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L.A. Police Ban ‘Hogtying’ Of Suspects

Sat., July 5, 1997

Los Angeles police have banned the practice of “hogtying” violent suspects as part of a settlement with the family of a man who died after the restraint was used on him.

The technique of handcuffing suspects’ wrists and ankles together behind their backs has cost the city more than $2 million in liability settlements over the past five years.

A lawsuit brought by the family of Bruce Klobuchar led to the $750,000 settlement that included the ban. Klobuchar, the 25-year-old son of a former police officer, died in August 1995 after he was hogtied.

But some police officers say the ban will make it more difficult for officers to arrest combative suspects.

“They may have to escalate into a higher level of force,” said police Sgt. Randy Minini, who taught the technique. “We’ll probably see more injuries to suspects and more injuries to officers.”

Police modified the hogtying technique three years ago so suspects would be able to sit instead of being placed on their stomachs, but in-custody deaths still occurred.

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