Rep. Noor calls for investigation into ketamine use by EMS


Rep. Mohamud Noor (DFL-Minneapolis) has called for an investigation into the recent alleged administering of the drug ketamine to Max Johnson, a Black man in Minneapolis. 

According to Abbey Wulfing, who in a social media post identified herself as Johnson’s girlfriend, the EMS was initially called because Johnson was in the throes of a diabetic seizure. He ended up receiving ketamine.

In her social media post, Wulfing called out the police and EMS’ treatment of Johnson, noting, “This happened because Max is a 6′ 5″ Black man. My Whiteness was not enough to save him from Hennepin Healthcare EMS and MPD.”

“I am calling for an investigation into this disturbing incident,” said Rep. Mohamud Noor in a statement. “This strong sedative was administered even after repeated pleas by the man’s partner that he just needed sugar to stabilize his condition.

“It is unacceptable that this man, who was experiencing a medical emergency, was given this dangerous drug that can result in life-threatening conditions—as it did in this case,” continued Noor. “An investigation must be opened immediately to determine why this drug was used instead of less dangerous stabilizing methods.”

The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) released a statement on their website stating that the ASA “opposes the use of ketamine or any other sedative/hypnotic agent to chemically incapacitate someone for a law enforcement purpose and not for a legitimate medical reason.

“Ketamine is a potent analgesic, sedative and general anesthetic agent which can elevate blood pressure and heart rate, and can lead to confusion, agitation, delirium, and hallucinations. These effects can end in death when administered in a non-healthcare setting without appropriately trained medical personnel and necessary equipment.”

The use of ketamine was recently in the news because of the controversial death of Elijah McClain who was reportedly given twice the usual dose of ketamine for his weight after he was stopped by police while coming home from a convenience store.

The MSR published a story last year about the potentially deadly drug. Find that story below.