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Judge Strikes Down Law Banning Police from Putting Pressure on Torso During Arrests

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A judge struck down a New York City law that banned police officers from putting pressure on a person’s torso while making an arrest, calling it “unconstitutionally vague”.

Police unions brought a lawsuit against the “diaphragm law,” which stopped officers from restraining people “in a manner that compresses the diaphragm,” CBS reported on Tuesday.

Manhattan Judge Laurence Love wrote in his opinion that there’s a possibility of confusion due to the poor phrasing of the law.

Love said the New York Police Department created training material and imposed restrictions on sitting, kneeling or standing on a person’s chest or back, but failed to give a legal definition of “compresses the diaphragm,” according to CBS.

He also refused the city’s request to remove that section of the law, saying he won’t act as a city lawmaker in the court, the New York Post reported.

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“It is this Court’s sincere hope that the New York City Council will revisit this issue to address this vital matter,” Love said, according to the New York Post.

Lawyers for the police unions said removing the diaphragm law would’ve made the bill even vaguer, according to CBS.

New York City’s law department defended the bill in court and said it is “reviewing its legal options,” the outlet reported.

Police chokeholds are already illegal under a New York state law passed in August 2019.

The New York City Council passed multiple police reform laws in March, one of which ended qualified immunity for officers.

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