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HIGH-TECH HOG-TIE

When handcuffs along won't do the trick, there's a new way for cops to restrain their uppity suspects, Slate tells us: "a high-tech hog-tie."

Park City, Utah's Safe Restraints, Inc.... touts its product called "the Wrap" as "the ultimate immobilization system." wrapit.jpgThe Wrap consists of a shoulder harness, a binding for the ankles, and a blanket with straps that encircles and restrains the legs. The harness and the ankle strap attach to loops on the blanket with carabiners, which helps to keep captives from moving. The whole device comes in a handy black carrying case.The manufacturer recommends using the Wrap on prisoners who are already facedown with their hands cuffed behind their backthe handcuffs then hook onto the shoulder harness. A properly wrapped prisoner will be stuck in a seated position, unable to run or kick. Some doctors argue that police use of conventional hog-tyingwith the wrists and ankles tied together, and the prisoner lying on his or her stomachcan be dangerous; restraining prisoners in a seated position supposedly reduces the risk of suffocation.
Maybe that's what happened Sunday morning, when a man, supposedly secure in the Wrap, died after a 15 minute struggle with South San Francisco police.
"They're supposed to prevent someone from hurting themselves or one of the officers," San Mateo Police Sgt. Hugh Wilkins, who hasn't heard of anyone dying in one of the wraps. "They're always used to transport someone safely."
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