04/07/2006

Texas drops boxing drill for state troopers after recruit's death

The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas- The Texas Department of Public Safety said it will no longer train police officers with a boxing drill that resulted in a recruit's death last year.

The department suspended full-contact fighting after Jimmy Ray Carty Jr. died of head injuries last May. He was knocked to the ground at least twice by blows to the head.

"We are confident we will find ways to train them that will keep them safe and keep the people of the state of Texas safe," department spokeswoman Tela Mange said Wednesday.

The agency used the drill for at least 30 years and had argued it was useful training for officers who must be prepared to fight on the streets.

But consultants hired by the department after Carty's death recommended the drill be eliminated because it caused too many head injuries and did not involve realistic situations.

The department also banned all other exercises that involve hitting or other hard contact between trainees.

"They made the right choice," said Carty's widow, Christy Carty, who on Wednesday sued over her husband's death, seeking unspecified damages and an end to the fighting drill.

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