Reader: Alonzo Ashley shouldn't be demonized just because he died in police custody

The death of Alonzo Ashley at the Denver Zoo this summer continues to spark conversation about the reasonable use of force, and whether contact-tasing and the manner in which he was restrained caused the tragedy. Here's an angry and passionate post from our item sharing the account of Ashley's girlfriend and family.

Murmur55 writes:

NEVER trust the police or DAs. They are manipulating the public to "awfulize the victim" by making it seem like he was under the influence of illicit drugs, was psychiatrically ill, or extremely violent. He was apparently delirious and should have been allowed ad lib access to water and freedom to move around so that he could cool off. The police are so poorly trained and caught up in their own importance that they think they have a right to interfere with basic life-enhancing actions. This is why understanding the consequences of restraint is so critical: people will naturally seek out solutions to maintain homeostasis. Examples include repositioning the body to be able to breathe better, taking clothing off if overheating, drinking and using water if experiencing heat stroke. There is no such thing as "excited delirium": this term is used to hide the extraordinary struggle that occurs when weight is placed on the chest wall interfering with ventilation of the lungs in order to reverse severe air hunger and the need to blow off co2.

Even if Mr. Alonzo Ashley was suffering from the above "bad" conditions, there is still NO excuse not to perform a proper restraint that does not cause suffocation or cardiac arrest. One should only restrain or arrest someone if there is adequate personnel; there should be no dropping onto the chest which can cause commotio cordis; the prone restraint position should be avoided as much as possible, there should be ABSOLUTELY no pressure placed on the chest wall which causes suffocation.

Google: "death in custody" with or without Taser use and you will find multiple examples of restraint asphyxia.

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.


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