The new policy order comes after a report by the city’s Office of Police Conduct Review found that paramedics had used ketamine on suspects during police calls 62 times in 2017, up from just three times in 2012. In some cases, emergency personnel injected the tranquilizer into suspects who were already restrained, causing heart and breathing failure and requiring the suspects to be medically revived, reported the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
“Our policy should be clear,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “Cops shouldn’t direct medical professionals on health-related issues, and medical professionals shouldn’t listen to them.”
Two local healthcare officials, Jeffrey Ho and Jon Cole, criticized the report for its “reckless use of anecdotes…to draw uninformed and incorrect conclusions.” In a statement, they argued in favor of sedation, claiming that it is sometimes necessary to avoid “allowing people to exhaust themselves to death.”
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