Restraint Asphyxia and Suffocation by Police

The use of excessive force in law enforcement, particularly restraint tactics that may restrict an individual’s airflow, is a pressing issue that has gained significant attention over the last few years. Shealey Law Firm represents people impacted by the misuse of authority, such as those involving restraint asphyxia. Contact our Columbia civil rights attorneys with experience handling wrongful death cases to learn about your legal options.

The Problem of Restraint Asphyxia and the Abuse of Power

Law enforcement officers are responsible for protecting and serving the community, but sometimes they overstep their boundaries. Such actions can cause severe harm to the same people they should protect. These instances often violate civil rights and may lead to untimely deaths of people who never got the fair trial required by the American Constitution.

One of the most concerning issues in excessive force is the prevalence of improper restraints, which can lead to severe injury or even death. This issue continues to gain prominence across America as more cases come to light.

The Dangerous Impact Restraint Has on Breathing

Certain positions under restraint can be dangerous for a person’s breathing abilities. Restraint and positional asphyxia occur when an individual’s position or the force applied to their body prevents them from breathing correctly.

This can happen when someone forcibly holds another person down in a prone position, with the face pressed against a surface. It can also occur when someone places another person in a chokehold or other restrictive positions.

Restraint asphyxia can lead to hypoxia, in which the body does not receive enough oxygen to sustain its normal functions. Hypoxia can cause serious complications, such as brain damage, organ failure, and even death. When these complications occur due to improper restraint by police or correctional officers, they may be held responsible for their actions.

Potential Civil Rights Violations

The Sixth Amendment gives people in America the right to trial by a jury of their peers. Law enforcement officers should take measures to protect themselves while also not engaging in behaviors that could lead to someone’s execution without trial.

When law enforcement or correctional officers use excessive force or improper restraints that result in injury or death, they may also be found guilty of violating a person’s Fourth Amendment rights, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Additionally, excessive force may violate the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

Qualified immunity can complicate criminal cases against law enforcement officers in these cases, but it is not impossible. Affected persons or their survivors may also pursue civil damages to receive compensation for injuries or other losses.

Why You Need an Attorney for Restraint Asphyxia Cases Involving the Police

It is challenging to build a case against law enforcement officers ― even in civil court. People often focus on the accusations against the affected person and do not give them a fair chance to defend their rights, even when allegations do not hold up in court.

A civil rights attorney provides the legal knowledge and experience to build a successful case. However, affected persons should act quickly, as evidence may disappear or become tampered with if not pursued soon enough.

You should consider hiring attorneys for this case because:

  • Law enforcement and correctional teams take cases with legal representation more seriously.
  • Civil rights attorneys have the resources and experience necessary to build a successful case.
  • Attorneys can help you understand your civil rights and guide you in filing an appropriate claim.
  • They can guide and advise you on pursuing damages from police authorities or other responsible parties.

Why Choose Shealey Law Firm?

If you or a family member have been injured as a result of prone restraint, contact us about filing a case involving restraint asphyxia. We are committed to defending the rights of people who have been impacted by police brutality, correctional officer abuse, or other civil rights violations. Our experienced legal team understands the intricacies of these cases and is committed to holding those in power accountable for their actions.

Our South Carolina attorneys have a long record of standing up to abuses in power, including several forms of police and prison guard misconduct. Learn how we can help you and your family move forward from these terrifying and often tragic incidents. Contact us at Shealey Law Firm to discuss your options.


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