June 6 (UPI) — A police officer in Las Cruces, N.M. has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after utilizing a choke maintain that killed a person in February.
According to a statement from the Las Cruces Police Department, on Feb. 29 Las Cruces Police Officer Christopher Smelser “utilized a vascular neck restraint technique” which resulted within the loss of life of auto mechanic Antonio Valenzuela.
Police mentioned throughout a site visitors cease Valenzuela, 40, fled on foot and police chased him, deployed a Taser twice after which restrained him.
Valenzuela died on the scene. The division has since prohibited use of vascular neck restraint throughout apprehensions.
The Las Cruces Police additionally terminated Smelser’s employment Friday after the medical expert dominated that Valenzuela’s death was a murder.
“Words are insufficient to bring comfort to Antonio Valenzuela’s family, but I extend my sincere condolences for their loss,” police chief Patrick Gallagher mentioned in an announcement. “It is a tragic day for everyone involved when there is an in-custody death or a death as a result of a police apprehension. Once we learned of the findings in the Medical Investigator’s report, we felt in necessary to immediate initiate termination proceedings.”