Court Settlement Results In Ban On Hold
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Police have been banned from using the sleeper hold that caused the death of an off-duty security guard last year.
The ruling resulted from a $20,000 settlment in a lawsuit filed by a man who claimed two police officers used the same hold on him in 1983.
Roosevelt Crawford claimed in his lawsuit that he was subdued by two officers using the hold - also called the carotid artery hold - after he was stopped for a routine traffic violation while riding his moped on Oct. 2, 1983. Crawford said his main goal in suing the city was to get the sleeper hold banned.
The Portland City Council approved the settlement Wednesday, then ordered the Portland Police Bureau to ″make a public announcement banning the use among its members of the carotid artery hold″ within 30 days of the settlement.
″I’m real glad they can come up with a decision like this,″ Crawford said Thursday. ″I don’t have to worry about anybody else getting killed.″
Former Portland Police Chief Penny Harrington temporarily banned use of the hold April 23, 1985, two days after the death of Lloyd ″Tony″ Stevenson. Police used the sleeper hold on Stevenson during a disturbance at a convenience store and he died a short time later.
″When Stevenson was killed, that’s when I decided to come forward,″ Crawford said.
Gary L. Barbour and Bruce M. Pantley, the police officers involved in Stevenson’s death, were the same officers who stopped Crawford. Pantley allegedly applied the sleeper hold on Crawford.
A grand jury refused to indict the two officers.
Stan Peters, president of the Portland Police Assocation, said he was opposed to an ban on the use of the carotid hold or any other means of self- defense when an officer’s life was at stake.
″When your life is threatened, you should be able to use any means at your disposal,″ Peters said. ″Hand grenades and flame-throwers are justified at that point.″