Center security officer putting his knee on the neck and head of a man he was detaining for trespassing on March 8, reports KIRO. The incident occurred on a sidewalk outside of the medical center and involved several Swedish hospital security officers. After the detainee was subdued, the security officers waited for local law enforcement to arrive. The man was accused of trespassing and trying to urinate on the Swedish Medical Center First Hill campus.

The video was taken by a woman who was walking by when the unidentified man was restrained by the officers. The witness said the way the officer restrained the man appeared to “be extremely egregious physical assault” and “way more than required.”

The woman also claims the officers told her she wasn’t allowed to video their activities.

The woman then sent her video to Swedish Medical Center administrators, who thanked her and apologized for her experience that day, reports KIRO. The hospital issued a statement to the television station that said Swedish Medical Center does not allow for the restraint technique used by the security officer.

Since the in-custody death of George Floyd last summer, there has been a much greater focus on the use of force by police officers. Many law enforcement agencies have banned the use of the carotid restraint or chokehold technique by officers, including the police chiefs at all 23 California State University campuses.

“We have seen the tragic impact of racism and bigotry, and many in our departments have experienced it personally. We are unitedly determined to take action,” the chiefs said in a joint statement last June.

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5 responses to “Hospital Investigates Security Officer for Use of Banned Restraint Technique”

  1. Jason Reel says:

    This is asinine. When applied properly, the carotid restraint saves lives and keeps officers and suspects safer. The problem isn’t the restraint, the problem is that most security and law enforcement do not get the support and training they need to do a job no one else who complains about them and their methods are willing to do. When you remove common sense options more people will get hurt and more officers will escalate to lethal force. Those of us who are well trained can show you, in every video, where officers lack training. We can also show you how making officers “tool reliant” leads to injury and death of both parties. If we continue to politicize these topics and stop holding the bad guy accountable, you won’t have good officers anymore because they will leave the profession. This will leave you with inexperienced officers who lack training and critical thinking skills, who will unnecessarily escalate situations out of fear which will get themselves and others hurt or killed.

  2. Kenneth Wheeler says:

    There are a number of restraint techniques that could be applied; the carotid restraint should be used as a last resort, not the first option. And it should only be applied if you are physically fit; how long can a person maintain their own weight but apply the proper pressure to restrain the individual without causing harm to the detainee? Are you asking the detainee if he/she is ok which indicates they are breathing? You may get a vulgar response, but guess what? This means they are breathing but it also leads to the question; Are you trying to detain or break the spirit of the detainee?

    If the person was trespassing, ask he/she to leave. Provide information to responding police officers in terms of direction of travel, if he chose to leave. If he refuses to leave and is not causing property damage, continue to use verbal intervention until police arrive. Then be willing to file charges of trespassing. Follow-up with a certified letter to the individual banning him from property, if there is a good address to use. Everything is political so Security Officers and LEO’s must keep that in mind. Not saying to be afraid to do your job, but do it respectfully. Everyone respects the police/security officer that enforces rules but is respectful of the individual even at the point of detainment or arrest.

    Responders should ask themselves that use this the Carotid Restraint technique: Are you attempting to arrest the person or are you training to break his spirit? This is what angers people because it appears in some restraints that officers are trying to break the spirit of the individual which can lead to exaggerated use of force, public scrutiny of your employer or agency, and even death.

  3. Chris says:

    Security guards Do not get any self-defense training or Apprehension training. If they are lucky they get handcuffs and no lessons on how to use them in order to apprehend someone.

  4. JMD says:

    Spot on comments. Removing techniques that when properly applied are effective, just makes it more likely the physical struggle will go on longer increasing the danger to officers and subjects. I don’t know of any training that teaches to put a knee on someone’s neck unless its deadly force. Carotid holds are not the same as choke holds and are scientifically proven safe to use. Restraint techniques in and of themselves are not bias, its the use or rather the over use and misuse of them that is the issue. ECW, pepper spray, PR24 other types of restraint tools all were/are sold as a one size fits all cure for every level of resistance so officers don’t have to go hands on, and we have seen the fallacy of that. Tools are great but they are only as useful as the training and are only part of the solution. Some tools like techniques are more effective than others depending on the many variables involved, the skill level of the user etc….. Bottom line , its a dangerous job and there are times officers have to escalate force including using hands on techniques, and a human being is going to protect themselves from harm. If pandering Chiefs and politicians take away effective safer techniques they just cause use of force to escalate not de-escalate. -20 year use of force instructor.

  5. J. Waterman says:


    Your statement about hospital security guards is not always accurate. In many states there is mandated training, and there is an organization called “International Association of Healthcare Security and Safety” (IAHSS) that has multiple levels of training in regards to the professional development of Hospital Security Officers. Other hospitals have annual or bi-annual training that includes use of force, de escalation, taser and pepper spray use, etc.

    I worked almost 20 years in two different hospital systems in Illinois and both required IAHSS certifications and had the above training. They hired professionals who cared about their jobs and took their mission seriously. (And were for the most part compensated properly). Smart healthcare systems hire THIS kind of officer.

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