A judge Tuesday struck down a New York City law that had prohibited the city's police officers from putting pressure on a person’s torso while making an arrest, calling the measure “unconstitutionally vague.”
Manhattan Judge Laurence Love wrote in a 17-page opinion that phrasing in the law, passed in the wake of the in-custody death of George Floyd, was hard to define and ripe for confusion.
Love’s ruling came in a lawsuit brought by police unions opposed to the law, which they referred to as the “diaphragm law” because it barred officers from restraining people “in a manner that compresses the diaphragm,” ABC reports.
Love, in his opinion, said that such phrasing “cannot be adequately defined as written.”
The judge urged the city council to revisit the law and address the language issue.
Love, in his ruling, noted that the NYPD has established new training procedures and blanket restrictions on sitting, kneeling or standing on a person’s chest or back, but that the department’s training materials had also failed to meaningfully address the legal definition of “compresses the diaphragm.”