Report: Minneapolis police urged EMS to sedate topics

MINNEAPOLIS – A city report shows Minneapolis-the police has repeatedly requested that the Hennepin County medical responders sedate people with ketamine, a powerful tranquilizer known as the ” date rape drug.”

The draft report obtained by the Star Tribune says that in several cases, the ketamine causes heart or breathing failure, and suspects had to be revived or intubated.

The research by the Bureau of Police Behavior is observed that the number of documented ketamine injections during Minneapolis police calls increased from three in 2012 to 62 last year.

Hennepin EMS Medical Director Jon Cole, Minnesota Poison Control System Medical Director Jeffrey Ho rejected the findings of the report as a “reckless use of anecdotes” and incomplete information, that draws incomplete and incorrect conclusions.

But Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo says the report led to a change in the policy on his department. If the report was completed in the last month, Cmdr. Todd Sauvageau issued to the departments to say that officials should never make the demand that EMS sedate a subject, and that those decisions should be made by EMS personnel, not officers.

“We have that in place now,” Arradondo said. “That policy really defines and makes clear that we do not want our officials to give recommendations or suggestions to the a & e staff.”

Hennepin Healthcare EMS personnel is the use of ketamine since 2008 and employees are authorized to use it when a patient is “deeply restless, can not be retained, and a danger to themselves or to others, depending on their policy.

But the report found that in many cases the individual detained “was not only handcuffed, but tied on a stretcher in an ambulance for the receiving ketamine.”

As part of its investigation, the Bureau of Police is looking for the message of the drug in a report, and then reviewed body camera footage. The report cases where officials have instructed medical personnel for the administration of the ketamine.

“Between 2016 and 2017, MPD officers requested EMS to offer ketamine, or if you call for EMS services, or on arrival of the ambulance eight times,” says the report.

In one case, the police and the EMS workers responded to a call about a man who seemed to have a psychological crisis. Four Minneapolis police officers and two EMS personnel responded and decided to sedate the man, who protested.

The report says the man was injected two times, tied to a chair and was non-verbal. Then he began to regain consciousness, asked the commissioner of the EMS responder how much ketamine he had with him.

“I can sign more,” said the EMS worker.

“You’re my favorite,” replied the officer.

They injected him with another dose, and the man stopped breathing on the way to the hospital, the report said. He started breathing again later.

In a statement Thursday, Kelly Spratt, chief ambulatory officer for Hennepin Healthcare system, said ketamine has less side effects than other drugs and can save lives. He said that the draft contains inaccuracies, but he did not elaborate.


Information from: Star Tribune,

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