The report from the Greensboro Criminal Justice Advisory Commission (GCJAC) Restraint Review Sub Committee packs a lot of information into one page.
The GCJAC Restraint Review Sub Committee met at least three times with the Police Department Restraint Review Committee. It is the kind of project that GCJAC was formed to do – “identify, address and monitor issues.” In this case the issue was the use of the Ripp Hobble device by Greensboro police officers to restrain Marcus Deon Smith.
The use of the Ripp Hobble device to restrain Smith is listed in the autopsy report as one of the factors that caused his death on Sept. 8, 2018.
The report from the Restraint Review Sub Committee states, “The goal was to find an alternative device to the Ripp Hobble that had been used by the GPD. As we researched devices, we also began to realize that we needed to expand the procedures to be used when dealing with individuals that are in an extremely agitated state. This condition is often called drug induced excited delirium (EXDS) or it could be related other medical conditions such as diabetic shock.”
“The market for maximum restraint devices is very limited and after reviewing several of these, none stood out as a definite best solution.”
The report also states, “Many people in the medical field believe that the act of restraining individuals who are in an agitated state such as excited delirium can be more of a danger to them than the actual restraints used. Since they are already in a serious medical state, the added stress and exhaustion that would come from struggling could turn catastrophic. Therefore, the consensus was that restraining the individual should be done as quickly as possible using minimal restraints. Only handcuffs and ankle/knee straps would be used, in addition to strapping them on a stretcher for EMS transport to a medical facility. If at all possible, restraint would not be started until EMS/Fire personnel are on the scene.”
Although Smith was restrained by a Ripp Hobble device, one part of this recommendation was followed in that he wasn’t restrained until an Emergency Medical Services technician said he had to be restrained to be transported to the hospital.
The report also recommends that the entire procedure for dealing with incidents involving excited delirium be changed and recommends additional training for all those involved.