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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Report: Teen was put in chokehold by detention staffer before she was found dead

Report: Teen was put in chokehold by detention staffer before she was found dead

Hours before 16-year-old Gynnya McMillen was found dead in her cell, a detention staffer used amartial arts holdon her.

According to a spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice, McMillen refused to remove her sweatshirt for a booking photo and patdown, leading one staffer to use the hold on her.“

The staff performed an Aikido restraint hold to safely conduct a pat-down search and remove the youth’s hoodie,” spokesperson Stacy Floden stated.

“The purpose of having multiple staff involved in a controlled restraint is to ensure the safety of the youth and staff.”

Aikidois a form of martial arts that focuses on defending yourself without injuring your attacker.

However, since Aikido is simply the style of martial art used and not a specific hold, it is not immediately clear what kind of hold wasused in order to restrain McMillen.

“As far as I’m concerned that is a completely inappropriate use of a restraint,”juvenile justice expert Michele Deitch said.

“This goes back to not being so punitive with kids. That’s not just how you interact if you want to achieve a positive social response.”

McMillen was found dead in her cell at Lincoln Village Juvenile Detention Center, having been left overnight without being checked on, despite a policystating that juvenile detainees in isolation must be checked on every fifteen minutes.

Her body was discovered “in a sleeping position” in a “secure” roomat 9:55 a.m. after she failed to respond twice to queries about whether she wanted anything to eat.

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