Las Cruces police officer to be charged for using neck restraint that killed a man | KOB 4
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Las Cruces police officer to be charged for using neck restraint that killed a man

Las Cruces police officer to be charged for using neck restraint that killed a man

Joshua Panas
Updated: June 05, 2020 06:08 PM
Created: June 05, 2020 05:36 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A Las Cruces police officer will be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

According to District Attorney Mark D'Antonio, officer Christopher Smelser used a vascular neck restraint technique which resulted in the death of Antonio Valenzuela.

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The incident occurred on Feb. 29 after a traffic stop, D'Antonio said. 

Valenzuela reportedly ran from the officer before being taken to the ground.

That's when officer Smelser allegedly applied a vascular neck restraint technique to gain control.

Valenzuela died at the scene. 

Las Cruces Police Department announced Friday that Smelser has been terminated. 


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