Zip Tied in a Bar


Several bar patrons and their supportive activists have spoken out against the use of zip ties – known in law enforcement as flex cuffs, or plastic handcuffs – instead of handcuffs. Flex cuffs are used commonly in a number of situations, including:

  • when several people must be detained simultaneously, and cannot all be detained using traditional handcuffs;
  • when intoxication is suspected, as flex cuffs are known to cause less discomfort than traditional handcuffs.
In chapter 18 of the TCLEOSE (The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education) Basic Peace Officer Course, the following are taught as acceptable alternatives to traditional handcuffs:
  • tie
  • belt
  • shoelaces
  • strips of cloth
  • plastic handcuffs
With all of the fuss that has arisen over the use of plastic or flex cuffs, one has to wonder what the reaction would have been if the police officers had simply used belts. In any case, the use of flex cuffs is not considered excessive force, but rather is interchangeable with regular handcuffs in cases where restraint is necessary.

Disclaimer: The information posted on this site has not been prepared or approved by any police agency, police association, or legal or law enforcement professional. It has been compiled through research of already available information and should not be relied upon as legal advice or as findings of an investigation.

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