Court reinstates New York City’s ban on police restraints
NEW YORK (AP) — An appeals court reinstated a New York City law Thursday that prohibits the city’s police officers from putting pressure on a person’s torso while making an arrest, reversing a lower court ruling that labeled the measure as “unconstitutionally vague.”
A five-judge panel in the appellate division of the state’s trial court ruled that the law, passed in 2020 in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, is clear in what officers can and can’t do and won’t lead to arbitrary or discriminatory enforcement.
Manhattan Judge Laurence Love struck down the law last year after police unions sued the city to block it. The measure is sometimes referred to as the “diaphragm law” because it barred officers from restraining people “in a manner that compresses the diaphragm.”
In the wake of Love’s ruling, the city council considered revising the law, but that effort stalled.
Messages seeking comment were left Thursday with the Police Benevolent Association and lawyers for the city.
The newly reinstated New York City law is one of many police reforms enacted across the U.S. in the wake of Floyd’s death, which occurred as a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for about 9 1/2 minutes.
The law also outlaws the use of chokeholds by police officers. The NYPD has long banned that tactic, which is also illegal under state law.
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